OHAC uses cookies to give you the best experience on our websites. By using this site you agree to our use of cookies as described in this Privacy Policy. Click here to remove this message.

Accessibility in the Workplace – Designing for Neurodiversity

Earlier this year, HOK, a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm, released a publication titled “Designing a Neurodiverse Workplace”. The publication highlights and addresses considerations which should be made when designing a workplace to ensure it is suitable to meet the needs of people with a neurodiversity.

The publication includes accounts of leading companies working to attract and retain neurodiversity within their workforce – companies such as; Microsoft, Google, JPMorgan Chase and EY. These firms have been able to achieve neurodiverse workplaces through various methods, including; hosting an annual “Ability Summit”, or setting up specialised training groups for autistic employees. The U.S. Job Accommodation Network (JAN) conducted a survey of employers and found that more than half of typical reasonable accommodation adjustments required for employees were at no additional cost, while the remaining requirements came to an average cost of $500.

HOK states, in their publication, that the six key areas that should be considered when designing neurodiverse spaces are:

With these areas in mind, HOK have a prepared Design Strategies and Operation Changes lists to aid designers and employers.

The Design Strategies List focuses on the built environment and includes:

The Operational Strategies List contains management recommendations such as:

Considering neurodiversity should become an intrinsic part of the of designing an accessible workplace, as. it is estimated 15- to 20% of the population live with neurodiverse conditions, such as; Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, etc. These considerations can also benefit the one in four neurotypical people will experience a health challenged in their lifetime. Companies are now recognising the need to design spaces for neurodiversity in order to retain talented team members, giving the firm a competitive advantage in their respective markets.

For further information on the Designing a Neurodiverse Workplace publication by HOK, click here.

Alternatively, if you need further information on how to make facilities or services more accessible and inclusive, please do not hesitate to contact one of our team on (01) 415 12 85 or e-mail [email protected].