(The Daily Orange | April 4, 2023) In 2004, Dr. Nick Walker implemented the term “neurominority.” While the term neurodivergent broadly covers acquired conditions like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the term neurominority is specific to conditions that don’t necessarily make a person’s brain different, but are still a disability.
On April 4, Walker was part of a virtual talk held by Syracuse University’s Center on Disability and Inclusion to discuss anti-oppressive educational approaches to teaching and accommodating neurodivergent students.
“They want faculty and staff to build the capacity of faculty and staff understanding of the experiences of neurodivergent students, and strategies and supports and ways to make our campus not just accessible, but a more supportive space.”
—Professor Christy Ashby
Walker, who is a professor of psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, said in the context of education, the term neurominority extends to students with conditions like autism, ADHD and dyslexia who are often restricted through lack of accommodation.
Christine Ashby, director of CDI, opened the event with a discussion on the Neurodiversity at SU initiative, which focuses on working with SU students with autism or who are otherwise neurodivergent to improve their experiences on campus.
Ashby said that when she’s spoken with students about what they want to see on college campuses, she’s found four goals to be consistent: improve campus climates, provide opportunities and spaces to connect with other neurodivergent students, expand educational opportunities and hire more staff with training to meet needs.
“They want faculty and staff to build the capacity of faculty and staff understanding of the experiences of neurodivergent students, and strategies and supports and ways to make our campus not just accessible, but a more supportive space,” Ashby said.
Walker said she wanted to focus specifically on faculty and staff training, saying a significant proportion of mistakes in curriculum stem from a lack of resources or understanding …