Name: Colleen A. McLaughlin, MEd, FAAIDD
Location: New Brunswick, NJ
Member since: 2005
Associate Director, The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Why did you join AAIDD?
To be connected with premier leaders in the field of developmental disabilities, have opportunities to learn from the expertise of others, and network with peers that share similar values.
Why did you choose the field of intellectual disability?
When I was in graduate school at Temple University, I had the opportunity to be a graduate assistant/student trainee at the Institute on Disabilities (PA’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities). In this role I provided assistance with PA’s Competence and Confidence: Partners in Policymaking and also participated in the program. Through this, I was exposed to critical issues related to the civil rights of people with disabilities, best practices in the field, and policies important to the lives of people with developmental disabilities. I was mentored by passionate leaders and had the opportunity to get to know some dedicated people with disabilities and families. This experience quickly turned into a career choice focused on social justice, self-determination, and community inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
AAIDD leadership positions: Co-Chair of the Direct Support Professional Interest Network