Kennedy Krieger Institute Announces Inaugural national Neurodiversity Conference

BALTIMORE, July 10, 2019 - On November 7 and 8, 2019, Kennedy Krieger Institute, an internationally renowned organization with the mission of improving the lives of children, adolescents and young adults with disorders and injuries of the brain, spinal cord and musculoskeletal system, will host “Neurodiversity in the Workplace,” a collaborative conference designed to educate and connect employers with topic experts and resources to create and enhance work and higher education acquisition and inclusion strategies for individuals with neurodiverse traits.

“With more than 80 years of clinical and educational experience and expertise working with individuals with neurodiverse traits, Kennedy Krieger is proud to host, along with our key sponsor BD, our first national conference on neurodiversity in the workplace. Individuals with neurodiverse traits are often misunderstood and their skills and talents underutilized. Our goal is to help employers and members of the higher education community open opportunities for individuals as they transition from school and internship environments to the workforce,” said Bradley Schlaggar, president and CEO of Kennedy Krieger Institute. “This conference will foster a robust dialog between neurodiversity experts and those seeking to learn more about how to enhance diversity, inclusion and equity in their workplaces.”

This conference is ideal for human resource/talent acquisition professionals, university career center and disability service professionals, community advocates, disability advocacy groups, and individuals with different abilities and their family members. Attendees will glean practical and actionable tools to not only understand the positive impacts of neurodiversity initiatives on one’s own workplace or learning environment, but also how to build a team that includes individuals with neurodiverse traits, and the benefits of doing so. Attendees will develop a better understanding of neurodiverse traits and how to accommodate and leverage these skills as part of a more inclusive and diverse workplace. During the conference, participants will also build a network of contacts to support hiring individuals with neurodiverse traits so they are better prepared to implement best-practices and ultimately, improve workforce development.

“Neurodiversity is a facet of workforce development, education and community diversity that is gaining traction in the business community,” said Dave Hickey, integrated diagnostic systems president at BD, a platinum level sponsor of the conference. “This conference will help professionals and others create more inclusive environments for individuals of all abilities and will have a far-reaching impact on society.”

Keynote speakers at the conference are:

  • John Elder Robison, author, father, self-advocate, and scholar-in-residence and co-chair of the Neurodiversity Working Group at William & Mary
  • Paul Shattuck, PhD, director of Drexel University’s Life Course Outcomes research program
  • Tom D’Eri, chief operating officer and co-founder of Rising Tide Car Wash in South Florida.

Conference attendees will also participate in breakout sessions and roundtable discussions led by executives from organizations including Northrop Grumman, Ernst & Young, SAP, JPMorgan Chase & Co. AMC Theatres, University of Maryland Center for Transition and Career Innovation, William & Mary, and others.

The conference will be held at the BWI Airport Marriott Hotel (1743 West Nursery Road, Linthicum, Md, 21090). Registration for the event begins at 8 a.m. This program is valid for 8 PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. For more information and to register, visit

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About Kennedy Krieger Institute:

Internationally recognized for improving the lives of children and adolescents with disorders and injuries of the brain, spinal cord and musculoskeletal system, Kennedy Krieger Institute in the greater Baltimore/Washington, D.C. region serves 24,000 individuals a year through inpatient and outpatient clinics, home and community services, and school-based programs. Kennedy Krieger provides a wide range of services for children with developmental issues, from mild to severe, and is home to a team of investigators who are contributing to the understanding of how disorders develop, while at the same time pioneering new interventions and methods of early diagnosis.