You ever do something that is SO big you don’t know how it happened? Yeah, I did that.
So I got an email that was sent to the entire school… asking for people to apply for our university’s TEDx talk. The topic was “access.” Coincidentally I had just been talking to a friend of mine about how my kids—who are both spectrum—were faring at college with the move to online classes. The move online had actually helped with my oldest kid because they were able to go back to lectures that were now online as well (a bit of ADD as well). I also noted that my youngest was taking the option to go almost exclusively online when they could — often working more at night when possible. It intrigued me. So I conducted an unofficial poll online (Reddit and Dischord) where I asked ND peeps how they were faring w/the ability to learn at home. And after the initial change, it seemed to be going fairly well… and I wondered.
What if the ability to learn in a comfortable environment
(where they could control the lights, the sound, the everything)
was actually HELPING neurodiverse students?
I quickly threw together a proposal video and sent it off to the TEDx group not really expecting anything to come of it. After all, with everything else that was going on right now, who would care if a few students were benefiting from distance learning? ND students are (largely) an invisible disability, and I knew from experience that some faculty even thought of having to put accommodations into their classes as a nuisance. But to my surprise… I was asked to create a TEDx talk…
And so it began….