Our Purpose

  • Our main goal is to help autistic individuals and their families lead rich and fulfilling lives by providing more effective and efficient services and supports.  Another goal is to help improve processes and policies in areas that touch the lives of autistic individuals and their families, such as housing and the criminal justice system. 

    About the Commission

    OCASD was created in 2009 by a governor’s executive order.  It is an official state commission.  It is designed to achieve its goals by creating collaborative subcommittees that identify needed improvements, develop practical solutions, and advocate for their adoption.  It has a mandate to promote the efficient use of limited resources and identify priorities for change.  OCASD also plays an important role in advising on matters of policy and practice affecting the lives of individuals with ASD.

    OCASD brings together a diverse array of stakeholders, including parents, professionals, agency staff, and legislators. It can have up to 17 members.  The legislators are appointed by the Senate President and the House Speaker, respectively.  All other members are appointed by the governor.                                                                        

                                                                             Current Members Include:

    venn diagram of stakeholders ACCOMPLISHMENTS
    OCASD has a number of notable achievements. 

    • The Commission led creation of an ASD specialization credential that is available to school-based professionals via the Teachers Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC).
    • In partnership with Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) and others, the Commission supported the ACCESS pilot program that brought together medical and educational professionals to take an integrated approach to ASD identification.
    • OCASD collaborated with AASPIRE https://aaspire.org/ in the creation of AASPIRE’s Healthcare Toolkit for autistic adults https://autismandhealth.org/.
    • OCASD identified the need for significant improvements in Oregon’s special education eligibility and evaluation rules and worked closely with the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to ensure their adoption. Its members also substantially updated ODE’s ASD technical assistance paper. These went into effect in January 2019, resulting in a substantial improvement in the accuracy of ASD identifications in schools. 
    • OCASD developed an ASD Program Self-Assessment and Action Plan tool that is being used by school districts across Oregon and in other states to strengthen services for students with ASD. • In 2019 the Systems Collaboration work group hosted forums to promote collaboration between board certified behavior analysts (BCBAs) and school-based professionals.
    • In 2020 OCASD created guidance on performing ASD evaluations during the pandemic.  Click here for more information.
    • In 2021 it is creating tools to help ease the transition back to in person learning for students with ASD [link coming soon].