Autism: Disability or Difference?

May 4, 2021 7:45pm – 9:00pm ET
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05/4/21 7:45 PM 05/4/21 9:00 PM Autism: Disability or Difference? Autism: Disability or Difference?

Recent years have seen a growing awareness of autism, producing a neurodiversity movement that accepts autism and other differences as part of the natural variation in the human genome. The panel of leading scholars and advocates will draw upon their personal and professional experiences in autism awareness, acceptance and inclusion, and will explore efforts to promote neurodiversity.

Join Touro Talks and the Jewish Law Institute at Touro Law Center for a wide-ranging virtual conversation by world experts in the field.

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Alan Kadish


Dr. Alan Kadish
President of Touro College and University System, noted educator, researcher and administrator who is training the next generation of communal, business and health care leaders


Samuel Levine


Samuel J. Levine
Professor of Law and Director, Jewish Law Institute, Touro Law Center, prolific writer, author of Was Yosef on the Spectrum? Understanding Joseph Through Torah, Midrash and Classical Jewish Sources


John Elder Robison 

John Elder Robison
Neurodiversity Scholar, College of William & Mary; New York Times bestselling author of Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's
John Elder Robison is an autistic adult who grew up undiagnosed. By age 20, he worked for Pink Floyd’s sound company, and KISS, for whom he designed fire breathing special effects guitars. John went on to design power systems for our country’s last underground nuclear tests, which led him to establish a business restoring classic motorcars as he developed a second career in performance photography. He serves as Neurodiversity Scholar at The College of William & Mary and advisor to the Neurodiversity Institute at Landmark College. 

Shira Ruderman


Shira Ruderman
Executive Director, Ruderman Family Foundation
A senior executive and serial achiever in the world of social justice, Shira’s impact over the past 20 years has focused on disability rights & inclusion, US-Israel relations and strategic philanthropy. As Executive Director of the Ruderman Family Foundation, she has invested in human capital within the foundation and its ecosystem, fueling the building blocks of the transformations she set out to achieve, such as establishing disability rights as a field of social impact.


Thane Rosenbaum


Professor Thane Rosenbaum
Essayist, author, law professor and legal commentator for CBS News Radio, Rosenbaum also serves as Distinguished University Professor, Touro College where he directs the Forum on Life, Culture & Society