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European Brain Employers

minn C.J. Hans VAN DE VELDE
Lingwa: EN
Document available also in: NL
What is European Brain Employers?

European Brain Employers is an international network of experts in the field of employees with AD(H)D, dyslexia, dyscalculia, autism and giftedness. As ambassador they visit employers to talk to them about their employees with special brains. Especially to point out ways for employers to enhance their management of this part (±10%) of their human capital and to make proper use and profit from the brains of these skillful employees.

 logo Erasmus plusAmbassadors mission

Thanks to European grants the ambassadors are trained in informing employers and guiding them to the road that gets the most out of their brain capital. Aiming on awareness they can help you as an employer to not keep on wondering about handicaps and disorders, but to move on to the next level of using their way of thinking, their innovative power and all other special qualities, that are present in this 10% of your employees. Employability like in “The right person at the right working place” is what the ambassadors aim for and can help you with. Of course they also offer you information about the difficulties and challenges these employees meet and with them you as an employer.


What do the ambassadors offer employers?

Ambassadors of European Brain Employers visit HRM-officers and company/occupational doctors.

In one or two informal conversations (free of charge) they make an inventory of challenges the employer organization has to deal with and successes that have been accomplished and might be a model of good practice for other employers. On the problems (challenges) you will want to share, the ambassador will give you advice on-the-spot or if necessary after a consultation of their colleague- experts.

After these sessions you will be more aware of the quantity and qualities of the different subgroups among your personnel. You will have new ideas for policy and practice. Communication and attitude of both employee and employer will be influenced positively. And if you desire this, the ambassador may inform you about which networks of experts can help you move to the next level.


How to become a European Brain Employer?

In 2016 the first European Brain Employer will be elected by the Dutch associations for people with dyslexia/dyscalculia, AD(H)D, giftedness and autism. Being a European Brain Employer means that you are aware of the presence of special brains amongst your personnel and are able to detect and handle the problems manager and employee meet every day, and that you are able to implement ‘turn around management’ from handicaps into qualities of people.


For more information, please also take a look at the website

This article also exists in Dutch.

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  • Katarzyna HOREMANS's picture

    With big interest I read about this initiative. As a career counsellor I would like to learn more on how to guide and what strategy to offer to those employees who suffer from mental condition like ADHD, ADD, autism or related disorders.

    What I find difficult is to spot it through the first meeting(s) with the clients. Many of them are not aware of having these conditions, they were never diagnosed, never questioned. Many faced instead, difficult childhood and horrific education period. Many do not believe in their potential...

    I would like to incorporate some of the tools in my career toolbox and offer it in as wide extent as possible. I believe that this component is very often missing in the HR strategy of many copmanies.



  • C.J. Hans VAN DE VELDE's picture

    Dear Anne, Thank you so much for your comment.

    There are indeed some other initiative in some EU countries.

    Our status is this:

    My task as an ambassador of European Brain Employers is to explore Europe, create a network and build partnerships. The rest of the now 26 Dutch ambassados are busy approaching employers of all kind: (multi-)national companies, educational - and healthcare institutes, local and national governmental departments: all are also employers.

    In the Netherlands we have one small company that matches autistic persons with employers that specifically ask for autistic people, because of their talents. And there are also some other projects. But it is still very much needed to make employers (that is: company doctors and HR-advisors) aware of the power of this 10% of their employee population.

    I would very much like to read more about the Polish patctical experience if you have some text about that. We are sure going to write about our experiences and especially the way employers react to our mission.

    I hop we can share emailaddress? Mine is:

    hans [dot] van [dot] de [dot] velde @

    (I write it in a way robots would trace is)

  • Anna Kwiatkowska's picture

    Great idea! In some aspects, in my opinion, this is similar to supported employment, when job trainers support employers employing persons with intelectual disability (including authism and Asperger's syndrome). Polish experience and practise shows that the big problem is to find eployers willing to emplyee persons with intellectual disability (educated in professional job centers). Great respect for ambassadors'effort. Will be created and published any publication with good practises and conclusions?