Who are we?

Want to know more about SEMA founders Sofia and Laura?

LAURA BILTON
Laura 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, Laura is one of the founding members of Black Lives Matter Scotland.

Laura has worked with disabled people for 9 years, and it was through this work that led to her own autism and ADHD diagnoses at the age of 39.

SOFIA AKBAR
Sofia is a late diagnosed Scottish Pakistani single mum, living in Falkirk. She co-founded Al Masaar SCIO in Forth Valley, and is a director of company Limitless Learners Ltd.

She loves teaching maths to teenagers, so although she can’t work in mainstream education anymore, she tutors ND (and non-ND) pupils. Her current MEd research investigates how to make schools truly inclusive by studying experiences of Ethnic Minority Neurodivergent educators.

Sofia realised she was autistic when she learned about it for her son and connected with other autistic women. After her autism diagnosis, her ADHD diagnosis came a few months later, after pushback from two ill-informed psychiatrists. Sofia also has Meares Irlen Syndrome and dyspraxia. Her youngest is AuDHD while his older brother is PDA.

Sofia is on a mission to reduce the stigma of autism in her south Asian community as well as improve racial equality within education. From her intersectional experiences of domestic, racial and ableist abuse and discrimination, she decided to be more public so that others can get the support they need and reduce isolation of women. Given the difficulties she faced, she is motivated to help others understand neurodiversity so that they can better advocate for their young people.

People can follow Sofia on Instagram @The.ND.Educator and Twitter @MathsAkbar