Neurodiversity Celebration Week is a ‘worldwide initiative that challenges stereotypes and misconceptions about neurological differences. It aims to transform how neurodivergent individuals are perceived and supported by providing schools, universities, and organisations with the opportunity to recognise the many talents and advantages of being neurodivergent, while creating more inclusive and equitable cultures that celebrate differences and empower every individual.’
Neurodiversity refers to the different ways the brain can work and interpret information. It highlights that no two brains are alike, and that we all think, process information, and learn in different ways. This diversity results in different interests and strengths. Having colleagues who can think in different ways, approach problems and situations in different ways, is essential for the University. If we want true diversity, we want diversity of thought too.
Neurodiversity includes everyone, but individuals with neurodivergent traits may meet a diagnostic threshold for neurodivergent differences such as:
It is essential that we feel comfortable about bringing our authentic selves to work. When we feel comfortable at work, everyone benefits. This Body at Work approach encourages a people-centred outlook to the way we support health at work, and we are committed to developing a framework of guidance to assist the University with supporting neurodiversity in the workplace.
To better understand the support required for our neurodivergent colleagues, we asked a number of individuals to share their personal experiences of being neurodivergent and working at the University. Individuals talked freely about their experiences at Essex and discussed positive and negative situations that they encountered. The positive impact of working in partnership with our neurodivergent community has been invaluable and enabled us to create our Neuro-Inclusion Working Group which has been tasked with creating a draft list of recommendations for the University to consider.
We are very grateful to everyone who has joined the discussions and shared their views so far.
For more information on some of the neurodivergent differences listed above, please see our Wellbeing Directory.
If you would like support in this area, please contact Workplace Health, Safety and Wellbeing.
This session is aimed at staff interested in learning more about neurodiversity as well as managers and staff looking to support colleagues in their workplace. This session will be delivered by Genius Within CIC who are the leading psychology-based consultancy for neurodiversity training, coaching, and assessments.
The session can be booked via HR Organiser; Students’ Union staff can request a place by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
HR Policy and Projects Officer, University of Essex
Julia works in the policy team, within People and Culture. The policy team are responsible for the development of the University’s employment policy framework. Our University Strategy is clear in our commitment to putting people at the centre of our processes; our employment framework supports this ambition and our framework has been developed to assure our community of a fair, equitable and transparent approach.
Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service , Emilia Ilieva
24 February 2023
Categories: Health and wellbeing, People and Culture
02 March 2023
Categories: iamessex, Equality and inclusion, Health and wellbeing, Life at Essex