Using digital technology: Educating midwives about neurodiversity
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Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Middlesex University, London, United Kingdom
Royal College of Midwives, London, United Kingdom
Publication date: 2023-10-24
Corresponding author
Emilie Edwards   

Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Middlesex University, London, United Kingdom
Eur J Midwifery 2023;7(Supplement 1):A7
The medical model of disability has long defined neurodevelopmental differences as disorders and deficits and reveals cultural prejudice, leading to oppression for those diagnosed. Instead, neurodiversity roots itself in the social model of disability, which asserts that neurodivergent people are disabled by barriers in society. Given that an estimated 1 in 7 of the population is neurodivergent, better understanding is needed to support the learning and working environments for neurodivergent people. Ensuring that neurodivergent colleagues and students are appropriately supported in the workplace necessitates radical change in workplace mentalities. Therefore, institutions should include neurodiversity awareness training to improve inclusion. The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has collaborated with a group of neurodivergent maternity practitioners to develop an innovative and interactive eLearning package for midwives, midwifery students and Maternity Support Workers.

A group of neurodivergent midwifery lecturers, midwives and students worked collaboratively with the Education Team at the RCM to develop an eLearning resource for midwives, midwifery students and MSWs. The eLearning module aimed to educate practitioners about working alongside neurodivergent colleagues and students to improve awareness and inclusion. The resource was developed using a range of innovative and interactive tools including animation and simulation. This required expertise from the RCM’s eLearning technologist, as well as professional expertise and lived experience from neurodivergent practitioners and students. The resource will be showcased in the presentation.

Implications for education:
The resource has been made available to the 50000 members of the RCM and will be continuously evaluated by the eLearning team. The module will be used as the basis for further work to educate and raise awareness for those supporting and working alongside neurodivergent practitioners. This module will contribute to the inclusion and diversity agenda by ensuring that neurodivergent voices are heard. By raising awareness of the disabling barriers linked to unsuitable work environments, this module aims to improve understanding and implementations of reasonable adjustments for neurodivergent midwives, midwifery students and MSWs of the future.

With thanks to Nicolette Porter (Midwife), Sophie Rayner (Student Midwife) and Sarah Johnson (Senior Lecturer in Midwifery).
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
Royal College of Midwives, UK.
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