Getting Back to Our Roots: Silicon Valley Native Jan Johnson-Tyler, Founder of EvoLibri Consulting, Puts Neurodiversity Back in Tech.

Share Article

Local agencies join forces to help those with ADHD, learning differences, and autism land salaried jobs in Tech

Tech companies are really missing a crucial piece to longevity without neurodiversity, and we want to change that.

“Silicon Valley at its core is based on Neurodiversity.” That statement, made by Jan Johnston-Tyler, founder of EvoLibri Consulting (, set off a small Twitter frenzy at Microsoft’s Neurodiversity in Employment conference last June. It’s something Johnston-Tyler knows a great deal about, and she’s hoping that this coalition of agencies will prove it.

Johnston-Tyler’s goal for the last ten years has been to help neurodiverse teens and adults (those with ADHD, learning and mood differences, or autism) become successful in the neurotypical world. In part, this has evolved by building bridges between the world of tech she left a decade ago to EvoLibri’s job-seeking clientele, many of whom themselves are the offspring of tech employees.

Silicon Valley is a world she identifies with well. Johnston-Tyler, who was raised in Palo Alto in the 60s, whose father was part of this first ‘wave’ in Silicon Valley, saw first-hand how the Valley was built: “One of my parents' friends had a ‘bird run’ for his parakeets that ran along the ceiling in his entire house. Others built mad scientist go-carts with their kids. The neurodiversity or ‘geek’ element was very much alive back then. Social skills, maybe not so much, but no one really cared because they were super smart and creative.”

Johnston-Tyler saw a lot of this same neurodiversity as a tech manager and business lead and understood that while some of the social niceties may be missing, the upside was dedicated, creative, and often brilliant employees. After the bubble burst in 02, however, things changed: “We hear that there are not enough qualified workers in tech – that isn’t entirely true,” Johnston-Tyler said. “We have qualified workers, but they can’t get hired because they aren’t a good ‘cultural fit’, which is really their loss. The next Bill Gates is probably unemployed.”

Now, Johnston-Tyler’s agency is partnering with the NOVA Job Center, Expandability, The Milken Institute to get Neurodiversity back into tech.

“Many companies in the Valley have Inclusion and Diversity programs, but they are often siloed,” Johnston-Tyler states. “We want to create a consortium of employers and service providers where best practices are shared, refined, and expanded throughout Silicon Valley. It’s a win-win. Tech companies are really missing a crucial piece to longevity without neurodiversity, and we want to change that.”

About EvoLibri
Founded in 2007, EvoLibri Consulting is a socially-responsible multidisciplinary agency in California’s Silicon Valley, serving teens, young adults and adults to become successfully independent. For more information about their services or for contact information, visit their website or contact Megan Knight at 408 735-7990, extension 3.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

EvoLibri Consulting
+1 (650) 245-1855 Ext: 1
Email >

Robert Burnie
since: 03/2011
Follow >
EvoLibri Consulting

Visit website