We feel the barriers faced by Neurodivergent creative people and the barriers faced by Neurotypical creative people are frequently very different - we have been funded by Arts Council England to find the most common barriers to engagement in the arts by Neurodivergent people. In addition, we will also be in conversation with artists, discussing the barriers they face, and compiling a publication that will outline these barriers. We will be doing further work to identify the causes and ways we can dismantle them. 

We feel each of the different Neurodivergent categories and cultures face some common challenges but there are, of course, some different challenges and this will be addressed in additional surveys informed by the results of this study. 

- Who we are:

We are Flow Observatorium: a fluid collective of Neurodivergent creatives.

Flow Observatorium is an equality and diversity charity which aims to become a national hub for, and led by, neurodivergent people. Through creative endeavour, FlOb (Flow Observatorium) will support Neurodivergent people to make work, collaborate and engage within society, the cultural sector and support the co-creation of attitudinal and physical ‘safe spaces’ for Neurodivergent people to lead fulfilled lives in a society that is not designed with us in mind & often does not accept us on our terms.

We are campaigning for parity and fair play in all the various arenas in which neurodivergent people participate. As well as this, we collaborate with universities on academic papers, projects, and empirical evidence to support the advancement of Neurodivergent understanding, culture, and creativity.

We promote an attitudinal societal change and actively campaign for recognition of Neurodivergence as a distinct diversity category.  Neurodivergent people can and do play a pivotal role in society but often need support on their terms in accessing education, health care, transport & employment. We especially challenge traditional attitudes towards autistic people, championing and encouraging autistic led understanding and autistic informed access on their terms. We firmly believe in the adage ‘Nothing for us without us’, the reclaiming of the differing Neurodivergent cultures and leading by those with lived experience.

- What we feel Neurodiversity encompasses: 

We take a very wide view of who is 'included' as Neurodivergent and include self-identification of all of the differing clusters and cultures. Neurodiversity can be seen as the depth and diversity of human brains and minds and the infinite variation in neurocognitive functioning within the human species, just as the term biodiversity refers to the diversity of all life on earth. We feel a single person cannot be neurodiverse but a group of people can and neurodiversity, as we know it at present, encompasses people as either Neurotypical or Neurodivergent.

For an in-depth view of Neurodiversity & terminology, we recommend looking at Neurocosmopolitanism’s website.

http://neurocosmopolitanism.com/neurodiversity-some-basic-terms-definitions/

You can find out more about Flow: 

https://portsmouth.cityofsanctuary.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/123/2020/06/Report-2018-2019-final.pdf

And our Neurodivergent arts manifesto:

https://portsmouth.cityofsanctuary.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/123/2019/11/Flow-obs-manifesto-1.pdf

T