STANFORD NEURODIVERSITY SUMMIT
We are organizing our first (virtual) neurodiversity-friendly conference!
The theme of this year's Stanford Neurodiversity Summit is "Scaling Up the Neurodiversity at Work Initiative". This virtual summit is a unique conference bringing together neurodiverse/neurodivergent individuals, employers, service agencies, educators and students, parents, and professionals from all areas of the field. See below for a preliminary schedule of the summit.
We are planning the conference with Universal Design in mind, to maximize accessibility and inclusion; we want neurodiverse individuals to participate. See the "What We're Doing Differently" section below for more information about accessibility and how we're including neurodiverse/neurodivergent perspectives.
Sponsored by the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and the Stanford Neurodiversity Project.
Date: October 17-21, 2020
Registration: General registration is free and open until October 10th. Register today to enjoy the scheduled activities in the summit.
Our preliminary schedule features a wide variety of topics, perspectives, and formats.
Topics address neurodiversity from K-12 education to employment. We know there's no one type of employment that's right for everyone, so our employment sessions cover a range of possibilities from the Paid Internship Program to large coorporations.
Perspectives, approaches, and background of speakers are equally varied. Some presenters come from academia, while others are mental health providers. Of course our summit wouldn't be complete without including the lived- experience perspective of neurodiverse/neurodivergent individuals (some of whom are also academics, practitioners, etc.).
Formats differ from session to session. Some sessions are traditional lecture-style presentations, while others are more panel-focused. As a virtual conference, the sessions will be recorded so people have the option to either watch live or on their own time.
A PDF of the preliminary schedule is also available.
What We're Doing Differently
We've noticed that many conferences on the topic of neurodiversity are actually not set up to be neurodiversity-friendly. In planning our conference, we are applying Universal Design concepts to maximize accessibility and inclusion. We want neurodiverse/neurodivergent individuals to participate, and be comfortable doing so.
Specific accessibility details will be posted soon. However, all conference registrants will be provided with a packet with accessibility information. Additionally, we are providing speakers with their own set of accessibility guidelines.
Including Neurodiverse/Neurodivergent Perspectives
We believe that neurodiverse/neurodivergent individuals are crucial to include in any conversations about neurodiversity. Here is how we're doing that:
- Planning: Our organizing committee has several neurodiverse/neurodivergent members helping to shape everything from content to accessibility.
- Speakers: Our speakers and panelists include neurodiverse/neurodivergent individuals.
- Attendees: Neurodiverse/neurodivergent individuals are encouraged to attend, and a portion of the registration slots are specifically set aside for neurodiverse/neurodivergent attendees.
It is certainly a challenge to make a virtual summit feel just as interactive as an in-person one. However, our conference schedule consists largely of panels and enables presenters to talk with attendees, rather than a series of presenters speaking to attendees.