An annual event, Neurodiversity Celebration Week highlights the importance of viewing neurodivergence and differences in thinking as important parts of an equitable society and aims to destigmatise challenges faced by people with a variety of alternative thinking styles.
According to neurodiversityweek.com, approximately 15-20% of the population has a neurological difference, with each individual person possessing their own set of characteristics and patterns which make them unique. The work conducted by Neurodiversity Celebration Week encourages people to help raise awareness and excitement around the idea that because no two people think in exactly the same way, a culture of mutual respect and understanding around these differences is a rich and fertile environment for new ideas and ways of seeing the world.
In celebration and solidarity, staff and students at Hills set out to promote the fact that the College is home to all kinds of minds with several fun, interactive, and thought-provoking activities. This included a host of resources and information including crib-sheets for lessons and suggestions for neurodiversity-friendly classrooms, as well as language lists used to promote inclusion all being shared throughout the week, and the creation of a college-wide Word Cloud with every member of the college encouraged to contribute.
Head of Contemporary and Classical Humanities, Hannah Hacking, wished the whole college a ‘Happy Neurodiversity Week’ in an email in which she said: “Our focus here is on normalising different ways of thinking and working, accepting neurological diversity as natural, and promoting easy ways to increase inclusion.”
After over 180 students contributed to the College’s neurodiversity Word Cloud, Hannah said, “We invited students and staff to contribute to our word cloud and I’m delighted with the outcome. It demonstrates the many and varied strengths of our different brains. Neurodiversity celebration week is about remembering that each of our brains have unique strengths and there is no one ‘typical’ way of thinking.” Hannah, who says neurodiversity is her favourite topic, worked closely with Director of SEND, Vicky Williamson, and Progress and Support Tutor, Angeline Lee, to spread this message of acceptance and encourage participation and celebration from all areas of the college community.
By promoting awareness and acceptance of neurodiversity, staff and students at Hills Road are participating actively in creating a more inclusive society