International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Updates from the President

2017- March, May
2016 - November, February
2015 - October, June, May, January
2014 - August; July 31; July; February
2013 - July, February
2012 - Fall, Summer

May, 2017

Dear All,

As many of you know, we have been developing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Special Olympics to work together on research projects of interest to both our members and their organization. This effort began during Dr. Vianne Timmons’ presidency following outreach to IASSIDD by Dr. Timothy Shriver, the Chairman of Special Olympics. I am delighted to report that the MOU was signed on March 19th in Schladming, Austria, the site of the Special Olympics International Winter Games. We have worked closely with Amy Shellard, the Director of Research for Special Olympics. Please have a look at the attached letter to SO written for the signing and delivered by Dr. Germain Weber. I also have attached a copy of the signed MOU for your information. Please route any questions to Dr. Timmons. We will be posting opportunities for collaborative research through e-mails to our members.

At the same signing ceremony, Golisano Global Health Leadership Awards were presented to seven honorees. I am very proud to say that two of the honorees are Center members of IASSIDD: Stephen B. Sulkes, M.D. Co-director of the Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and Amporn Benjaponpitak, M.D. Director of the Rajanukul Institute in Bangkok, Thailand. Dr. Benjaponpitak and her team will be our host for the upcoming Asia Pacific Regional Congress, November 13-16, 2017. Please take a look at the video summarizing the work of all seven honorees, which can be accessed at the following link:


Best wishes,


March, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

It is a pleasure to write this update of IASSIDD happenings over the past couple of months.

In Vianne Timmons’ last letter to you in November, she noted the changes in officers anticipated on 1st January 2017. Since then, the changeover has occurred and committee chairs have been determined; so I am going to repeat some information from Dr. Timmons’ note in case you missed it. Apart from me, elected officers include:

  • Colleen Adnams, M.D., who assumed the position of President Elect. Dr. Adnams will also retain the Africa-Middle East portfolio in order to continue the important work of engaging scientists in that region. She will also chair the 2019 World Congress to be held in 2019 in Glasgow Scotland.
  • Vianne Timmons, Ph.D. will serve as Immediate Past President, hold the portfolio on Partnerships and chair the Governance Committee.
  • Keith McVilly, Ph.D., will continue as Treasurer and chair the Finance Committee.
  • Malin Broberg, Ph.D., assumed the position of Secretary and will chair the Membership Committee. Our Secretariat has moved to Gothenburg, Sweden (where Dr. Broberg is based); Linda Linden is our new Secretariat administrator.
  • Henry Kwok, M.D. will remain VP for Asia Pacific until 31st December 2017. This will permit him to lead the planning for our next IASSIDD Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand November 14-17, 2017. On January 1, 2018, he will be succeeded by Angus Buchanan, Ph.D.
  • AIice Schippers, Ph.D. will serve as VP for Europe and is already at work leading the effort to organize the next IASSIDD Europe Regional Congress slated to be held in Athens, Greece in July, 2018.
  • Ivan Brown, Ph.D., has accepted a new VP portfolio on Education and Policy, while retaining the Chair of the Academy. Dr. Brown will also chair the SIRG Coordination Committee.
  • Tamar Heller, Ph.D., will serve as VP for the Americas and assumed the portfolio on Publications, chairing the Publications Committee.

The new Council membership is comprised of some new SIRG Chairs, including SIRG chairs who will be continuing from 2012-1016. Council include Christine Bigby, Jan Blacher, Jane McCarthy, Michael Brown, Rhonda Faragher, Jayne Clapton, Sandy Magana, Laurence Taggart, Scott Thompson

We all owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to retiring officers (Glynis Murphy, Ph.D., Michael Wehmeyer, Ph.D., Helene Ouellette-Kuntz, Ph.D., Germain Weber, Ph.D. and Eric Emerson, Ph.D.). And of course, everyone will miss Maureen McDonald!

