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According to the Equality Act of 2010, employers are required to make reasonable adjustments to support disabled job applicants and employees. Many Employers follow and recognize this Act when it comes to physical disabilities in the workplace and make appropriate adjustments for those individuals.  It has come to light, however, that a large number of employers are not doing so well at recognizing and following the Act as it pertains to individuals with intellectual or neurological disabilities.


Neurodiversity is the diversity of individuals with dislexia, autism, ADHD, dyspraxia and other neurological disorders.  And, although the exact definition of neurodiversity varies based on who one might ask, one thing is true.  Those who are neurodiverse possess a wide variety of skills, talents, and abilities that can benefit the workplace – just like any neurologically “normal” employee.  


Many experts have begun to notice that workplaces in which neurodiversity is more prevalent seem to thrive That is because individuals who are more neurodiverse have a larger gap between their talents and shortfalls than their peers. In other words, a neurodiverse person is highly likely to possess extreme genius in a skill or ability that could benefit their workplace.  


Companies who ignore and fail to recruit neurologically diverse individuals miss out on a lot of talent.  After all, these individuals are likely, because of their neurological differences, to concentrate harder, work more effectively, and provide a different point of view.


Like any other kind of diversity, ignoring the differences of neurologically diverse individuals is a large mistake.  Companies need to recognize that employees with diagnoses such as autism, ADHD, and dyslexia are innately different. However, they also need to recognize that even though they are different, these employees deserve an equal opportunity for success.


In order for companies to begin to benefit from the skills and talents neurodiverse employees can offer, they first have to adapt their practices to attract and retain those individuals.  Doing so, however, is not a simple task. First and foremost, company leaders and hiring managers must be educated regarding the benefits neurodiverse individuals have to offer companies. It is also likely that changes will need to be made to the recruiting, interview, and onboarding processes.  And, furthermore, companies and supervisors will need to be open and willing to provide workplace benefits and environments that will lend towards these individuals’ success.  


So, if you are part of a company that is looking to cultivate a culture of neurodiversity you should be ready to create a workplace where everyone’s individual needs regarding the environment, policies, and practices are met (to the best of your company’s ability) so they can unleash their full potential.