The mission of NDDI is to make the issues affecting people with neurological differences a higher priority for the nation as a whole. In recent years, various advocacy organizations have spurred the Neurodiversity Movement to make a difference in how people look at neurological differences. Here at NDDI, we value the hard work of these organizations and our mission is to take the message of the Neurodiversity Movement to new audiences by supporting blogs and talk shows in an attempt to reach a larger number of young people who are not personally or professionally connected to neurological differences.
NDDI’s content is policy oriented. While personal stories and general understanding of neurological conditions is important, neurotypical individuals need to know the concrete steps that they can take to demonstrate that they stand with this movement. A policy rich approach achieves this. In addition to discussing why policies are better for people with neurological conditions, we also emphasize why neurotypical individuals benefit from neurodiversity and specific policies to build an understanding that we are all in this together. All of us share a stake in these issues.
The point of creating a national dialogue is to pressure elected officials to act on developmental disability issues with an appropriate amount of urgency. Pushing elected officials towards policy changes is the key to reshaping the place that people with developmental disabilities have in our society. Not only does it cause the government to treat this community with decency, it also resets the narratives that have created social rules and norms that marginalize this community.
NDDI officially backs the following policy changes:
- Invest more in institution to community living transitions to ensure that everyone has a chance to live in their community. This is can be achieved through a long-term reauthorization of Money Follows the Person (MFP).
- Increase federal spending on special education. Under the IDEA act, the federal government committed to covering 40% of special education costs. Right now in covers 15%. The federal government needs to live up to its commitments.
- Mandate schools to provide sexual education to every special education student and provide them the funding needed to add this to their curriculum. It needs to be delivered to each individual student in a way that accommodates their condition and maximizes their understanding of the content.
- Create a single-payer healthcare system to ensure that no one with a developmental disability is left out of government healthcare programs for any reason.
- Reduce funding of biological research on Autism Spectrum Disorder and focus that money on screening and researching best policies and practices.
- Guarantee that employees with developmental disabilities are paid at least minimum wage by passing the provisions of the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act.
- Regulate prescription drug prices so that everyone in our community can afford the medication that they need.
- Require every school to present developmental disabilities through history courses. Students must be informed about which historical figures had probable developmental conditions. For example, it must be cited that Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton were likely on the Autism Spectrum due to the behaviors they exhibited.