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Book part
Publication date: 9 November 2020

Kristen Gillespie-Lynch, Patrick Dwyer, Christopher Constantino, Steven K. Kapp, Emily Hotez, Ariana Riccio, Danielle DeNigris, Bella Kofner and Eric Endlich

Purpose: We critically examine the idea of neurodiversity, or the uniqueness of all brains, as the foundation for the neurodiversity movement, which began as an autism…

Abstract

Purpose: We critically examine the idea of neurodiversity, or the uniqueness of all brains, as the foundation for the neurodiversity movement, which began as an autism rights movement. We explore the neurodiversity movement's potential to support cross-disability alliances that can transform cultures.

Methods/Approach: A neurodiverse team reviewed literature about the history of the neurodiversity movement and associated participatory research methodologies and drew from our experiences guiding programs led, to varying degrees, by neurodivergent people. We highlight two programs for autistic university students, one started by and for autistics and one developed in collaboration with autistic and nonautistic students. These programs are contrasted with a national self-help group started by and for stutterers that is inclusive of “neurotypicals.”

Findings: Neurodiversity-aligned practices have emerged in diverse communities. Similar benefits and challenges of alliance building within versus across neurotypes were apparent in communities that had not been in close contact. Neurodiversity provides a framework that people with diverse conditions can use to identify and work together to challenge shared forms of oppression. However, people interpret the neurodiversity movement in diverse ways. By honing in on core aspects of the neurodiversity paradigm, we can foster alliances across diverse perspectives.

Implications/ Values: Becoming aware of power imbalances and working to rectify them is essential for building effective alliances across neurotypes. Sufficient space and time are needed to create healthy alliances. Participatory approaches, and approaches solely led by neurodivergent people, can begin to address concerns about power and representation within the neurodiversity movement while shifting public understanding.

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Disability Alliances and Allies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-322-7

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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2019

James Richards, Kate Sang, Abigail Marks and Susannah Gill

The purpose of this paper is to address a significant gap in the line manager, HRM and the diversity management literature, that of exploring the role and significance of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address a significant gap in the line manager, HRM and the diversity management literature, that of exploring the role and significance of emotional labour (EL) in relation to the lived experienced of line managing neurodiversity.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach was used to explore lived experiences of line managers responsible for managing neurodiverse employees. Interviews were conducted with line managers employed in the UK transport industry.

Findings

The findings provide rich insights into line managing neurodiversity. A key overall finding is reasonable adjustments deemed essential to support neurodiverse employees require a myriad of hidden, complex, time consuming and often emotionally draining interactions with disabled employees, the employee’s wider team, and HRM and occupational health (OH) practitioners.

Research limitations/implications

This is an exploratory study and therefore limited by nature of the research design, industry focus, scope of study and sample size.

Practical implications

The findings have the potential to inform HRM and OH practitioner support for line managers responsible for managing neurodiverse employees.

Social implications

The study contributes to wider societal attempts to make employment more inclusive to a range of historically disadvantaged groups.

Originality/value

The study fills an important gap in the HRM literature on line managing neurodiverse employees. The study makes a specific and unique contribution to extensive literatures on line management, disability and EL.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 48 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Content available
Article
Publication date: 25 May 2021

Nancy Doyle and Almuth McDowall

The aims of the paper were to highlight the dearth of applied practitioner research concerning the expression of neurodiversity at work and develop an epistemological…

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2041

Abstract

Purpose

The aims of the paper were to highlight the dearth of applied practitioner research concerning the expression of neurodiversity at work and develop an epistemological framework for a future research agenda.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic empty review protocol was employed, with three a priori research questions, inquiring as to the extent of neurodiversity research within mainstream work psychology, psychology in general and lastly within cross-disciplinary academic research. The results of the final search were quality checked and categorized to illustrate where studies relevant to practice are currently located.

Findings

The academic literature was found to be lacking in contextualized, practical advice for employers or employees. The location and foci of extracted studies highlighted a growing science-practitioner gap.

Research limitations/implications

The research focused on common neurominority conditions such as autism and dyslexia; it is acknowledged that the neurodiversity definition itself is broader and more anthropological in nature. A need for a comprehensive research agenda is articulated, and research questions and frameworks are proposed.

Practical implications

Guidance is given on applying disability accommodation to both individual and organizational targets.

Social implications

The disability employment gap is unchanged since legislation was introduced. The neurodiversity concept is no longer new, and it is time for multi-disciplinary collaborations across science and practice to address the questions raised in this paper.

