Table Of Contents
- 1 Introduction
- 2 1. Seek early intervention services and support
- 3 2. Advocate for yourself and others
- 4 3. Connect with a neurodiverse community
- 5 4. Educate yourself and others about neurodiversity
- 6 5. Use appropriate accommodations and technologies
- 7 6. Create an inclusive environment
- 8 7. Celebrate neurodiversity!
- 9 Final thoughts
Neurodiversity is a concept, which recognizes that neurological differences such as autism are parts of natural human variation. These are intersectional across all other forms of diversity within the world’s cultures, ethnicities, identities, sexual orientations, sexes or genders. The word neurodiversity also implies acceptance that there is no one way to be neurologically diverse, just as there is no one way to be human. Neurodiversity is a natural and valuable form of human variation.
Neurodiversity is becoming more and more accepted as a natural part of human diversity. However, many people still don’t understand what neurodiversity is or how to include neurodivergent individuals in their lives and workplaces. If you’re looking to improve your neuro-inclusion results, follow these seven easy steps…
1. Seek early intervention services and support
Neurodivergent individuals often experience a variety of “invisible disabilities,” including Autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, dyslexia/dyspraxia… the list goes on which can often mean that they mask due to fear of stigmatisation/discrimination.
Seeking early intervention services and support is always a good idea, as it allows you to better understand your neurodivergent workforce one and gives them the best opportunity to succeed.
The best prevention for chances of discrimination is preparation, so even if neurodiverse disclosure is low don’t make the mistake to believe that you don’t have a hidden neurodiverse workforce in your mist.
2. Advocate for yourself and others
It can be difficult to live with a disability, whether it’s neurodivergent or not.
As such, it’s important that individuals who are neurodivergent are able to advocate for themselves and have the psychological safety to do so.
Listening and actioning feedback from affinity/employee resource groups helps to connect with the neurodiverse community, and educate yourself and others about neurodiversity. There are many resources available to help you do this, and talking openly about neurodiversity can help to break down some of the stigma that still exists regarding neurodiversity.
3. Connect with a neurodiverse community
As a neurodivergent individual who speaks and shares my own experiences and insights I know the power of story. By connecting personally to the diverse population of the world, you’ll broaden your horizons and gain new perspectives that can help you become more effective at creating an inclusive environment for all people, including those who are neurodivergent. There are many ways to connect with neurodiverse individuals; here are just a few ideas: -Join or create a support group for yourself or others -Attend or host events specific to Neurodiversity. Engage in online communities. Educate yourself and others about neurodiversity
The more you know about neurodiversity, the better equipped you’ll be to include neuro-divergent individuals in your life and workplace. There are many great books and articles available on the topic, and many organizations offer training courses on how to create an inclusive environment for neuro-divergent individuals. Be sure to check out some of these resources so that you can learn more about what it means to be neuro-divergent and how to best support those who are.
4. Educate yourself and others about neurodiversity
One of the major goals of my own neuro-inclusive vision is to educate people about what it means to be neurodiverse and to help them understand that this is just one way of being human.
Many people are still not familiar with concepts like ADHD, dyslexia, autism, bipolar disorder, etc., which can make it difficult for neurodivergent people to be accepted and understood.
The more we can all learn about neurodiversity, the easier it will be to include everyone in our lives and workplaces.
We all have biases and the more we can normalise the conversation around being neurodiverse the more we can improve neuro-inclusion results for all.
Neurodiversity training that is mapped to your business needs helps to improve ROI/neuro-inclusion results so that awareness, acceptance and advancement is available to help those who are neurodiverse to thrive not just survive.
5. Use appropriate accommodations and technologies
Many people with neurodivergent conditions require accommodations or technologies in order to be effective and efficient in the world.
If you’re unsure of what type of accommodation or technology might be appropriate then training on how to use technology in your career may be helpful, following that a workplace needs assessment which companies like Exceptional Individuals provide.
If you have a disability, it’s important that you use appropriate accommodations and technologies to help improve your quality of life.
This is true for neuro-divergent people as well; many individuals who are neurologically atypical need special technology or services to support them in school, work, etc. For example, a neuro-divergent individual might need a word processor to assist them with typing assignments or a screen reader for online coursework.
There are many different types of accommodations and technologies that may be helpful for neuro-divergent individuals. Some common accommodations include:
-Specialised seating or positioning devices
-Adjustable lighting or glare reduction filters
-Screen readers or screen magnification software
-Text to speech software
-Personal assistants or note takers
-Time management tools
-Different types of keyboards or switches
Technology can also be helpful for neuro-divergent individuals. Some common technologies include:
-Computer adaptive software
-Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices
-Assistive listening devices
-Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) for people with mobility impairments
-Environmental controls for people with sensory sensitivities
Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it!
There are many people trained in the workplace who are willing to be allys as well as sponsors to neurodiverse individuals.
6. Create an inclusive environment
Creating a neuro-inclusive environment that works for everyone is no easy task – but the neuro-inclusion results are so worth it!
