Sarah Chapman, Founder and CEO, Operation Diversity® - Education, Neurodivergence /SEND Consultant, Speaker, Trainer, Advocate, Author, Campaigner.
"The heart and soul of Operation Diversity® is to ensure that Neurodivergent children ..whose brains are 'wired differently' are not disadvantaged or disempowered."
Hello! I am Sarah Chapman, and the Founder and CEO of Operation Diversity®, a Neurodivergent led specialist Neurodiversity training and support organisation supporting a combined audience of 30, 000 professionals, and families living throughout the UK!
I work nationwide, but live in the East Midlands with my family. Between us we have a good mix of profiles, including Autism, ADHD, dyslexia, Irlen Syndrome (otherwise known as Visual Stress), APD (Auditory Processing difficulties), and lots of sensory processing challenges thrown in for good measure – We are proud of and embrace our Neurodivergence!
I launched Operation Diversity® whilst I was completing my first degree at the University of Derby in Education Studies with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), where I graduated with a high ‘First Class’ (Hons) degree, after turning my life around. Funnily enough, I caught the study bug big time after rebuilding my confidence and accessing the right support as a mature student when I learnt to love education!…. As a result, I have passionately researched, done multiple courses, qualifications and training in many aspects of business and social enterprise, SEND, education and SEN Law since!
I have also personally delivered specialist talks, workshops and seminars, presented in conferences (one of which was a university conference where I delivered a seminar alongside my own university lecturers, despite still being a student myself!). I have organised and delivered inspirational and educational exhibitions, leadership and personal developmental programmes to Neurodivergent and disabled participants, a number of diversity empowerment events, written/ published articles, and I published a chapter with my own dissertation research in the British Dyslexia Association Handbook (2016) whilst I was a British Dyslexia Association Ambassador.. I have appeared in a BBC TV series, featured in a documentary, in several SEN magazines and on local and national radio. I was an active Health Champion for the BBCs Stripping it Bare Campaign, launched a national campaign for UK schools and was invited to the House of Commons. Via our membership website and public platforms, I have personally organised and hosted approx 450+ webinars, and live sessions, Q&As alongside my specialist team of leading professionals, providing valuable training and insight to thousands of professionals, parents, carers and guardians since I started on my mission!
Everything I learn and all that I am, I use to support professionals working in the Education, Health and Social Care sectors and my ultimate passion – our amazing Operation Diversity® Academy online family members. I am passionate about all things SEND and advocacy and particularly pride myself on my ability to help parents, carers, guardians to navigate the system and to identify, then advocate for their children’s needs to be met, in education and at home. I am also passionate about supporting Neurodivergent teens and adults to pursue suitable employment, Further and Higher Education studies and qualifications. I enjoy providing insight to employers to better support ‘Neurodivergent Talent’ in the workplace and to fully embrace the many strengths that Neurodivergent employees have to offer!
I originally returned to education as a mature student aged 26 when I was pregnant with my eldest (now 10!), after being failed badly as a child by several schools through ignorance and a massive lack of training. My educators failed to identify my Dyslexia, ADHD or Irlen Syndrome (I highly suspect I am Autistic too!) and as a result failed to meet my Special Educational Needs on any level. I am now 36, Operation Diversity® is going from strength to strength and we are growing and developing our range of services to support you all day by day, Inc of through the ‘Operation Diversity® Academy’ which I launched in May 2016. This membership website makes me want to literally BURST with pride! I have brought to life what is an amazing lifeline to so many professionals and families. Everyday, we as a team of highly knowledgeable and skilled Neurodiversity/ SEND professionals change their lives for the better. There is lots more to come too!…
My background means that my work is very personal, to me. I genuinely care about you and your families and strive to prevent others having to experience the same trauma I did growing up with my needs unidentified or met. Trust me when I say, ‘The Scars Run Deep’ when you are failed as a child and it so I will advocate tirelessly to prevent this from happening to your children. I am excited to be pursuing further Post-Graduate qualifications in Law to qualify as a solicitor so that I can help even more than I do already! I pride myself on my ability to tackle ignorance, Disability Discrimination and other unlawful and detrimental practices in our schools and community to secure the best outcomes for children and families. I know that my earlier lived experiences, my knowledge of Neurodivergence/SEND, the UK education systems, the law, my passion and dedication make me a strong force to be reckoned with and I will be sharing all of this knowledge and passion to support you each and every day!
Let’s do it! …
Sarah Chapman x
Awards and Nominations
Winner – Derby and Derbyshire’s Inspirational Woman of the Year in the Community, Voluntary and Charity Sector (2015) – Vox Femme.
Shortlisted – Inspirational Role Model of the Year (2015) – European Diversity Awards.
Shortlisted – Campaigner of the Year (2015) – European Diversity Awards.
Shortlisted – Community Project of the Year (2015) – European Diversity Awards.
Winner – Positive Role Model Award – Disability (2014) – National Diversity Awards.
Winner – Volunteer of the Year Award (2014) – University of Derby, Student Union Awards.
Winner – Equality & Diversity Award (2014) – University of Derby, Student Union Awards
Winner – Community Project of the Year Award (2014) – University of Derby, Student Union Awards.
Winner – East Midland’s Adult Learners Week Award (2012), NIACE.
Sarah Chapman - Endorsements..
Enrolement is currently closed
Hello and thank you for your interest in joining the Operation Diversity Academy.
As you have landed on this page it means that enrolment is currently closed. However, we are pleased to announce that the doors to the Operation Diversity Academy open again in 2020 – dates to be announced.
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See you on the inside!
Founder and CEO, Operation Diversitiy
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