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Inclusive Employers is the UK’s first and leading membership organisation for employers looking to build inclusive workplaces.

What is Neurodiversity Celebration Week?

The term neurodiversity describes the idea that people experience and interact with the world around them in different ways. Our neurodiversity glossary explains this and other terms that would be useful to share with your colleagues during Neurodiversity Celebration Week.

There is no one “right” way of thinking, learning, and behaving, and differences are not viewed as deficits. The term neurodiversity was created to promote the equality and inclusion of “neurological minorities”, such as autistic, dyslexic, and dyspraxic people and anyone with a neurological difference. Our neurodiversity in the workplace blog shares expert advice on understanding and championing your neurodivergent colleagues.

Neurodiversity Celebration Week is an extension of the neurodiversity movement because its aim is to challenge stereotypes about neurological differences. The event’s goal is to change how neurodivergent people are perceived and give organisations an opportunity to celebrate neurodivergent talent and value the benefits of a neurodiverse workplace.

When does the awareness week take place?

Neurodiversity Celebration Week 2024 will be taking place on Monday 18 March – Sunday 24 March.

Why is there a need to celebrate neurodiversity?

Siena Castellon, the founder of the campaign, says:

“I founded Neurodiversity Celebration Week in 2018 because I wanted to change the way learning differences are perceived. As a teenager who is autistic and has ADHD, dyslexia, and dyspraxia, my experience has been that people often focus on the challenges of neurological diversity. I wanted to change the narrative and create a balanced view which focuses equally on our talents and strengths.”

Over 760 schools and over half a million students from around the world took part in 2020, but it is important for workplaces to also get involved because there are unique challenges neurodivergent adults face when it comes to employment.

For example, a recent report by the Office for National Statistics shows that autistic people are the least likely to be in work of any other disabled group and just 21.7% of autistic people are in employment. This is unfortunate because when the right support is put in place for neurodivergent employees, research shows that neurodiverse teams are 30% more productive than others. Neurotypical people also find that their morale is higher when they work with neurodivergent colleagues.

Adopt a strengths based approach to neurodiversity

Having a strengths-based approach to neurodiversity will not only help more neurodivergent people overcome barriers and thrive at work, but it will also make our organisations more inclusive and successful.

Our colleague Zeinab Ali, Marketing and Communications Executive, explains how a strengths-based approach to neurodiversity has benefitted her:

“A strengths-based approach to neurodiversity has helped increase my confidence. Having a supportive team and line manager, connecting with other neurodivergent people, and working with my autism instead of against it has helped me progress my career.”

You can learn more about Zeinab’s experiences of neurodiversity and autism in the workplace in our Talking Inclusion With podcast episode.

Neurodiversity Celebration Week facts

Here are a few quick Neurodiversity Celebration Week facts to know:

How to celebrate Neurodiversity Celebration Week in the workplace

There are many ways to recognise Neurodiversity Celebration Week at work, including:

  • Develop your organisation’s understanding with Neurodiversity training.
  • Share our podcast to raise awareness about neurodivergent employees’ workplace experiences.
  • Visit our Member Resources page to download helpful guides and factsheets to learn more about neurodiversity and different neurodivergent conditions.
  • Learn from your neurodivergent colleagues or neurodiversity staff network.
  • Use the bitesize inclusion toolkit to facilitate conversations about neurodiversity.
  • Identify and talk about your neurodivergent role models or ask your colleagues to share their experiences.

Next steps to embed neurodiversity inclusion

If learning about Neurodiversity Celebration Week has inspired you to deepen your understanding of neurodiversity, Inclusive Employers can work with you to take the next steps. Whether you’d like support with Neurodiversity Celebration Week, developing training for your line managers or anything else, we are here. It’s easy to get in touch using the form below, we look forward to hearing from you.

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