Emily Bartekoske featured in the USFN April 2022 e-Update
The Overlooked Diversity: Neurodiversity in the Workplace
Most people, myself included, when asked to think about integrating topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion into our workplaces immediately go to a handful of areas: race, gender, physical disability, sexuality, and sexual orientation. In fact, until I was presented with the opportunity to write this article, I can say that I had never given much thought to applying diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in the workplace to the way people think. That realization came as a surprise, considering that I am a neurodivergent person.
So what does it mean to be neurodivergent? Neurodivergent is an umbrella term first coined in the 1980’s that embraces the natural range of variation in human brain function and processing. Essentially, neurodivergent individuals think and process information differently than the average, or neurotypical, person. People are neurodivergent if they have certain developmental, intellectual, learning, or mental health disabilities. Examples of well-known neurodiverse conditions include autism spectrum disorders, dyslexia, dyspraxia, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Some other conditions that can sometimes cause people to be neurodivergent are Tourette syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, and depression.