DXC Dandelion Program UK

Embracing the value of integrating neurodiverse individuals into the workforce


About the Program

The DXC Dandelion Program provides an environment that supports and celebrates the talents and skills of neurodiverse people — such as those with Autism, ADHD or Dyslexia — and helps them build valuable skills to pursue a career in information technology.

The vision DXC Dandelion has is creating a sustainable program that will increase the workforce participation rate of neurodiverse people, enhancing their technical and life skills to enable the development of their IT careers.

Using recent evidence-based research, along with our experiences and learnings, we have designed a long-term development program that creates the right environment for growth with the right support structure.

15
neurodiverse individuals employed across the UK in our first intake, with the intention to grow to 24 in the first year
Over $2.5M
invested into neurodiversity and mental health research
500+
global organisations accessing our open-sourced tools
12+
Neurodiversity Hubs established with universities and research partners


Snapshot of the DXC Dandelion Program

Key components

  • Specialised recruitment/assessment phase developed to attract and recruit neurodiverse employees
  • Creation of a safe, healthy and secure learning and working environment throughout the assessment and on-boarding phase
  • Organisational change programs including neurodiversity awareness training for managers and co-workers
  • Various employment models successfully implemented which include on-going support for individuals, co-workers and managers
  • Evolving curriculum, unleashing neurodiverse employee potential and individualising success 

Ongoing innovation

  • Independent research studies in collaboration with local and global research partners
  • Engaging industry-leading organisations to form key partnerships, as well as the establishment of neurodiversity hubs designed to build a continuous talent pool

Program partnerships

 Associations and industry bodies

Research, education and careers

Tools and technology

  • Uptimize eLearning Platform – video based, on demand autism awareness training for employees across the organisation
  • Life Sherpa Platform – A cloud-based software solution, deploying a customised support program for the Autism Spectrum trainees designed to support and teach individuals to become self-reliant and be independent

 

The DXC Dandelion Program is under-pinned using evidence-based research from a number of university and neurodiverse organisation partnerships we have formed around the world. We have implemented our findings into strengthening the program, enabling us to evolve, innovate and address any challenges for sustainable employment. 

DXC have started a number of research initiatives over the last seven years with our local and global partnerships. These include working with the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre at La Trobe University (OTARC), Cornell University, University of Haifa, and Ono Academic College (Israel Defence Force - IDF Autism Program). These findings have been implemented to continuously improve the Dandelion program.

Key findings generated from the research:

  • Manager and co-worker training is critical to successfully integrating the program and it’s participants into DXC. We have worked with Google, Microsoft and JP Morgan to launch an e-learning package called Uptimize. The system complements, supports and extends the reach of the face-to-face training conducted by our neurodiversity consultants.
  • Development of professional and personal skills are critical in helping neurodiverse individuals integrate within a working environment. DXC Dandelion have developed and implemented a curriculum which addresses these skills in collaboration with leading research partners such as Stanford, Cornell and La Trobe University.
  • Mental health[DJ1]  self-evaluations for neurodiverse individuals have been shown to NOT improve once neurodiverse individuals have secured new jobs. DXC, ANZ Bank, Stanford, Cornell and La Trobe University have developed mental health training packages focused on assisting autistic individuals, which was released in 2022. DXC have introduced a mobile application called Life Sherpa to help with emotional regulation. This has been consistently customised and improved over the last few years, tailoring the solution to cater for neurodiverse and mental health needs.
  • Friendship networks and relationships are critical for successfully integrating neurodiverse individuals into the workplace and everyday life. Our Dandelion program focuses on activities that build relationships and self-confidence.
  • Sustainment and transition in the workplace is based on self-advocacy, self-determination and establishing a safe environment (inclusive culture).

1. We keep individuals firmly at the centre of our decision making and planning

Our focus is on providing professional skills for neurodiverse employees, enabling them to build long-term careers, by developing:

  • Self-determination and self-advocacy
  • Understanding of their sensory profile
  • Understanding of their working and processing style
  • Building on their abilities, strengths and setting goals 

2. A key component of success is our support model

The provision of trained technical staff and a Autism Spectrum Consultant (ASC) working with our neurodiverse employees. The ASC:

  • Provides specialised individual support, mentoring and advocacy to navigate the workplace.
  • Works collaboratively with co-workers and managers to implement strategies for success and to assist individuals with any challenges or interpersonal issues.
  • Develops individual work profiles and support plans, outlining cognitive working style and support requirements in the work environment.
  • Understands the workplace, work objectives and culture. This allows the ASC or technical staff to quickly intervene and avoid any unnecessary confusion or escalations.

3. The DXC Dandelion Program has developed and implemented state-of-the-art technology to help support individuals and managers

Our tools such as Life Sherpa and Uptimize extend the reach of our support staff. These tools are also used by Google, Microsoft, Department of Social Services, Home Affairs, NAB and ANZ Bank. 

4. DXC Curriculum

DXC Dandelion Curriculum, designed to guide the Dandelion Support Team (Technical lead and Autism Spectrum Consultant) through the implementation of the Dandelion Program. It provides a generic framework comprising of milestones to enable trainees with the best possible opportunity to achieve success.

YEAR AWARD
2021 100% score for DXC on Disability In’s  Disability Equality Index, listing DXC globally as one of the Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion

 

Winner of the Australian Business Award for Community Contribution 2021
2020 100% score for DXC on Disability In’s  Disability Equality Index, listing DXC globally as one of the Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion
  iTnews Benchmark Awards: Diversity Project of the Year for 2019
2019 100% score for DXC on Disability In’s  Disability Equality Index, listing DXC globally as one of the Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion
  NAB Supplier Awards: Diversity, Inclusion and Sustainability
  ACS Digital Disruptors Awards: Skills Transformation of Work- Teams – Medium
  ACS South Australian Young Professional of the Year (Felicia Vozzo)
  DXC Award for Service Delivery Excellence
2018 90% score for DXC on Disability In’s  Disability Equality Index, listing DXC globally as one of the Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion
  ISG ANZ - Paragon Awards – Impact category
2017 2017 ACT Chief Minister’s Award for Excellence and Inclusion in Business
  2017 AAGE Graduate Recruitment Industry Awards
  2017 AIIA iAwards - South Australia: Community Services
2015 2015 AIIA iAwards - ACT: Inclusion and Community
  2015 Asia Pacific Autism Conference: Outstanding Service in the Autism Spectrum Field
  2015 Amaze Community Awards: Excellence in Business Leadership



Program benefits identified in ANZ


92%

retention rate of employed program participants


30-40%

increase in productivity reported by customers


75%

job satisfaction reported by neurodiverse people


100%

of participating workplaces offer permanent postions to neurodiverse people after program conclusion


80%

co-workers say the program doesn’t add any additional overhead work


Competitive Advantage

workplaces report a competitive advantage since developing a neurodiverse workforce


Technology Partnerships

As a leading Fortune 500 technology services company with a global ecosystem of technology alliance partners, neurodiverse people are provided with broad education pathways and career progression opportunities.

* Based on 7 years of experience running the DXC Dandelion Program in ANZ Region

News and insights

Tapping into neurodiverse talent to tackle the tech skills gap
UK National Autistic Society Developing a Cybersecurity and IT Centre with DXC Technology