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PCS Disability Matters: 'Become a PCS Neurodiversity Champion'

Submitted by Janine on 19 December 2016 at 19:27

From PCS Disability Matters newsletter, issue 2, 2016

It is increasingly recognised that there are an enormous variety of different ways our human brains are ‘wired’. One of the ways this ‘neurological diversity’ finds expression is in a range of conditions such as those on the autism ‘spectrum’ (Aspergers, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, AD(H)D, Tourette’s Syndrome and others).

A motion passed at the PCS Annual Delegate Conference in May 2016 stated “...a wideranging spectrum of disorders and disabilities that are considered ‘hidden’ or ‘invisible’…will affect a large amount of PCS’ membership, including ordinary members, workplace representatives and union advocates…”. The motion asked PCS to explore the possibility of establishing PCS neurodiversity champions “…to campaign and advocate for the rights of our neurodiverse members in their workplaces”.

With this aim in mind, PCS is launching a new (2-day) course on “neurodiversity in the workplace” in 2017. The training has been developed for PCS by Janine Booth, an experienced trade unionist, and author of the book Autism Equality in the Workplace, and a TUC guide on the subject.

As well as encouraging an ‘awareness’ of the subject, the course will equip attendees with the confidence to represent members effectively and to campaign and organise for a fairer deal in the workplace for, and with, members with disabilities. The ADC motion recommended that “these champions should preferably themselves have a neurodiverse condition”, though the course is open to all members, and will be a good way by which a member can become more active in their PCS branch.

The first courses are planned for PCS Midlands and Northern regions in February 2017, and dates will shortly be established in all other PCS regions and nations.

Please get in touch with your regional office (see here: http:// to find out about your local course dates… and become a PCS neurodiversity champion for your branch.

Keith Johnston
PCS Education and Learning Officer