Back to The Learning Disability and Autism Leaders’ List 2018

Jonathan Andrews

Category: Advocacy, policy and media

Speaking to 20,000+ [mostly senior directors/recruiters] Jonathan has ensured Reed Smith recruited more autistic people.

Inclusion isn’t up for debate

Jonathan has a truly remarkable CV, made all the more remarkable by his youth. Aged just 24, he has already achieved things few people would dream of.

Employment

A trainee solicitor at city law firm Reed Smith, Jonathan was completely open about his autism throughout applying.

The only junior employee recognised in Reed Smith’s talent spotlight, he founded Bauer Media’s Diversity and Inclusion board while on secondment at the media company, chairing its disability sub-committee.

Advocacy LDA Leaders' List 2018
Jonathan has helped make his law firm inclusive.

Speaking to 20,000+ nationally, mostly senior directors/recruiters with power to increase autism employment, Jonathan has authored toolkits featuring diverse autistic employment experiences, including people with learning disabilities, and ensured Reed Smith recruited further autistic people as trainee solicitors.

Through Aspiring Solicitors and Pure Potential he’s helped 100+ autistic people secure jobs, often from low-income backgrounds.

He’s represented autistic lawyers as the youngest ever member of the Law Society’s Equality Board, and as the only autistic person on the government’s Work and Health Expert Advisory Group.

Jonathan Advocacy LDA Leaders' List 2018

He’s advised government on increasing the 16% autism employment rate, championing the Autism Exchange – providing internships across Civil Service, law, banking, telecoms, insurance, the creative industries and others, steering this since 2017 and linking with employers/education providers – and job carving, reorganising job descriptions to matching talents of people with learning disabilities/autism.

Both initiatives have created over 100 jobs.

Campaigning for representation

Jonathan is the first autistic board member at national charity Ambitious about Autism (AaA).

He campaigns to increase representation, ensuring autism charities are governed by autistic people. He has ensured AaA offer future youth council chairs trustee seats, and under his tenure, the number of people with learning disabilities on AaA’s youth council increased significantly.

Beyond AaA, he’s advised Autistica on launching ‘board apprenticeships’ for autistic people, ensuring the number of autistic people on the boards of national autism charities increased, and ensured a 37.5% autistic judging panel for the NAS Awards.

The only autistic Stonewall board member, Jonathan launched autism and learning disability-inclusive ‘Role Models’ campaigns. He founded Mind’s Equality Leaders Initiative, consulting Mind on ensuring their services reach not just autistic people, but every community.

Jonathan recognises that many autistic people experience mental health difficulties due to little societal understanding – and has reached 20,000+ with the self-help campaign ‘Know Your Normal.’

A Westminster Autism Commissioner, he’s also authored toolkits on autistic peoples’ mental and physical health.

Recognition

Jonathan…

  • Has received an Open University honorary degree.
  • Was European Campaigner of the Year (2016) and Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2017 World Autism Awards.
  • Has been featured on the Financial Times’ Outstanding Lists for two consecutive years.
  • Is a Queen’s Young Leader.
  • Is the only European shortlisted for a Commonwealth Youth Award.
  • Has won the 2018 British LGBT+ award for autism/LGBT intersectional campaigning, and Rising Star at the Social Mobility Awards 2018 for widening opportunities and championing autism employment.
  • Was judge of the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition, Autism Professional Awards and Mind Peerfest Awards.
  • Is the first autistic LGBT+ person to address the UN.

And now he’s made the Dimensions Learning Disability and Autism Leaders List. Phew!

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