Skills Development Scotland Report Launch: Neurodiversity in Digital Tech

Skills Development Scotland

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Skills Development Scotland launches a report and a new fund underlining the importance of neurodivergent individuals to technology companies. In this session you will hear:

  • Key findings of the report, benefits of neurodiversity in tech and how to attract, recruit and support neurodivergent individuals
  • The actions SDS and partners will take to support tech employers to increase neurodiversity including the Cyber Security Neurodiversity Skills Development Fund

Bev Harrow

Bev Harrow is a mother of three sons, a company director and a volunteer director of her local Citizens Advice bureaux. With a background in law, Bev became interested in disability rights and inclusion policy because as a mother of a disabled child she encountered many barriers to his schooling, and has had to advocate for his right to be treated fairly and equitably. She strongly believes that supporting neurodiverse children by creating alternative pathways to learning will allow them to achieve at their full potential through tertiary education and on to employment, and that disability should never be a barrier to achievement. 

Lee Hutchison

Co-Chair Neurodiversity Workstream for Digital Skills

Lee Hutchison has spent the past decade supporting individuals with disabilities and health conditions towards positive destinations within employment and education. Lee has worked previously as a student support worker collaborating with Edinburgh College, Napier University and Heriot Watt University providing student support exclusively to individuals on the Autistic Spectrum. For the past four years at Into Work, Lee has been an employment adviser supporting people with disabilities, health conditions and barriers into employment, volunteer opportunities and training courses. Lee has worked with clients to help them achieve employment within the Scottish Government, NHS, the tech industry, and much more while working with local businesses to make them more inclusive, diverse, and supportive for their staff.

Chris Hughes

Founder & CEO of Estendio

Chris Hughes is the founder & CEO of Estendio, creators of the Present Pal software. Created out of his own experience with dyslexia, Present Pal now supports disabled students in over 100 universities in the UK & Ireland and is now expanding into North America. Chris has a passion for accessibility, where he chairs Skills Development Scotland’s Neurodiversity in Tech Workstream. He has also delivered keynote presentations at Microsoft’s Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), MIT’s Assistive Technology Hackathon and Harvard Business School.


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Mark Goodwin

Mike Fergusson

Andrew Harmel Law

Bev Harrow, Lee Hutchinson and Chris Hughes



Session 2

In the Midst of Fire – The Chaos of Ransomware Attacks 

Towards Application Driven Infrastructure

How inclusion can drive economic growth? 

Restart and Prosper: Tech trends emerging from the pandemic

Chris Yule

Kief Morris

Janet Onyia

Richard Marshall



Session 3

AI for Good Mapping land cover to support Natural Capital Asset Index tracking in Scotland 

Collaborating across clusters

Look! There’s a Threat Model in my DevOps

Sharpening the saw – how tooling can make us better developers



Dr Murray Collins

Dr Poonam Malik, Ben Shorrock, David Dunn, Jane Morrison-Ross

Alyssa Miller

Chris Heilmann



Session 4

Ten Traits that Differentiate the most Trusted Advisors

Getting value from data – productionising data science

Innovating with Immigration.



Austen Mulinder

Dr James McMinn

Jamie Kerr

Tech challenges coming out of Open Banking and the GOFCoE project

50% of AI is easy, we just don’t know which half


Gavin Littlejohn

Alex Bell and Petur Einarsson



Session 5

Overcoming and handling bias in data: ethical and practical considerations 

Building brand awareness for your tech company 

Start up, scale up


Navigating Venture Capital


Olivia Gambelin, Joseph Crispell

Kathryn Strachan

Peter Proud

Brian Baglow

Paul Neeson and Andrew Noble


Session 6

A Fyne future for graphical development

Launching terrestrial tech into the space marketplace

Tales from the Crypt(o)

Serverless Architecture


Andrew Williams

Dr David Alexander

Matt Summers

Julian Wood



Closing Keynote

Steve Guggenheimer, Corporate Vice President – AI & ISV Engagement at Microsoft Corporation 


Young Software Engineer of the Year Awards

The YSE Awards recognise the best undergraduate software projects, drawn from across all students studying computing science and software engineering in Scotland.

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