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Demand from employers for neurodiversity and inclusion training

Weston College has seen increasing demand from our employer network for neurodiversity and inclusion awareness training, writes Lynsey McKinstry, Business Partnership Manager for SEND provision at Weston College.

Business demand, alongside only one in five autistic adults being in employment, resulted in the college creating training for employers to access, supporting businesses to make inclusive adjustments in hiring and employment processes.

Supporting existing staff has also been a theme given that 65% of neurodivergent employees do not disclose their conditions due to fear of discrimination improving inclusion strategies and policies will foster a more inclusive workplace.

During the past 18 months, over 450 people from 40+ businesses have been trained, sharing key knowledge on recruiting, retaining, and supporting staff and customers. Workshops cover autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and dyscalculia along with racism, LGBTQ+ issues, sensory differences, and trauma-informed response.

The initiative has generated promising results, with businesses like Mendip Activity Centre, Puxton Park, and The Grand Pier implementing changes to become more neurodiversity friendly. Puxton Park has made its facilities more inclusive and accessible, diversified its workforce, and created tailored roles for applicants.

Similarly, Mendip Activity Centre, known for its outdoor activities, underwent dedicated training, fostering empathy and understanding among staff members. The Grand Pier now provides sensory-sensitive equipment and a quiet room for visitors with sensory sensitivities.

Mendip Activity Centre, known for its adventurous outdoor activities’ welcome individuals and groups of all ages and abilities took part in dedicated training. One staff member remarked: “Just by putting yourself in someone else’s shoes who is neurodivergent was hugely impactful and we don’t have the ability to understand unless we ask.”

As Business Partnership Manager for SEND provision, I have continued to support businesses in their goals to understand and value individual needs. The initiative aims to create a genuinely inclusive society where everyone can thrive.

Instilling inclusion at every level and opening employment routes for neurodivergent employees, the journey into inclusive practice is not just about ticking a box, but about creating a more inclusive society where everyone can thrive utilising incredible skills that are often overlooked.

Employers interested in the training can contact me at or visit Neurodiversity Training for Employers | Weston College.

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