All brains are Different!

Neurodiversity embraces all the different ways our minds process information, perceive actions, and present behaviors.

Virtual Learning Environments have become not only increasingly popular, but increasingly necessary as in the wake of COVID-19, the world has realized the capabilities of technology are able to support online classrooms. On the other hand, only,

"15.2% (N = 16) declared they (web developers) consider people with cognitive disabilities on their projects” (NCBI 2018).

Because of this, much existing software fails to fully satisfy the needs of the neurodivergent. Therefore, it is essential to research and update current tools to add features to adequately solve and enhance the experience these individuals face.

In order to solve this, we delved into research about each different type of neurodivergence and looked for features we could implement in our learning environment that would ease those respective users' experiences

What it does

Our main goal is to foster an inclusive, virtual learning environment that satisfies and creates a balance of 3 challenges: "Beneficial Sensory Environment", "Ambiguity", and "Interactivity".

Beneficial Sensory Environment

In order to satisfy this challenge, we put a lot of effort into designing a clean, minimalist UI. To this regard, we used a smooth transitions, clear fonts, and cohesive color theme. For audio, we provide options to toggle white, brown, or nature noise to enhance the user's experience at their comfort. Finally, we ensured that there were no sudden changes or stress provoking features either visually or audibly.


To satisfy this challenge, we ensured a clear naming and navigation scheme throughout the website. As we learned from the speaker at the beginning of the hackathon, we did not want to create any sense of uncertainty at any point during the users' experiences. Therefore, we distinctly label each page and reduce the amount of clutter throughout the website, so users have no difficulty moving to and through their intended actions.


To solve this third and final challenge, we wanted to ensure that users were able to interact with other members in their community in a forum discussion. Not only can the environment be used for learning, but also as a social tool. Aside from reading, saving, and posting messages, we also have a research and resources page that links to games and resources. One feature we are proud to promote is the "no negative consequences" theme that was discussed during the opening ceremony. Users can feel free to be themselves and explore beyond their limit.

Features List:

Super easy navigation and clean UI

  • No surprises
  • Muted colors + customization
  • Symmetry in design
  • Logical ordering/sizing of elements
  • No Auto-playing movement Ability to Write, Draft, Post Notes and Comments Communities
  • Find like-minded groups of people! Sound Control
  • Toggle White Noise and Brown Noise Text-to-Speech
  • Eases reading difficulty through audio simulation

Sarcasm Detector -- Allows for detection of sarcastic paragraphs/sentences Sentiment Analysis -- Detect the tone of a sentence/paragraphs Summarizer -- Easily condense large swaths of text

How we built it

We utilized React.js, Next.js, Tailwind, and Prisma for the front-end implentation. In addition, we utilized Figma to create an amazing design that addressed all of our UI needs. We utilized python, flask, nltk, and openAI/gpt-3 for the Machine Learning part of the process. We utilized three models for sarcasm detection, sentiment analysis/detection, and summary generation using nltk and the gpt-3 api from OpenAI.

Challenges we ran into

We wanted to fully encompass as wide of a spread of the neurodivergent community as we could, so we had to do A LOT of researching. After poring over many research papers, we curated a list of features to implement, but realized that we would not have enough time to implement them all. We had to identify and pick the most important features and rush to finish them. In addition, this was one of our members first hackathons and another's first time doing back-end design.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We were able to create an end-to-end product which accomplished many of our initial feature goals. We believe it could actively help and bring attention to the web-development community in bringing accessibility to the neurodivergent. Finally we're extremely happy we were able to submit a project and were able to compete in DivHacks 2023!

What we learned

We learned a ton of things about the neurodivergent community which we will continue to keep in mind the future!

What's next for Converge

In the future, we hope to implement a number of additional features such as a visual narrator and tutor chat bot for the website!

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