Welcome to another edition of our newsletter, where we share with you the latest news and updates from The Neurodiverse Safe Work Initiative. We are a social enterprise that aims to promote and support the safety, health and well-being of neurodivergent workers in Australia. We provide education, resources and support for employers to motivate and empower them to create safe, healthy and inclusive work for the neurodiverse workforce.

In this issue we will cover –

  1. Our response to the feedback we received from our previous newsletter about the Senate Inquiry into the Assessment and Support Services for people with ADHD and an update on that.
  2. Our Neurodiverse Safe Work Self-Assessment tool, a free resource for employers who want to make their workplaces more inclusive and accessible for neurodivergent workers.
  3. News about the ND Workplace Profiler and Coaching Packages.
  4. October is Mental Health Awareness Month – what does that have to do with neurodiversity?
  5. Products and resources that we’ve been using and want to tell you about.
Get in touch

We want to thank everyone who got in touch with us after reading our last newsletter, where we discussed the current Senate Inquiry into the Assessment and Support Services for people with ADHD. We were amazed by the amount of feedback we received, both positive and negative, and we appreciate your honesty and engagement. The next Public Hearing will be held in Melbourne on 26 September 2023.

Many of you agreed with our observation that the Inquiry does not give enough consideration to the working lives of adults with ADHD, or the education, support, tools and resources employers need to be able to help them. You shared with us your personal stories, challenges and successes of living and working with ADHD, and how you cope with the stigma and discrimination that still exists in many workplaces. You also expressed your hopes and fears for the future of people with ADHD in Australia, and whether the Inquiry will bring about any real change or improvement.

We hear you, and we share your concerns. The Neurodiverse Safe Work Initiative is proud to be working in this space with a particular focus on safety for neurodivergent workers. We believe that everyone deserves to work in a safe, healthy and respectful environment, regardless of their neurotype. We also believe that neurodiversity is a strength, not a weakness and that neurodivergent workers can bring unique skills, perspectives and creativity to their workplaces.

That’s why we are committed to raising awareness, providing education and advocating for change on behalf of neurodivergent workers and their employers. We want to see more workplaces that embrace neurodiversity, that provide reasonable adjustments and accommodations for neurodivergent workers, and that foster a culture of inclusion and belonging.

One of the ways we do this is by creating and sharing useful tools and resources that can help employers improve their practices and policies towards neurodivergent workers. This brings us to our next topic…

neurodiverse safe work initiative

Have you seen our Neurodiverse Safe Work Self-Assessment tool? This is a free resource that we have developed specifically for employers who are interested in making their workplaces more accessible, safe and healthy for neurodivergent workers. It is available as a free download from our website – here.

The tool consists of a series of statements that cover different aspects of workplace safety, such as leadership, physical environment, communication and consultation, work organisation, performance management, training and development, support and mentoring, feedback and recognition, diversity and inclusion, etc.

The purpose of the tool is to help employers assess the maturity of their neurodiverse safe work culture and systems in their organisation, from beginning, emerging, enabling and through to improving and excelling.

On the reverse side of the Checklist is a simple planning tool to motivate action in the identified gaps, allocate responsibilities and set a timeframe for completion.

The tool is not meant to be a comprehensive or definitive assessment of workplace safety for neurodivergent workers. Rather, it is a starting point for employers to reflect on their current situation, to raise their awareness of the issues and opportunities they may encounter, and to inspire them to act towards positive change.

We have received some great feedback about this tool from employers who have used it so far. Here are some examples:

“Thank you for this. It’s a really helpful tool to help us plan the next steps on our journey towards becoming a more neurodiverse friendly employer.”

“Wow! Lots of good information here. We’re just in the beginning stage of creating a more inclusive workplace for our neurodivergent staff, but now I can see where we need to be in the future.”

“This is really simple and user-friendly. Thank you! It made me realize that we are already doing some things right, but also that we have a lot of room for improvement.”

If you are an employer who wants to make your workplace more neurodiverse-safe, we encourage you to download our tool and give it a try. You may be surprised by what you discover!

Also, check out our Neurodiversity Workplace Profiler and Coaching Packages and get in touch if you’d like to know more. We have a special limited-time introductory offer available now until the end of October so BOOK NOW if you don’t want to miss out. 

neurodiverse safe work initiative

October is Mental Health Awareness Month in Australia. This is such an important and relevant topic to discuss in the context of neurodiversity. Neurodiversity is increasingly being viewed through the social model of disability that views the individual not as diseased or dysfunctional but as different, with different needs and abilities.

We are all different and neurodiversity is another form of human variation. The most typical form of human neurological functioning present in 80 – 85% of the global population is known as neurotypical and those whose functioning diverges to varying degrees and in a different way from the typical are neurodivergent. They make up 15 – 20% of the global population and 65% of those are of working age.

Most neurodivergent people have more than one type of neurodivergence, and this can cause overlapping and sometimes competing traits. This leads to many challenges, especially in a society that is not always understanding of different ways of being. Many neurodivergent people face stigma, discrimination, and barriers to accessing education, employment, health care, and social support. These factors can contribute to increased stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues among neurodiverse individuals.

According to Psychology Today Australia, there is extensive evidence of greater rates of depression and anxiety co-occurring with autism, dyspraxia, and ADHD. Autism has also been associated with higher rates of eating disorders, gender dysphoria, mood disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, personality disorders, schizophrenia, and substance misuse disorders. Some of these links are explained by genetic factors, while others are influenced by environmental and social factors.

Neurodivergent traits are often misdiagnosed as mental health conditions and then incorrectly treated with medication or therapy that does not address the underlying neurodivergence. This can lead to harmful outcomes such as worsening symptoms, side effects, or loss of identity. Conversely, identifying, acknowledging and learning to manage the underlying neurodivergence can also result in improvements in the person’s mental health.

If this article has triggered any upsetting emotions for you, please reach out and ask for help at:




Finally, I rarely share Product Information but recently I have been using a couple of apps that I’ve found helpful in managing my own neurodivergent challenges.

  • Endel provides personalised and adaptive soundscapes that I find help to still the restless, chattering monkeys in my mind and help me rest, focus, sleep, exercise and relax. The app is available on a free 7-day trial from all the major app providers. I love the biofeedback technology that’s built into it and the integration it offers.
  • Balance has completely changed my mind about meditation and mindfulness. Like many people with ADHD, I have always felt that my mind is way too busy to sit still and meditate. But this app trains you in different meditation skills and builds up your capacity in small chunks over time. Each day you answer some short questions about how you’re feeling and what you want to achieve that day, and then it designs a personalised meditation for you.


That’s all for now folks! Keep in touch and stay well til next time.

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