International Conference on ‘Neurodiversity: A Paradigm Shift In Higher Education & Employment.

The UCD Neurodiversity Project, a sub-committee of the CHAS EDI committee, hosted the conference which took place virtually over two days on Thursday 3rd  and Friday 4th of December.

The conference was co-hosted by NUI Maynooth, Stanford University, Untapped Holdings and ADHD Ireland.

Recordings of the sessions can now be accessed via the schedule listed below.

This conference aims to start a strength-based conversation about neurodiversity in third-level institutions and amongst employers.

The core objectives were to
• Bring interested people together to share knowledge and exchange ideas.
• Provide a platform for interested people to listen to and learn from each other.
• Provide a safe and inclusive space for people to explore the area of neurodiversity from a strength-based perspective.

Conference organisers operated an inclusive approach to speaker inclusion and sought to involve all persons interested in presenting. This conference is a first step in starting this conversation and we propose to continue the conversation through follow-up events and hope that more interested people will come on board to share their knowledge and expertise.

Session One : Neurodiversity

Chair :  Professor Fiona McNicholas, University College Dublin

Thursday 3rd December 0905 - 0950

Keynote : Neurodiversity: current perspectives

Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, University of Cambridge

Thursday 3rd December 0950 - 1035

Keynote : ‘The Fundamentals of Neurodiversity Concept’ Judy Singer, joined in conversation by Dr Nancy Doyle, Research Fellow Birkbeck and CEO of Genius Within

Thursday 3rd December 1035 - 1055

The Value of Sharing Resources 

Andrew Eddy, Neurodiversity Hub

Thursday 3rd December 1105 - 1145

Neuroscience and Neurodiversity

Dr Duncan Astle, University of Cambridge

Thursday 3rd December 1145 - 1215

The Problem of Double Empathy

Dr Damien Milton, University of Kent

Thursday 3rd December 1230 - 1300

NDGiFTS : Building a Movement and Community

Tiffany Jameson, Grit and Flow

Thursday 3rd December 1300 - 1330

The Gestalt of Functioning

Professor Sonya Girdler, PhD, Curtin University, Perth

Session 2 : Universities

Chair: Professor Fiona McNicholas, University College Dublin

Thursday, 3rd December 1405-1420 

UCD – Supporting Diverse Students in a University for All

Dr Lisa Padden and Ms Julie Tonge, University College Dublin

Thursday 3rd December 1420 -1445

Personal Experience and Ethnography

Elizabeth Radulski, La Trobe University, Australia

Thursday 3rd December 1445 - 1530

Keynote : Recognising and Supporting Staff and Students

Professor Sara Rankin, Imperial College, London

Thursday 3rd December 1530 - 1550

Supporting Postgraduate Art and Design Students with Dyslexia and Dyspraxia

Qona Rankin, Royal College of Art, London

Thursday 3rd December 1600 -1620

Creating and Autism Friendly Campus

Dr Mary Rose Sweeney, Dublin City University

Thursday 3rd December 1620 - 1650

Equity or Advantage ? Exam Access Arrangements and University Students with SpLD

Helen Duncan, University of Cambridge

Thursday 3rd December 1650 -1720

The Spectrum Support Programme in RIT

Laurie Ackles, Rochester Institute of Technology

Thursday 3rd December 1720 - 1820

The Stanford Neurodiversity Project

Professor Lawrence Fung and Christy Matta, Stanford University

Thursday 3rd December 1820 - 1900

Panel Discussion, moderated by Ken Kilbride ADHD Ireland.

Session Three : Learning and Inclusive Environments : Education and the Workplace.

Chair: Dr Gemma Irvine, University of Maynooth.

Friday 4th December 0905-0950

Keynote: Mental Health 

Dr Simon Bury,  La Trobe University, Australia

Friday 4th December 0950 - 1025

‘Be Your Best’ Life Skills Training

Andrew Eddy and Peter Matthews, Neurodiversity Hub

Friday 4th December 1025-1045

Inclusive Built Enviroments

Irene Talento, University of Rome

Friday 4th December 1100 - 1130

Assistive Technology in Education

Conor Hartigan, University of Limerick

Friday 4th December 1130 - 1150

A Personal Experience of Technology

Hari Srinivasan, University of California, Berkeley

Session Four : Employment and Business

Chair: Dr Colman Noctor, University College Dublin

Friday 4th December 1230-1330

Stanford Panel Discussion, led by Professor Lawrence Fung

Friday 4th December 1330 - 1430

Entrepreneurship

Xialene Chang, Tamara Stern, Lee Crocker, Jan Coplan, Jeanette Landin, Vanessa Castaneda Gill, Harvard, Landmark College, Social Cipher

Friday 4th December 1430 - 1510

Keynote : Building a More Neurodiversity-Inclusive Workplace

Professor Susanne Bruyere, Cornell University

Friday 4th December 1510 -1545

Intersectional Inclusion in the Workplace

Dr Nancy Doyle, Uzma Waseem, Birkbeck College and Genius Within

Friday 4th December 1600 - 1615

European Paradigm Shift for Employers

Hans van de Velde, European Brains at Work

Friday 4th December 1615 -1655

Panel: Integrate ‘Employer Connect’ Programme

Marcia Scheiner, Jose Velasco, Lee Corless, Kate Copeman

Friday 4th December 1705 - 1730

Life Sherpa

Doug Meeker, 3R Behavioral Solutions, Virginia

Friday 4th December 1730 - 1830

Panel: The Future of Assistive Technology in Neurodiversity, moderated by Dan Feshbach, Blue Umbrella