"Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance." - Verna Myers

We are thrilled to announce that in the winter of 2021, Executive Director, Dr. Christopher Manente, and Courtney Butler, MS, BCBA, Behavior Analyst for the RCAAS-SCALE Program; Former College Support Program (CSP) Coordinator, were awarded the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy (IDEA) Innovation Grant on behalf of the RCAAS! The IDEA Innovation Grants Program is a university-wide initiative that encourages collective community effort to support institutional change. Projects for the grant were evaluated on how they create an inclusive campus culture, address improvement and knowledge-building, the anticipated impact for participants, and the need for relevant partnerships.

The RCAAS project was Creating a Task Force on Neurodiversity at Rutgers University. The aim of the project was to examine neurodiversity at the university as a whole, including, but not limited to, its intersectionality with race and other key factors. To accomplish this, a Neurodiversity Taskforce was formed, comprised of thought leaders, faculty, staff, and students across the university. 

Findings and Culmination

The Taskforce has worked diligently to identify the needs and priorities of the university's neurodivergent community and create a more inclusive campus environment for all. The committee has conducted university-wide surveys with multiple stakeholder focus groups (students, faculty, staff) to identify the needs and priorities of RU’s neurodivergent community and those positioned to support the success of this underserved group, particularly, adults with autism. 

The collective data and feedback obtained was compilied into a report summarizing the findings, which was used to provide recommendations for strategic priorities towards supporting neurodiversity at Rutgers. The RCAAS hosted an impactful event at our new Community Center on June 16, 2022, where we shared the results, moderated candid conversations, and raised awareness about issues surrounding neurodiversity within our campus community. 

Read the 2023 Event Program, click here.

To view the 2023 presentation of findings, click here.

Visit our On the Air tab to view the 2023 and 2022 Neurodiversity Summit Recordings.

We welcome your input on this important, relevant, and evolving topic. Please email feedback to rcaas@gsapp.rutgers.edu at any time. With your help, we are working towards a more inclusive campus climate!

IDEA Grant