A series of plays and talks aimed at educating and raising awareness about neurodiversity, diversity, equity and inclusion in the Isle of Man launches next week.

Sessions take place at Henry Bloom Noble Library, in Douglas.

They have been organised by Ella Magee, founder of social enterprise Removing Barriers.edu, and who provides training in diversity, equity and inclusion as well as neurodiversity to educators and institutions.

Ella, an avid neurodiversity champion who is connected with ADHD Foundation, told Island Life: ‘We are excited to share a series of talks and learning through play sessions this year.

‘The series called “Connection and belonging in a world of difference”, is a free social gathering to raise awareness, and provide a safe place to learn about differences in our community, with a focus on neurodiversity, diversity, equity and inclusion.’

Ella’s research started in 2019 following the suicide of a friend’s nephew at university in the UK. ‘He was a bright articulate, kind, loved and loving young man from a beautiful family, he was a violin player, who was reading English. He was diagnosed with autism and always felt the systems and structures of society were not designed with him in it.’

She added: ‘From what I have read and researched, neurodiversity is a natural biodiversity, and is part of the rich tapestry of life on earth.

‘With this knowledge we need to carefully reconstruct our systems, and structures, redefine, reframe difference and actively practice inclusion.

The talks are aimed at adults and teenagers, and take place on Thursdays from 6pm-7pm. The family-centred play series is on Saturdays, 2pm-3pm, with an emphasis on learning through play.

The first topic, presented by Dawn Kinnish MLC and Ella, will be justice. A talk on ‘Unpacking accessibility, inclusion and reasonable adjustments’ takes place on Thursday, January 18 followed by a play on January 20.

Bryony Hughes of Green Leopard Yoga will focus on health and wellbeing for the February events. She will present ‘Movement and breath: Building your toolkit to manage stress and anxiety’ on February 8 and 10.

In March, Ella and Kate Leavey-Bergquist of The Raw Project will look at education and emotional resilience.

They will present ‘Removing barriers to individual success in a system not designed for you’ and ‘The Raw Project’ on March 21 and March 23.

Architect and urban planer Betty Laurincova and Mona Devereau, who has championed accessibility and inclusion throughout her professional career, will focus on the environment for the sessions on April 25 and April 27.

The title of their talk and play is ‘Places for everyone’.

The final sessions, on May 16 and 18 will return to mental health and wellbeing. Parenting coach Gemma Sharp will present’ Recognising signs of anxiety in ourselves and our children’.

Ella said librarian Jan Macartney had been very supportive, ensuring there were books on the topics covered.