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Supporting Neurodivergent Colleagues

Tips on where to start with creating a more inclusive workplace whether you are an employer or engager, or a colleague. 

Last updated: 04 October 2023

What you can do as an employer or engager of musicians

If you’re an employer or engager, set a positive and inclusive tone the moment you hire by ensuring your HR and booking process enables musicians to tell you if they have, or suspect they might have a neurodiverse condition(s). A simple way to do this when booking musicians is by using the MU’s Access Rider. Ask them what support they may need and make reasonable adjustments if needed. Doing so will help musicians feel included, supported and empowered to discuss their neurodiverse condition openly at work if they wish to do so.

Educate yourself about neurodiverse conditions

Educate yourself about your colleague's neurodiverse condition(s). Be aware of their specific challenges and strengths. This will help you better understand your colleague's condition, how it may impact them, how it affects their work, and what you can do to support them. Be aware of their specific challenges and strengths - ask them if/how you can help.

Ask before acting, don't assume

Each person will experience their neurodiverse condition differently so always ask them how they would like you to help - if at all. Never make assumptions about what they may need, and never act before asking. Be willing to adapt your approach based on the feedback you receive.

Provide quiet workspace

Many neurodiverse individuals are sensitive to noise and may find it difficult to work in a busy or noisy environment. A quiet workspace can help your colleague stay focused and be more productive. This could include arranging quiet spaces in venues and rehearsal spaces, factoring in 'quiet time' breaks, and/or providing ear plugs. It’s always best to discuss what these adjustments look like in specific musician-focussed contexts.

Create a positive work environment

A positive work environment is where your colleague feels valued and supported. Encourage team members to be respectful and patient with one another. By creating a positive and supportive work environment that is inclusive and accommodating, you can help your colleague overcome their challenges and succeed in the workplace.

The contents of this page was provided by Tristan Hunt.

Finding help and support for neurodiverse musicians

Many organisations working within the music industry and more generally that can offer support, guidance, and advice to neurodiverse musicians.

  1. The ADHD Foundation is the UK’s leading neurodiversity charity, offering a strength-based, lifespan service for the 1 in 5 of us who live with ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, DCD, Dyscalculia, OCD, Tourette’s Syndrome and more.
  2. Attitude is Everything connect disabled people with music and live event industries to improve access together. Their Next Stage initiative is dedicated to ensuring the UK’s music and event industries recognise and include the talent of disabled artists.
  3. Music Minds Matter offer therapy to support musicians waiting for assessment to develop coping strategies to deal with symptoms of neurodiverse conditions.
  4. Tristan Hunt ADHD Coaching - Tristan is a certified Transformational Coach with specialist ADHD training and over 20 years of music business experience.
  5. Help Musicians is a charity for professional musicians of all genres, both in work and in retirement. They help at times of crisis, but also at times of opportunity, giving people the support they need at the crucial stages that could make or break their career.
  6. National Autistic Society transforms lives and change attitudes to help create a society that works for autistic people.
  7. British Dyslexia Association has been the voice of dyslexic people since 1972 working to achieve a dyslexia-friendly society for all.
  8. Dyspraxia Foundation is committed to making the teaching and medical professions more aware of dyspraxia, and to spreading understanding of how those who have the condition can be helped.
  9. Tourettes Action is the leading support and research charity for people with Tourette Syndrome and their families. They work in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  10. The Brain Charity help people with all forms of neurological condition to lead longer, healthier, happier lives.

If you’re an organisation that works with neurodiverse musicians and aren’t listed here, please get in touch, we’d love to hear more about what you do! Contact

Did you know the MU Disabled Members Network is a space for neurodivergent musicians?

The Disabled Members Network is a space for MU members who identity as disabled and/or neurodivergent to meet and discuss issues that impact their communities, shape MU policy, and change the music industry and the MU for the better. You can join the network and find out more.

Join the Member Network

About the author

Tristan HuntTristan Hunt is a renowned Music Industry ADHD Coach, working with Grammy-nominated, Mobo & Brit Award-winning artists and top brands like Pioneer DJ, BIMM, and Sony Music UK. A former AFEM Regional Manager, Tristan's two decades in the music industry and his personal experience with ADHD, dyslexia, and dyscalculia make him a trusted coach for artists and professionals with ADHD.

Certified as a Transformational Coach with specialized ADHD training, he is part of Sony Music UK’s coaching pool. He also has associations with industry giants like Lateral Mgmt and Infectious PR. His contributions to the Association For Electronic Music (AFEM) have been significant, from founding its Mental Health Working Group to serving on its Executive Board.

A recognized voice on ADHD and mental health in music, Tristan has spoken at global conferences like ADE and IMS and has been spotlighted in Billboard, DJ Mag, and the BBC. He holds degrees from Southampton and Birkbeck Universities, a coaching diploma from Animas, UK, and ADHD coach training from ADDCA, USA. Offstage, Tristan occasionally showcases his skills as a DJ.