Mid-Year Executive Meeting

On February 13 and 14, 2017, the Executive Committee met in Glagow, Scotland. We were hosted by Andrew Jahoda, Sally-Anne Cooper (Co-Chairs of the Local Organizing Committee for the 2019 World Congress) and the Scottish Exhibition and Convention Center (SECC), site of the 2019 World Congress. On the 13th, we held an administrative meeting reviewing IASSIDD business, and had a tour of the SECC. We did some strategic planning on the 15th. Full reports of both days will soon appear on the IASSIDD website. In particular, we will need your help with continuing the strategic planning effort as many tasks suggested in Glasgow require considerable fleshing out in committees. So stay tuned.

Well enough from me for now. All the best from sunny South Carolina!


November, 2016

Dear IASSIDD colleagues,

The 15th IASSIDD World Congress took place earlier this year, and I am pleased to say that it was a tremendous success. Having spoken to many of the attendees from more than 50 countries that were represented, I know that they left Melbourne more inspired than ever – and with more information than ever – to help improve the lives of persons with intellectual disabilities worldwide.

Between August 14 and 19, more than 1,570 people attended the conference, taking in close to 800 oral presentations and more than 400 poster presentations across 23 tracks. The different SIRGS met to co-ordinate their activities, and the academy workshops explored other avenues of research for the future.

I was especially proud that 125 self advocates were actively involved in the Congress, building on a tradition we began 20 years ago in Helsinki. Self advocates were part of every panel discussion, providing valuable insight into our research and the directions in which we need to take it.

Melbourne was a wonderful host to all of us, and we have many people to thank for that. As Chairs of the Local Organizing Committee, Bob Davis and Karen Nankervis did a great job of making everyone feel at home, and the many volunteers who assisted them showed a great deal of enthusiasm and attention to detail throughout. In addition, honourary Congress Chair Trevor Parmenter and our energetic Treasurer Keith McVilly exemplified that world-famous Australian hospitality.

We also owe a great debt to some others. As incoming President, Phil Davidson served as Congress Chair. He, Faye Alphonso, Secretary Hélène Ouellette-Kuntz and Maureen McDonald of the IASSIDD Secretariat oversaw many aspects of Congress organization – a demanding task all of them took on with their usual efficiency and enthusiasm.

The team that organized the Melbourne Congress really raised the bar for the regional and world Congresses that will follow, but I know that the organizing committees are up for the job. The next Asia-Pacific regional conference will take place in November 2017 in Bangkok, the Europe regional conference takes place in Athens in 2018, and the 16th World Congress will be hosted in Glasgow in August 2019. Further details will be coming soon, but in the meantime, be sure to mark your calendars!

Elections took place during the Congress, and as a result, we have a strong Executive team leading us into the future. As Phil Davidson moves into the role of President later this year, Colleen Adnams will take on the role of President-Elect. With Hélène Ouellette-Kuntz completing her second term as Secretary, Malin Broberg will now take on that role. Keith McVilly will continue as Treasurer, and I will now occupy the post of Past-President formerly held by Glynis Murphy. Tamar Heller will take over from Michael Wehmeyer as VP (Americas) and Alice Schippers will take over from Germain Weber as VP (Europe). Henry Kwok will continue as VP (Asia-Pacific) until the end of 2017, after which Angus Buchanan will serve in that capacity, and Eric Emerson has completed his term as WHO Liaison. Please join me in thanking all of these individuals for the work they do on IASSIDD’s behalf.

Each World Congress is also a time of renewal at the Council level, and I would like to welcome our new members to Council. I look forward to seeing the contributions you will make to IASSIDD, and I want to thank the outgoing members for their service over the past several years.

As I complete my term as President, I want to express my appreciation to all of our IASSIDD members. You are the lifeblood of our organization, and it has been wonderful to speak and work with so many of you throughout my term. I hope the recent World Congress inspired you in your work and has led to new partnerships and collaborations for the future – and I look forward to seeing your contributions to IASSIDD and the field of disability research in the years to come.


Dr. Vianne Timmons

President, IASSIDD

February, 2016


February is National Inclusive Education Month here in Canada, which seems like the perfect time for me to write you, wish you all the best for 2016, and provide you with an update on the organization's activities.

Earlier this month, the IASSIDD Executive gathered in New York City for two productive days of meetings. This provided the opportunity to meet with representatives of UNICEF and continue building on our relationship. We will be inviting a UNICEF representative to attend the Melbourne World Congress, and we discussed a number of other potential collaborations on which I hope to have more concrete details in the future.

The Executive meeting provided an opportunity to review IASSIDD's finances, and I am pleased to report that we are making great strides at ensuring the long-term financial sustainability of the organization. IASSIDD is currently in a position to meet all of our known financial commitments, although we will need to continue managing income and expenses very carefully to remain viable well into the future. In addition, it is becoming increasingly important for us to keep our membership numbers healthy and strong.

Among the other items discussed at the meeting was the idea of entering into an agreement with the World Health Organization to develop a program for 2017 that would see an IASSIDD member undertake an eight-week paid internship with the WHO in Geneva. Not all of the details are finalized, but we hope to be able to put out a call for applications at the Melbourne World Congress in August.

As the World Congress draws closer, planning continues under the able leadership of Phil Davidson, with tremendous support from many others, in particular Hélène Ouellette-Kuntz and Maureen MacDonald. Abstracts are currently being reviewed, and the various events are being organized. The Congress is shaping up well, and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible from August 14-19.

Also n the conference front, the location and dates for the next IASSIDD Asia Pacific Regional Congress have been finalized. The conference will take place in Bangkok, Thailand from November 13-17, 2017. Please mark that in your schedules, because even though it is more than a year and a half away, it will approach quickly!

I would like to take this opportunity to highlight that Michael Wehmeyer, IASSIDD Vice-President for the Americas, recently received the Council of Exceptional Children's Special Education Research Award. Congratulations, Michael – it is well-deserved!

In closing, I want to remind you that your IASSIDD Executive meets monthly via conference calls. Should you have any issues you would like discussed, please let Maureen McDonald know and she will ensure they are on our monthly agenda.

I look forward to seeing you in Melbourne this summer!

Dr. Vianne Timmons
President, IASSIDD

October, 2015

Dear Colleagues,

My two favorite seasons are here, spring in the southern hemisphere and fall in the northern hemisphere -- it's a perfect time of year! I would like to update you on the activities of IASSIDD.

  • We are fully engaged in preparation for the 2016 World Congress in Melbourne, Australia. Phil Davidson is leading a great team and has everything well in hand. Please note that the call for presentations has gone out.
  • In 2017 we are hoping to host our IASSIDD Regional Conference in Thailand. Henry Kwok is working with a team to develop this initiative.
  • Finances continue to be a challenge for IASSIDD. The finance committee, under the leadership of Keith McVilly, is focusing its energy on sustainability.
  • Hélène Ouellette-Kuntz has been facilitating the updating of our website. She is also coordinating the membership drive. We need your support in recruiting and maintaining our members. Please get the word out to your colleagues and encourage them to join.
  • We will be holding our Executive Meeting in early February in New York City. We are planning to connect with the World Bank and UNICEF. At the meeting we will be concentrating on membership recruitment and retention.

I want to thank all of you for staying connected with IASSIDD. We are committed to supporting people with disabilities around the world through research and knowledge translation. Your involvement is critical to our achievement of our mission.

Please email me if you have any suggestions and/or concerns. This is my last year as President of IASSIDD and I know it will be a successful year for us!

With appreciation,

Vianne Timmons
President, IASSIDD

June, 2015

Dear IASSIDD members,

With the IASSIDD Americas Regional Congress having just finished in Hawaii, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Michael Wehmeyer, who chaired what was once again a very successful Congress. Michael was supported by a great team, including Hélène Ouellette-Kuntz, Maureen McDonald of the IASSIDD Secretariat, and Patty Niebergall from my office. This Congress was a unique endeavour, as it was a partnership with the PacRim Congress.

The IASSIDD Council met at the Congress in May and confirmed the location of the 2019 World Congress. I'm pleased to announce that it will be held in Glasgow, Scotland. A shout out goes to Glynis Murphy and David Felce who worked on the site selection and brought the recommendation to Council for its consideration.

Council also approved the budget for 2015-16, and I am pleased to inform you that the actions Council has implemented are resulting in a turn-around in the budget, with a projected surplus next year. That is wonderful news for our organization, and a testament to the hard work of many people who have put a great deal of thought into the long-term sustainability of IASSIDD over the past year.

