Ella Bains is Founder of Eric Knows CIC. An organisation that aims to make places more accessible to those who are disabled, autistic, or may have sensory needs. Eric is both a search website and a key community support for autistic children and their famililes. Ella is mum to 3 neurodivergent children, and identifies as autistic herself. She is passionate about dispelling myths around autism and helping young autistic people be their own best advocates. Ella is also building a work environment that is both autism friendly and promotes mental wellbeing through their practices at Eric. After experiencing bullying and isolation in her own working life, positivity in the workplace are the foundations for Eric.
Ella has over 20 years experience as an Occupational Therapist, working with a diverse range of people from many many backgrounds. She has always felt that it is not someone’s condition, diagnosis or injury that makes them disabled, it is the world around them.
The Shackleton Leadership Award is helping Ella and her colleagues develop STEM sessions for autistic young people. By helping young people discover more about how they learn, it will help them develop their own self awareness. Eric aims to demonstrate how having the right environments where masking is discouraged helps young people be their true selves, reducing the risk of mental health conditions so many autistic people are prone to. They will be developing ideas and methods that each student can take with them on their learning journey so positive practices can be repeated.