Bellevue College offers many resources for neurodiverse students. There are two main programs: the Disability Resource Center (DRC) and the Neurodiversity Navigators.
The DRC is open for accommodation applications year-round, including Running Start Students. Registering is easy — you will need your BC email and password as well as your student ID number. Once that is submitted, you will be contacted to participate in an Initial Access Meeting. There, you will also be asked to provide documentation. However, if you do not have any documentation, the DRC is still available to work with you to meet your needs as much as they can. They can also refer you to professionals for testing and other services. All information provided remains confidential.
The DRC also highly recommends meeting with an academic advisor and checking out the tutoring services on campus. Some services the DRC provides that may be useful to neurodiverse students are alternative testing, assistive technology, disability advocacy, scribe services and volunteer note-taking.
Neurodiversity Navigators is a part of the R.I.S.E Learning Institute and provides educational, advocacy and access resources. You do not need to have an official diagnosis or documentation to participate in the program, however ADA accommodations are a part of the DRC and thus may require more documentation. Neurodiversity Navigators can provide a peer mentor who can help advocate and problem-solve. They also have classes that count for credit that teach skills such as stress management, self advocacy and more. Another service provided is training for parents. Currently, they are only accepting applications in the summer, however from January to June, they will be hosting information sessions on the second Monday of each month.
Neurodiversity Navigators and the Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network will also be hosting the fifth annual Autism Symposium virtually on Oct. 22 from 10a.m.-2p.m. This is an event organized by autistic people with autistic speakers. Parents, mental health professionals and curious people are also highly encouraged to attend. This year focuses on autism research and clinical applications with information from the Foundations for Divergent Minds, an organization founded on the principles of disability rights and justice. Attendees will learn about the change driven by autistic people in the treatment and research of autism. Accommodations are available for the event and auto-captioning will be provided. This event is completely free of any cost, but sign up is required.
It can be difficult to find academic success in a world designed for neurotypicals. These resources can be a great help and the symposium highlights fellow neurodivergent voices that usually are ignored. Make this a world that will work for you and don’t be afraid to ask for help.