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 ASD. 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.
Landmark College has, therefore, always functioned as a “center for neurodiversity”—and today we have established the Center for Neurodiversity at Landmark College. The Center allows us to better promulgate the research- and evidence-based practices in teaching and learning for those who learn differently, and facilitates efforts to develop and apply new methodologies, technologies, and modalities for success in learning, living, and career readiness.
Among the Center for Neurodiversity’s primary goals:
- Thought Leadership and Social Justice: The Center will operate as a think tank, generating 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—who refers to himself as “a proud Aspergian”—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 our work to soon establish 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 ASD, 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.
Key members of the Center for Neurodiversity:
- Peter A. Eden, President
- Manju Banerjee, Vice President for Educational Research & Innovation
- 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 Elder Robison, Visiting Lecturer & Advisor to the Center for Neurodiversity
- John Russo, School for Professional Studies & Science Dean
- Solvegi Shmulsky, Liberal Studies Department Chair