This week, the Australian College of Applied Psychology (ACAP) is participating in Neurodiversity Celebration Week: an initiative aimed to recognise, nurture, and celebrate the many strengths and talents of being neurodiverse.
ACAP is one of three Australian education institutions participating in the celebration week, taking place from March 15-21.
Siena Castellon, a UK based student with several learning differences, launched Neurodiversity Celebration Week to encourage schools and colleges to change the way they perceive their autistic students and students with learning differences.
Neurodiversity is a viewpoint that recognises brain differences are normal, rather than deficits. The conditions of ADHD, Autism, Dyspraxia, and Dyslexia make up Neurodiversity.
Jane Daisley-Snow, Academic Lead: Course Development (Short Courses), who has led ACAP’s response to Neurodiversity Celebration Week, said she is proud to celebrate the value of a neurodiverse world.
“Our brains are unique like our fingerprints and develop differently, giving us the ability to think about things differently. That’s worth celebrating!
“At ACAP, we are focusing on providing a more inclusive educational landscape and that includes providing the correct awareness and support for our neurodiverse learners.”
Supporting Neurodiverse Learners
As part of the celebrations, ACAP is hosting a professional development webinar for staff as well as staff of ACAP’s sister college, SAE Creative Media Institute.
Facilitated by ACAP’s Dr Christine Chinchen, the webinar aims to increase awareness of neurodiversity and provide staff with the skills and knowledge to support neurodiverse learners more effectively.
Throughout the week, ACAP has highlighted the many strengths of neurodiverse learners including creativity, innovation, problem-solving skills, and unique insights.
ACAP Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science student and neurodiverse learner, Maddie, said that her hope for Neurodiversity Celebration Week is to change the conversation around neurodiverse individuals and focus on how these individuals contribute to society.
“When people focus on the challenges that neurodiverse difference accompany, they do a huge disservice not only to the dignity and inclusion of neurodiverse individuals but they’re doing a huge disservice to society, in the respect that these differences can and do contribute to a society that makes it a more richer innovative and interesting place to be.”
Watch Maddie's story below.
More inclusive educational landscape
ACAP has recently advanced their Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) policy which forms part of ACAP's strategic pillars - to provide a safe environment where everyone feels safe to bring their whole selves to College.
ACAP's policy aims to meet the needs of everyone in their community. From scholarships and equitable access schemes to the ALLY Network. ACAP is committed to putting their values into action and creating an environment of genuine inclusion.
- More information on Neurodiversity Celebration Week
- More information on ACAP’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) policy