Aging and Intellectual Disability

The Special Interest Research Group on Aging and Intellectual Disability (SIRGAID) of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability was organized in 1990 and formally affiliated with the IASSIDD in 1995. In 2009 it combined with the IASSIDD affinity group on Death and dying.

The SIRG has as its founding principles:

  1. Provide a focus for the worldwide exchange and dissemination of research and practice, as well as networking, in the field of aging and intellectual disability. Aging is meant in a broad sense, encompassing lifespan developmental issues as well as those related to old age. A wide variety of professional groups are potential contributors and no specific profession is considered to have a predominance in this respect.
  2. Promote cross-national, multidisciplinary collaboration in the area of aging and intellectual disability. The ultimate aim of the group is to improve the quality of life or and services for people with intellectual disabilities, their carers, and their families.
  3. Provide a framework for the collation of information relating to the research interests, expertise, and publications of group members.

Within the overall process of collaboration, the views and contributions of non-professionals, including people with intellectual disabilities and their families and friends, are a fundamental component, and will be given the priority they deserve.

Membership is open to anyone with an interest in any aspect of research or its application related to aging and intellectual disabilities.

The SIRGAID holds an annual roundtable and encourages the attendance of students and emerging researchers by awarding scholarships for attendance. Roundtable presentations and reports, and other publications, together with other activities of the SIRGAID are found on the Documents and Activities page


Annual Roundtables

The SIRG/AID has a tradition with holding an annual meeting, a roundtable, generally in the second quarter of the year. The roundtable enables members to come together to discuss issues and research related to aging and intellectual disabilities in an informal setting and collegial atmosphere. The history of the roundtables dates back to 1990 when both an informal meeting was held in Troina, Italy in April and a formal meeting was organized in Boston, Massachusetts (USA) in November. The formal meeting was the first of a series of period gatherings of researchers to develop position papers related to the state of the research in aging and intellectual disabilities. A report, the Proceedings of the Boston Roundtable on Research Issues and Applications in Aging and Developmental Disabilities, was published and made available through the American Association on Mental Retardation in Washington, D.C.

Read More

Several other informal meetings were held under the auspices of the IASSIDD and the SIRG/AID. The next was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA) in 1994 and was designed to bring together researchers and practitioners in the area of dementia diagnosis, epidemiology and care management. This meeting produced a series of reports which address dementia and intellectual disabilities and can be downloaded at

The third major meeting was the 10th annual roundtable held in Geneva and this meeting focused on health and aging. A series of five reports resulted from this meeting.

The main report is Aging and Intellectual Disability: Improving Longevity and Promoting Healthy Aging – Summative Report. Print copies are available from the University of Illinois at Chicago and have been reproduced in a special issue of the Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities (2001: vol.14, no.3, pp.171-275).

Annual Roundtables

  • 2013 21st Boston, USA
  • 2012 Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada (14th World Congress)
  • 2011 20th Dublin, Ireland
  • 2010 19th Prato, Italy – Joint
  • 2009 18th Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 2008 CapeTown, South Africa (13th World Congress)
  • 2007 16th Oslo, Norway
  • 2006 15th Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2005 14th Dortmund, Germany
  • 2004 Montpellier, France (12th World Congress)
  • 2003 13th Volos, Greece
  • 2002 12th Koriyama City, Japan
  • 2001 11th Bettange/Mess, Luxembourg
  • 2000 Seattle, Washington, USA (11th World Congress)
  • 1999 10th Geneva, Switzerland
  • 1998 9th Cambridge, England
  • 1997 8th Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • 1996 7th Rome, Italy
  • 1995 6th Vienna, Austria
  • 1994 5th Dublin, Ireland
  • 1993 4th Lyon, France
  • 1992 3rd Manchester, England
  • 1991 2nd Maastricht, The Netherlands
  • 1990 1st Troina, Italy

Show Less


The SIRGAID is governed by an executive committee and a steering committee of SIRG members who represent a range of nations and regions of the world.

Executive Committee:

Steering Committee

  • Tamar Heller (USA)
  • Hefsiba Liftshitz (Israel)
  • Marian Maaskant (the Netherlands)
  • Vladimir Trajkovski (Republic of Macedonia)
  • Henny Van Schrojenstein Lantman de Valk (the Netherlands)
  • Kyo-Yu Wang (Taiwan)
  • Germain Weber (Austria)
  • Christine Bigby, (Australia)
  • Philip McCallion (USA)
  • Mary McCarron (Ireland)
  • Nancy Jokinen (Canada)
  • Stuart Todd (Wales)
  • Frode Larsen (Norway)
  • Eilish Burke (Ireland)


International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD) 

The International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD) is the first and only world-wide group dedicated to the scientific study of intellectual disability.

Founded in 1964 as the International Association for the Scientific Study of Mental Deficiency, IASSIDD is an international, interdisciplinary and scientific non-governmental organization which promotes worldwide research and exchange of information on intellectual disabilities.


Please contact the IASSIDD international office for questions about joining IASSIDD, renewing your membership or general questions.
© 2018 International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD)