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AAIDD Delegation to Spain

September 28 - October 10, 2019

Map of Spain
Important Information

Slides from the Spain Orientation Webinar

Archive of Orientation Webinar:

The goal of the delegation is to research the supports provided for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in three regions in Spain (Community of Madrid, the Basque country, and Catalonia). To learn firsthand about the approaches in Spain, the delegation will examine the following questions:

  • How has the nation's history, culture, and context shaped the its approach to intellectual disability?
  • How does the context of each the three regions influence supports?
  • What are the structure and delivery methods of supports provided for people with intellectual disability in this country?
  • How do people with intellectual and developmental disabilities participate in the development of their supports?
  • How does the service system respond across the lifespan with different packages of supports?
This delegation will be led by Margaret Nygren, EdD, FAAIDD, Executive Director & CEO of AAIDD. 

AAIDD Delegation History
Since 1996, AAIDD has sponsored professional research and exchange delegations to China, South Africa, Russia, India, Cuba, Brazil, Norway, Poland, Japan, Korea, Australia, Iceland, Ireland, Zambia, and South Africa. Click here for more information.


Meet with leading disability professionals, government representatives, researchers, and families and self-advocates in three regions in Spain.

Delegates will participate in a series of professional meetings and cultural experiences in the following cities on the following dates:

  • September 28-October 4: Madrid (Community of Madrid)
    Arrive in Madrid on September 28 (Saturday).
    Transfers from the airport to the hotel on Saturday, September 28 are included in the program fee.
    The program in Madrid will include an orientation dinner on September 28, meetings with CERMI and Plena Inclusion Madrid, and a visit to the service organization A La Par, plus a tour of Toledo, a visit to Las Ventas, and a flamenco show.

  • October 5- 8: Bilbao (The Basque Country)
    Included in the program fee are the flight and transfers from Madrid.
    The program in Bilbao a will include a seminar at GORABIDE, and tours of service providers, including a GORABIDE residential service in Barakaldo and an employment service in Getxo (Lantegi Batuak  or United Workshops), plus a visit to the Guggenheim Museum and day trip to San Sebastian.
  • October 8-10: Barcelona (Catalonia)
    Included in the program fee are the flight and transfers from Bilbao.
    The program in Barcelona will include seminars at Ramon Llull University and the Autonomous University of Barcelona, tours of several service providers, plus visits to Montserrat, Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo, and Parc Guell. The program will end in Barcelona with a farewell dinner the night of October 9. Transfers to the airport in Barcelona on Thursday, October 10 are included in the program fee.  

Fees and Deadlines
The program fee includes most meals (four dinners and one lunch are "on your own"), lodging, admissions, guides, hotel transfers, tips, and the flights between Madrid, Bilbao, and Barcelona. Air travel between Delegates’ home city to Madrid and from Barcelona; excess baggage fees on the flights between Madrid, Bilbao, and Barcelona; vaccinations/medications, and trip cancellation insurance are not included in the program fee. See the FAQs for more information.

Program fees differ by lodging preference. For those who are interested in a double occupancy arrangement but are traveling alone, efforts will be made to match roommates; however, if no roommate is available, the single occupancy rate will be required to participate.

Double Occupancy:  $3,500
Single Occupancy:   $4,100

Applications are reviewed as they are submitted. Prompt application is strongly advised as enrollment is limited. Once the Delegation roster is full, no further applications will be considered.

Visas & Vaccinations

Tourists from the US and Canada may stay up to 90 days in Spain without a visa. For travel to Spain, the CDC recommends that travelers be up to date on routine vaccinations. Delegates with special health concerns should consult their physician.

AAIDD encourages people with disabilities to apply. AAIDD requires that all applicants disclose any condition or need that may require reasonable accommodations at the time of their application for the program. Potential Delegates are informed that public accommodations, historic sites, and walking tours outside the US are typically not optimally accessible to those who have mobility impairments. Based on planned destinations for this trip, Delegates will be expected to climb up to 4 flights of stairs and walk up to 3 miles over uneven ground and over hills each day. 

For more information on this offering, contact Laura Thorn at