Neurodiverse Faculty and Staff Support Group

Starting in the spring 2024 semester, the Disability Services Office is proud to sponsor a new group on campus, supporting the individual needs of neurodiverse faculty and staff.

Group Purpose

Neurodiverse (ND) faculty and staff in an academic institution face particular challenges and have unique experiences that are frequently different than those of neurotypical (NT) colleagues. This can result in isolation, frustration, and difficulty finding resources or even others who will be able to relate to the experiences of ND faculty and staff.

This group allows neurodiverse faculty and staff to connect with one another without having to publicly announce private diagnoses in spaces that may not feel safe for disclosure.

To be added to the list for updates, please send an email to Megan Rutter, DSO Assistant Director, at As the group gains more members, we will discuss how and when we want to meet. 

  • Group Membership and Protecting Confidentiality

    Joining the group means agreeing to protect the confidentiality of other members in the group. Disclosures of diagnoses, stories about challenging situations, and discussion of personal matters involve a high degree of vulnerability. Any information shared in meetings will be expected to be strictly confidential and not shared with others outside of the group. The group would be open to both individuals with official diagnoses and those self-suspecting but not yet officially diagnosed with conditions falling under the neurodiversity umbrella, including: autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, Tourette syndrome, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, and other neurodevelopmental or mental health conditions. Due to privacy issues, the group would be limited to those either personally diagnosed or self-suspecting. While support from NT allies is of course a necessary and welcome part of creating positive change, this is a support group for people who identify as ND themselves, not a general group to include parents, partners, or other allies. 

  • Group Mission and Purpose

    The general mission of the group is to be a support group. This is a space for working through difficult situations, sharing experiences, and finding camaraderie among others who may be able to relate to one another in ways that are particular to being an ND faculty or staff member at a university. In the event that someone is seeking workplace accommodations or has experienced discrimination, they will need to go through the appropriate official channels to seek remedy. However, some benefits of this group may include: discussion of the kinds of accommodations that others have received and guidance on how to navigate the system for ADA accommodations from those who have been through the process; identification of areas where KU could improve universal design, reducing the need for individual accommodations; feedback on challenging situations and how to carefully navigate them within academia; and a place to vent frustration and receive social support, discuss personal strategies that have worked, and talk about experiences such as the process of being evaluated as an adult, medication and treatment experiences, and managing personal and professional responsibilities. Basically, the goal for the group is for ND faculty and staff to safely and privately find one another on campus and build a support network. 

  • How Disability Services Supports the Group

    The group may brainstorm suggestions for ways in which KU could be more supportive of ND communities on campus and those suggestions could be forwarded onto the DSO. It would also be helpful, as is determined to be appropriate, for the DSO to provide suggestions (e.g., types of accommodations faculty or staff might request from HR), and create resources and space for the group, including a safe space away from their academic offices. While requests for accommodations for faculty and staff go through HR, there is little in the way of existing resources and supports available at the university for ND faculty and staff. When appropriate, Disability Services staff, who are also members of this group, may provide support in going through the process or in speaking with ones supervisor.