Why does Australia need the Neurodiversity Workplace Profiler?

A question I am often asked when speaking with employers, human resources and occupational health and safety professionals is whether there is a need to screen workers for neurodivergence.

It is a question that is usually well intentioned. If workers who are struggling at work because they think and function differently, then screening for neurodivergence can give both the employer and the workers the answers they need to be able to move forward.

A request from a worker for reasonable adjustments to their work under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (the DDA) can be a source of concern and confusion for employers, especially when the worker’s disability is hidden.

Neurodiversity Workplace Profiler

Installing a ramp for a person with mobility challenges, or captioning phones for the hearing impaired are straightforward enough. But what if the worker says they have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Autism, Dyslexia or any of the other neurodivergent traits?

What if the last person with ADHD asked for noise-cancelling headphones but the current worker does not, and instead is requesting flexible work arrangements to allow them to adjust to medication or a sleep disorder?

What if the worker does not have a formal diagnosis yet or has overlapping neurodivergent traits such as ADHD and Dyslexia together, or Autism and ADHD together?

Humans are all different. Just as there is diversity in ethnicity, gender and sexual identity, so too there is diversity of thought and neurocognitive functioning (neurodiversity).

It is estimated that between 15 – 20% (1:5) of the global population thinks and functions differently (neurodivergent) from the more common type of functioning (neurotypical).  

People who have one type of neurodivergence such as Autism often have others, such as ADHD and Dyslexia with overlapping or even competing traits.

This can make diagnosis and management difficult.

Sadly for many neurodivergent workers, a shortage of qualified medical specialists and the often lengthy and costly diagnostic processes can put a formal assessment and diagnosis out of reach and so they continue to manage their challenges alone and without the adjustments to their work that they need.

Without a diagnosis it is difficult for employers to know what adjustments workers need to help them perform work safely. Employers are often reluctant to adjust the work without having proof that the worker genuinely requires them and some specific instruction about what is required. Technically they do not have to until the worker can demonstrate that they have a disability as defined by the DDA.

It can all seem like a bit of an industrial minefield for employers, and it contributes to Australia’s high disability unemployment rate.

It is also one of the reasons why neurodivergent workers usually do not disclose their challenges to their employer. They face discrimination and judgement if they are diagnosed and disclose it to their neurodivergence to their employer. But without a diagnosis and then disclosure, the employer is unable or unwilling to make the adjustments to the work that would allow them to work safely and productively.

The Neurodiversity Workplace Profiler is designed to fill this gap.

First let me clarify the difference between “screening” and “profiling”.

SCREENING – When we think about “screening” in the employment context we usually think about the routine screening that is carried out as part of the recruitment and selection process to make sure that the preferred candidate is either fit to perform the essential requirements of the role (pre-employment health screening), or that the preferred candidate has the desired personality and psychometric makeup to be able to perform in the role (e.g., psychometric screening).

But in fact, the entire recruitment and selection process is a screening process.  It is designed to screen candidates’ qualifications, experience and professional references against the requirements of the position.

In other words, screening is a process of methodically examining individuals to separate them into defined groups. We either screen individuals in or out of the group.

This may be the successful and the unsuccessful applicants for the job, or it may be that a person who screens as an extraverted, intuitive, thinking and prospecting (ENTP) type will be placed in a team with an introverted, intuitive, thinking judging (INTJ) type to optimise the performance of that team.

There will always be a need to screen workers at recruitment to make sure the employer engages the people who can do the job safely. Screening is by nature a discriminatory process. But this form of discrimination is both lawful and necessary.

For workers who perform safety critical roles, such as those in the transportation, mining, oil and gas, construction industries it is necessary to medically screen workers for various medical conditions and periodically during employment in order to manage risk.

There is nothing unusual or unlawful about this form of discrimination either, providing the employer can demonstrate the link between the essential requirements of the role and the worker’s ability to perform those requirements safely, given their disclosed medical condition(s).

This may also apply to neurodivergent workers who’s unique thinking and functioning style exposes them to increased risk at work. But medically screening for neurodivergent conditions in order to eliminate them from certain roles is a fruitless and inherently discriminatory process because no two people are the same.
For example, it is reasonable to eliminate people with asthma, diabetes, hearing or vision disorders, including colour blindness from certain high-risk occupations such as firefighting, driving or flying. This is because people with these medical conditions are at higher risk if injury given the known hazards of the work, or the consequences of their medical condition may create risk for others.

But it is not so black and white for neurodivergent individuals because the experience of Autism, ADHD, dyslexia etc., is different for everyone, and most have more than one type of neurodivergence.

Not all people with Autism will have sensory processing differences that preclude them from wearing respiratory protection and so a screening process that eliminates Autistic workers from work that requires them to wear respiratory protection is discriminatory.

