Reflections on the development of the Otago Polytechnic Te Pūkenga Neurodiversity Community of Practice


  • Kristen Bracey Otago Polytechnic Te Pūkenga
  • Marje Schaddelee Otago Polytechnic Te Pūkenga
  • Sarah Wood Otago Polytechnic Te Pūkenga



neurodivergent, neurodiverse, tertiary, community of practice, education, learner, student


There is growing recognition of the needs of neurodivergent ākonga in tertiary education and the importance of creating an inclusive learning environment. In mid-2021, a small group of interested kaimahi and a neurodivergent ākonga at Otago Polytechnic Te Pūkenga formed a Neurodiversity Community of Practice (NDCoP).  The steering group meets regularly to strategise, share good practice and resources, arrange speakers and organise other personal development opportunities for the wider community at OP. In October 2023 the NDCoP hosted the Neuroability Symposium at Otago Polytechnic, with more than 350 in attendance. This article aims to provide a narrative of the development of our NDCoP, present the actions and reflections of some of its members, and include a tertiary learning advisor (TLA) and ākonga perspective. Finally, the article looks ahead to the future of our NDCoP through the eyes of some of its members.


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