The mission of Foundations for Divergent Minds (FDM) is to ensure equity, access, and fulfilled lives for neurodivergent people through inclusive, practical, and affirming neurodiversity-based programming and education.
FDM was founded in 2018 by Oswin Latimer, an indigenous transgender Autistic activist. We are led by a grassroots team of multiply-neurodivergent gender and racial minority leaders who are committed to transforming society to usher in a world where our differences are acknowledged, respected, and valued.
Utilizing our unique, multisensory model, FDM’s portable and accessible tools are informed by the population it serves, scalable to a spectrum of needs and environments, and effective. Our two flagship courses (one for professionals and one for caregivers, both of which have high reviews from satisfied users) are intentionally provided at a much lower cost than standard services and with a crucial element of DIY incorporated. This enables individuals, families and service providers a mechanism for integrating our strategies into their environments without a lot of overhead, handlers, case workers, supervisors, etc.
In addition to our courses, FDM currently offers outreach, curriculum design, professional development, training, guest lectures, diversity workshops, and consulting. We are also in the processing of developing several exciting new projects to specifically address the needs of underserved and multiply marginalized individuals within the neurodiversity community, particularly individuals with chronic and/or complex health needs, LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults, people of color, those facing housing instability, survivors, and single parent and/or nontraditional households.
FDM’s accessible and user-friendly technological platforms enable us the ability to serve a diverse range of neurodiverse individuals, families, organizations, and providers across the globe. Though headquartered in Texas, our leadership team is located in different geographic locations across the United States, including the West Coast, the Northeast, and the Gulf Coast, and all have a vast network of colleagues and connections far beyond those areas. We strive to expand our development and delivery of practical and culturally-responsive services through strategic partnerships and satellite programming.
FDM is enthusiastically and unapologetically committed to the core principles of the disability justice movement. This is reflected in our leadership team, which is primarily composed of of disabled people of color and of queer and gender diverse disabled people, but it also informs the FDM Model as well as our overall mission. Disability justice rejects the narrow, single-issue disability rights framework that renders too many in our collective community invisible. Instead, as stated eloquently by Patty Berne in the pivotal Disability Justice Primer, we recognize and assert the following:
- “All bodies are unique and essential.
- All bodies have strengths and needs that must be met.
- We are powerful, not despite the complexities of our bodies, but because of them.
- All bodies are confined by ability, race, gender, sexuality, class, nation state, religion, and more; we cannot separate them.”
In alignment with these overarching beliefs, FDM strives to embody the 10 Principles of Disability Justice within our work.