Neurodiversity Index

Do you have the right tools to attract Neurodiverse learners and talent?

What is the Neurodiversity Index?

At Cognassist, our mission is simple: to make sure no learner is left behind.

We’ve created the Neurodiversity Index to help all learning providers improve their ability to attract neurodiverse talent and learners.

To make sure organisations are best equipped to attract neurodiverse talent and break down the barriers to success these learners face on a daily basis. We evaluated the top 50 apprenticeship providers in the UK to bring this to life – and to show there is still work to be done.

Our index is created by asking key questions that focus on three core parameters: vision, user experience and neurodiversity awareness.

The Big 3

Vision

Does the provider clearly demonstrate they’re passionate about building a diverse and inclusive workforce? Do they cater for accessibility? And do they have a statement of disability confidence?

User Experience

Is the providers website genuinely accessible? Do they have a variety of engagement channels? Does their website cater for neurodiverse learners?

Neurodiversity Awareness

Does the provider use inclusive terminology? Do they have case studies of neurodiverse learners? And do they mention tools and support for the learners who need it?

The Neurodiversity Index

 

Methodology

We created an index of best practice parameters, informed by our science team, about the tools needed to cater to the needs of neurodiverse learners, and scored each provider based on the number of tools included within their online application process.

The audit was separated into three overarching parameters: vision, user experience and awareness.

Vision referred to the steps taken to show that neurodiversity, accessibility, disability and diversity are championed by the company.

User experience referred to the design steps taken to ensure a site is accessible to learners with different needs.

Awareness referred to the steps taken to demonstrate that neurodiverse learners are seen and promoted to help embrace diversity and be more inclusive.

Within each parameter were a number of different tools that Cognassist considers important to include in order to adequately show steps taken.

The team then ran an assessment of the application journey and marked whether each of these tools were present. The results were then analysed, with the providers ranked from best at adhering to best practice to worst (least compliant). Trends were then also uncovered; for example, that when accessibility statements were missing the user experience tended to be worse.

What does it mean?

Our data shows that 1 in 3 apprentices are neurodiverse and requires support.

At Cognassist, removing barriers to education and learning is of the upmost importance. We genuinely believe that by acting together we can remove these barriers and enable every learner to reach their full potential.

By evaluating the top 50 apprenticeship providers in the UK, we hope to expand awareness and improve the impact that all providers can have on neurodiverse learners – by removing barriers at the first step of the journey.

You’ll notice we’ve not ranked the results.

Because it isn’t about ranking which provider is the best or the gaps any individual provider might have.

It’s about understanding that all of us in the sector are responsible for driving real change.

For us and for the learners that slip through the cracks.

How to attract Neurodiverse talent: checklist

Download the checklist and start your journey to improving diversity and inclusion in your organisation.