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Leadership in IDD
April 2021


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Leadership in IDD

         April 2021


Commentary from the field

Pursuing Health Care Equality for People With IDD Through the Positive Attitudes of Health Care Professionals
Alice Bacherini, MA, University of Perugia, Department of Philosophy, Social and Human Sciences and Education

As professionals and researchers in this field, we spread the word that people with IDD have the same rights as those without disabilities to receive the highest possible quality of health care. However, it is clear to me that we are still far away from equal health care for all, and this inequity is the core driver of my everyday work. I always ask myself, “What can we concretely do to provide an equal and high quality of health care for people with IDD?”

The attitudes of health professionals toward people with IDD makes a difference in the quality of health care that they receive, which affects their quality of life. For people with IDD to regularly enjoy high quality health care, biases against IDD and deficit-oriented approaches by health care professionals must be eliminated while reorienting care providers to focus on the strengths of each person with IDD.

We should do our best to promote positive attitudes to overcome the health care disparities that people with IDD experience, because we all are humans, different from one another, but with the same right to live a worthwhile life and to not be left behind.

New Resources

Written, recorded, and other references

Philip McCallion, PhD co-authored three chapters in Handbook on Ageing with Disability (2021, Taylor & Francis) and a chapter in Mental Health, Intellectual Disabilities and the Aging Process (2021, Springer/Blackwell). 

Michelle Reynolds, PhD and Barbara Kleist, JD to be featured in upcoming Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services webinar, Building Capacity in the Direct Service Workforce: Moving Forward From the Summit, April 28, 2021 3:00-4:30 PM ET.

David Ervin, MA and Scott Landes, PhD featured on a PBS NewsHour story on COVID vaccines for people with IDD.

Katherine McDonald, PhD guest edits March 2021 special issue of Autism in Adulthood

Kara Ayers, PhD, Tawara Goode, MA, Nicole Jorwic, JD, and Maggie Nygren, EdD moderated or presented in sessions at the 2021 Disability Policy Seminar, April 19-21, 2021.

Katherine McDonald, PhD, Ari Ne’eman, and Dora Raymaker, PhD, authored or co-authored chapters in Autistic Community and the Neurodiversity Movement: Stories from the Frontline (2020, Springer)

Member Spotlight

Guy Anthony Caruso, PhD, CRC, FAAIDD
Western Coordinator, Institute on Disabilities at Temple University (Pennsylvania’s UCEDD)

Member since 1987

AAIDD leadership positions
Consulting Editor; 2013 Local Arrangements Committee

Why did you join AAIDD?
I wanted to become part of an international organization that stood for the rights of people with intellectual disabilities, as well as wanted to have the opportunity to be part of a group of people who shared many of my beliefs.

Why did you choose the field of intellectual disability?
A good friend of mine was attending Syracuse University and encouraged me to attend a Master’s program there and to learn from Dr. Burton Blatt and to study with Dr. Wolf Wolfensberger. Wolf taught me about the Principle of Normalization, later Social Role Valorization, introduced me to citizen advocacy and L’Arche. Wolf got me a job at Wassaic State School in New York State where I saw the horrors of what can be done to people with disabilities. The social injustice I witnessed set me on life-long course to support people with disabilities and their families to have the opportunity for the good things in life like any other citizen. I will be forever grateful to the mentoring and guidance from people like Burt and Wolf who inspired me to work with people with intellectual disabilities.


Recent awards, accolades, appointments, and other honors

Khalilah R. Johnson, PhD will serve as an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Occupational Therapy.

Tawara Goode, MA and Emily Hotez, PhD  announced as plenary speakers for the upcoming 2021 Reinventing Quality Conference.


Opportunities to participate in research, projects, policy development, and other collaborations

ACL Seeks Grant Reviewers
for the Traumatic Brain Injury State Partnership Program

Produced by AAIDD, this monthly digest features the recent (first made available within last 3 months) and emergent (will be available within the next 4-6 weeks) work of AAIDD members only. Journal articles, while important, are not featured in this publication.

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