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As Diversity & Inclusion becomes more instilled across professional organizations, the topic of neurodiversity is being more openly discussed, especially when it comes to events.
What is neurodiversity? Per Harvard Health, “Neurodiversity describes the idea that people experience and interact with the world around them in many different ways; there is no one ‘right’ way of thinking, learning, and behaving, and differences are not viewed as deficits.” Per Neurodiversity Hub, around 1 in 5 people are neurodivergent.
While many events strive to bring people together, they may also be over-stimulating. Large crowds, continuous noises, back-to-back scheduling, harsh lighting, and more can be difficult to adapt to for days at a time. However, as event organizers, we have the opportunity to positively adjust our gatherings from the initial planning stages to be more inclusive, comfortable, and safe for everyone attending.
Here are a few resources from experts in this space who can help guide event organizers to think differently and more innovatively while planning their next event:
- The Neu Project: The Neu Project is a community that began at Google, working to inspire safe, thoughtful events and environments that allow all people to thrive. Their website offers how-to’s and resources such as “An Event Professional’s Guide to NeuroInclusion”
- How to Accommodate Event Attendees With Neurological Needs: This article by Skift Meetings provides an in-depth background on neurodiversity, along with 12 recommendations for designing neuro-inclusive events.
- Tips for Accommodating Neurodiverse Attendees at Your Next Event: This article by BizBash shares real-life examples that can be implemented, along with information about further learning and certifications.
If you have any additional resources or insight to share on this topic, we’d love to hear about it. Share your input in the comments section below.
This article was written by:
Sr. Program Manager, Audience Development Strategy Services
IEEE Meetings, Conferences & Events