Timotheus “T.J.” Gordon, Jr. is a doctoral student and 2016-17 Illinois LEND and UCEDD Diversity Fellow at the University of Illinois at Chicago; he is pursuing a Ph.D degree in disability studies. His research interest is examining means of promoting autistic acceptance and culture in the African Diaspora (including African-American communities). Additionally, he advocates for combating police brutality against people of color with disabilities and saving special education in public schools.
For his LEND and UCEDD Diversity Fellow leadership project, Gordon is creating a survey that targets autistic people of color; he will explore problems and prejudices that autistic people of color face in their communities and families, intersecting identities as people of color and autistic people, and beginning steps on how to address those issues as a collective (locally, nationally and/or globally).
Gordon is also an autistic self-advocate, writer, and creator of the Black Autist, a blog that focuses on disability and autism acceptance in black communities.