Neurodiversity and Learning

  • Person icon Siobhan Benson
  • Calendar icon 16 November 2023 13:33
Man learning on laptop

The workplace is filled with an abundance of people with their own unique characteristics. Mercia aims to cater for all diversities and differences by designing training programmes to support a range of neurodiversity.

In this blog we will explore the effects of neurodiversity and the corresponding training methods available at Mercia.


Neurodiversity in the Workplace

In the workplace we have nine protected characteristics: age, gender reassignment, marriage/civil partnership, pregnancy/maternity leave, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and disability. Disability encompasses those who not only have a physical disability but also those who think differently.

Neurodiversity recognises and celebrates the natural variation in human neurological traits and cognitive abilities. Neurodiversity influences the way people think, how people process, how people behave and how people learn.


Neurodiversity and Training 

An individual’s neurodivergence impacts the way that people learn new skills and acquire new knowledge. Despite this understanding, learning remains rigid and inflexible in many instances. This satisfies individuals who classify as neurotypical rather than neurodivergent.

The simplest way to explore this is to think back to school-aged learning. Schoolchildren are all expected to learn in the same way: hour-long lessons listening to a teacher describe the meaning behind the words of Shakespeare or differentiate the terms conduction, convection, and radiation. This uncompromising approach to learning does not consider those who may not thrive in that learning environment.


What is Mercia doing?

Mercia’s approach to learning is different. We have spent time researching the different methods of learning and identifying which strategies cater for different neurological needs. We found that dyslexic individuals tend to prefer visual learning styles, such as videos and animations, whilst individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) tend to prefer bite sized and micro-learning styles.

Dyslexic individuals have a preference towards images and diagrams over written or spoken language. Faster processing of images versus slower processing of language has been considered as one possible explanation for this.

Individuals with ADHD tend to prefer bite sized and micro-learning styles. In its simplest form, micro-learning addresses and overrides the limitations associated with short attention spans.


A Broader Perspective

Additionally, from a broader perspective – considering all learners, both neurotypical and neurodiverse – micro-learning aligns the learning or teaching style to the method of information consolidation currently practiced by most of the population. The content on smartphones (Snapchat, X, which was formerly known as Twitter, etc.) is typically delivered in bite size pieces; so, aligning learning with this cultural and technological shift will likely lead to better learning outcomes.

Inclusivity is a value we take very seriously at Mercia. We want all our clients to be able to take advantage of our services and feel welcomed when doing so. We have designed an inclusive learning environment with you in mind. The brain is an intricate organ and we not only welcome but also expect uniqueness within our client family.

Mercia’s training is available in a variety of forms to ensure that each and every one of you find something that not only suits your learning style but also ensures that you find enjoyment whilst venturing through your learning journey.

You might also be interested in these articles…