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Queen Mary Academy

Developing Inclusive Education for neurodivergent learners

This resource aims to help educators taking their first steps to design learning and assessment that can help neurodivergent learners demonstrate their full potential. It also directs staff to existing resources related to inclusion and accessibility.

1 in 20 Queen Mary students are neurodivergent

1 in 20 have a diagnosis, but not all Queen Mary students are aware of their learning differences or declare them

What do we mean by neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity is an umbrella term which covers dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, Tourettes and Autism. Neurodivergent people experience, interact with and interpret the world around them in unique ways which are different to neurotypical people. The term neurodiversity highlights that there is no "right" way of thinking or learning, variation is normal and most importantly, difference does not mean deficit. However, this can lead to challenges for neurodivergent people, especially in settings like the workplace and education, where the environment might not always be accessible to people with a variety of learning needs and cognitive styles.

A graphic showing a brain with arrows to six emoji style images rpresenting different states or feelings

All brains are different. This diversity is a natural and valuable form of the human experience, just as biodiversity is. No brain is ideal or normal.

How can we best support neurodivergent students at Queen Mary University?

There are a number of steps that educators can take to make their teaching more inclusive for neurodivergent learners. It is important to remember that actively creating more equitable learning is an evolving process and we are all learning. Rather than approaching accessibility as an afterthought or only on a case-by-case basis, we should be designing courses that address the needs of diverse learners from the start so that everybody may benefit.

Visit the CPD bookings site

To book your place, search for QMAEL16

CPD bookings site

Workshop - Designing Inclusive Education for neurodivergent learners

Starting in the academic year 2022/23, the Queen Mary Academy and the Disability and Dyslexia Service will be offering the online workshop Designing Inclusive Education for neurodivergent learners. This practical session aims to introduce staff to neurodiversity and will present some of the challenges that our students face. We will also share some strategies and tools to be used in planning, teaching, and designing assessments more inclusively.


  1. Guidance from the Disability and Dyslexia Service on supporting autistic students
  2. We recommend that you take the QMplus course on Digital Accessibility and Learning Materials when creating digital materials. This course also summarizes and signposts to the other resources in this list.
  3. Guidance on producing inclusive content for print and digital teaching and learning materials Guidelines for inclusive writing and formatting of documents and presentations [PDF 595KB]
  4. Tips from the Technology Enhanced Learning team on making resources and courses more accessible for disabled students
  5. The following baseline standards explain what students should be able to expect from their use of QMplus. They will help you ensure your modules meet these standards.
  6. Checklist for staff to assess the accessibility of print and digital teaching and learning content, including course layout on QMplus. Digital Accessibility Checklist [DOC 23KB].
  7. Blackboard Ally works with QMplus and gauges the accessibility of your digital content. Access this link to fix any accessibility issues and improve the quality of your modules.
  8. Staff Guides for the use of Blackboard Ally
  9. Adding captions makes videos more accessible in numerous ways. Learn here how to generate them

Find out more

For academic queries and suggestions regarding neurodiversity and learning, please email or

For further information about accessibility, please see:

For digital accessibility, specifically Blackboard Ally, please email

Contact us

Have you adopted an approach, a tool, or an activity that supports neurodivergent learners in your practice? Please do get in touch with us and we’ll share it as a case study.

Email the Queen Mary Academy
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