NANCY Doyle is an occupational psychologist and the managing director of Genius Within, specialising in the workplace support of adults with neuro-differences.

She is based at Plumpton Green near Lewes and has been featured in the BBC’s series Employable Me.

The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society.

Yet, for many people with ADHD, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, Tourette Syndrome, mental health issues and other neurodiverse conditions, it is difficult to find a job and get promoted within their chosen profession

Nancy offers some advice for companies.

ONLY 16 per cent of people with autism have a job.

It’s a shocking statistic and one that can lead many people who are diagnosed with a disability or neurodiverse condition feeling hopeless about their career prospects.

Yet the very process of diagnosis currently focuses all attention on what is not working well, what we can’t do, what needs fixing.

It’s not difficult to see that this can result in a reduced sense of self-worth.

For Ryan, one of the people featured in the BBC2 Documentary series Employable Me, his severe onset of Tourette Syndrome initially crushed his natural enthusiasm and seemed to limit his possibilities.

Fortunately, he has a great social support network and has overcome huge obstacles to find a job and start feeling like a success.

I started my Sussex-based social enterprise Genius Within with people like Ryan in mind.

We run in-work coaching and assessment support as well as employability-focused groups for people with neurodiversity including dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, autism and mental health needs.

We also provide targeted support for cognitive difficulties such as memory loss, following head trauma and chronic illnesses such as multiple sclerosis.

It is our belief that we need to adopt positive assessment techniques to draw out the talents and sometimes exceptional qualities of our clients, undoing some of the damage caused by repeated messages of deficit.

Other people featured in Employable Me prove my point - Andy, who is a stroke survivor, has a perfectly competent verbal understanding even though he finds speech difficult and Kerie, who is visually impaired, has a memory in the top one per cent of the population.

Lots of employers don’t know how to work with disabled people and feel they are treading on eggshells.

They want to help but don’t know how.

But there are some simple things that can be done to make a big difference.

For example:

• a dual screen to reduce memory issues when flicking between windows

• a quiet area to retreat to for stretching tired muscles or relaxing an overwhelmed mind

• providing written materials in advance of training or meetings, and in accessible formats

• text-to-speech software for visual impairments or dyslexia

• coaching or training to develop personalised strategies for communication, memory or organisation, such as colour coded diaries or questioning techniques.

Some advice, a small spend for tools, equipment or specialist support is a fair exchange for loyalty, a motivated team and reduced turnover absenteeism.

Employers should proactively offer reasonable adjustments, they don’t have to wait for problems to arise.

Employees can ask for what they need before they are at crisis point.

Access to Work, a government-funded service, provides free advice and can help with the cost of adjustments.

More and more high-profile organisations, such as GCHQ and Microsoft, are embracing neurodiversity as a talent strategy and recognise the strengths people with disabilities can bring to the workplace.

The problem isn’t motivation, it’s practical solutions.

There’s a wealth of talented people out there and they deserve opportunities to share their skills in the professional workplace.