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Neurodiversity Celebration Week 2021

Posted by Dan Krishan
Posting date:3/16/2021 9:36 AM
While most people are considered ‘neurotypical’, it’s estimated that around one in seven of our job applicants, colleagues and clients are neurodivergent, meaning their brains function, learn and process information differently. Some of our staff are leading the way in creating a more inclusive environment for all neurotypes.



Helen Groves, architect director and National Education Sector Lead, explores the design measures that are likely to reduce stress levels, maintain wellbeing and, in turn, increase learning performance of neurodiverse school pupils. Stress can affect up to three times more neurodiverse pupils than neurotypical. Helen is chairing a discussion ‘Stress reduction by good design in SEN schools’ at the Atkins sponsored event, Inclusive Learning Environments. As part of the same conference, Atkins colleagues are both presenting and chairing a Round Table about Inclusive Design – sign up here: Inclusive Design - Inclusive Learning Environments Show

Steve Maslin, architect and NRAC registered access consultant, is Principal Inclusive Design Consultant, a transportation technical specialist and sits on the British Standards Institute’s steering group for Design for the Mind, having led the initiative soon after joining the BSI committee responsible for standards on accessible and inclusive built environments. This initiative, in the form of PAS 6463 Design for the Mind: Neurodiversity and the Built Environment is due to go to public consultation this summer. He also had a hand in updating BS8300:2018 Design of an accessible and inclusive built environment Parts 1 & 2 to reflect the subject of neurodiversity. Steve has also written articles and blogs on the subject of design for the mind, as well as speaking at conferences and giving university lectures. 



Atefeh Motamedi, strategic planner, co-founded Neurodiversity in Planning, a network that champions diversity of minds across the planning industry and aims to improve town planners’ awareness of neurodiversity and its importance in planning, design, research, and policy.  The network aims to encourage a mindset shift away from seeing neurodiversity as a flaw and bring the positive and often unique strengths of thinking differently into light. Atefeh is passionate about promoting diversity and inclusion and believes that as a town planner, she has the responsibility to encourage accessible and inclusive engagement and design for all, including neurodiversity. Atefeh leads on a series of ‘Design for Neurodiversity’ events, aiming to promote inclusive environments that can profoundly impact the people who occupy and experience them.



Mike Spain, principal consultant, founded NeuroCyber, an organisation set up to coordinate sector activity in developing accessible pathways and opportunity for those with a neurodiversity, to enrich the sector and thereby positively impact the cyber skills gap. NeuroCyber brings together and collaborates with leaders from government, industry, academia and third-sector organisations to better understand and support neurodiversity. With the NeuroCyber team, he is conducting research which investigates the blockers impacting skills development opportunities and employment in the cyber sector for neurodiverse individuals. This research will undertake a landscape map of the “as-is” to better understand the challenges across the country, provide a benchmark for the sector and propose where action is required to achieve a joined up, inclusive and sustainable pathway.

Find out more about our staff networks here

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