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


CHAS EDI was delighted to host the International Conference on ‘Neurodiversity: A Paradigm Shift In Higher Education & Employment'

The conference took place virtually over two days on Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th of December. Together with UCD this conference was hosted by NUI Maynooth, Stanford University, Untapped Holdings and ADHD Ireland.

The purpose of the conference was to share current research and understanding of neurodiversity and practical models implemented in support of further education and employment. 

The schedule was divided into four sessions over two days, and included presentations and panel discussions. Panel discussions focused on effective models which have been implemented in educational and business sectors nationally and internationally.  Prof Lawrence Fung of Stanford University led a panel of international employers discussing effective innovations within business. 


Thursday 3rd December

The first day of the conference inluded keynote Sessions from Prof Simon Baron Cohen on Neurodiversity : Current Perspectives, and Judy Singer 'The Fundamentals of Neurodiversity Concept' and conversation with Dr Nancy Doyle (Genius Within and Birkbeck, University of London.)

Further presentations in Session One included: Andrew Eddy (Neurodiversity Hub), Dr Duncan Astle (Cambridge) , Dr Damien Milton (Kent) Tiffany Jameson (Grit and Flow) and Prof Sonya Girdler (Curtin)

Session Two on 3rd December focused on Neurodiversity in Universities and Higher Education, with a keynote from Prof Sara Rankin (Imperial) on ‘Recognising and Supporting Staff and Students.’ 

With further presentations from Prof Laurence Fung and Christy Matta on the Stanford Neurodiversity Project, as well as Lisa Padden and Julie Tonge (UCD), Mary Rose Sweeney )DCU), Helen Duncan (Cambridge), Elizabeth Radulski (LaTrobe), Quona Rankin (Royal College of Art) , and Laurie Ackles (Rochester Institute of Technology.)

This session concluded with a panel discussion chaired by Ken Kilbride (ADHD Ireland) including Adam Harris (ASIAM), Dara Ryder (Ahead), Rosie Bissett (European Dyslexia Assoc) and Clodagh Nolan (TCD.)


Friday 4th December

The second conference day included keynotes from Dr Simon Bury (La Trobe) on Mental Health, as well as Irene Talento on ‘Inclusive Built Environments’, Conor Hartigan (Univ Limerick) on ‘Assistive Technology in Education’, and Hari Srinivasan on his ‘Personal Experience of Technology.’

The final session on the afternoon of Friday 4th December focused on Neurodiversity in Employment with a Keynote from Prof Susanne Bruyere (Cornell) on ‘Building a More Neurodiversity Inclusive Workplace.’  

Further Presentations included: Xialene Chang (Harvard), Tamara Stern (Landmark), Vanessa Castaneda Gill (Social Cipher), Dr Nancy Doyle and Uzma Waseem (Genius Within and Birkbeck, University of London.), Hans Van de Velde (European Brains at Work), Marcia Scheiner (Integrate Advisors) and Doug Meeker (3R Behavioural Solutions.)