UCL Human Resources


What Can UCL Do For Us?

What do we need neurotypical managers and neurotypical colleagues at UCL to know?
  • Some of us are performing under high anxiety to achieve the appearance of “coping well”
  • Some of us need to manage daily work on top of managing discrimination and ignorance from our colleagues
  • UK NHS services and support for neurodivergent are deficient. A diagnosis is only the first step to get any help if available.
  • Some of us have experienced years of discrimination and we may be in defence mode
  • Some of us are vulnerable to people that are disingenuous or exploiting
  • For some of us, the impairment is not immediately clear when a colleague is having difficulties
  • To be mindful of mainstream media that portrays and disseminates stereotypes and negative depictions of neurodivergent individuals
  • We may need very specific instructions for tasks
  • We may need extra explanations if something is worded vaguely or ambiguously
  • We are permanently trying to understand their ways of working and communicating; we respectfully expect the same from them
What do we need from our neurotypical managers and neurotypical colleagues at UCL?
  • To develop a tolerance of silence or and quiet pauses, as gaps of silence are needed to gather our thoughts during meetings and conversations
  • To be aware of the double empathy problem
  • To accept that sometimes it takes longer to do a task or process an idea, and that it takes longer to process the neurotypical ways of thinking
  • To accept our ways of working and approaching problems. Some of them could be based (unconsciously) on an effective compensation mechanism which may appear ineffective for neurotypical people
  • To consider neurodivergence when putting work teams together to leverage their strengths instead of enabling clashes. Bespoke management training will need to be developed to manage this.
  • To not represent autism with a puzzle symbol
What can UCL do for us?

Support us with broadening the offer of dedicated software on top of the accessibility features embedded in Office 365. E.g.

  • Dictation software. E.g. Otter
  • Spell and grammar checkers. E.g. Grammarly
  • Paraphrasing, Quiltbot

Equipment and office space support

  • Dedicated silent working areas (enclosed or open plan) for each building on campus
  • Soundproofed call booths for staff to take calls when in open plan offices
  • Standing desks
  • Soft furnishings for sitting and laying down
  • Dimmable lighting
  • Ability to turn off or cover fluorescent lighting
  • High quality active noise-cancelling headphones

Training and mentoring

  • All UCL staff to receive compulsory training on disability and neurodiversity
  • Training for neurotypical individuals on open-plan office etiquette
  • Planning and organisation
  • Time management
  • Communication
  • Compulsory training of managers and all HR staff on the expected flexibility of reasonable adjustments agreements with employees. Managers are advised to consider all evidence available to them when making decisions regarding any adjustments and should not solely rely upon Occupational Health guidance.
  • We encourage UCL to use interventions, resources, and training led by neurodivergent individuals.

Policies and processes

  • Perform risk assessments of policies and processes with a focus on neurodivergence in addition to disability and equality


  • Increase the representation of neurodivergent staff at UCL communications and events