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Center for Neurodiversity

The Center for Neurodiversity aims to advance an understanding of the benefits of a neurodiverse society.

Landmark College was built on the belief that neurodiversity is a strength. The kind of neurodiversity commonly seen in our students (whether on our Vermont campus or elsewhere in the U.S. through our summer short-term programs or growing online programs) include learning differences such as dyslexia, ADHD, executive function challenges, and autism. No longer seen as a deficit, neurodiversity is justifiably gaining long-overdue recognition across industries. Corporations are actively recruiting neurodivergent individuals, recognizing that they often have an approach to learning and problem-solving that can lead to innovation.

Since its founding, Landmark College has recognized the strengths of our neurodivergent student population — and today we have established the Center for Neurodiversity. The Center champions cultural and scholarly perspectives which aim to strengthen an understanding of neurodivergence in society. The Center is fueled by the collective energy of educators, employers, students, researchers, and others who are invested in its mission.

Among the Center for Neurodiversity’s primary goals:

  • Thought Leadership and Social Justice: The Center will generate scholarship, including white papers and opinion pieces, that shape the global conversation about neurodiversity, with input from neurodivergent individuals. To that end, author and advocate John Elder Robison serves as advisor and visiting lecturer to the Center for Neurodiversity.
  • Community and Engagement: The Center works to develop an engaged community regarding neurodiversity, providing a forum to educate, raise awareness, and take action in local and national initiatives.
  • Resource Development: The Center will build online resources to support neurodivergent individuals and their parents, educators, and employers related to neurodiversity issues.
  • Partnership Building: The Center will facilitate dialogue and partnerships, both internally and outside campus, to create synergistic opportunities. One example is the establishment of Landmark College as the first Neurodiversity Hub in the United States, through partnership with DXC Technology.

John Elder Robison, Visiting Lecturer and Advisor to the Center for Neurodiversity

John Elder Robison has joined the Center for Neurodiversity as an advisor and visiting lecturer. Mr. Robison is renowned for his expertise in neurodiversity and in his role as advisor will support the Center in creating opportunities for neurodivergent individuals and those with an interest in this area. He is the author of several books on autism, including Switched On: A Memoir of Brain Change and Emotional Awakening and Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s. As an advocate for neurodivergent individuals, Mr. Robison is an active member of several federal advisory groups such as the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, and the U.S. Department of Education’s Center on Secondary Education for Students with Autism.

Watch the video of John Elder Robison sharing his vision for a neurodiverse society during his first public appearance as visiting lecturer and advisor to the Center for Neurodiversity:

Note: the following video contains language that may be unsuitable for some audiences. Viewer discretion is advised. Landmark College would like to thank Brattleboro Community Television for recording and production of this program. 

 

photo of John Elder Robison

Center for Neurodiversity steering committee

  • Peter A. Eden, President
  • Manju Banerjee, Vice President for Educational Research & Innovation
  • Sallie Banta, Assistant Director of Social Pragmatic Programs & Services
  • Kim Coleman, Natural Sciences Associate Professor
  • Jan Coplan, Director of Career Connections
  • Ibrahim Dahlstrom-Hakki, Director of LCIRT
  • Mark DiPietro, Director of Marketing & Communications
  • Andy Donahue, Director of Social Pragmatic Programs & Services
  • Lynne Feal-Staub, Director of Grants & Sponsored Programs
  • Gail Gibson Sheffield, Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Ken Gobbo, Liberal Studies Professor
  • Michael Luciani, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • John Russo, School for Professional Studies & Science Dean
  • Solvegi Shmulsky, Director of the Center for Neurodiversity and Professor of Psychology
  • Chris Wenz, Research Scientist

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