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Excluded, neurodiverse students face barriers to graduate schemes

Employers can't argue that it is too expensive to make their workplace accessible to all their employees.

As a fourth year, I have begun the hunt for graduate job opportunities, to give me as many options as possible.

However, I have discovered that the traditional methods used by many graduate schemes and internships, discriminates against neurodiverse applicants.

As neurodiverse students, people must put in twice the time and effort to achieve their degree. They must work twice as hard to get the same grades as their peers. And they must overcome twice as many barriers that society places in their path.

Neurodiversity-image-for-blog_1

Credit: Sue Larkey blog

Firstly, graduate schemes love to use psychometric tests such as numerical or verbal reason. These attempt to place applicants into a predetermined, perfectly square box.

However, this very inflexible recruitment process overlooks the many advantages and positive attributes that neurodivergent thinkers can bring to employers. These include creativity, the ability to look at the bigger picture when problem-solving as well as reaching unique solutions by diverting from more logical thought patterns.

However, some companies have made a significant effort to make their organisations somewhere more inclusive. Microsoft has even gone as far as to create a free online course about dyslexia to foster a sense of belonging where neurodiverse employees feel understood and supported.

Sometimes these workplace adjustments can be as simple as a pair of noise-cancelling headphones or a dimmable desk lamp. Therefore, employers can’t argue that it is too expensive to make their workplace accessible to all their employees.

Featured image credit: Invisible Disabilities Association

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