Sara Sanders Gardner (they/them) Picture

Sara Sanders Gardner (they/them)

Director, Adjunct Faculty


Sara Sanders Gardner is the openly autistic designer and director of Bellevue College’s nationally recognized Neurodiversity Navigators program (NdN), which began in 2010 and has grown to serve over 300 students in tiered services. Sara leads a team of staff, faculty, and peer mentors, designs curriculum, and works to support disability inclusion and accessibility across campus. Sara serves as co-chair of the College’s Council for Inclusion and Diversity, sits on the CARE Team, and is a Title IX Investigator. Sara recently retired from teaching after 10 years as part-time faculty in the program. 

For six years, Sara served a dual role at the College, as an Access Specialist for neurodivergent students while building the then Autism Spectrum Navigators program.  

Sara’s work in the disability field began in 2001, when they served as a parent advocate for Individual Education Planning (IEP) meetings, taught parenting classes at United Cerebral Palsy, and was president of a 600-family autism support group in Orange County, CA. Through their Autistic at Work LLC, Sara also consults and provides training in Neurodiversity Cultural Responsiveness for universities and corporations, including Microsoft Corporation, Amazon Web Services, and others. Most recently, Sara has served as technical editor for Wiley Publisher’s new “Neurodiversity for Dummies” book. Sara has a 33- year-old neurodivergent son, and a 14-year-old dachshund. 

Sara holds professional certification as a Collaborative Problem Solving Trainer from Think:Kids, a program in the Department of Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Other education includes certification at California State University at Fullerton Autism Evidence Based Institute, coursework in Early Childhood Education at Coastline Community College, and post-secondary in English at the State University of New York at Buffalo. 

Sara’s pronouns are they/them.