Our Neurodiverse Museum Professionals group

We at DCN have launched an informal virtual group of Neurodiverse Museum Professionals (dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, AD(H)D, ASD and tourettes who work (both paid and unpaid) or are emerging professionals in the Heritage and Cultural Sectors.  It will be peer support led with opportunities to share strategies, develop friendships and influence in the sectors.

We can also provide opportunities to feedback your Access to Work experiences to D.A.N. (Dyslexia Adult Network) and AchieveAbility to improve service.

We would like the group to work in creating opportunities to improve existing working practices within the Heritage Sector and good for career development in inclusive practice.

How do I join?

U.S.A: There is a U.S. group being set up by Sam Theriault, for further details regarding the U.S. group please contact theriault@rka-learnwithus.com and anyone can join the Neurodiverse Museum Professionals Group on
Google Groups: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/neurodiverse-museum

U.K. and Europe:  https://ndmuspgrp.ning.com/
You will need to email info@musedcn.org.uk with the subject heading ‘ND Group’ we will then send you an invitation code.




Report Launch: Neurodiverse voices: Opening Doors to Employment – WACReport

achieveability logo

This is a groundbreaking report by the Westminster AchieveAbility Commission.  We are proud to be associated and quoted with this important report for all sectors but particularly for us the Heritage, Arts and Cultural Sector.  It is also very timely with the recent release of which is timely to the ‘Making A Shift Report: Disabled people and the Arts and Cultural Sector Workforce in England: Understanding trends, barriers and

Link to the full WAC report is here: http://www.achieveability.org.uk/main/policy/wac-report-is-released

NEWS RELEASE Monday 22nd January 2018


Neurodiverse Voices:Opening Doors to Employment

Ground-breaking report on systemic barriers to employment

A ground-breaking report is being launched TODAY on Monday January 22nd by the Westminster AchieveAbility Commission (WAC) and then released into the public domain.

Over the period of a year, WAC has gathered evidence on systemic barriers to employment for millions of potential employees who are neurodivergent (i.e. dyslexic, dyspraxic, autistic and/or with Attention Deficit Disorder). This significant study from the Westminster AchieveAbility Commission on Recruitment is aligned with the government’s stated aim of increasing the number of people with disabilities in employment, set out in the Improving Lives Green Paper (2016) and Command Paper (2017). There could be no better time to highlight the abilities and workplace support needs of the large neurodivergent population and point to better recruitment and retention practices, for the benefit of the national economy.

The resulting data has highlighted a widespread lack of awareness, failures in government support and workplace discrimination – but also many examples of good practice as most neurodivergent people are able and skilled – it is recruitment processes that disable them. All of this has fed into the Commission’s report.
The report launch on January 22nd will be followed by a second event, also in Westminster, on Thursday 25th
to celebrate the creativity of the neurodivergent community.

WAC recommendations include widespread awareness training, accessibility of written employment information and an end to inappropriate testing as part of the selection process. We call for the improvement of government support programmes and disability initiatives.


  • 43% of survey respondents felt discouraged from applying by job application
  • 52% claimed to have experienced discrimination during interview or selection
  • 73% did not disclose their condition during interview – of those that did, 58%
    regretted it, feeling this led to discrimination.
  • On-line job applications which don’t allow assistive technology and use of spellcheckers bar neurodivergent applicants from accessing jobs.
  • Employers are breaking the law (Equality Act 2010) when they fail to implement reasonable adjustments for disabled people

“My first few staff reports started with the words “this officer will never be suitable for promotion as he is dyslexic.”
“Employers cannot make reasonable adjustments if they do not begin from the premise of acceptance.”
“All psychometric tests are impossible for me, however in many cases I know I would be very good at the job and that these test don’t reflect my capabilities.”

Disability Co-operative Network round up of 2017

Disability Co-operative Network

As usual it has been a very busy year for DCN and we have compiled this list in what we are doing to support inclusive practice in the Heritage Sector.  We will also hint in how we are taking DCN forward to 2018 and where we need your support.

Since March 2017 we have delivered:

Workshops on accessible learning experiences for the ACE funded Creative Court
at the National Museum of Justice

Workshops on neurodiversity awareness and social barriers relating to neurodiversity for West Midlands Museums Development for Breaking Boundaries Conference and Open to Interpretation which was fully booked.

We have also delivered presentations to:

  • Cornwall Museums Partnership: Rethinking Diversity in a Rural Region
  • Museums Association: Future of Audiences – Disability with Sam Tatlow from ThinkBIGGER
  • Arts Society (formally NADFAS): low cost inclusive practice and supporting museums/heritage organisations
  • Warwickshire Tourism Network: Access Plans and Changing Places/Mobiloo toilets
  • Neurodiversity and the Arts: Autograph ABP and (speaking with Jess Starns of Dyspraxic Me on Museums of the Labelled Project)
  • Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport ‘Celebrating Ability’ event

We have also attended:

  • Access for All: Accessible Tourism Conference
  • Heritage Trust Network: Inspiring Heritage for All Conference
  • London Accessibility Meet up on Digital Inclusion
  • Museums Association Conference as part of the Festival of Change
  • Accentuate History of Place Symposium: Brave Poor (and invisible) Gatekeepers of Past and Future Cities
  • Include Me Too Conference: Leaving No one Behind: Achieving and Supporting Disability Inclusion and Rights National Summit
  • Purplespace Annual Christmas event

We have contributed to:

  • Purplespace #Virtually Purple: A guide to social media for Disabled Employee Networks and Resource Groups
  • Future Edition to Museum Practice.
  • Co-hosted #museumhour this year with History of Place and Tincture of Muse on inclusive practice in Museums and Heritage


We have good working relationships with charities, providers such as BarclaysAccess, AXSChat (second largest online access community in the world) Purplespace, Heritage Lottery Fund, Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Arts Council.

We have connected with many access and inclusion ambassadors and further charities this year.
We don’t have the space to mention them all but here are a few mentions:
Mobiloo (portable Changing Places toilets) @mobiloo, AbilityNet, Global Disability Hub, LittlePeopleUK, Shani Dhanda, Samantha Renke, Mik Scarlet, Diane Wallace, Changing Places ambassadors Alison Beevers and Lorna Fillingham

We have supported a number of museums with:

  • Advertising opportunities by other organisations and museums
  • Engaging and developing access panels
  • Sharing knowledge relating to organisations such as Stagetext guide to captioning
  • Supporting Vocaleyes campaign for Museum Access Information #musaccessinfo
  • Museum of the Labelled supporting Jess Starns on identifying neurodiversity history in pre-existing collections and archives as part of her MA.

Becki was asked to be a Fellow for the Arts Marketing Association for Futureproof in Museums and is now an access auditor.

We are seeking a museum placement if the BBC Employable Me series is recommissioned.

For 2018

We have completed a Forward Plan for identified priorities for the next three years.  We have a number of priorities for 2018 including informal meet ups, workshops, projects and support with the sector.

If you would like to know more, do email us on info@musedcn.org.uk FAO 2018 inclusive practice in museums
or follow us on @museumDCN

Thank you to all of you who have supported and worked with us over the past year.

We wish you best wishes for the festive season and going forward for inclusive practice in the Heritage Sector together in 2018.