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3 key ways to improve neurodiversity in the workplace

Summary

California Governor Gavin Newsom declared July 26th "Americans With Disabilities Act Awareness Day" in recognition of the systemic changes the Act has brought about. However, many neurodiverse individuals still face considerable barriers, particularly in disclosing their disability to HR or a manager. Dr. Hala Annabi, an associate professor of information science, identified three distinct areas that HR leaders can focus on to increase neuro-inclusivity in their workplaces. These areas include fear of stigma, complex or unclear processes around disclosing neurodiversity, and increasing neurodiversity inclusion with a ‘social model’ of disability. By addressing these areas, HR departments can help facilitate the disclosure process and take the onus off the individual to normalize neuro-inclusion.

Q&As

What is the Americans with Disabilities Act Awareness Day?
Americans with Disabilities Act Awareness Day is a day declared by Governor of California Gavin Newsom to celebrate the systemic changes the Act has brought about.

What percentage of U.S. corporations encourage employees to self-identify as disabled?
93% of 483 U.S. corporations encourage employees to self-identify as disabled.

What are the three distinct areas HR leaders can focus on to increase neuro-inclusivity in the workplace?
The three distinct areas HR leaders can focus on to increase neuro-inclusivity in the workplace are: fear of stigma around neurodiversity, complex or unclear processes around disclosing neurodiversity, and increasing neurodiversity inclusion with a ‘social model’ of disability.

What is the ‘social model’ of disability?
The ‘social model’ of disability is a framework which places responsibility with employers to present staff with open discussions around what they need to succeed, as individuals.

How can employers present staff with open discussions around what they need to succeed?
Employers can present staff with open discussions around what they need to succeed by offering a range of possibilities that will help with a challenge or a need, and asking if any of them would work for the individual.

AI Comments

👍 This article provides a great overview of how to improve neurodiversity in the workplace and how HR leaders can focus on creating a more inclusive environment.

👎 This article does not go into enough detail about the complex and intimidating procedures around disclosure for individuals with neurodiversity.

AI Discussion

Me: It's about improving neurodiversity in the workplace. It talks about how many employees don't disclose their disability, and how employers need to move past 'transactional accommodations.' It also discusses three key ways to increase neuro-inclusivity in the workplace: Fear of stigma around neurodiversity, complex or unclear processes around disclosing neurodiversity, and increasing neurodiversity inclusion with a 'social model' of disability.

Friend: That's really interesting. What do you think are the implications of this article?

Me: Well, I think it's important to recognize that there are still many barriers to disclosure for neurodiverse individuals, and that employers need to create an environment where those individuals feel safe and supported to do so. It's also important for employers to create more inclusive policies and practices that take into account the needs of neurodiverse individuals, rather than just offering 'transactional accommodations.' Finally, employers need to move away from a medical model of disability and focus on providing 'success enablers' that will help everyone succeed in the workplace.

Action items

Technical terms

Neurodiversity
A term used to describe the range of neurological differences that exist among people, including those with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, OCD, and Tourette’s syndrome.
IN
An organization that advocates for more disabled representation in corporate America.
BCG Survey
A survey conducted by the Boston Consulting Group that found 25% of people in the workforce identify as disabled.
Disability Equality Index (DEI)
A report from Disability:IN that found only 4.5% of 483 U.S. corporations had employees who chose to self-identify as disabled.
Self-Identify
To disclose one’s disability to HR or a manager.
Mask
To hide or suppress one’s divergent traits.
Accommodations
Adjustments made to the environment to make it easier for a person with a disability to do their job.
Social Model of Disability
A framework that places responsibility with employers to present staff with open discussions around what they need to succeed, as individuals.

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