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Time to step up on neurodiversity

Date posted
07 July 2023
Marcus Boocock
Estimated reading time
2 minute read

Immediate Past President, Lawrence Webb looks at the role of businesses in supporting neurodiverse people.

It is estimated that as many as one in seven of us are neurodiverse.

So, if you work in an organisation of, say, 200 people that means around 30 employees could be neurodiverse. For a business of 500 people, that means 70 or so will be. And that number becomes nearly 150 for an organisation of 1,000.

However, it doesn’t matter whether you have one neurodiverse person among your workforce or 100, without their inclusion, you could be missing significant value to your business in the case of different thinking, for example, and this is something which can bring in fresh ideas which can be hugely beneficial. More importantly, they – the individual and all they bring in terms of character, knowledge and skills – may also be lost through unintentional exclusion.

So, it’s crucial that you can create the conditions which enables and supports them to flourish. This will be the theme of the fourth and final webinar in this series on neurodiversity from the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

Many different forms

Neurodiversity of course comes in many different forms. Common and well-known conditions include dyslexia, dyspraxia, autism, and ADHD – attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – and effect people in different ways.

But, despite its prevalence and increased recognition in society, neurodiversity can still carry a stigma and can present barriers to individuals. We heard about these in our previous webinar, which focused on the employees themselves and what they can do.

Our upcoming session will look at how these can be removed by businesses and how they can help people to thrive at work. We’ll hear how organisations can recognise individuality and understand people’s needs so they can provide the right amount of support.

As with any other condition, there is a plethora of information and guidance about how businesses can support people. We’ll aim to cut through this and ensure delegates can get practical tips which can be applied to their own business.

Last updated: 31 January 2024

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