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Autism and Neurodiversity in the Workplace: Training for Trade Unionists

Submitted by Admin on 22 April 2022 at 08:15

This document is attached as Word and PDF files.

Your trade union’s workplace representatives are getting more and more requests for help from autistic and other neurodivergent members, and from members with dependants. Do they know enough about the subject to support them effectively? If they contact the branch or regional office, will they be able to help? What is your union doing to negotiate and campaign for autism- and neurodiversity-friendly workplaces? And is your union itself welcoming to neurodivergent workers and carers?

One way your union improve its work on this issue is by training your reps, officers and activists. Janine Booth designs and delivers ‘Autism in the Workplace’ and ‘Neurodiversity in the Workplace’ training for trade union reps.

This document tells you more about the training and how to go about arranging it.

All trade union reps need to come on this training! Janine has used both her trade union and personal experience to develop and deliver a highly effective course which equips reps to become more confident in dealing with autism related issues both in their workplaces and their trade unions. At the WEA these courses were in high demand and hugely popular with consistently good feedback citing the enormous value in terms of new knowledge and awareness of autism.
Monica Gort (former TUC Course Coordinator at WEA London Region)



  • Janine is an active trade unionist, who developed this training after being diagnosed as autistic in 2012.
  • Several one-day training seminars took place at WEA London, together training over one hundred trade unionists from many different workplaces and unions. These seminars have been sponsored by unions including PCS, CWU and RMT, and by law firm Simpson Millar.
  • Janine has also delivered the training to individual unions, including PCS, NASUWT, ATL, Unison and RMT, and to unionlearn.
  • The training can fit the time you have available, from a one-hour session to a week-long residential course.
  • Feedback from participants and unions is consistently very positive, and the training was praised in Parliament (Autism debate, House of Commons, 12 November 2012)!


Janine ran a very practical and popular workshop at unionlearn’s recent Learning, Health and Well-being conference focusing on the issues facing workers with Autism. Janine has since had her book, “Autism in the Workplace”, published. Both the training session and the book are well worth seeking out if you are a rep looking to better understand and support colleagues at work with the condition.
Liz Rees, unionlearn Director


The training course:

  • can be run for the length of time that suits your union. RMT runs ‘Autism in the Workplace’ as a week-long course; other unions have run it as a short workshop, a one-day course, two-day course, or as a workshop as part of a broader event
  • includes (depending on the length of the course): neurodiversity; neurodivergent conditions; myths and realities; autism and employment; the social model of disability; workers, carers and the law; representing individual members; reasonable adjustments; making the workplace more autism- and neurodiversity-friendly; making our movement more autism-and neurodiversity-friendly; campaigning against cuts; autism, neurodiversity, politics and the labour movement; using TUC resources
  • is participatory in its format, with activities including: case studies; group exercises; brainstorming; the law and neurodiversity; videos; presentations; guest speakers; quiz
  • can focus on either autism specifically or neurodiversity more widely
  • can be run online or in a classroom.


Janine Booth is:

  • author of ‘Autism Equality in the Workplace: removing barriers and challenging discrimination’ (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2016)
  • author of the TUC handbook, ‘Autism in the Workplace’ (TUC, 2014)
  • TUC Disabled Workers’ Committee member
  • Secretary of RMT Disabled Members’ Advisory Committee
  • lay tutor and former National Executive Committee member, RMT

Janine has a Postgraduate Certificate in Autism and Asperger Syndrome (with Distinction) from Sheffield Hallam University, a Master of Arts in Women’s Studies from York University, TQUK Level 2 Certificates in Understanding Autism and Understanding Specific Learning Difficulties, and the Level 3 Award in Education and Training.


RMT courses score consistently well when assessed by our accrediting college. But only one has been rated 10 out of 10: Janine’s Autism in the Workplace course. Highly recommended!
Andy Gilchrist, National Education Officer, RMT

If your union can provide a venue, a fee, plus travel expenses and accommodation if necessary, then Janine can provide the training!