National Inclusion Week was first set up 10 years ago, aiming to show organisations the benefit of inclusive and diverse workforces. This is at the heart of our work in the Treat Me Right! Team.
Our team offers training, advice and consultancy on how to make organisations, public spaces and information more accessible to people.
Every member of our team is neurodivergent, which means that we all have different kinds of minds to most people. To be neurodivergent is to have a condition that affects the way we process information, regulate our emotions or the way we think. This means that every single one of us has a unique perspective and our own unique ways of doing things. We may share diagnoses with some people, but it is our lives, experiences and individual identities that mean that every single member of our team offers something unique.
This year’s theme:
The theme of Inclusion Week this year is “The Power of Now”. What better way to celebrate, than to think about ways that you can make your team more inclusive today. We don’t just support people with different kinds of minds, we work alongside them too!
- Say what you mean. I think we’d all like to think we say what we mean, but there are some phrases and sayings that are confusing. Think about not using phrases like “I’ll be back in a second” when you mean you’ll be back soon, or starting a request with “Would you…?” Or “Please…” instead of “can you…?”
- Give people important information in more than one way. Some people will need to hear it, some people will need to read it. Some people will need time to process it, some people might need to experience it. The more ways you can share information, the more likely it is that it will be understood
- Have a conversation about what everyone on the team needs to bring their best selves to work. We all have needs and preferences and if we all talk about them, it makes it much easier for your colleagues to ask for what they need
- If someone is responding in a way that we might not expect, try to gently find out why. It is easy to make assumptions about people and how they’re coming across to us without thinking about why. An example of this is when people find eye contact difficult, but in some cultures, it’s a sign of rudeness and others a sign of respect. We don’t know which it is without understanding the person
- There are people who may be very uncomfortable with grey areas, or what they see as bending the rules. For example, if someone says they need to leave early and they are told to “make it up whenever”, we may think we are doing them a favour, but it may cause a lot of anxiety!
- Remember that diversity is strength. When we welcome and include colleagues with different kinds of minds, we get a unique perspective, just like any other kind of diversity.
And if our team sounds like your kind of team… why not join us?
We are currently advertising for a Quality Check Co-ordinator managing people an inclusive team of people who will audit the support Certitude provides. If this sounds like the role for you, you can apply here or contact Helen Watkins directly for further details.