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Sunday, November 20, 2022

Representation in Congress

In The Politics of Autism, I write:  "Support from the general public will be an important political asset for autistic people. Another will be their sheer numbers, since a larger population of identified autistic adults will mean more autistic voters and activists."  Previous posts have discussed autistic officeholders and political candidates in New YorkGeorgiaTexas, and Wisconsin.  Yuh-Line Niou narrowly lost a New York primary for a House seat:  she would have been the first openly autistic member of Congress

Disability status: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in four U.S. adults has a disability. Yet data on members of Congress collected in 2022 suggests that only around 5% have a disability — possibly an underestimate since some may not publicly disclose their disability. While neither party reflects Americans in this regard, Democrats are slightly more representative than Republicans: 20 congressional Democrats are estimated to have disclosed a disability compared to 5 congressional Republicans. When asked which party they think is more representative in terms of disability status of elected officials, Americans are twice as likely to say Democrats as they are to say Republicans.