The neurologically different represent a new addition to the familiar political categories of class/gender/race and will augment the insights of the social model of disability.
(Judy Singer, 1999)
It is recognised that humans have an inalienable right to equality and dignity within the world and that this is the foundation for freedom, justice and peace in the world (Universal Declaration on Human Rights).
This can only be achieved by celebrating each other’s differences, supporting each other when vulnerable and facilitating each other’s strengths.
The rigid lens of disability has long resulted in the disempowerment of individuals who have much to offer the world and/or created a label or stigma that has impeded some from reaching their full potential.
Neurodiversity, as a paradigm shift, allows for a more nuanced and strength based approach to develop whereby a person’s difference can be supported and nurtured, thus facilitating a more inclusive society that respects difference.
The drafters of this International Declaration of Neurodiversity alongside the Institute Of Neurodiversity ION, offer these common standards of achievement for all peoples across all nations across all disciplines.
Article 1 Neurodiversity Literacy
Neurodiversity Literacy is key to raising awareness amongst all strands of society – individual, education, health, industry, state institutions. Increased literacy minimises impediments to persons reaching their full potential and facilitates the dismantlement of institutionalised barriers to full citizenship.
Article 2 Recognition
Recognising and supporting difference in a non-stigmatising manner is key to ensuring that accidental discrimination does not occur. Neurodivergence is often hidden and not recognisable and therefore can result in accidental discrimination. Facilitating recognition through awareness can reduce accidental discrimination and facilitate a more inclusive society.
Article 3 Supporting Difference
Access to societal structures and full citizenship can be obstructed due to such structures having traditionally been designed with neuro-traditionals/typicals in mind. Support to access and navigation of societal structures should be provided in a manner that supports full citizenship and active engagement and inclusion in society.
Article 4 Neurodivergent Persons Participation in Policy Development
Stakeholder inclusion in policy development and implementation is central to inclusiveness, empowerment and operational success. The current absence of neurodivergent in the development of such policies requires attention if an inclusive and progressive, stakeholder-informed, policy agenda is to emerge.
Article 5 Resource Allocation
Not every person with neurodivergent traits require extra supports and services but those who do often experience access barriers. Economic resources can be key to accessing services and indeed societal participation, and those who do not have access to resources face additional barriers, discrimination and exclusion. Targeted increased awareness and access to supports and services for those who require them, is a priority. This should include equal access to all medical services, support and treatments.
Dr Etain Quigley, Department of Law, Maynooth University, Ireland.
Dr Blánaid Gavin, School of Medicine, University College Dublin, Ireland.
Tiffany Payton Jameson, Managing Partner, Grit & Flow, United States
Dr Timothy Frawley, UCD Health Science Centre, University College Dublin, Ireland.
Charlotte Valeur, Chair, Institute Of Neurodiversity ION, Switzerland
Andrew Eddy, Managing Director Untapped, Australia