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UC/CSU California Collaborative on Neurodiversity and Learning

Bringing together top experts from the University of California and the California State University to re-imagine teacher education to better focus on the science of reading, with the shared goal of exponentially increasing literacy for our next generation.

Addressing the language and literacy opportunities for all of California’s children

Our work is founded on the principles of social justice and educational equity. The UC/CSU California Collaborative for Neurodiversity and Learning believes that improving literacy is one of the great civil rights issues of this generation. Californians must work together to secure equal access to quality literacy instruction for all our children. Doing so is key not only to our children’s literacy and well-being, but also to our communities, democracy, and economy.

We partner with teacher educators, PreK-12 teachers, parents, policymakers, and researchers in this effort.

Supporting all children and youth in becoming literate

The goal of our work is to use cutting-edge knowledge to propel literacy development from infancy through adulthood.

Transforming the way we teach reading. 

The key to improving reading outcomes is preparing our state’s future PreK to 12th-grade teachers with a comprehensive, evidence-based, and systematic approach to the teaching of reading. Simultaneously, we must provide supportive professional development opportunities for our current teachers.

Uncovering the science of the reading brain and mind.

We are conducting ongoing research in neuroscience, psychology, and education. Our aim is to build a more holistic understanding of the reader, the reading brain, and the teaching of reading to neurodiverse learners.


Executive Director, UC/CSU California Collaborative for Neurodiversity and Learning
Director of the Center for Dyslexia, Diverse Learners, and Social Justice at the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies.
Professor in the Michael D. Eisner College of Education at California State University, Northridge
The UC/CSU California Collaborative for Neurodiversity and Learning was established in June 2019 by Assembly Bill AB 1703. The Collaborative represents a historic and critical investment in the state’s children with dyslexia and other literacy challenges.

The legislation declared the following as the reasons for pursuing this work:

  • About 20 percent of children in every classroom have some type of learning difference that is not adequately being identified and/or supported.
  • New research in the neurosciences informs us that diversity of learning types represents natural and important brain wiring variation and that each learner’s brain is both uniquely wired and shaped by educational practice.
  • Without early identification and effective intervention, the impact of learning issues can be significant and long-lasting not only for the learner, but for California at large. The long-term effects include school failure, depression, and an increased risk of suicide, delinquency and reoffending.
  • A true diversity of brains is needed in California’s innovation economy. Therefore, California has an inherent need to work together toward improving the ways it supports neurodiversity in K-12 classrooms.
  • The Legislature believes this to be one of the civil rights issues of this generation and that Californians must work together to secure equal access to quality learning for neurodiverse children.

By setting aside $6 million to establish the UC/CSU California Collaborative for Neurodiversity and Learning, California’s leaders are creating the foundation for cutting-edge teaching and learning that will prepare our next generation for successful lives.

Learn More about the California Collaborative