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2012 Member Spotlight

 Brittany M. Butler 

Location: Columbus, OH

Member since: 2010

Work: PhD Student in IDD and Clinical Psychology at the Ohio State University

Why AAIDD: The first time that I was in contact with AAIDD was when I presented some research following my first year of graduate school. I was very excited by the warm and welcoming events for Students and Early Career Professionals, so I decided to get involved. I have had a great experience both with the leadership roles that I have been in and with networking in general!

Why Intellectual Disability: When I was in college, I took an internship working at a group home for adults with ID. My internship turned out to be extremely rewarding. After my internship ended, I worked for the agency for 4.5 years, and realized that I really enjoy supporting adults with ID.

AAIDD Leadership: Newsletter Initiative Leader/Author/Editor; Scientific and Planning Committee Member for the 2012 and 2013 Annual Conference; and Local Arrangements Committee for the 2013 Annual Conference.

Name:  Paul D. Kolstoe, PhD

Location: North Dakota

Member since: 1984 

Where do you Work: (your title/position) Clinical Director/Licensed Psychologist for the North DakotaPaul Kolstoe photo Developmental Center, including the Developmental Disabilities Behavioral Health Service and clinical outreach of the CARES crisis support program.  Adjunct Associate Professor of the University of North Dakota Psychology Department.

Why AAIDD?.  My exposure and loyalty to AAIDD was at the Regional level in the 1980's and 1990's.  The networking, ideas, and personal connections have been broadest with AAIDD over more specialized associations.  The association has been key developing the newest concepts in the field such as adaptive behavior, supports, eligibility diagnostics, and even the language we use and I have repeatedly had front-row seats for those developments.  It is easy to get connected and contribute ideas.  With Ann Poindexter, we established the Mental Health Services special interest group which quickly sprang to one of the most popular SIG's for membership, and remains strong.

Why intellectual disability? As with many of my local colleagues, I 'backed into' developmental disabilities professionally.  I had grown up with my oldest cousin (educated in the 'institution' where I am officed) spending holidays with my family as I grew up, and one of my first psychotherapy clients in graduate school was a young man with IDD needing 'sex education' because the girls in his school found him too attractive.   My first 'system' experience was following a friend into a clinical placement in graduate school that no one else wanted ... and experienced phenomenal satisfaction.  While my current job was intended to only last 18 months, almost 30 years later I have never seen anything more interesting or satisfying.  I have been part of the transformation of one of the lowest rated states in the country for IDD services to be one of the best for the past 20 years.  Nothing more satisfying than seeing people supported to live more satisfying lives.  

AAIDD Leadership Positions:  Region VIII President, ND AAIDD President, Chair - Mental Health Services SIG of AAIDD, Fellow - AAIDD

Name: Emily Wallace

Location: Indianapolis, IN 

Member since: 2010Wallace photo

Work: Senior Fellow of International Disability Programs - Helmer Global Initiatives

Why AAIDD: Resources and support offered through AAIDD have played an important role for the launch of my career in serving children and youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities around the world.

Why Intellectual Disability: Preserving the dignity and human rights of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in the darkest corners of the world is an issue that is dear to my heart. I work to touch the lives of these children by helping local disability organizations gain the skills, programming structure, and direction necessary to provide effective and sustainable services.

AAIDD Leadership: Student and Early Career Professionals committee (member) and SECP Guide Program co-chair.

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