Workplace Guide: Creating an inclusive environment

Lucy Patchett explores how the optical industry is inclusive of its neurodiverse workforce

The optical sector is no stranger to the need for supportive workplace environments for neurodivergent individuals who think and learn differently. Increased awareness for equal employee support and opportunities has been demonstrated by the General Optical Council’s (GOC) new workforce and perceptions survey question, which found that 66% agreed the regulator promotes equality, diversity and inclusion in its work.

Despite this significant figure, the GOC said it lacks specific policies or guidance aimed at neurodiverse individuals but does have broader inclusivity and diversity standards. It commented: ‘Both our standards for optometrists and dispensing opticians and optical businesses make clear that registrants should promote equality, value diversity, be inclusive in all dealings, and not discriminate on various grounds, including disability.’

There are various suppliers in the optical industry that have made efforts to accommodate neurodiverse employees and create new opportunities. Swiss eyewear manufacturer Götti told Optician that it has worked with Stiftung Bühl, a foundation helping physically and mentally disabled people, including those on the neurodiversity spectrum to provide factory staff for two of its eyewear collections, Götti Perspective and Götti Dimension.

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