Our Purpose

  • The Oregon Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorder (OCASD) is an official state commission authorized via executive order by the Governor. Each member of the commission is appointed by the Governor. The OCASD was created on March 25, 2009 with a mandate to promote the efficient use of limited resources, engage in strategic planning, identify priorities for change, and support the implementation of plans to improve the lives of Oregonians who experience autism spectrum disorder. 

    The OCASD brings together a diverse array of stakeholders including parents and professionals from education, behavioral health, medicine, social services, and government. The OCASD plays an important role in advising on matters of policy that impact the lives of individuals with ASD.

    venn diagram of stakeholders ACCOMPLISHMENTS

    The OCASD has accomplished 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. The OCASD collaborated closely with the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to steward passage of revisions that significantly improved Oregon's educational ASD eligibility criteria and evaluation procedures, as well as assisting with development of an ASD technical assistance paper. The Education Subcommittee of the 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. Recently, the Systems Collaboration work group hosted forums to promote collaboration between board certified behavior analysts (BCBAs) and school-based professionals.


    Oregon, like many states across the nation, has experienced a rapid increase in the number of individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Both public and private systems have had difficulty meeting the demand for services to ensure that people experiencing autism receive the support they need to maximize their potential. There is continued need in Oregon for accurate, up-to-date information for families and professionals regarding early interventions, services, supports, and expected outcomes. It is imperative that the Commission continue its work for the benefit of all Oregonians.

    The purpose of the Commission shall be to:

    • Provide leadership and serve as a forum to establish priorities, create performance measures, facilitate collaboration, ensure support, and monitor outcomes.

    • Engage key stakeholders to develop, promote, and implement state plan goals and expected outcomes, and continue expanding and strengthening state and community partnerships among systems serving individuals with ASD.

    • Develop recommendations to the Governor for how agencies in the long-term would better integrate capacities of agencies and communities to support individuals with ASD and their families.

    • Advise the Governor and agency directors on plan implementations that require executive or agency approval and do not require legislative action.

    • Provide regular updates regarding the status of plan goals and outcomes to the Governor's Office; and if legislative action is needed, develop legislative concepts in anticipation of the next legislative session.

    • Define strategies for accessing and promoting ASD best practice standards and research.

    • Estimate and make recommendations regarding funding necessary for services, support, and coordination as described in the strategic plan.

    • Incorporate biennial benchmarks for improving service and support to individuals with ASD; and recommend legislation necessary for implementation of the strategic plan.

    Oregon state seal with governors signature

    To read the full Executive Order signed on November 28, 2018 click here.