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Neurodiversity Movement

As we consider our strengths and abilities, we can start to redefine how one views neurodiversity. The neurodiversity movement has enabled us to become activists. The concept is rather than trying to test, define, and cure a person who is seen as neurodivergent, “society should learn to accept, appreciate, and accommodate their needs” according to Katherine Reynolds Lewis article entitled “Autism is an identity, not a disease: Inside the Neurodiversity Movement.” Neurodiversity is a concept that emerged in the late 1900s. The push for the concept came as people sought to represent variations in “brain wiring.” According to Reynolds Lewis, the neurodiversity group includes “autism, depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, intellectual and developmental disabilities, dyslexia, epilepsy, and more.”
This fascinating article describes an annual gala event for the Autistic Self Advocacy Network. In the article, Katherine helps the reader to visualize the event, describes the modifications and creative ideas, as well as providing a glimpse into the autistic culture. The article delves deeper into the neurodivergent culture, pointing out popular television characters that portray the amazing strengths and virtues that only those with these superior gifts could display. One can start to see the strengths based approach as we learn more about different activists and change makers! This article represents the changing ideas from the medical model and mindset of a cure that organizations such as Autism Speaks have been reported to represent.
It is a fast read that you may find fascinating and motivating! Read the full article here.

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Neurodiversity in the Workplace Blog

UConn Today, by Eli Freund

Are you seeking to learn more about neurodiversity in careers and workplace? An entire blog creating for just this purpose is available from this link. This professional website offers multiple updates monthly. you can be sure to find something of interest as topics range from interviews skills, remote work, socializing safely, and collaboration suggestions. This Philadelphia based resource’s goal is to shed light on workplace diversity and opportunities to get in touch with them. There main focus is on developing a network that offers professional preparation for people with autism and supports inclusive hiring practices. Check it out!

Logo for Scott Barry Kaufman's podcast, "Critical Conversations about Cognitive Diversity." Green, bold font and black font. Design of computer included.

Cognitive Diversity Webcast

Seeking a new webcast opportunity on neurodiversity? Check out the Bridges 2e Center for Research and professional Development’s monthly webcast entitle Conversations about Cognitive Diversity. The monthly recorded webcasts offer in depth conversations with the “top minds in gifted and twice-exceptional education.” You can register to receive more information or access their past archives by checking out this site.

Logo for CBT Thought Diary. White minimalistic notebook with green lines and a yellow pencil on the right side.

Is Your Document Accessible?

You finished an amazing paper, wrote an incredible story, or pulled together a fascinating article, but can everyone access it? Ever wondered if your Microsoft Word document is truly open and accessible by all? Today many sites and software products are including accessibility checks and overviews. In Word, it can be as simple as clicking on the “review” tab in the top ribbon and selecting the “check accessibility” button. Not appearing in your Word version? Type in “accessibility checker” to the “tell me what you want to do …” area to open up the tool and review the suggestions.
In the article, “Check Accessibility in Word- Instructions” by Joseph Brownell (2020) more information can be found about establishing a automatic check in Word 2019 or Word for Office 365. The enabling of this tool would maintain the accessibility checker to run while working to ensure your masterpiece can indeed be read and accessed by all individuals. You put in the effort and want to be certain all can see it! Add this feature to all your Word projects! To learn more and to read the full article follow either one of these links:

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Assistive Technology: Help for All!

Most people would consider an assistive technology device something that is cumbersome and is expensive. Perhaps they think that it is something that only an individual with a physical disability would use like a wheelchair a cane, or an FM hearing system. While those are examples of assistive technology, there are so many more! And so many ideas that everyone can use to be more productive and make their lives a little bit easier. Do you use an Amazon Alexa or other voice activated technology? How about a small pencil grip to help alleviate fatigue or a specialized mouse or keyboard? All of these are indeed AT – or assistive technology! We want to list a few ideas here and provide a link to a few articles and pages that may help you find your own AT!
  • Assistive technology is any device, software, or equipment that helps people work around their challenges.
  • Some examples of assistive technology are text-to-speech and word prediction.
  • Assistive technology includes low-tech tools, too, like pencil grips.
To learn more, check out these sites and ideas:
Mind mapping as assistive technology is an excellent technique for:
  •  supporting people with learning difficulties (Dyslexia, ASD, ADHD) organize their ideas
  • helping individuals plan their activities visually
  • improving the note-taking system during classes
  • eliminating the stress associated with repeated reproduction of information
Assistive Technology tools to try:

Other suggestions:

  • Stability Ball
  • Bouncy bands
  • Standing desks
  • Speech-to-text
  • Text-to-Speech
  • Google Cardboard
  • Oculus Rift