International Neurodiversity Celebration Week 2023

Monday, March 13 – Sunday, March 19, 2023 Lunch and Learn planned for April

Neurodiversity Celebration Week, Monday, March 13, through Sunday, March 19, 2023, offers numerous opportunities to attend introductory webinars, panel discussions, and more—all aimed to expand awareness via education and sharing while inspiring more conversations about neurodiversity.

The Office of Equity Inclusion at Dakota County Technical College is hosting a Lunch and Learn in April 2023 (date and time TBD) for members of the campus community to share what they found out during their NCW sessions and then formulate action steps we all can take as a college to support neurodivergent students and employees.

Erin Manthey, DCTC mathematics faculty, serves as vice chair of the college’s Neurodiverse Employee Resource Group (ERG). She welcomes the celebration as powerful tool to increase the scope of neurodiversity awareness.

“Neurodiversity Celebration Week is a great opportunity for faculty and staff to access exceptional resources and no cost to the institution,” Erin said. “There’s so much collective learning going on in the world of neurodiverse education, and this opportunity has the potential to place DCTC at the cutting edge of academic research.”

Click image above to download full schedule of NCW 2023 events

What is Neurodiversity Celebration Week

Neurodiversity Celebration Week is a worldwide initiative that challenges stereotypes and misconceptions about neurological differences. It aims to transform how neurodivergent individuals are perceived and supported by providing schools, universities, and organisations with the opportunity to recognise the many talents and advantages of being neurodivergent, while creating more inclusive and equitable cultures that celebrate differences and empower every individual.

It is important to uplift Neurodiversity as an aspect of our equity and inclusion work, and celebrate the breadth of strengths, knowledge, and experiences our neurodivergent community brings to our campus, community, and world.


DCTC staff perspective: Anna Voight

Anna Voight

Anna Voight

As an autistic (and likely dyslexic) woman, I am one of many employees in our campus community who is neurodivergent (ND). DCTC leaders have been incredibly supportive as I have disclosed my status in the ND community. Human Resources Director Laina Carlson and Vice President of Equity and Inclusion Rachel Roberson provided 110 percent backing when my colleagues and I formed the very first Neurodiverse Employee Resource Group (ERG) in the Minnesota State system—a group that is also open to allies of ND individuals.

We are also working with Rachel to coordinate a Lunch and Learn where employees can share what they discovered during Neurodiversity Celebration Week and discuss action steps to use what we learned.

College leaders such as Nicole Meulemans, director of student development, and Anne Johnson, vice president of student affairs, have also demonstrated their support for neurodiversity by encouraging all employees in the areas they oversee to attend activities this week or the Lunch and Learn. I am thankful for the support our college leaders have shown to me and the neurodivergent community at DCTC.

Anna Voight
Associate Director of Student Life
ERG Chair

2009 DCTC Alumna
Dakota County Technical College

DCTC faculty perspective: Adrienne Zarn

Adrienne Zarn

I am a member of the new DCTC Neurodiversity Employee Resource Group. The courage and support of founder Anna Voight and other members of the team encourages me to embrace my own neurodiversity and even celebrate it!

The clinical term for my medical diagnosis is classified in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual National Classification of Diseases 10th Revision, is found under the category of behavioral and emotional disorders with onset occurring in childhood and adolescence. My specific diagnosis is medical code F90.0 Attention-deficit hyperactive disorder, predominately inattentive type,

Categorizing and naming neurodiverse conditions may be necessary from a payer’s perspective for medical necessity: however, it is harmful if we judge ourselves and others through the lens of a label. Ironically, one of the strengths of my neurodiversity is that I have a superpower to hyper-focus when I am interested in a topic. One would not know that by the label of ADHD, predominately inattentive type. This superpower helped me graduate from college, and work in the field of medical coding.

I take joy in the fact that for the first time in my adult life, I am in a work group in which I feel psychologically safe in sharing my neurodiverse journey and in learning how to help neurodiverse students excel. It is an exciting venture!

K. Adrienne Zarn, CPC, CANPC
Medical Coding Specialist Faculty
ERG Member
Dakota County Technical College

Next steps…

By participating in activities taking place during Neurodiversity Celebration Week, you can help us create and sustain a neuro-inclusive campus environment at DCTC and beyond. Employees interested in joining the Neurodiverse Employee Resources Group (ERG) are encouraged to go online and complete the DCTC ERG Interest Form.

Students interested in neurodiversity or connecting with neurodivergent students are encouraged to join Unified Club. Advised by Maggie Laurel, learning technology support specialist at DCTC and Inver Hills Community College, Unified Club brings together students with and without a disability to build relationships, spread acceptance, and make sure everyone feels included and welcome at DCTC.

You can learn more about the Neurodiverse Employee Resource Group (ERG) at DCTC by contacting:

Anna Voight
ERG Chair
Associate Director of Student Life
Dakota County Technical College

Erin Manthey
ERG Vice Chair
Mathematics Faculty
Dakota County Technical College

¹ SOURCE: Neurodiversity Celebration Week 2023