RESOLUTION NO. 2023-05 Regarding Seeking Equitable Outcomes for Neurodiverse Students


WHEREAS, there is an urgent need to address disparities in neurological divergence studies and ensure inclusive research practices, and

WHEREAS, research shows that the Mortality Rate Ratio (MMR) of untreated neurodiverse individuals increases by at least 17% over the approximately 4% MMR of the general populace by age 17, and also that school rejection, depression, and other comorbidities increase as well, and

WHEREAS, historically, studies and identification testing on neurological divergences have primarily centered research and diagnostic criteria on white cisgender males, which has led to a limited understanding of the experiences and has negatively impacted diverse populations, and

WHEREAS, it is crucial to invest in research that includes more diverse populations to enhance knowledge, treatment, and support for all individuals affected by these conditions, regardless of race, gender, or ethnicity, and

WHEREAS, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides important protections for individuals with disabilities, but currently lacks a comprehensive Child Find component similar to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and

WHEREAS, incorporating a Child Find component into the ADA would ensure early identification and intervention for children with disabilities, improving their access to appropriate educational and support services, and

WHEREAS, adequate funding for accommodations under the ADA, including special education (SPED), is essential to promote inclusivity and equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities, and

WHEREAS, the Democratic Party of Oregon is committed to advancing equity, inclusivity, and social justice:


Section 1. We urge the Congress of the United States to modernize the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to include the inclusion of a Child Find component, and funding modeled after the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), but not requiring differential educational outcomes, to ensure early identification and intervention for children with invisible disabilities, and to provide them with the necessary support and services to thrive emotionally, developmentally, and socially as well as academically. This will require the Congress to increase funding for ADA accommodations under IDEA, including acknowledging and incorporating a broader need for special education (SPED), to guarantee that individuals with disabilities have equal access to education, which will lead to better employment, and other opportunities, and to eliminate barriers and promote inclusivity.

Section 2. We call upon the Congress of the United States to also allocate resources and funding for research that de-centers white cisgender males from neurological divergence studies and testing. This investment should promote diverse participation, engage marginalized communities, and enhance understanding of neurological divergence across all populations. 

Section 3. We encourage collaboration among stakeholders, including researchers, community organizations, disability advocates, and individuals with lived experiences, to inform and shape policies and practices related to neurological divergence studies, the ADA and IDEA, and special education, as well as a public awareness campaign to help inform the public of modern neurological understanding of neurodivergence as part of the totality of human experience.