Neurodiversity policy

Why neurodiversity matters to us at Beyond Words

We believe that awareness of neurodiversity (the variation in our thinking styles) means we can better support all team members and also pave the way for greater creativity and innovation. We need to be aware of, and understand, everyone's individual strengths, and how we collectively harness them.

Neurodiversity refers to the different ways the brain can work and interpret information. No two brains are the same and there is no ‘normal’ brain type. It’s estimated that around 1 in 7 people in the UK are ‘neurodivergent’ (1), meaning that the brain functions, learns and processes information differently.

We want everyone, neurodivergent and otherwise, to feel included, motivated and able to be their true selves at Beyond Words.

What this policy covers

This policy looks at how we can best support neurodivergent people to be comfortable and successful at work. We aim to proactively identify and remove barriers to work for everyone.

Team awareness and values

  • We provide neurodiversity awareness training for all employees.
  • Any team member can take part in our diversity and inclusion discussions and play an active part in shaping our diversity and inclusion agenda.
  • If someone discloses their neurodivergence, we ask if they want others in the organisation to know and keep it confidential if not.
  • We make it clear on the Beyond Words website and social media channels that we welcome different thinking styles in our organisation.
  • We consider that some of our clients may also be neurodivergent.

Hiring practices

  • We have inclusive job descriptions that avoid generic and cliched requirements such as ‘confident communicator’ or ‘highly organised’, if these skills aren’t essential.
  • We provide a neuro-inclusive interview guidance document to all hiring managers to help them make sure the process is clear, adjustments are offered, and appropriate information is provided in advance. This includes:
    - Directions to the location of the interview and photographs of the entrance of the building.
    - A check that the interviewee is happy with the location of the interview.
    - The procedure for arriving at the interview location.
    - The names of the people who will be interviewing (with photographs) and information about what their role will be during the interview.
    - A clear timetable of events during the allocated interview time.
  • We share the majority of interview questions in advance.
  • We offer the option to have written-only interviews in certain circumstances.


  • Before new employees start, we provide a video walk-through of the studio and what it’s like to work here.
  • We provide a new starter guide on the Beyond Words intranet that covers commonly used terms, what people do for lunch, typical working times, and other company culture.
  • We offer a buddy system, pairing neurodiverse employees with colleagues who can provide assistance and answer questions.
  • We ask the new employee about any adjustment needs using a workspace preference questionnaire. And we make it clear what equipment can be requested.
  • We work to understand individual challenges and strengths, using the following methods:
    - Visual strengths exercise
    - Manual of me (working styles, feedback preferences, communication styles)

The working environment

  • We offer a hybrid working environment where possible (if you're in a country which has a Beyond Words studio), where you can split your time between the studio and home.
  • Working hours are seven hours a day, broken up by an hour for lunch and regular short breaks.
  • We offer flexible start and end times to the working day.
  • We encourage the use of noise-cancelling headphones if they help improve focus.
  • We offer the option to have equipment to aid personal organisation, such as trays and filing drawers.
  • We offer inclusive technology options - like colour filters for screens or assistive text software.
  • We can provide written summaries of meetings or allow for recordings of meetings.
  • We have a ‘Red flag’ policy – this is a safe word to mention to the Managing Partner or your line manager if your workload is at risk of being too much / causing you stress.

Career progression

  • Line managers schedule regular 1-1s with their reports to discuss projects, training and career progression. The employee’s preferred location or call format for 1-1s is taken into account.
  • Appraisals are based on the individual and their performance and are qualitative rather than quantitative to accommodate different working styles.
  • We have a resourcing board for the whole team that we use when deciding who to assign projects to balance the workload across the team and ensure everyone gets a variety of project experience.

Management practices

  • We encourage clear and direct communication among team members.
  • We have multiple options for communication, such as Slack, Google Meet calls (with or without a camera), email and in-person meetings.
  • We give as much notice as possible of meetings going in and of schedule changes to meetings.
  • We attempt to avoid last-minute requests and try to avoid asking employees to quickly absorb and respond to new information. We provide time and support when change is unavoidable.
  • We allow for extra time on projects for people with neurodiverse needs.
  • We make clear any project deadlines.
  • We try to understand and adapt to different working styles (e.g. preferences to be immersed in one project or work on a variety of projects at once).

Beyond Words Studio Ltd will continuously monitor, review and evaluate the effectiveness of these policies. We will also seek feedback from the team to identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments to better support individuals with needs related to neurodiversity.

(1) Source: British Dyslexia Association, Code of Practice for Employers, 2018

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