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Student Initiatives for Full-Time Neurodivergent Center Staff and Representation

Neurodivergence Culture Center | Photo by Bethany Althauser | The Wright State Guardian


The Student Government Association has approved a resolution that proposes the hiring of an Assistant Director of Neurodivergence and Accessibility. AJ Allen, director of student organizations, sponsored this resolution, and Ariana Ellis, chief of staff, co-sponsored the initiative.

The assistant director would be a paid, full-time position to advocate for the needs of Wright State University students who are neurodivergent. There is currently no budget for this position. 

Reasoning

WSU is known to be an accessible campus for those with disabilities. In recent years, wheelchair accessibility has been at the forefront of the architecture for new buildings and updates in the school. These efforts have paid off, with WSU being ranked third in the nation for wheelchair-friendly features. 

“We’re already doing great with accessibility, and our goal is to keep improving,” Allen explained. 

She stressed the importance that Wright State becomes more accessible to people who are neurodivergent as well.

Allen believes that having Cultural Identity Centers for people with all disabilities and neurodivergent people is important. This is evident in the increased activity that the Identity Centers have been seeing recently, which is also why there is now a need for an Assistant Director of Neurodivergence and Accessibility. 

Allen says that recently, the Center’s directors and assistant directors have all been seeing a need to add this position, so she took action by writing up a resolution on this matter, which the Student Government Association approved.

Resolution

Allen explained that getting the resolution approved was one of the first steps to getting this position filled. 

Allen’s resolution outlines how, in the Cultural and Identity Centers, “students with disabilities who utilize the center do not currently have a staff member to advocate for their needs within the Division of Inclusive Excellence,” which is the reason why action is being taken.

Since there is still some time before the Cultural and Identity Centers can expect to meet its full-time assistant, Allen’s resolution on the matter suggests another solution in the meantime. 

With the resolution’s approval, the Student Government Association also agreed that a student worker be hired until a full-time director can take over the position.

While it may take some time for this position to be filled officially, the fact that this resolution has already been approved means that WSU students are already taking steps toward making campus more accessible to students who are neurodivergent.

Fostering community

Tom Webb, associate vice president of accessibility for the Office of Disability Services, explained that the goal of hiring this new staff member is to create a more inclusive environment and foster a sense of community for those students who identify as disabled or neurodivergent.

Webb commended the efforts of the students and staff who have been involved in the process of creating this position.

“Bonds and friendships fuel academic success and the courage to integrate fully into the student community,” Webb stated.


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