Originality/value

This paper offers an original analysis of the neurodiversity paradox, combining systematic inquiry with a narrative synthesis of the extant literature. The conceptual clarification offers clear directions for researchers and practitioners.

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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 31 January 2011

Robin Mackenzie and John Watts

Should those of us who are neurologically atypical be diagnosed as ill, so in need of treatment or cure, or accepted as embodying a different way of being, as called for…

Abstract

Should those of us who are neurologically atypical be diagnosed as ill, so in need of treatment or cure, or accepted as embodying a different way of being, as called for by the neurodiversity movement? We consider what legal structures and health and social care systems would be appropriate to promote neurodiversity, and how far this infrastructure in the United Kingdom today meets these criteria for those diagnosed with cognitive disability and learning disability.

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Tizard Learning Disability Review, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-5474

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Article
Publication date: 22 March 2021

Joanna Maria Szulc, Julie Davies, Michał T. Tomczak and Frances-Louise McGregor

Existing management research and management practices frequently overlook the relationship between the above-average human capital of highly functioning neurodivergent…

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1031

Abstract

Purpose

Existing management research and management practices frequently overlook the relationship between the above-average human capital of highly functioning neurodivergent employees, their subjective well-being in the workplace and performance outcomes. This paper calls for greater attention to the hidden human capital associated with neurodiversity by mainstreaming implementation of neurodiversity-friendly policies and practices.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on the ability, motivation and opportunity (AMO) framework, this conceptual paper integrates research on employee neurodiversity and well-being to provide a model of HR-systems level and human capital development policies, systems and practices for neurodivergent minorities in the workplace.

Findings

This paper illustrates that workplace neurodiversity, like biodiversity, is a natural phenomenon. For subjective individual psychological and organisational well-being, neurodivergent employees require an empathetic culture and innovative talent management approaches that respect cognitive differences.

Practical implications

The case is made for neurodivergent human capital development and policy-makers to promote inclusive employment and decent work in a context of relatively high unemployment for neurodivergent individuals.

Originality/value

This paper extends current debates on organisational equality, diversity and inclusion to a consideration of workplace well-being for highly functioning neurodivergent workers. It calls for more equitable and empathetic approaches to investing in employees with neurodevelopmental and cognitive disabilities.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 43 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 25 September 2019

Bramhani Rao and Jyothi Polepeddi

This study aims to develop and propose a Neurodiversity-Smart HR framework that may facilitate organizations to build an inclusive workforce.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to develop and propose a Neurodiversity-Smart HR framework that may facilitate organizations to build an inclusive workforce.

Design/methodology/approach

Real cases of inclusive companies in India such as Lemon Tree Hotels have been explored in detail through observations, video interviews of company’s leadership and personal discussion with special-needs community to design a generalized framework.

Findings

Development of Neurodiversity-Smart HR framework that integrates resources from multiple stakeholders.

Practical implications

The proposed framework shall facilitate organizations to build an inclusive workforce and engage with the special-needs community throughout the inclusion process. The neurodiversity approach is a potential solution to organizational issues such as innovation, engagement, social responsibility and attrition.

Originality/value

The only study to propose a functional inclusive employment framework.

Details

Strategic HR Review, vol. 18 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-4398

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 8 February 2021

Tamsin Priscott and Robert Anthony Allen

The purpose of the study was to test the assumption of similarities between neurodivergents and other minority groups regarding their reaction to stereotype threat. In…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study was to test the assumption of similarities between neurodivergents and other minority groups regarding their reaction to stereotype threat. In addition, it aimed to identify the source of stereotype threat and the neurodivergent's response to it.

Design/methodology/approach

Two studies were conducted. Study 1 employed three exercises consisting of brochures, learning sets and posters to test organisational cues, notions of intelligence and situational cues. It collected data from 53 participants to establish whether stereotype threat observed in visible difference such as race, gender and intelligence is equally relevant to neurodiversity. Study 2 consisted of interviews with 44 participants to establish stereotype threat source, reaction and effect on declaration of invisible difference.

Findings

Neurodivergents, defined by their invisible difference, react similarly to those with a visible difference with respect to organisational cues and stereotype threat. They will cognisantly define their behaviours depending upon those cues and stereotype threat. In doing so, they draw upon previous personal and work experiences. After the event, they will make a comparison to their assessment. If it is similar to their assessment, it reinforces it; however, if it is dissimilar, the neurodivergent will make an adjustment to the assessment. In both cases, the experience will form part of a future threat assessment.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited by its interpretivist nature and sample comprising personnel within a UK government organisation.

