Unlocking neurodiversity in the workplace
Updated: 18th October 2023
Success stems from realizing your workforce’s full potential, in all its diversity. And that means making each worker feel empowered, motivated and engaged. Assistive technology can help.
Everyone’s different, with their own ways of dealing with information and getting things done. You’ll meet the auditory processors, who prefer to hear things spoken rather than written down. You’ll meet the mind-mappers who process and plan visually. And you’ll meet the steady scribblers who stick to good old note-taking.
‘Diversity’ comes in other forms, too. No less than 10% of the population experience some form of dyslexic difficulty. In several professional sectors – like healthcare, blue light services, the creative arts and engineering – that figure climbs higher still. Across the UK, meanwhile, 30% of doctors and 40% of nursing staff speak English as a second language.
We’re firmly in the era of the digital workplace.
Yesterday’s typewriters, flipcharts and handwritten memos have been swept away by PCs, emails, office apps and Google searches.
Technology helps us work smarter, faster and more efficiently. But the explosion of digital devices brings with it challenges of its own, sometimes hindering the very people it’s meant to help.
Sitting in front of a computer for eight hours a day is a frequent source of eye-strain and headaches. And in today’s litigious corporate environment, even the simple mis-keying of an email can have costly repercussions.
What’s more, there’s a clear linkage between conditions like dyslexia – where individuals struggle in silence or fear the stigma of ‘disclosure’ to their peers – with stress, lowered productivity and absenteeism. And that’s an unwelcome cost burden that no organization wants to shoulder.
Success stems from realizing your workforce’s full potential, in all its diversity.
And that means making each worker feel empowered, motivated and engaged. Today, that’s why organizations in the public and private sector are turning to support technology to give staff the individualized support they need. Investing in technology is great for staff – and it’s great for business too.
Three quarters of organizations providing their staff with support technology report improved productivity. What’s more, support technology in the workplace means a 50% drop in sickness absence. So providing the right tools to help people maximize their potential is a win/win for employers and staff alike.
As a leader in Assistive Technology, at Texthelp we’ve been giving people a literacy boost in all walks of life for more than twenty years.
Text-to-speech lets employees hear documents read aloud – great for proofing an important document. Predictive text helps you express yourself eloquently, intelligently making word suggestions. Colorful highlighters make it easy to mark and gather together key parts from a lengthy report into a succinct summary. And with a couple of clicks, documents can be turned into MP3 files for relaxed listening when you’re out of the office. And there are special functions to help employees with dyslexia, like a tinted screen mask that makes words easier to read.
Let’s imagine a digital workplace where support technology is openly available to help everyone, letting them access and process information in the way that suits them. And let’s imagine a workplace where every employee is supported and understood, free from the fear of being labeled ‘different’ from their peers.
Read more about supporting neurodiverse staff
Learn about the competitive edge that neurodiverse employees can bring to your workplace.
This guide, designed for HR and DEI managers, covers the strengths of neurodiverse staff, including employees with ADHD, as well as the accommodations to make to ensure neurodiverse employees are supported.