legal tactics using the ADA to protect neuroatypicals from college speech codes gone awry
Excerpted from Quillette |Mental Health Disabilities as Legal Superpowers
In an earlier article for Quillette.com, I outlined how campus speech codesdiscriminate against people who show various forms of ‘neurodiversity’ such as Asperger’s syndrome, bipolar disorder, or ADHD. I promised a follow-up article on how neurodivergent people might be able to use the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 to fight these discriminatory speech codes at U.S. universities.
This is that follow-up article. I’ll get much more specific about what you can do, at your university, if you have a genuine diagnosable ‘mental disorder’, to advocate for your free speech rights. Mental disorders are highly stigmatized conditions, but they have a hidden upside: they can give you legal super-powers, including a surprisingly formidable set of rights under the ADA. If enough neurodivergent students, staff, and faculty use the ‘ADA strategy’ that I’ll suggest here, I think we can quickly eliminate most of the unconstitutional speech codes that suppress free inquiry and debate on American campuses.