Neurodiversity refers to the different ways the brain can work and interpret information. It highlights that people naturally think about things differently. We have different interests and motivations and are naturally better at some things and poorer at others. Most people are neurotypical, meaning that the brain functions and processes information in the way society expects.
However, it is estimated that around 1 in 7 people (more than 15 per cent of people in the UK) are neurodivergent, meaning that the brain functions, learns and processes information differently. Neurodivergence includes:
- Attention Deficit Disorders
- Tourette's syndrome
We support the neurodiversity of all our staff and embrace the diverse range of minds that our organisation holds within it. If you consider yourself to be neurodivergent, or want to support someone who is neurodivergent, you can talk to someone about support and adjustments you might need by contacting well at work.
Neurodiversity in the workplace webinar
For those of you who were unable to attend the webinar held recently in partnership with Exceptional Individuals, an organisation providing consulting, recruitment and employment support to employers and individuals with dyslexia, dyspraxia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (known as ADHD) and autism. You can watch a recording of the session. If you have any queries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Types of support and adjustments:
Support offered by Oxfordshire County Council may involve reasonable adjustments to your working environment, working processes, specific software, or a referral to Access to Work who will assess your needs and make recommendations for supports to your employer.
Some supports that employees with neuro-divergent conditions may have include:
- Sending papers in advance
- Considering office space / noise / working from home
- Use of headphones to block out background noise
- Weekly check ins to discuss any questions and issues arising
- Mentoring and coaching
- Factoring in more time for information dense tasks
- Obtaining a screen reader
- Assistive software for computer
- Additional resources e.g. Dictaphone
- Referral to Access to Work - work-placed assessment process overview (pdf format, 95Kb)
- Support in liaising with your manager around your needs
Neurodiversity Wellbeing Group
We have a neurodiversity wellbeing group and you can contact them via DAWN (disability and wellbeing network) or via WellatWork@oxfordshire.gov.uk. The group welcomes everyone and is neuro inclusive. It aims to offer peer support, tips for wellbeing, support through challenges, feedback obstacles and celebrate the rich and diverse nature of employees and what they can offer as employees.
What to do if you suspect you have a neuro-difference?
- Contact one of the organisations below who may be able to offer you more information
- Speak to your GP who can refer you for an assessment
- Speak to your manager or contact Well at work – adjustments can be made on need not only diagnoses
See further information below on neuro-differences and links to support organisations and articles.
- What is Neurodiversity?
- Quizzes for lots of different neurodivergent conditions. Check if you have any traits of these learning differences.
- The benefits and skill sets of those who are neurodiverse
- A guide to specific learning needs (pdf format, 1Mb)
- Microsoft Office 365 accessiblity - free downloadable guides to find information and tips for using accessibility features in Microsoft products to meet your specific needs.
- Neurodiversity - CIPD guide
- Reasonable adjustments - ACAS
- Neurodiversity - the key that unlocked my world - TED
- The Neurodivesirty question - National Police Autism Association
- Square pegs, round holes - National Police Autism Association
ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorders)
- What is Autism? (National Autistic Society)
- Support at work – A guide for autistic people (National Autistic Society)
- Employing autistic people – a guide for employers (National Autistic Society)
- Sensory differences (national Autistic Society)
- Making your workplace more autistic-friendly – Mental Health At Work
- Top 5 Tips for Supporting Autistic Employees in the Workplace – for managers and HR professionals
- Basic Autism Awareness – OCC E-Learning course available on Learning Zone – Designed for anyone whose job may bring them into day to day contact with people with Autism
- Access to work - appying for help
- Creating a dyslexia friendly workplace
- Reasonable adustments in the workplace (pdf format, 159Kb)
- Dyslexia style guide (pdf format, 186Kb)
- Dyslexia and working from home (pdf format, 105Kb)
- Adult dyslexia checklist (pdf format, 14Kb)