Not all people with ADHD find it difficult to maintain concentration when there is background noise. It depends on the work they are performing and the type of background noise. So, a screening process that eliminates all ADHD workers from environments with background noise is also discriminatory.

If the goal is to manage and reduce risk, it is important to understand the person’s unique thinking and functioning, strengths, abilities and challenges and how these impact on their ability to perform their work safely, given the unique risks and challenges of every role in every workplace.

A one-size-fits-all neurodiversity screening process is never going to be effective in achieving this goal.

PROFILING is the process of recording and analyzing a person’s psychological and/or behavioural characteristics, to assess or predict their capabilities in a certain sphere or to assist in identifying categories of people.

So, for example, consumer profiling is used as a marketing strategy and uses data such as age, gender, location, socioeconomic background etc., to create a picture of the ideal customer who will interact with a product or service. This information is then used to tailor a marketing campaign that targets the ideal customer in a way that will attract their attention to the product or service.

Unlike screening which is designed to determine which people will be included or excluded from the group (the workplace, the team etc), profiling maps out the individual’s unique characteristics, traits and tendencies and from that builds a picture of what they need to perform at their best or how they can be expected to respond in given situations.

Understanding an individual’s unique neurological thinking and functioning profile can help both the worker and the employer manage the worker’s performance and safety at work. Not only can the employer identify and manage the activities that challenge the worker but also the unique talents and abilities that neurodivergent workers bring to the workplace.

Neuroinclusive employers consistently report improvements in innovative capabilities, reputational enhancement and greater worker, client and customer engagement.

What is Neurodiversity Workplace Profiler?

The Neurodiversity Workplace Profiler maps a person’s unique characteristics to inform the recruitment and selection process and strengthen individual and team performance capability. It can also help to identify those unique characteristics that may cause the neurodivergent worker to perceive and respond to risk in the workplace differently from others.

The Neurodiversity Workplace Profiler is unique. With a strong evidence base of more than 20 years of multidisciplinary clinical research in neurodiversity, it has been designed to take a person-centered approach to analyze the person’s overall strengths and challenges across a range of cognitive areas as well as considering each person’s wellbeing, whether there is a formal diagnosis or not.
It can be used by workers and employers to understand how workers think and function and helps to inform them in identifying adjustments to work so that the worker can perform work safely and to decide on controls necessary to reduce the risks of work that may be experienced differently by a worker who is neurodivergent.

Why use Neurodiversity Workplace Profiler?

The Neurodiversity Workplace Profiler produces an individualised report that provides personalised guidance, practical workplace tools and resources in the context of neurodivergent traits. These may be associated with:


  • Dyslexia (reading, spelling and writing)
  • Dyspraxia/Developmental Coordination Disorder (co-ordination)
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) (attention, concentration and impulsivity)
  • Autism Spectrum Conditions or Disorders (ASC/ASD) (social, sensory, language and communication)
  • Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) (speech, language and communication difficulties) and
  • Dyscalculia (Maths).

Who is Neurodiversity Workplace Profiler for?

The Neurodiversity Workplace Profiler is designed for individuals in the workplace, small businesses and workplace assessors. It provides the person and the organisation/assessor with a better understanding of their strengths and challenges that could be associated with neurodivergent traits and conditions.

How can the report help?

The Neurodiversity Workplace Profiler contains four assessment modules that screen for neurodivergent, wellbeing strengths and challenges and workplace adjustment needs. It produces an individualised report that provides guidance, practical workplace tools (including the “Work with Me Passport”) and resources in the context of neurodivergent traits. 

The report can be used as a starting point for an individual to understand how to maximize strengths and minimize challenges. It can be used to start a conversation with others in the workplace or to initiate further in-depth assessments if required and it can be used to inform the risk management Professional Coaching processes.

Who are Do-IT Solutions?

Founded by Professor Amanda Kirby (MBBS MRCGP PhD) Do-IT Solutions is a global leader in Neurodiversity Screening and Assessment and provides innovative, evidence-based and stable online products that help organizations and individuals improve inclusivity and performance.

When will it be available in Australia?

The Neurodiverse Safe Work Initiative is collaborating with Professor Amanda Kirby and Do-IT Solutions in the UK to bring the Australian version of the Neurodiversity Workplace Profiler to the Australian market in February 2023. 

The Neurodiverse Safe Work Initiative will initially deliver the Neurodiversity Workplace Profiler within Professional Coaching Programs to support neurodivergent workers in identifying and capitalizing on their strengths and explore the areas that challenge them. Through Professional Coaching we work with workers to find solutions that are effective in improving functioning and quality of life. 

It will also soon be available to people as a stand-alone product for those that do not need or want Professional Coaching support. 

To find out more and register your interest in accessing the Neurodiversity Workplace Profiler, contact us at hello@neurodiversesafework.com.au or connect with us via our website at www.neurodiversesafework.com.au.

Our Address

PO Box 502
North Lakes Qld 4509



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