- Coined by Australian sociologist, Judy Singer, it refers to differences across human brain makeups, including dyslexia, dyspraxia, autism and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Why is it important to understand?
- First of all, sheer numbers, estimates are approximately 15% of the population worldwide is neurodiverse keeping in mind that underdiagnosis persists across the spectrum of neurodiversity. There is also the moral imperative – the right of every human being to participate fully in society.
How does neurodiversity present?
- Most often in the form of variances in social communication and interpersonal relations appreciating that every individual is unique and there is a vast spectrum of characteristics and traits.
What are some of the challenges that the neurodiverse population faces?
- Several. In terms of employment, the neurodiverse population mirrors the wider disability population meaning the vast majority is either unemployed or underemployed. This unfortunate reality places a great burden on the individuals affected as well our entire society and means often our skills and talents go untapped.
What are some of the skills and talents of the neurodiverse population?
- Again, they vary according to individual; however, we can be known for strengths in the areas of recall, pattern recognition, dedicated focus and mathematics. Because we think and process information differently, we can sometime identity innovative approaches and solutions that might otherwise go uncovered or overlooked.
How can I learn more about neurodiversity?
- Read books by and about neurodivergent individuals. Listen to podcasts focused on neurodiversity and watch shows centred on the neurodiverse experience.
How can I support neurodiverse employment?
- Hire and retain neurodiverse employees as part of any inclusive, diverse, equitable and accessible (IDEA) workplace. Remember that disability is a dimension of diversity along with all other forms of diversity and that diversity is better.
How can I best help support and empower the neurodiverse population?
- Be kind and follow #InclusionRevolution on your social media platforms to continue to learn and connect.
Wanda Deschamps, founder and principal of Liberty Co seeks to increase the participation level of the neurodiverse population in the workforce with a special emphasis on autism due to her own diagnosis at midlife. A champion for inclusion, she enjoys writing and speaking under the banner of the #InclusionRevolution – a worldwide movement launched in 2018 to spearhead different thinking about disability, especially disability employment. She is also the catalyst behind the #Women4Women collective focused on supporting other women. Based with her family in Waterloo, she relishes exercising, reading and following the Pittsburgh Penguins.