Neurodiversity Workplace health & safety

Neurodiverse Safe Work Initiative

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We offer a range of services, resources and education in the Neurodiversity space


The Neurodiverse Safe Work Initiative provides education, resources and tools that assist employers adapt their health and safety management systems to accommodate the different ways that all workers think, learn, process and retain information, regulate emotions and attention and perceive and respond to risk.

Our Mission

Motivating, empowering and supporting employers with education, resources and tools to create work that is healthy, safe and inclusive for the neurodiverse workforce.

About Neurodiversity

about neurodiversity image showing neurons

What is Neurodiversity and why is it important?

Neurodiversity (noun) means Neuro (neurological) + Diversity (difference) = Neurodiversity

It is the concept that there is a natural variation in the human brain that leads to differences in how we all think and behave.

Human beings are a diverse species. Just as there is diversity in ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and talent, so too there is diversity in neurological functioning. Just as no two people have the same bodies or fingerprints, so no two people have the same brain.

In fact, the only way that human beings are the same is that we are all different!

Some have argued that neurodiversity is a subset of biodiversity and that it is as essential to the survival of the human species as biodiversity is to the planet.


Neurotypical is the term used to describe the more common type of neurological development and functioning. It’s thought that 80-85% of the world’s population are neurotypical.


Neurodivergent is the term used to describe the less common type of neurological development and functioning. 15 – 20% of the world’s population is neurodivergent. Neurodivergent brains are structured and wired differently from neurotypical brains, and they work, think, learn, communicate, process information, regulate attention and emotion and perceive the world around them differently – (Doyle, 2020)

Neurodifferences include:


Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) – A condition characterized by difficulties with social communication and interactions and restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests and activities. There are three levels based on the severity of symptoms and care and support required by the individual.


Asperger’s Syndrome – A milder form of ASD (ASD Level 1). It was removed from the DSM-5 in 2013 and was incorporated into the diagnostic criteria for Autism. Some people still refer to their neurodivergence as Asperger’s or “Aspie”.


Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – A condition characterized by inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity. Symptoms must have been present before aged 12 and must impact two or more areas of a person’s life. There are three types:

  • predominantly inattentive type
  • predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type
  • combined type

Dyslexia – A condition characterized by difficulties with reading, writing and spelling.


Dyscalculia – A condition characterized by difficulties with mathematics, estimating distances, telling the time, remembering simple formulae such as percentages, adding, subtracting, dividing and multiplying.


Dysgraphia – A condition characterized by difficulties with written expression and handwriting.


Dyspraxia or Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD) – A condition characterised by difficulties with gross and fine movement and balance.


Tic Disorders – A tic is a sudden, rapid, recurrent, nonrhythmic motor movement or vocalization. Motor tics involve movements of the body and vocal tics involve sounds and/or words. There are two main types:

  • Tourette Syndrome (TS) – involves multiple motor tics and at least one vocal tic.
  • Chronic Tic Disorder (CTD) involved either motor or vocal tics. Both must occur several times a day and cause the individual distress and impairment.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – A condition characterized by a cycle of anxiety where obsessive and intrusive thoughts trigger repetitive behaviour or mental acts that temporarily relieve the person’s distress.

Even within these neurodivergent profiles, there are differences. Many people have a mixed bag of neurodivergent traits. Remember, no two brains are the same. Each person’s experience is unique, and each has various talents and abilities as well as challenges that make life difficult.

No amount of being told to try harder or masking our differences to try and conform to the neurotypical world makes neurodivergent brains work differently. Trying to fit in to a world that is designed to work for the neurotypical population often comes at an enormous cost to the mental and physical health of the minority who are not neurotypical.

The Neurodiversity Movement is a social movement, that grew from the work of Australian Sociologist Judy Singer in the 1990s, who originally conceived the term neurodiversity as a concept to change the disabling language commonly used to describe Autism to the language of inclusivity and an acceptance that all brains are unique and different. Autistic self-advocates have been joined by other neurodivergent activists and are collectively raising awareness and campaigning for change.

Rather than just an abnormality or disease that needs to be treated (the medical model), the Neurodiversity Movement advocates that whilst neurodivergent functioning can be a disabling for many, not everyone is affected in the same way and that neurodivergent functioning does not simply need to be tolerated and accepted but embraced and celebrated. Neurodivergent brains exist for a reason. We have abilities and some say “superpowers” that do not exist to the same degree in the neurotypical brain.

Catherine lee Director promoting Neurodiverse Safe Work Initiative

Our Address

PO Box 502
North Lakes Qld 4509



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