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The Politics of Neurodiversity: Why Public Policy Matters

Dana Lee Baker
The Politics of Neurodiversity: Why Public Policy Matters
ISBN: 978-1-58826-754-2
2011/239 pages/LC: 2010027704
Disability in Society

"Drawing upon an impressive array of sources, this useful book belongs on the shelves of anyone working in disability studies and disability policy."—Harold Pollack, Perspectives on Politics

"A thoughtful, far-reaching, and engaging analysis of how we talk and think about disability in general, and neurological conditions in particular…. A significant contribution to our knowledge of disability discourse."—Richard Scotch, University of Texas at Dallas

"This volume represents the beginning of a much-needed discussion about the issues raised by the emergence of the neurodiversity movement."—Mark F. Romoser, Review of Disability Studies


How can society best respond to people with atypical neurological development? Should we concentrate on providing medical care, or on ensuring civil rights? Addressing these questions, Dana Lee Baker offers a provocative analysis of the ways that intersecting agendas—prevention, civil rights, providing specialized care, and celebrating disability culture—compete to make disability rights policy. The result is a thoughtful and timely consideration of the tensions shaping all quarters of disability advocacy.


Dana Lee Baker is assistant professor of political science and criminal justice at Washington State University, Vancouver. 


  • Why Public Policy Matters for Neurodiversity (And Vice-Versa).
  • Competing Disability Policy Agendas: Cause, Care, Cure, and Celebration.
  • Securing Civil Rights vs. Providing Care.
  • Securing Civil Rights vs. Finding a Cure.
  • Securing Civil Rights vs. Celebrating Diversity.
  • Providing Care vs. Finding a Cure.
  • Providing Care vs. Celebrating Diversity.
  • Finding a Cure vs. Celebrating Diversity.
  • Finding Common Ground.