The library and neurodiversity

Do you want to learn more about neurodiversity?

Well, we’ve made a reading list for you!

Neurodiversity as a term is not without controversy. There isn’t, for example, a single agreed definition. But as a term that encompasses all or some of the following:

  • autistic spectrum conditions
  • dyslexia
  • dyspraxia
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Tourette’s syndrome

As well as a number of other developmental and mental health conditions, it is a useful blanket term for those who wish to find out more for themselves or those that they support.

Why is an understanding or awareness of neurodiversity important at Brookes?

Because some of those that you teach, work with or otherwise support will have these conditions.

The rainbow-colored infinity symbol, which represents the diversity of the autism spectrum

In the academic year 2019/20 the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) recorded 4.8%* of UK domiciled students as having a ‘…specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or AD(H)D’. For the same year the recorded incidence of a ‘…social/communication impairment such as Asperger’s syndrome/other autistic spectrum disorder’ within UK domiciled students was 0.56%**.

Because these conditions are not always visible or declared.


Because these conditions may require reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010.

Because of the curb cut effect***

This is where adjustments made for one group have benefits to those outside of the intended target group. The example that gives the effect its name is of the dropped kerb – designed to improve wheelchair access – improves access for anyone else for whom a high kerb is a barrier. 

What else can you do?

Our Neurodiversity resources reading list links to resources covering lived experience as well as further information and guidance.

If you have any suggestions for resources to include on the list please contact Penny Robertson (probertson@brookes.ac.uk)

If you’d like to know more about how the library supports users with a disability please look at these pages:

— Penny Robertson, Academic Liaison Librarian


* 122,755 of 2532385 students
https://www.hesa.ac.uk/news/27-01-2021/sb258-higher-education-student-statistics/numbers


** 14,360 of 2532385 students
https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/students/table-15


*** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curb_cut_effect

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