Championing diversity in the workplace comes in many forms; prospective employees, suppliers, clients, and customers are taking note of how representative organisations are of society. This includes neurodiversity, which encompasses a wide range of neurological differences including Dyslexia, ADHD, Autism, DCD/Dyspraxia and Dyscalculia. With 1 in 7 of the population estimated to be neurodiverse it is a topic which has gained huge traction in recent years.

Demonstrating strengths in areas such as creative thinking and problem-solving, the value neurodivergent individuals can bring to the workplace is well documented.

However, neurodivergent individuals may also encounter some challenges with certain tasks at work, particularly those which involve executive functions – this is the control panel of the brain and part of its function is to helps us organise, plan, remember and remain focused. Assistive technology is one solution which can be crucial in supporting neurodivergent employees to perform tasks accurately or in a timely manner. The positive benefits for the individual include greater autonomy, independence, and confidence in the work they produce.

Technology has developed which can help support executive functions and literacy:

Support with organising and planning.

  • Digital calendars and Task Apps – These apps can break down tasks, schedule in times for meetings, set reminders, and colour code tasks so they are easy to identify.
  • Visual organisation and planning software – Mind mapping software creates a pictorial version of a workflow in a non-linear format, which can be a great tool for project management. The software can make it clearer for a neurodivergent individual to plan and organise. Seeing the ‘bigger picture’ in a visual way appeals to a neurodivergent brain.

Literacy support

  • Speech to text software – If a person has challenges with writing, spelling, or grammar this can be alleviated by using speech to text software in real time, via a built-in microphone or headset connected to a PC. The software will transcribe speech into text and autocorrect along the way, meaning less time spent checking, so the user quickly becomes more productive.
  • Screen-readers – These are another excellent tool for people who have challenges with reading or who are visually impaired. The software converts digital text to speech, so the user is less reliant of reading the text, but it remains accessible in a verbal format.

Support with focus

  • Minimising distractions – Some software can turn off notifications, block websites and set time limits on screen time to minimise distractions and maintain concentration.
  • Screen tinting – As well as tinting the whole screen, the typing line or reading line can be tinted in a colour so the user can stay focused on the text. It is also a useful tool for people who suffer with visual stress, which often co-occurs in neurodivergent individuals.

Assistive Technology can make an enormous difference to an individual’s productivity at work. By enabling access to assistive technologies organisations are paving the way for greater inclusion within the workplace.

Look out for details of our next  Assistive Technology

webinar on 19th June.  Contact your account management team for more information.

Check out out Assistive IT website