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AAIDD makes announcements on its home page and issues press releases on the Association's activities of interest to its members and the general public.


Recent Press Releases

AAIDD Interest Network 2023 Honorees Announced

May 2, 2023
(Silver Spring, MD)

Two AAIDD Interest Networks have selected honorees for their 2023 Awards.

Tim BarksdaleWolf Wolfensberger Valor Award

AAIDD Psychology Interest Network
Tim Barksdale, PsyD, MSW

Tim Barksdale, PsyD, MSW, is the Senior Executive Director of Clinical Services for Merakey IDD Services. In this role, he directs a large clinical team who support adults with IDD and behavioral health issues across Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia, and California. He has worked with adults with IDD since he was 16 years old.

Dr. Barksdale serves on the Board of Governors for Friends Hospital and the Board of Directors of NADD, the Chosen 300 Homeless Outreach, and the Pennsylvania Psychological Association (PPA). On these boards, he is the current Vice President for the Chosen 300 Homeless Outreach, President-Elect of PPA, and co-Chairs the NADD Clinical Certification Committee.

A cognitive behavioral therapist, Dr. Barksdale developed clinical programs for adults with IDD for two different agencies. Dr. Barksdale is also a sought-after public speaker who routinely lectures in continuing education programs on dual diagnosis, behavioral supports, and a variety of topics concerning the clinical considerations and professional affairs of psychologists.

He earned a PsyD from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, an MSW from LaSalle University, and a NADD IDD/MI Dual Diagnosis Clinical Certification (NADD-CC). Dr. Barksdale is a devout Christian, and the proud dad of a 19-year-old artist and musician son.

Karen JacksonReimagining Spirituality Leadership Award

AAIDD Religion & Spirituality Interest Network
Karen F. Jackson, MM

Karen F. Jackson, MM, became involved in the intersection  of faith and the disability community  15 years ago. She sought a congregation that would welcome her daughter who is severely affected by autism. In 2007 she accepted a volunteer position as her Catholic church’s first Parish Advocate for persons affected by disability. She then founded the Faith Inclusion Network in 2008 and led the organization for its first 14 years.  

Ms. Jackson is a sought after speaker, and has spoken at a variety of conferences, including the annual meetings of AAIDD, TASH, and AUCD, and the Summer Institute on Theology and Disability.  She has authored articles published in in The Catholic Virginian, U.S. Catholic, and TASH Connections and a book, Loving Samantha, published in 2015.  Ms. Jackson also contributed to Amazing Gifts: Stories of Faith, Disability and Inclusion.

Ms. Jackson earned a bachelor’s in music education with and clarinet performance from the Eastman School of Music and a master’s degree in music education from Temple University. She has been a professional music educator for 33 years and is currently Director of Bands and Fine Arts Department Chair at Norfolk Christian Schools. She lives in Norfolk, VA with her husband Scott and daughter, Samantha.


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