Practical implications

The research has practical implications for employers, providing managers with a model to understand the impact a neurodivergents' previous experiences can have on their ability to interact within the workplace. Such understanding can provide insight into how best to utilise human capital.

Originality/value

This study makes a contribution to theory by expanding knowledge of neurodiversity in the workplace and by identifying the neurodivergents' reaction to the anticipation of a stereotype threat. In addition, it offers the stereotype threat anticipation conceptual model as a representation of the cognitive decisions made by neurodivergents to conceal or reveal their invisible difference.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 43 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 13 January 2012

Robin Mackenzie, John Watts and Lati Howe

The purpose of this paper is to apply critical legal analysis to laws, policies and reforms focused on special educational needs (SEN) and equality in England and to…

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786

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to apply critical legal analysis to laws, policies and reforms focused on special educational needs (SEN) and equality in England and to suggest a Neurodiversity spectrum statement.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews current legal and policy initiatives in SEN, together with recent reforms in equality law.

Findings

While past and current policies may have laudable aims, tensions such as a lack of integration of education, health and social services have had prejudicial outcomes for children with SEN, their families/carers, and the professionals involved.

Originality/value

Legal reforms promise to remedy some problems, but must be underpinned by adequate resourcing, appeal procedures, and remedies which foster the enforcement of legal duties. Some resources for families with children with SEN are noted.

Details

Tizard Learning Disability Review, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-5474

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Article
Publication date: 23 May 2011

Robin Mackenzie and John Watts

The purpose in writing this paper is to highlight the lack of knowledge of many who are involved in capacity assessments, especially non‐professionals such as carers of…

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891

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose in writing this paper is to highlight the lack of knowledge of many who are involved in capacity assessments, especially non‐professionals such as carers of the learning disabled, and the view that current guidance for capacity assessments does not take into account issues of emotionality.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is to discuss current guidance and practice, and to offer academic criticism and explanation.

Findings

The findings include the discovery that the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Code of Practice suggests that healthcare professionals and family/carers may undertake assessments of decision‐making capacity, yet the guidance it provides for their doing so overlooks salient issues. Many of those involved in the daily lives of those, who may lack decision‐making capacity (and thus be seen as legally incompetent) such as the learning disabled, demented, mentally ill and neurodiverse, must decide whether to respect their decisions as competent, or to disregard the decisions on the grounds of incompetence and to act in the person's best interests. As many will lack training in their clinical and legal responsibilities and liabilities, it is crucial that they, and those they care for, are protected by not only an increased knowledge of mental capacity legislation and practice, but also how it may apply to questions of emotionality and neurodiversity.

Originality/value

This paper expands and builds on the authors' previous research into including emotionality in assessments of capacity, and will be of use to practitioners in the field of learning disability, and other psychiatric specialities.

Details

Tizard Learning Disability Review, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-5474

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Article
Publication date: 26 March 2019

Marion Hersh and Sharon Elley

The purpose of this paper is to present new empirical data on the experiences of 120 teachers and professionals working with autistic children and young people across…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present new empirical data on the experiences of 120 teachers and professionals working with autistic children and young people across different settings in Poland where autism research on inclusive education is scarce. It explores the relationship of inclusive education to the social and neurodiversity models of disability. It makes evidence-based recommendations for good practice and modelling and evaluating future education and inclusion practices.

Design/methodology/approach

It uses a survey approach involving a combination of qualitative and quantitative data collection and embeds practical findings in theory, including the relationship of inclusive education to the social and neurodiversity models of disability.

Findings

The findings include the barriers teachers and related professionals experience in facilitating inclusive teaching and learning and how the following would be useful to autistic students: opportunities to exercise responsibilities and take leadership roles; social as well as educational inclusion; provision of a safe environment; regular funded autism training in work time; and appropriate use of additional classroom teachers.

Research limitations/implications

A survey-based approach has limitations.

Practical implications

Opportunities to exercise responsibilities and take leadership roles; social as well as educational inclusion; provision of a safe environment; regular funded autism training in work time; and appropriate use of additional classroom teachers.

Social implications

This study can be useful in the development of social skills and communication, social and educational inclusion.

Originality/value

Polish teachers’ attitudes, experiences and support needs, including some previously overlooked issues, are related to the broader international context beyond Poland. Analysis of the findings is used to derive evidence-based recommendations for good practice and modelling, and evaluating future education and inclusion practices.

Details

Advances in Autism, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3868

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