If you are self-employed and not finding things easy, or employed and think your neurodiversity is holding you back at work, you can request an Access to Work Assessment.
You may already have a neurodiverse diagnosis such as dyslexia, DCD/dyspraxia, Autism or ADHD, but this is not essential prior to requesting an assessment. You may find it useful to complete a free screening tool as evidence of your neurodiversity.
For neurodiverse employees, your employer is obliged, under the Equality Act 2010, to make reasonable adjustments. You can seek support from a line manager or HR, or you can contact Access to Work. The reasonable adjustments might be:
- Changes to your workspace, where you sit, the equipment available.
- Technology to improve the speed and accuracy of written work (software that types for you, for example).
- Coaching to help you develop strategies to improve performance around memory, for example.
- Training for your company to develop more inclusive practice.
Getting Access to Work Support – a step by step process
Step 1: Call them
Access to Work is a government-run programme that enables anyone with a disability to access support whether employed or self-employed. As soon as you have difficulties (or think you’re going to have difficulties) at work, you can refer yourself to this service and avoid a lot of common issues.
Step 2: Assessment
On contacting Access to Work, the usual process is first to be assessed by a “workplace needs assessor”, who will then write a report recommending the support they think you need to perform effectively in your job. Recommendations can be for things as diverse as a speech-to-text piece of software (that means no more typing!), some one-to-one strategy coaching sessions (that might look at your organisation, memory or time management skills) or even support with the cost of taxis to and from work because your condition means you can’t drive or take public transport. Access to Work can even provide training for your colleagues in how to manage and understand disability. This is really important for neurodiversity, mental health and where physical conditions affect thinking, as these are ‘hidden disabilities’ and not everyone understands what is going on for you.
No matter what organisations are recommended on your report, you can still call Genius Within to provide the services. It’s your choice! We are approved to supply services UK wide.
Step 3: Get adjustments in place
Following this assessment, if you work for a small employer (under 50 employees) the support is free of charge, and if you work for a larger employer they will have to contribute some or all of the costs. For this reason, it’s really important that employers see the benefit of providing disabled employees with the support – there is lots of information on why this is a good idea. The Genius Within team is always happy to help raise awareness – see our research section or give us a call if you want to know more.
If you are self-employed, the Access to Work scheme will even refund the cost of any support ordered.
Step 4: Learn, develop, adapt
Then there’s usually a period of learning – whether that’s on how to use new technology, co-coaching with your line manager to navigate communication difficulties, or strategy coaching so that you can use your strengths to overcome any difficulties that you have – whatever it is it doesn’t happen overnight!
Step 5: Review the impact
After undergoing an assessment, and getting reasonable adjustments in place, reflect on whether it has worked. Your line manager should be able to help you decide if the support provided has been enough, or if there is still help needed.
Our evidence shows that performance can be dramatically improved following strategy coaching and giving time, attention and value to the process can create huge differences in working life.
So if you think this is something that you need to do – don’t delay – apply today:
Access to Work
Telephone: 0800 121 7479
Textphone: 0345 608 8753
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
If you are unsure how to go about this, or have any questions at all, just call us. Our client services team are very friendly, know the process and give GREAT advice. You can contact them on 01273 890 502 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing neurodiversity in the workplace can be very difficult. The background of the Equality Act and your legal obligations have to be balanced with ensuring that people in post can perform the role expected of them.
But there is good news! Employees with neurodiversity have talents and abilities that can be incredibly productive in teams and companies. We can interrupt poor performance cycles and redirect employees to play to their strengths. Our line managers report a 30% uplift in productivity after 4 sessions, this research has been peer reviewed and published.
You can use Genius Within’s services after an Access to Work assessment, no matter who was recommended, we are approved UK wide.
Our comprehensive, Psychological Assessments can help you to clarify:
- Whether a neurodiversity is present and covered under the Equality Act
- What the strengths and weaknesses of the individual are and how these impact on work performance
- What kind of adjustments would be reasonable, given the individual abilities and the role
We can also provide a ‘1-stop shop’ for adjustments, through our coaching programmes and our links to technology suppliers.
We also provide sole supplier rates for corporate customers.
If you have any questions at all, just call us! Our client services team are very friendly, know the process and give GREAT advice – request a call back, they will be happy to hear from you.
Some of our our industry partners are able to provide Assistive Technology directly, or you can order direct through us.
Assistive technology can include speech to text software, screen readers and more, and are often recommended in Access To Work assessments for individuals with Dyslexia.
To find out more about specific products, these sites may be helpful: