An Intersectional Approach to Supporting Neurodiverse Learners Online



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Learn how you can approach neurodiversity from an intersectional lens to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in your online classroom.



Neurodiverse students are often disadvantaged in the classroom by deficit thinking, a learned mindset that defines learners by their perceived problems and can limit the success of disabled students. For learners who have other marginalized aspects of their identities, disadvantages in the classroom are compounded, and the implicit biases we hold can unintentionally disempower them and curb their academic progress. Without special care and preparation, these hindrances are further exacerbated in an online learning environment. By approaching neurodiversity from an intersectional lens and implementing strength-based practices, we can begin to promote equity, inclusion, and diversity in the classroom.

Join us online and hear from Dr. Gloria Niles, Director of Distance Education at the University of Hawai’i West O'ahu. With a background in neurology and special education, she will provide practices that will help you:

  • Unpack deficit thinking and the pathology paradigm of disability
  • Consider the intersections of identity that appear in your classroom, including your own
  • Understand and shift to a neurodiversity paradigm
  • Take a strength-based, talent-focused approach to cognitive differences
  • Create a more empowering and effective online learning environment for all students


Who Should Attend

This training will primarily benefit faculty and instructors committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the classroom. Those who are looking to expand teaching practices to better serve neurodiverse students and students with marginalized aspects of their identities will also find this training valuable.

The Academic Impressions Online Learning Experience

Intentionally Designed
Online Learning

Our virtual trainings go far beyond just replicating PowerPoint presentations online: these experiences are intentionally designed to give you the kind of robust and dynamic learning experience you’ve come to expect from Academic Impressions. These trainings provide you with an active learning environment and an online space where you can explore ideas, get inspired by what your peers are doing, and understand the range of possibilities around a certain topic. You will leave these sessions with practical solutions that you can take back to your team or task force.

What you will get:

  • A dynamic, interactive, and high-touch virtual learning experience designed to engage and set you up for growth
  • Seamless online face-time, networking, group work, and Q&A opportunities from the comfort of your own workspace
  • Practical takeaways and hands-on knowledge
  • Guidance from vetted subject matter experts
  • Unlimited access to all recorded online sessions


December 3, 2020

1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Eastern

Approaches and Definitions

1:00 - 2:30 p.m. Eastern
Dr. Gloria Niles will provide foundational definitions and introduce the approaches we will apply throughout the training. She will:

  • Define intersectionality, what it means in context, and how aspects of our identities can change
  • Guide the group through an activity where you will define your own social wheel and the intersections
  • Unpack deficit thinking and provide an overview of three models of disability: medical, social, and cultural
  • Define the neurodiversity paradigm and detail how you can apply it in your classroom



Learner Case Studies

2:30 - 3:00 p.m. Eastern
You will follow neurodiverse students through their unique academic journeys to understand how mindsets and practices have created obstacles through various stages of their education. After hearing about their learning experiences, you will learn how you can support them in higher ed classrooms.



Practice and Action in the Classroom

3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Eastern
In this practical and interactive session, you will learn strength-based and talent-focused strategies and break into small groups to reflect on current classroom practices and environments. You will leave with an action plan to better support neurodiverse students.


Portrait of Gloria Niles

Dr. Gloria Niles

Director of Distance Education, University of Hawai’i West O'ahu

Gloria is an enthusiastic educator devoted to advancing teaching and learning with technology. She has had experience with online learning as a student, instructor, designer, and administrator, and she brings over 25 years of experience in various levels of education.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.


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