If one in seven in your target market were vision impaired, you wouldn’t stick with a print campaign in the hope that some of your audience engaged with it. You’d adjust your tactics to ensure the content was accessible across a variety of platforms and formats, with a call to action to match.
Yet, few organisations or brands stop to consider how they can best communicate with the one in seven Australians who are neurodiverse.
Whether it is connecting with your colleagues in the workplace, to customers, stakeholders or prospects, chances are you engage and communicate with neurodiverse people, every day.
Follow these five simple changes to ensure your communications are neuro-inclusive.
What is neurodiversity?
Neurologically, we’re all wired a little differently and this is one of our greatest strengths as people. If we didn’t have the ability to see challenges and problems from different perspectives, we wouldn’t have gone very far as a species!
Neurodiversity refers to the normal variations we see in the human brain. Whether it is processing information, attention to detail or the way our memory works – these differences can be viewed as a strength or a deficit.
For example, those on the autism spectrum can be exceptionally gifted at pattern recognition, out of the box thinking and strong memory recall, but may struggle with sensory sensitivities and social interactions.
While Dyslexia can impact a person’s literacy and language skills, many are compensated with terrific creative abilities, big picture thinking and the ability to stay calm in challenging situations.
Why neuro-inclusive communications make a difference
When it comes to understanding human potential, we still have a lot to learn.
At IMPACT, we recently undertook training with neurodiversity specialists, Xceptional, to better understand the role we, as communicators, can play and to improve our own workplace practices.
Currently, there is no secret formula to ensure your communications are neuro-inclusive. Considered, strategic choices that serve as many people as possible are the key.
The five essentials of neuro-inclusive communications
1. Ask about their communication preferences
Whether it’s asking a co-worker if they’d prefer a Teams meeting over a face-to-face catch up or surveying your database about their content preferences, you can make more informed communication choices – if you just ask.
2. Keep your word choices simple
When language is inclusive everyone benefits. Screen your content for complicated phrases, multi-syllable words or unnecessary jargon and replace with easy-to-understand options.
3. Use clear fonts and cues to convey your message
Use sans-serif fonts such as Ariel and Verdana to make your content more accessible. A graphic, icon or image can add clarity to your words, but use these sparingly.
4. Map out response needs
If you require an action or a response to your communication, be specific about what they need to do, and when.
5. Empower people to engage with you by giving them time and choice
Not all people are wordsmiths, and some require time to consider their response. Offer people a variety of ways to respond to your communication in the moment, and afterwards.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can tailor your communications to be neuro-inclusive, contact email@example.com