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Launch of Neurodiverse Staff Network

Encouraged and supported by staff themselves, we have plans to establish a Neurodiverse Staff Network.

The University supports several equality and diversity focused networks, such as the UoP Parent and Carer Staff Network, Women’s Staff Network, Multicultural Staff Network and LGBTQ Staff Network, that enable staff to come together, network, offer mutual support, share experiences and discuss issues that matter to them, in a safe and inclusive space. Run for staff by staff, networks are able to play a key role in supporting and developing an inclusive diverse workforce.

What do we mean by Neurodiversity?

Colourful umbrellas used to raise awareness and celebrate neurodiversity.
Colourful umbrellas have been used to raise awareness and celebrate neurodiversity.
Picture credit: Ascannio / Shutterstock.com

Neurodiversity refers to the range of different ways the brain processes and interprets information. It highlights that people think about things differently. However, it is estimated that around 1 in 7 people (more than 15% of the people in the UK) are Neurodiverse, meaning that they learn and process information differently. Neurodiversity includes Attention Deficit Disorders, Autism, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and other conditions.

Neurodiversity is a viewpoint about reframing and moving away from considering these conditions as disabilities and focusing on the skills and advantages associated with them, whilst understanding that there can be challenges to overcome.

Employers are now beginning recognise and value the skills and abilities that Neurodiverse people bring to an organisation.

You may find this ACAS Guidance and video useful.

One of the things for the network to look at will be around coming to a shared understanding of the term Neurodiverse, and what that means for the staff network.

Neurodiverse Staff Network

The logo for the University of Portsmouth Neurodiverse Staff Network

Run by staff for staff, the network is open to all staff across the University who want to learn more or support Neurodiversity. It is important to note that no assumptions are made around staff joining the group, and what staff disclose within this closed google community will be a personal decision.

Sherria Hoskins, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Health and University Executive Board (UEB) Equality and Diversity Champion, said: “In order to provide excellent education, research and innovation we need an extremely wide range of skills, experiences and perspectives in our staff teams. In order to ensure we have that, we need to be truly inclusive, recognising our need for, and creating a culture in which diversity of all types is sought and valued.”

If you are interested in getting involved in the network in any way, or just want to keep up to date with developments as the network establishes, please join the new closed Google community. This will become the primary platform for communicating and sharing information with the network members, and this has proved highly effective for our other staff networks.

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