What is neurodiversity?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines neurodiversity as “the range of differences in individual brain function and behavioural traits, regarded as part of normal variation in the human population.”
It covers ‘conditions’ such as dyslexia, autism, dyspraxia and ADHD.
How many adults are classified as neurodivergent?
It is estimated that at least 15% of the population are neurodivergent. But many people do not know and have never been formally diagnosed. The true figure is likely to be much higher.
As more people have become aware, conversations about the value and challenges of being neurodiverse have increased. As a society, we have become much more aware of the different ways in which individuals’ brains process information.
Neurodiversity Celebration Week, will run from 21-27 March 2022 and will highlight the benefits of diverse approaches.
We asked Daniel Brooke, founder of Neurodiversity Specialists for his thoughts. He’s also Elevate’s neurodiversity expert – find out more about Daniel here.
Definitions of neurodiversity:
There are 2 main definitions:
- The idea that cognitive ‘conditions’ such as autism, dyslexia and ADHD are natural variations in the way that people think and process information.
- A type of organisational diversity and inclusion that seeks to embrace and maximise the talents of people who think and process differently.
Why is neurodiversity being spoken about more in the workplace?
Many organisations are now realising the benefits of a neurodiverse workforce. Some of the biggest and most successful companies such as SAP, HPE and Microsoft have seen their neurodiversity hiring programmes lead to a significant increase in creativity, innovation, productivity, efficiency and more. When we look at the top 10 skills of tomorrow, most of these are commonly associated with neurodivergent ‘conditions’.
What workplaces should be doing
Workplaces should have a clear process of support in place that helps neurodivergent individuals to gain more control of their challenges. It should allow them to fully utilise their skills and ultimately enable them to work at their best. The support process should include:
- access to a screening, diagnostic assessment
- a workplace needs assessment
- reasonable adjustments such as coping strategies coaching, assistive technology and more
Workplaces should also be working towards a neuro-inclusive culture. This should create a safe environment in which neurodivergent individuals feel comfortable. They should be able to share that they are/may be neurodivergent before and during employment. The culture should also encourage individuals to ask for support.
Neurodiversity Celebration Week
At Elevate, we’re marking Neurodiversity Celebration Week with a virtual event for companies. Join us for a panel discussion, featuring Daniel Brooke as well as others. Discover how you can celebrate and support neurodiverse people within your workforce! Get in touch to find out more.