Neurodiversity Celebration Week

We invite your school or university to ‘take the pledge’ and celebrate the intelligence, ability and employability of neurodivergent students and staff.

Neurodiversity is the diversity of human brains and minds – the infinite variation in neurocognitive functioning within our species. This year over 1,100 schools and universities and over 700,000 students from around the world are participating in Neurodiversity Celebration Week.

In New Zealand and Australia local members of the Autistic Collaboration Trust with the support of S23M are assisting schools with neurodiversity education resources leading up to the event.

Members of the neurodiversity movement adopt a position of diversity that encompasses a kaleidoscope of identities that intersects with the LGBTQIA+ kaleidoscope by recognising neurodivergent traits – including but not limited to ADHD, Autism, Dyscalculia, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Synesthesia, Tourette’s Syndrome – as natural variations of cognition, motivations, and patterns of behaviour within the human species.

Diversity is inclusion. 1 in 5 people are considered neurodivergent from the hypernormative perspective of our industrialised society!

Neurodiversity Celebration Week is not only about neurodivergent students, it is also about the many neurodivergent teachers, parents, artists, and professionals and entrepreneurs in all sectors of our economy – who are unable to act as role models for neurodivergent students when having to remain undercover, to avoid bullying, ruthless exploitation, and systematic discrimination in their workplaces.

Your school can sign up here to participate.

Learning material

In the light of legitimate concerns about slowing the spread of COVID-19 you may want to consider engaging students in collaborative online research and learning activities related to neurodiversity. In this context you can draw on the learning resources curated on the following websites and web pages:

  1. Neurodiversity Celebration Week – The advantages of perceiving the world differently
  2. Autistic Collaboration – Equipping autistic people for collaboration for life – If you are autistic, welcome home
  3. Autistic Collaboration – The articles listed on the right hand side of this website
  4. Autistic Collaboration – Knowledge Repository – Understanding autistic strengths and challenges, autistic forms of collaboration; and tips for living in a culture that disadvantages neurodivergent people
  5. Autistic Collaboration – Deep Innovation – Understanding the unique role of neurodivergent people in society
  6. Autistic Collaboration – Community Initiatives – From autistic people for autistic people, to make the world a safer place for everyone
  7. Autistic Collaboration – Employer Rating Service – For organisations with a genuine commitment to diversity and inclusion
  8. Autistic Collaboration – Bullying Alert Service – Peer support for neurodivergent and/or marginalised employees who are bullied in their workplace
  9. Neuroclastic – Information about the autism spectrum from autistic people

Participating organisations

Schools and universities in Australia:

  • Alexandria Park Community School
  • Alkimos Primary, North Coast
  • Auburn Primary School, Victoria
  • Avila College, Victoria
  • Blackwater North State School. Blackwater, Central Queensland
  • Borinya Wangaratta Community Partnership, Victoria
  • Bullarto Primary School, Victoria
  • Easter Ranges School, Victoria
  • Emmaus College, Melbourne 
  • Emmanuel College Warrnambool, Victoria
  • Genazzano FCJ College, Kew
  • Gladstone High School, South Australia
  • Lumineer Academy, Melbourne
  • Marrickville Public School, New South Wales
  • Mount Marrow State School, Queensland
  • Northmead Public School, New South Wales
  • Our Lady of Sion College, Melbourne
  • Peaceful Rooms Montessori Centre, Western Australia
  • Randwick Public School, New Soth Wales
  • Respectful Schools Support Team, Tasmania
  • Rosamond School, Victoria
  • Sacred Heart College, Perth, Western Australia
  • Scarborough Public School, Scarborough, New South Wales
  • Springbrook State School, Gold Coast
  • St Leonard’s College, Melbourne
  • St Martin de Porres School, South Australia
  • St Michael’s Grammar School, Victoria
  • St Peter’s Catholic College, Tuggerah NSW
  • Worongary State School, Queensland
  • The University of New South Wales
  • Australian College of Applied Psychology

Schools and universities in New Zealand:

  • Columba College Dunedin
  • Macleans College, Auckland
  • Owairoa Primary School, Auckland
  • Palmerston North Girls’ High, Palmerston North
  • Wakatipu High School, Queenstown
  • Wellington East Girl’s College, Wellington
  • Wellington High School

Neurodiversity education

If you would like your organisation (school, university, local council, etc.) in New Zealand or Australia to participate and would like to offer on-site or online neurodiversity education to your staff prior to Neurodiversity Celebration Week, you can request local assistance via the form below.

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Background

Neurodiversity celebration week was launched in May 2019 by Siena Castellon, a sixteen year old neurodiversity advocate from the UK who is autistic, dyslexic and dyspraxic and has ADHD.

When I was thirteen, I created a website – www.qlmentoring.com – to support young people with learning differences and autistic young people. When searching for information about my conditions, I found that all the existing websites were focused on providing information and resources for parents. So I decided to create a website designed for young people like me. My website aims to empower neurodiverse youth by providing practical information and useful resources to help them to succeed in school.

As a student with several learning differences, I know that there is still a stigma associated with having special educational needs and that there are still many misconceptions about what it means to have a learning difference. I want to change this.

I want to flip the narrative so that instead of perceiving learning differences as something negative, we focus on the many strengths and advantages that come from seeing and perceiving the world differently.

– Siena Castellon

More information on how to get involved with this global initiative is available on the Neurodiversity Celebration Week website.

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