Learning from Our Peers: Embracing Neurodiversity in Higher Education

Join UNYCC colleagues for a discussion specifically designed for disability and wellness professionals working in higher education settings. The presentation aims to raise awareness and understanding of neurodiversity while showcasing two successful RIT programs:

Spectrum Support Program (f. 2008) was founded to address the complex needs of a growing population of RIT students on the autism spectrum. SSP was one of the first programs of its kind and has since established itself as the industry standard.

Neurodiverse Hiring Initiative (f. 2018) facilitates the path to completion and employment for neurodiverse students by connecting employers and job seekers.  Many young adults on the autism spectrum frequently lack essential early work experiences, and even those who obtain a college degree often encounter higher rates of unemployment compared to their peers. Neurodiverse Hiring Initiative (NHI) in 2018, RIT is uniquely positioned to bridge this divide.  NHI facilitates myriad programs, including Career Ready Bootcamp and Career and Connect, that build the confidence and job readiness skills of autistic RIT job seekers. 

This one-hour session includes a robust Q&A and discussion, allowing participants to engage with the presenter and exchange experiences and ideas.

Date:  August 10

Time:  12:00-1:00

Presenter: Kendra Evans, RIT



Kendra Evans, MAT (she/her) is the Director of the Spectrum Support Program (SSP) and the Neurodiverse Hiring Initiative (NHI) at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Evans is committed to advancing employment outcomes and quality of life for neurodiverse students. She has cultivated partnerships across campus to enrich the neurodiverse student experience and has also developed meaningful relationships with advocacy organizations and employers nationwide.

In addition to presenting at conferences, Evans provides consultation and neurodiversity trainings to establish inclusive hiring practices and work environments for all employees. She has presented at various neurodiversity conferences and recently was awarded the Presidential Excellence Award. Kendra has three teenage children. In her spare time, she loves to walk and ride or row on her Peloton, play with her pup, and do logic puzzles. Her last meal would be a soft pretzel and a craft beer at a ballpark, preferably Wrigley Field. If she survives, she’ll complete her MBA in the spring of 2024.

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