MMI announces neurodiversity sessions at BSAVA Congress
An estimated 1 in 7 people in the UK are neurodivergent.

The training will help veterinary professionals support neurodiverse colleagues and clients.

In partnership with the BSAVA, the RCVS Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) has announced that it will run a training stream on neurodiversity during this year’s BSAVA Congress.

Neurodiversity is a term which describes the different ways in which the human brain can function when it comes to learning, attention, mood, and other mental functions. Neurodiverse people may be diagnosed with conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyspraxia and autism spectrum disorders.

The stream will take place in the Exchange Auditorium on Friday, 24 March and will feature a keynote speech by Samantha Hiew, founding director of ADHD Girls.

Sessions will include:

  • Exploring neurodiversity
  • Different not less
  • Neurodiversity – the challenges of diagnosis
  • Neurodiversity in veterinary teams – the importance of allyship
  • Communication considerations
  • Supporting neurodivergent clients
  • Supporting neurodivergent vet and vet nursing students
  • Moving forward – how can we cultivate more inclusive working?

Lisa Quigley, MMI manager, said: “MMI is delighted to be partnering with BSAVA to run this incredibly important stream. It is estimated that around 1 in 7 people in the UK are neurodivergent and whilst there is definitely more awareness surrounding the benefits of embracing a neurodivergent workforce and supporting neurodivergent individuals within the workplace, there is still much more to be done.”

The vice-chair of the BSAVA Congress Programme Committee, Andy Green, said: "It has never been more important to understand, connect with and support all the members of our veterinary teams, of whom a considerable number may be neurodivergent. The same is true for many pet owners and clients.

“We are delighted to be able to provide a platform in partnership with the RCVS Mind Matters Initiative to explore this important subject and help to promote a greater understanding of what it actually means to be neurodivergent, along with practical ways that practices can understand, embrace and support neurodivergent members of the work force and community.”

The BSAVA Congress will be held at the Manchester Convention Complex from 23 - 25 March 2023.