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 neurodiverse 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 (CND) at Landmark College. The CND 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 CND’s primary goals:
- Thought Leadership and Social Justice: The CND will operate as a think tank, generating white papers and opinion pieces that shape the global conversation about neurodiversity, with input from neurodiverse 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 CND.
- Innovative Programming: The CND will support research, development, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of models that support neurodiverse learners in living, learning, and workplace environments.
- Resource Development: The CND will build online resources to support neurodiverse individuals, parents, educators, and employers related to neurodiversity issues.
- Partnership Building: The CND 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.
- Community-Building: The CND is creating activities and events, including guest speakers on campus, to allow opportunities for neurodiverse individuals, and anyone with an interest in neurodiversity, to share perspectives and participate in action plans.
John Elder Robison, Visiting Lecturer and Advisor to the CND
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 neurodiverse 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 neurodiverse 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.
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 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 CND
- John Russo, School for Professional Studies & Science Dean
- Solvegi Shmulsky, Liberal Studies Department Chair