International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Profound Intellectual and Multiple Disabilities


The SIRG has as its founding principles:

  • Provide a forum for the worldwide exchange and dissemination of research and practice, as well as networking in the field of persons with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities. Individuals with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities form a heterogeneous group. They are characterized by very severe cognitive, neuromotor and:or sensory disabilities, which lead to very intensive support needs. The SIRG-PIMD brings together researchers and practitioners with different disciplines and from different countries.
  • Promote cross-national, multidisciplinary collaboration in the area of persons with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities. The ultimate aim of the group is to improve the quality of life or and services for people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities, their carers, and their families.
  • Provide a framework for the dissemination of information relating to the research interests, expertise, and publications of group members. Within the overall process of collaboration, the views and contributions of nonprofessionals, including people with intellectual disabilities and their families and friends, are a fundamental component, and will be given the priority they deserve.

The SIRG works by means of a newsletter, website, and roundtable conferences. The group also makes several contributions on the European, Asia-Pacific and World Congresses of IASSIDD. There is a dynamic early career researchers group.




  • Bea Maes, Belgium: Chair
  • Juliet Goldbart, UK: Secretary and IASSIDD-council representative
  • Annette Van der Putten: The Netherlands
  • Nan-Chieh Chen, Taiwan
  • Krysti De Zonia, US
  • Gare Fabila, Mexico

Contact person

For information on joining the SIRG-PIMD, contact the SIRG Chair,
Bea Maes at bea.maes@kuleuven.be
or write to

Bea Maes
Research Centre on Special Education and Parenting
University of Leuven
Leopold Vanderkelenstraat 32, B-3000 Leuven