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Neurodiversity: Building Community & Rethinking the Built Environment

Neurodiveristy: Building Community and Rethinking the Built Environment was an online, 4-day, cross-disciplinary symposium of critical interactions addressing all-inclusive ways for inhabiting and perceiving our environments.

Scroll down to view videos from each day and the event program (PDF)

The event aimed to stimulate dialogue amongst designers, medical field experts and people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their caregivers in regard to the inclusivity of our current environments and with particular focus on designing for neurodiverse individuals and those with ASD.


Sean Ahlquist // Severino Alfonso // Christopher Banks // Jaime Bassman // Hansel Bauman // Caroline Borgia // Seb Choe // Jennifer Cook O’Toole // Erica Daniels // Brian Foti // Eron Friedlander // Brooke Goodspeed // Adam Harris // Lauren S. Henry // Stephen K. Klasko // Barbara Klinkhammer // Alex LePape // Amy McCann // Joseph P. McCleery // Bruce Meyer // Magda Mostafa // Itai Palti // Wendy Ross // Joel Sanders // Roseann Schaaf // Stephen Mark Shore // Lonnie Smith // Gregory Tino // Sabra Townsend // Loukia Tsafoulia // Mark L. Tykocinski // Rachel Updegrove // Verona Carpenter Architects

Organized by:

  • Severino Alfonso and Loukia Tsafoulia, Synesthetic Research and Design Lab, College of Architecture and the Built Environment, Thomas Jefferson University

  • Dr. Wendy Ross, Center for Autism and Neurodiversity, Jefferson Health, Home of Sidney Kimmel Medical College

Symposium Day 1 Part 1// Neurodiversity: Foundation I

Building a Foundation for Autism

Wendy J. Ross

4 A’s of Autism: Awareness to Acceptance to Appreciation to Action as a Pathway to Fulfilling and Productive Lives

Stephen Mark Shore

Dialectical Design Thinking. Towards Space Inclusivity

Severino Alfonso & Loukia Tsafoulia

The Other, Binary Thinking, A True Spectrum: My Autism Diagnosis Story Rachel Updegrove

Symposium Day 1 Part 2// Neurodiversity: Foundation II

How Autism Affects a 19-Year-Old College-Bound Autistic Student in Everyday Life Caroline Borgia

Cannabinoid Based Medicine in the treatment of Symptoms Associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Erica Daniels

GET Café: the journey from concept to cappuccino to competitive jobs

Brooke Goodspeed

I’m Not Disabled ... You Are

Lonnie Smith

Everyday Strategies: Autism and the Things it Teaches from A Family Perspective

Sabra Townsend

Symposium Day 2 Part 1// Design Frameworks: Evaluation Strategies I

Enabling Architecture: ASPECTSS and the Built Environment from an Autistic Lens

Magda Mostafa

Building Autism Accepting Environments

Adam Harris

Symposium Day 2 Part 2// Design Frameworks: Evaluation Strategies II

Reflecting on the ADA and Those Left Behind

Eron Friedlander

Body Politics: Social Equity and Public Space

Joel Sanders

Symposium Day 2 Part 3// Design Frameworks: Evaluation Strategies III

Direct In Vivo Evaluation of the Autism Accessibility of Architectural Spaces Through the Lived Experience of People on the Spectrum

Joseph McCleery

DEAFSPACE: Insights on the Power of Participatory Design and Community Building

Hansel Bauman

Symposium Day 3 Part 1// Sensory Ergo design: The Human Body as a Catalyst I

Creating Sensory Friendly Spaces: Tips from an Occupational Therapist

Jamie Bassman

The Orchid, the Dandelion and the Slide: Exploring autism and architecture’s need for sensorial agency

Sean Ahlquist

Symposium Day 3 Part 2// Sensory Ergo design: The Human Body as a Catalyst II

Through Autistic Eyes

Brian Foti, Alex Le Pape & Gregory Tino

The Person-Space Dialogue: Towards a unified language

Itai Palti

Symposium Day 3 Part 3// Sensory Ergo design: The Human Body as a Catalyst III

Launch Pad: Design to Empower Everyday Superheroes

Jennifer Cook O’Toole

Joyful not Painful: Designing for All Learners

Verona Carpenter Architects, Jennifer Carpenter & Irina Verona

Symposium Day 4 Part 1// Inclusive Futures I

Building Inclusivity into Everyday Life

Christopher Banks

President and Parent: Neurodiversity is always on my mind

Bruce A. Meyer

Symposium Day 4 Part 2// Inclusive Futures II

What’s Next? Building Independence in the Home, on the Job, and on the Go!

Amy McCann

Round-Table Discussion: Future and Conclusions

Discussion with the event speakers moderated by Severino Alfonso, Wendy Ross & Loukia Tsafoulia.

+ Seb Choe, Lauren S. Henry, Roseann Schaaf.

Neurodiversity Symposium Program
Download PDF • 4.73MB


External Links

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