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Supporting Neurodivergent Students

November 8, 2023 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm CST

Learn about common forms of neurodiversity, the obstacles that neurodivergent students might encounter in academia, and teaching strategies to overcome those obstacles in this two-part workshop. In part one, participants will learn key basics about neurodiversity, on topics including conditions such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, autism, and ADHD, common obstacles faced by neurodivergent students, and strategies and resources for supporting neurodivergent students. In part two, participants will brainstorm, refine, and detail an individualized and actionable teaching approach to create more inclusive learning experiences for all students based on strengths-based learning and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Describe what neurodiversity is and its common forms and experiences
  • Recognize ways that neurodivergent students may experience difficulties with typical teaching methods
  • Explain the difference between the medical and social models of disability
  • Brainstorm new methods for creating inclusive and accessible classes for neurodivergent students

This workshop is part of CIRTL’s fall programming on accessibility.


Bailey Szustak, University of Illinois Chicago
Helen Rottier, University of Illinois Chicago

Workshop Schedule

All participants will attend a first session on Wednesday, November 8; then, participants can choose from attending one of two follow-up sessions on either Monday, November 20 or 27. Sessions take place in Zoom at 1-3PM AT / 12-2PM ET / 11AM-1PM CT / 10AM-12PM MT / 9-11AM PT.


This workshop is designed first and foremost for graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, faculty, and instructional staff  in STEM/SBE disciplines, but is generally relevant to anyone looking for an introduction to neurodiversity in college-level teaching and learning environments.

Registration & Enrollment

No cap. Registration opens on Monday, August 14, and closes Wednesday, November 8.


If you have a disability, please let us know your learning needs. Contact Kate Diamond (, who is supporting this workshop, to let us know how we can help you have a successful experience. In addition to meeting individualized needs, we will also take measures throughout the workshop to support accessibility for all our students:

  • Using alt-text on images in reading materials
  • Sending pre-session reminders with upcoming assignments to all students
  • Sharing materials for synchronous sessions with students (slides, activity instructions, etc.)
  • Enabling live captioning in synchronous sessions
  • Incorporating multiple modes of interaction into synchronous sessions

Learning Outcomes

All CIRTL Network programming is designed to help participants achieve familiarity with our Core Ideas. This workshop is designed around the following learning outcomes.

Associate: Evidence-based teaching

  • Describe several known high-impact, evidence-based effective instructional practices and materials and recognize their alignment with particular types of learning goals

Associate: Learning community

  • Recognize the value of and participate in local professionally-focused learning communities associated with teaching and learning

Associate: Learning-through-diversity

  • Describe and recognize the value of drawing on diversity in the development of teaching plans (including content, teaching practices and assessments) to foster learning
  • Describe several learning-through-diversity (LtD) techniques and strategies
  • Describe the impact of diversity on student learning, in particular how diversity can enhance learning, and how inequities can negatively impact learning if not addressed
  • Describe the scope of diversity in learning environments, of both students and instructor