You can start by educating yourself on neurodiversity and how best to include neuro-divergent individuals in your life and workplace. Then work together with your loved ones to come up with strategies that will work best for everyone involved. If you encounter any disagreements or challenges, don’t give up! Continue to communicate and collaborate until everyone involved feels comfortable and supported.
Creating an inclusive environment for neurodivergent people is not only possible, it’s also beneficial for everyone involved. Neurodivergent individuals who are included in all aspects of society have a greater chance of success because they’re able to overcome the social stigmas that are often associated with thinking differently.
“Neurodiversity is not incompetence.” – Carly Fleischmann, autistic activist and non-speaking digital voice of CWCBExpo
Creating an inclusive environment for neurodivergent individuals is a critical step in improving neuro-inclusion. Following the other six ways in this post help create an inclusive environment.
In order to create a supportive and inclusive environment for neurodivergent individuals, it’s important to understand what that means. An inclusive environment is one in which all people feel welcome and respected, regardless of their neurological makeup. This includes making reasonable accommodations for neurodivergent individuals, raising awareness about neurodiversity, and valuing the contributions of neuro-divergent people.
Offer Neurotypicals Opportunities To Learn About Neurodiversity
Many neuro-typical individuals struggle to understand what it means to be neuro-atypical.
It’s important, then, for neuro-typical individuals to have opportunities to learn about neurodiversity from those who are neurodivergent.
This can be done in a number of ways, such as attending workshops and conferences, reading books and articles, and engaging in online discussions.
7. Celebrate neurodiversity!
Despite the challenges that can come with living with a neuro-variant condition, neurodivergent individuals are an important part of our world and should be celebrated for their unique abilities and contributions to society. Neuro-variant children in particular deserve opportunities to develop their talents and interests so that they can reach their full potential. By working together to create a more inclusive world, we can all benefit from the creativity and insight that neurodivergent individuals have to offer.
Last but not least, one of the best ways to improve neuro-inclusion is to celebrate neurodiversity! This means recognizing that neurological diversity is a normal and valuable part of human experience. Neuro-divergent individuals have a lot to offer society, and it’s important that we all take the time to learn about and appreciate their unique gifts.
There are many ways to celebrate neurodiversity, including: -Attending conferences and workshops -Reading books and articles -Engaging in online discussions -Participating in social media campaigns -Supporting neuro-divergent individuals in your community.
Now that you know a little more about neurodiversity and how to improve your neuro-inclusion results, it’s time to get started! Remember, every step counts, so don’t hesitate to start making changes today.
Creating an inclusive environment is one of the most important things you can do to support neurodiversity. Here are a few ways to ensure that your environment is as accessible and welcoming as possible:
Allow everyone on your team to self-identify their neurotype (condition, or way of understanding/processing the world). Individuals might identify with autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, executive functioning issues, sensory processing disorder… and the list goes on.
Be aware of physical and chemical disabilities, as well as mental ones: Lack of sleep, hunger or illness can all affect one’s ability to function at their highest potential. Be considerate and go out of your way to accommodate those who may be under the weather (e.g., turn up the air conditioning or heat, provide water).
Respect the needs of your colleagues. If you serve customers, make sure that you are not inadvertently invalidating neurodiverse individuals while they’re in your store (e.g., talking loudly, playing music without earbuds). Also, please don’t use e-cigarettes or vape around those who have sensitivities to smoke or scents.
Provide a variety of communication methods. If someone is nonverbal, for example, offer them a way to communicate through writing, symbols, or an app.
Make sure that everything in your environment is labeled. This includes everything from the office supplies to the kitchen appliances. When everything has a name, neurodiverse individuals don’t have to waste energy trying to remember what something is called – they can simply refer to the label.
Create a safe and comfortable space for people of all neurotypes. This could include things like designated quiet spaces, adjustable lighting, and aromatherapy.
Last but not least, celebrate neurodiversity! Embrace the unique perspectives and talents that neurodiverse individuals bring to your workplace. Thank you for reading and we hope you found this article helpful!
Neurodiversity is a valuable form of human diversity, and it should be respected just as much as any other kind of diversity. People who are neurodiversel have much to contribute to society, but in order for them to do so they need supportive environments in which they feel accepted, appreciated and belong. With time, effort, and education, we can all work together to improve neuro-inclusion for everyone.
Improving neuro-inclusion results takes time, effort, and education. If you are neuro-divergent or know someone who is, it’s important to advocate for yourself and others in order to make the world a more accepting place. Doing the research, seeking the help of others, and treating neurodivergent individuals with respect will go a long way toward creating a better future for neuro-divergent people.
This is just one small part of our The Neuro-Inclusion Roadmap™, which is a system for helping awesome folks just like you rapidly increase their neuro-inclusion ROI in just 90 days. All this without overwhelm, or little to no impact on their culture as a whole so that they can be a Neuro-inclusive workplace.
For more information on how to create a neuro-inclusive workplace while also amplifying your neuro-inclusion results please book a 15 minute neurodiversity consultation
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