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Neurodiversity and Disabilities – Blocks and barriers to employment

As a company that employs people with disabilities, offering employability skills and work experience to these people, we often see and hear of struggles and barriers in the way of them achieving paid work.

I was interested in finding out more about these barriers, so I recently reached out on social media for feedback from people with visible/invisible disabilities, learning disabilities, learning difficulties, Autism and Aspergers to try to understand what blocks and barriers they have experienced when finding work or attending interviews.

Below is just some of the feedback we received…

Key points from feedback – (experiences in interviews/job searches)

  • Knowledge and understanding usually lacking from the person interviewing
  • Face to Face interviews and panels with multiple people is excruciating and stressful for some Autistic people
  • Not knowing questions in advance creates stress and theoretical questions are hard to answer sometimes
  • Hard to absorb a lot of verbal information
  • Feeling like you have to hide who you are/mask symptoms to be on par with able bodied people/people who aren’t neuro-diverse.
  • Find working part-time/hybrid or from home better than working full time or in the workplace

*These are all personal to each individual so it is worth noting to not assume every person would experience the same


Guidance for Employers – Things that would help and support people who are neuro-diverse, have learning difficulties or disabilities.

  • Having a print out of key information, numbers and names
  • 1-1 face to face interviews or Teams interviews (options given for what would be more suitable)
  • Knowing the questions in advance or an idea of what might come up
  • Limiting Verbal information and having more things written down
  • Rather than an interview, having an exam, written or practical to demonstrate that I can do the job
  • Shorter interviews
  • Options for part time, hybrid, working from home (to suit the individual)
  • Feeling safe and comfortable to share their diagnosis or disability information


*All feedback is personal to each individual and they may have different needs.

A person-centred approach is usually best to establish what works better for each individual.


A lady named Ilina Tasheva has kindly offered to share her full feedback of her experience…

“Hi, my experience with job search is this:

I need to work either part time, hybrid or from home. I haven’t worked in a few years, so I have a gap in my CV. I’m also trying to change the industry as I’m not able for physical work anymore, and its proven near impossible. All jobs entry level want up to 3 years experience. I believe that having organisation like yours working closely with big and small companies and having a place on the website where people with disabilities can do a quick survey of capability skills and education and then suggested jobs from pre-approved companies who understand what means to have disabled people in the team and are open to accommodate them (medical appointments, days when you’re not feeling well enough to work, scheduled surgeries, treatment side effects etc) could be a great help.” – Feedback from Ilina Tasheva – Hidden Disabilities Group, Facebook


Thank you to all that have provided feedback including Jonathan, Ilina and two others who do not wish to be named. This is such helpful information and I hope it helps to create the awareness that employers would benefit from having to support people during interviews in the future and create a more inclusive process.


Leanne Conner – Evolve Assessment Support Officer, Norfolk Industries