Rachel Worsley | 11/04/2023
Disclosure of accommodation needs in the workplace can be challenging for neurodivergent individuals, who may worry about stigma, discrimination, or negative attitudes from their colleagues or employers. However, employers who respond to accommodation requests in a positive and supportive way can create a more inclusive and welcoming work environment that benefits everyone. Here are some best practices for employers to respond to disclosure of accommodation needs from neurodivergent individuals:
When an employee discloses an accommodation need, it is important for employers to listen and respect their concerns. Employers should avoid making assumptions or judgments, and instead focus on understanding the employee's needs and how they can support them. For example, an employer could respond by saying, "Thank you for sharing this with me. Can you tell me more about how I can support you?"
Employers should work collaboratively with the employee to find a solution that meets their needs and is feasible for the workplace. This could involve brainstorming ideas together, discussing potential barriers or challenges, and considering different options. For example, an employer could say, "Let's work together to find a solution that works for both you and the team."
Employers should respect the privacy of the employee and keep their accommodation needs confidential, unless the employee gives permission to share the information. Employers should also avoid discussing the accommodation needs with other colleagues or making assumptions about the employee's abilities or limitations. For example, an employer could say, "We will keep this information confidential and only share it with those who need to know."
Employers should provide resources and support to help the employee succeed in their job. This could involve providing training, coaching, or mentoring, or connecting the employee with external resources or support groups. For example, an employer could say, "We will provide you with the support and resources you need to succeed in your job."
Here are some examples of positive employer responses to disclosure of accommodation needs from neurodivergent individuals:
Disclosure of accommodation needs in the workplace can be challenging for neurodivergent individuals, but a positive and supportive response from employers can create a more inclusive and welcoming work environment. Employers who listen, collaborate, respect privacy, and provide resources and support can help neurodivergent individuals succeed in their job and contribute their unique skills and talents to the workplace.
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