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Friday, June 7, 2024

"Embodied Equity"

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the growing number of college students on the spectrum.  

Olivia Sanchez at The Hechinger Report:

[Niki Elliott] became a special education teacher, and said she never stops thinking about how to create a world in which a young Black student like herself could be taught to work with (instead of against) her learning differences, to reach her full potential. Now, a clinical professor in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at the University of San Diego, she’s helping to open, in August, the school’s Center for Embodied Equity and Neurodiversity.

At its simplest, neurodiversity is the idea that everybody’s brains work differently, and that these differences are normal. Neurodivergent, which is not a medical diagnosis, is an umbrella term that refers to people who have autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, dyslexia, or other atypical ways of thinking, learning and interacting with others.

“Embodied equity,” the other term in the new center’s name, refers to an anti-discrimination approach that considers all aspects of people’s identities — including race, gender, ability, socioeconomic status — when addressing social problems.


 Elliott said the center’s work will fall into four main categories: training K-12 teachers and education support staffers, training community college educators, working on policy issues that affect neurodivergent students and offering programs to set up neurodivergent students for success in college and the workplace.


The number of colleges where at least 5 percent of students report having a disability has risen from 510 in 2008 to 1,276 in 2022, according to data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. But this measure is imperfect: It includes students who have physical disabilities. Also, roughly two-thirds of college students with disabilities who choose not to disclose their disability to their college.