New Industry Survey Highlights State of Neurodiversity and Inclusivity in U.S. Companies

Results show correlation between company support of neurodivergent employees and overall higher employee retention and loyalty.

Texthelp releases new industry paper sharing best practices to improve neurodiversity understanding and support.

Woburn, MA — August 30, 2022 — Today, Texthelp, a global leader in inclusive technology, released new industry survey results that reveal perceptions of neurodiversity inclusion in the workplace. The survey was conducted in July 2022 and reflects responses from 1,000 individuals across the US. These individuals were made up of 500 neurodivergent employees and 500 neurotypical employees from a wide number of organizations. Of the neurodivergent respondents, 53% have Dyslexia, 47% Autism, 18% ADHD, 12% Dyspraxia, 4% Dyscalculia, and 1% Other, including OCD, Dysgraphia, and ADD. Texthelp also released its latest industry paper titled, Workplace inclusion: Building the case for neurodiversity and creating inclusive experiences for all”. The paper was authored in partnership with Disability:IN and explores the benefits of, and best practices for, creating a neuro-inclusive workplace.

Inclusion of neurodivergence in the workplace has made progress, but there is still more work to do. Many neurodivergent individuals continue to experience stigma and barriers at work. In fact, Texthelp's research reveals that 61% of neurodivergent respondents have experienced stigma or feeling misunderstood at some point during their career. Furthermore, 34% have experienced difficulty in recruitment and interview processes, and 32% have experienced lack of career progression. By considering neurodiversity in inclusion practices, we can create a workplace where all workers can contribute and feel valued. It's not only the right thing to do, it’s also good for business. Companies that embrace neurodiversity and actively support neurodivergent employees are more likely to have higher employee retention. They're also more likely to attract a more diverse talent pool.

“Our goal is that everyone feels welcome and valued in every workplace they enter. We believe that this is an important part of everyone’s future,” said Martin McKay, CEO of Texthelp. “Companies large and small have the ability to create positive change for themselves and their workforce by supporting a diverse range of people. Creating a workplace culture where all employees feel accepted and able to embrace and elevate their unique skills and ideas is not only good practice, it’s good for business." 

Key results from the survey include:

Awareness of Neurodiversity Is Low

  • Only 12% of the neurodivergent and 5% of neurotypical respondents are aware that 1 in 5 people are neurodivergent.
  • Most people (over 91% of those surveyed) lack awareness of how common neurodiversity is. Most people work amongst neurodivergent people everyday without realizing it. When we’re aware that everyone has different ways of thinking, working, and learning, we’re more likely to be understanding and inclusive in our own actions and interactions. For example, 56% of neurodivergent respondents have experienced communication barriers at work. Raising awareness could help to reduce some of the challenges experienced in the workplace.

Employees Value Employers That Are Inclusive

  • 93% of neurodivergent employees would be more likely to apply to, or continue to work for, a company that was supporting neurodivergent employees well. 63% of neurotypical respondents said the same.

Progress Has Been Made, But There Is More To Do

  • 64% of neurodivergent respondents believe their organization could be doing more to support neurodiversity in the workplace. 52% of neurotypical respondents felt the same.

Here are 5 different ways employers can support neurodivergent employees:

  1. Create more awareness and training about neurodiversity. Provide neurodiversity awareness training for colleagues to improve understanding and reduce negative misconceptions.
  2. Develop support networks for neurodivergent employees. Create an employee support group for neurodivergent employees to join and create a community within the company
  3. Be proactive and have empathy. Develop programs that support neurodivergent employees and understand that their processes in the workplace may be different than others.
  4. Create an inclusive environment. Provide inclusive technology tools to all employees, so it becomes common practice to use these tools. That way, no one feels obligated to disclose their diagnosis.
  5. Employ more neurodivergent people. Provide training to HR professionals on best practices in creating an inclusive hiring process. This will go a long way in hiring neurodivergent people, and supporting them right from the start.

Texthelp's Founder and CEO, Martin McKay, and Jill Houghton, President and Chief Executive Officer of Disability:IN, authored the new industry report. Together, they share the importance of creating and maintaining inclusive workplace environments for all individuals. To learn more about creating an inclusive workplace and best practices in doing so, download the full report.

“The greatest resource we have is our people, and our culture starts inside by cultivating a diverse range of perspectives. We must promote and embrace diversity and provide all of the necessary resources to create a sense of belonging in the workplace and to improve equity and inclusion for all,” said Houghton.

Download the whitepaper to read more.

About Texthelp

Founded in 1996, the Texthelp Group is a global technology company helping people all over the world to understand and to be understood. It has led the way in creating innovative technology for the education and workplace sectors for the last three decades.

Texthelp believes in a world where difference, disability or language are no longer barriers. It is focused on helping all people learn, understand, and communicate through the use of digital education and accessibility tools.

With over 50 million users worldwide, the Texthelp suite of products includes Read&Write, Equatio®, WriQ®, OrbitNote®, ReachDeck® and FluencyTutor® which work alongside existing platforms such as Microsoft Office and G-suite, enabling them to be integrated quickly into any classroom or workplace with ease.

In 2021, Texthelp acquired the Lingit Group, Wizkids and Don Johnston Inc. By combining capabilities and knowledge across the group, Texthelp can now provide a whole suite of literacy and numeracy support to a greater number of end-users across more geographies.