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21 Mar 2012, 5:41 am

Please spread far and wide! If anyone would like a copy of the Call for Proposals in Word or PDF formats, please send an email to neurodiversitysymposium at


National Symposium on Neurodiversity at Syracuse University: Symposium 2012

Call for Proposals

The National Symposium on Neurodiversity is a yearly conference at Syracuse University that seeks to promote academic inquiry into neurodiversity as a concept and social movement. The 2012 conference will take place in October 2012 at Syracuse University. More details about specific dates and locations will be forthcoming.

Proposal deadline: June 1, 2012. Please submit all proposals to neurodiversitysymposium at

If you need any assistance creating or submitting a proposal, please contact Rachael Zubal-Ruggieri at the Center on Human Policy, Law, and Disability Studies: razubal at

Types of presentations wanted: We are interested in presentations that deal with issues currently being explored within the neurodiversity community. While this conference will focus largely on issues affecting the Autistic community, individuals are welcome to present on topics that investigate a broader application of neurodiversity as a framework.

In an effort to create an environment that is as universally accessible and egalitarian as possible, we do not require individuals submitting proposals to be associated with a college or university. Participants do not have to identify as disabled/having a disability or as part of a neurological minority to present, although we highly encourage those who identify as members of these groups to submit presentations. We welcome presentations by individuals with a wide variety of educational backgrounds.

Please note: Although this conference is intended to promote critical inquiry into the current state and future of the neurodiversity movement, we are not interested in presentations that reinforce stereotypes about neurodiversity or individuals who identify as neurological minorities. The intended audience of this conference is individuals who identify as disabled or members of a neurological minority, and their neurotypical and/or nondisabled allies. Nondisabled parents and medical or service professionals are welcome to attend, as allies.

Structure: The Symposium will take place over a period of one or two days, and will include opening and closing keynote presentations by invited speakers, and up to 8 presentation sessions chosen from the proposals submitted. Each of these presentation sessions will be
followed by a discussion of up to 1 hour in length. There will also be space and time designated for participants who wish to create their own roundtables/discussion groups.

Other events at the Symposium may include: exhibitions of neurodiversity-associated organizations; musical and non-musical performances; and an award ceremony honoring individuals helping to advance neurodiversity and the neurodiversity movement in academia,
the service-provider realm, and greater society. (Details are not finalized, and may be subject to change.)

Topics of interest:


• Autism, gender, sexuality, and sexual identity

• Neurodiversity in disability communities beyond the Autistic community

• Applying current understandings of disability rights, theory, and community to the autism & Autistic communities, and to our understanding of neurodiversity

• Mental health, psychiatric disability labels, and neurodiversity

Advocacy/Rights Issues

• Independent and interdependent living: developing alternatives to state-supported service models

• Technology, advocacy, communication, and neurodiversity

Neurodiversity in Different Settings

• Neurodiversity and popular culture

• Rhetoric used in conversations about autism and/or neurodiversity

• Neurodiversity in higher education

• Neurodiversity in the PreK-12 school system

Note: We may consider robust proposals for presentation topics that fall outside of those listed above.

Accommodations: We are committed to universal design, and will do our best to accommodate any needs you may have. In order to make sure we can do so effectively, contact Rachael Zubal-Ruggieri (razubal at with access needs as early as possible.

Travel: Due to budget constraints, we are unfortunately not able to provide funding for travel to this year's Symposium.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at:
neurodiversitysymposium at

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