We are here for Scottish Autistics of Colour
We stand in solidarity with Scottish Autistics of Colour, addressing a crucial yet overlooked necessity. It’s regrettable that acknowledging individuals in their entirety has been delayed in the modern era. Nonetheless, we proudly introduce Scottish Ethnic Minority Autistics CIC. Our journey reflects the arduous path we’ve traversed, aiming to ease the burdensome struggles encountered along the way.
SEMA is a Community Interest Company, established in 2021 and registered in 2023.This is a much needed but ignored need. Recognising humans in their holistic identities shouldn’t have taken the modern world this long. But here we are… Scottish Ethnic Minority Autistics CIC.
For Black, Brown and Ethnic Minority people to be welcome and supported anywhere we go.
You can check out our events below. If you would like recordings of past events, please contact us for information.
Who are the co-founders?
Sofia Akbar, diagnosed autistic and with ADHD at 36, is a Scottish Pakistani and mother of three. She has been nominated a finalist for Community Spirit by the British Muslim Awards 2024 for her work at SEMA.
She is a secondary maths tutor and community activist. She runs Limitless Learners (Small Business of the Year 2023, Scottish Asian and Business Awards), specialising in teaching maths to neurodivergent learners. She was acknowledged by Scottish Asian and Minority Ethnic Educators (SAMEE) for Supporting Inclusive Learning in 2022.
She also co-founded Al Masaar in 2014, gaining experience in building a grassroots organisation which centres support for racialised minorities in the Forth Valley. She currently volunteers the autism support group at Al Masaar since her own journey of self discovery. Through Al Masaar, Sofia also founded Eid in the Park Falkirk, an outdoor public Eid celebration aimed to tackle Islamophobia.
She recently completed her Masters in Education at Strathclyde University with Distinction, with her dissertation being the first study of Scottish Racialised Neurodivegent Educators and recommendations of making education truly inclusive through an anti-racism and pro-neurodiversity lens.
Laura Bilton is an anti-racism activist with experience in Violence against Women and Girls, Disability and Youth Work.
With heritage from Kenya and Scotland, Laura has been active against racism for more than 25 years in the media of dance, music, poetry and community organising. A mother of two and Union Equality rep, and recently won a Leadership Award at Unite’s first Black Workers Celebration evening.
Laura is co-founder of Scottish Ethnic Minority Autistics (SEMA) and has worked with disabled people for since 2014; it was through this work that led to her own autism and ADHD diagnoses at the age of 39.