Jessica Nombrano Larsen (she/her/hers) is a proud, first-generation, autistic Latina. She is Program Manager of the Empowering Autistic Scholars Program at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo and is also an MLIS student at San Jose State University. She is passionate about helping students from underserved communities obtain social justice and educational equity. Her research is focused on the development of more effective academic and socio-emotional supports and resources for autistic college students, and she would love to continue this work as an academic librarian/research professor once she obtains her degree.
Jessica's Conference Session is entitled Empowering Neurodiverse Scholars. Jessica will present on her work with autistic students in the Empowering Autistic Scholars (EAS) at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo. EAS is an innovative new program that empowers autistic students at Cal Poly by providing them with the individualized academic, professional, and socio-emotional supports and professional opportunities they need to be successful. Students receive peer mentoring, academic and career advising, and one-on-one technical and design skills training. Students also gain hands-on research experience: they are paid as research assistants to work with their autistic peers on a community based participatory research project to develop universal design for learning (UDL)-based online workshops tailored to the needs of incoming students (and fully accessible to autistic students).
Let’s Talk LD has worked extremely hard over the years to deliver a conference experience that celebrates and centers the voices of neurodiverse people. Due to the extraordinary generosity of our community of presenters, and the generosity of our private donors, we can offer the conference at low or no cost to our attendees. As a 100% volunteer-powered organization, we are grateful to every person who has supported this important work.
Let's Talk LD's mission is to drive systemic change that is focused on closing equity, opportunity, and achievement gaps for neurodivergent individuals in the areas of education, employment, and civic engagement. Our organization accomplishes this by providing services, building communities-of-practice, developing programs, and producing and delivering content focused on student advocacy, parent and caregiver education, and professional learning opportunities for educators and practitioners designed to improve PK-12 learning outcomes and post-secondary attainment for individuals who are neurodiverse.