The Liverpool Neurodiversity Pilot team
The Liverpool Neurodiversity Pilot initiative (with a focus on autism) was started by Jane Culkin.
Jane wanted to make HMRC Liverpool a great place to work for autistic colleagues, after witnessing an autistic colleague struggle because of the lack of awareness and understanding of their colleagues.
With no background, no extra time and no initial support Jane wasn’t sure as an AO she could make a difference.
Jane’s tenacity and passion developed her wish into a pilot that involved HMRC colleagues and delivered to Liverpool region – with the potential to reach circa 5500 staff.
To create the pilot Jane knew that she needed to raise awareness of the condition and the barriers people face in work. Jane partnered with a local Autism charity, training and fundraising. Through this she made contact with autistic colleagues and decided what would make the biggest difference to our people and Department.
There are 4 key strands to the pilot:
• Changes to the HMRC Inclusive Design Guide, ensuring Regional Centre buildings are designed to meet the needs of autistic colleagues.
• A network of HMRC Liverpool Autism Buddies. They raise awareness and support with managers and colleagues in understanding reasonable adjustments.
• Managers Help-Card which sign posts support and provides a clear explanation of how autism presents in work.
• A learning product (delivered initially to 90 staff to test impact) which is designed to use in team discussions to create the most inclusive environment.
Additionally we have been able to use our knowledge to support a related project – attracting autistic people to apply to join HMRC, reflecting their needs through the recruitment process.
To deliver the pilot Jane created a team made up of autistic colleagues, CS North West, our Reasonable Adjustments team, HR & Learning colleagues, Estates and Risk & Intelligence Service – a true team effort.