My name is Neale and I’m the founder of OurBoards. I understand some of the challenges that come with supporting someone with a neuro-diverse brain. My Daughter Felicity, now in her 30s, has additional needs that have impacted our lives since she was born. She now attends a day centre run by the Together Trust, a wonderful multi service, special needs support organisation based in South Manchester.
Having had an idea that printed dry wipe visuals might be helpful for some people, I visited her day centre and discussed ideas with the manager, who encouraged me to develop some sample ideas for a wall mounted visual timetable, menu board and a general purpose communications board. The visual timetable was well received and engaged the young adults at the centre leading me to research and design a new type of visual timetable for Fliss.
So, with my friend Howard Evans, then Creative Director of a large format print company, we looked at what was available and what could be done better. With Howard’s design flair and knowledge of the print business we were able to “put our heads together” and produce prototypes to present to a wider audience.
With input from professionals, parents and carers, we spent two years fine-tuning our offerings. In doing so we realised that the boards had benefits way beyond those in the SEN world. Children and adults with a wide range of neurodiverse experiences found the planning and behaviour management boards helpful. My elderly father-in-law found the weekly planner helpful and I also recognised that, as a visual learner myself, the boards were invaluable as a working tool for me too.
So the products were refined still further until OurBoards now produce a variety of differing boards which are all designed to ensure that someone with a neurodiverse brain will thrive, and not simply survive, living in a society which is not geared for how they function.