Progress on organizing the 2016 World Congress in Melbourne has been exceptional. Phil Davidson has all of the details well in hand, and has a fabulous local organizing committee in place. All of you who know Phil will appreciate that he is on top of every detail, and nothing is being overlooked.

A small subcommittee of the Executive has been tasked with bringing a recommendation for a new slate of officers to the World Congress in Melbourne in 2016. It is of benefit to all of us if people are interested in becoming more involved in the Executive of IASSIDD, so please give some consideration to letting your name stand for one of the positions. Please let me know if you are interested, and I will follow up with you with additional detail on the process.

In closing, I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the hard work of your Executive and Council members. They represent you well, work very hard on your behalf, and contribute a great deal to IASSIDD.


Dr. Vianne Timmons
President, IASSIDD

May, 2015

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to provide you with this report on IASSIDD's recent activities–an update that for the sake of efficiency will also double as my report to IASSIDD Council for its meeting at the upcoming Americas Regional Congress!

You will recall that the Europe Regional Congress took place in Vienna last summer, and was chaired by Germain Weber. Germain has recently learned that the City of Vienna named the Europe Regional Congress "The International Conferenceof the Year in Vienna." This is a testament to the work of Germain and his team of organizers, as well as to the impact IASSIDD members have around the world through their scholarship. We should all be very proud of this achievement.

Since the Vienna Congress, it has been a busy time for IASSIDD. The Executive met in Paris in early January, with a focus on partnership building. As I mentioned in an update at the time, we had meetings with both the Lejeune Foundation and UNESCO to discuss areas of mutual interest. I can now tell you that as a result of those meetings, IASSIDD has applied for partnership status with UNESCO, and we are currently awaiting the result of that application.

Partnerships such as this will be increasingly important for IASSIDD in the coming years as we address a key challenge faced by volunteer organizations around the world: how to do more (or even the same amount!) with less. We continue to place a high priority on the sustainability of our operations, and I look forward to collaborating meaningfully with UNESCO and other organizations in the future.

The May 2015 Americas Regional Congress in Hawaii is a perfect example of how such partnerships benefit IASSIDD. For the conference, we are partnering with the Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity (PacRim). By holding our regional conference on the heels of PacRim, and as part of Pacific Rim International Week on Disability and Diversity, we are eliminating some duplication of effort for the organizers of both conferences, and making it easier for members of the organizations to attend both conferences. In short, we are making the most of the time we have together with our colleagues from around the world.

As Chair of the Americas Regional Congress, Dr. Michael Wehmeyer has played a crucial role in this partnership, and we all owe a great debt to him and his organizing committee for the work they have done. I would also like to acknowledge the work of Dr. Hélène Ouellette-Kuntz, IASSIDD Secretary. Helene and the IASSIDD Secretariat have done a remarkable job in ensuring that everything is in place for the Regional Congress, while at the same time attending to many other aspects of IASSIDD business over the past few months.

Not to be outdone, Dr. Phil Davidson has been on an organizational tour de force as he plans the next IASSIDD World Congress, which is scheduled to take place in Melbourne, Australia in August 2016. Thanks to his tireless work and attention to detail in his role as Chair, the planning for the Congress is well ahead of schedule. Phil is actively seeking out every possible sponsorship possibility, and I am certain that he will have a great deal of success at garnering a high level of support for the work of our IASSIDD members.

I look forward to reporting to you on IASSIDD's activities in the coming months. In the meantime, I would like to thank all of you for your continuing commitment to IASSIDD and its goal of conducting, sharing and promoting research that improves the lives of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities worldwide.

Respectfully submitted,

Dr. Vianne Timmons
President, IASSIDD

January 23, 2015 Update

Dear colleagues,

Welcome to 2015! I hope everyone is having a wonderful year so far.As I pass along my best wishes for the new year, I would like to take this opportunity to update all of you on IASSIDD's activities from the past few months – and for 2015 and beyond. As you know, we had a very successful IASSIDD Europe Regional Congress in Vienna this past summer.I would once again like to thank Congress Chair Germain Weber, his team, and the IASSIDD Secretariat for all their hard work.

The planning for the North America Regional Congress scheduled to take place in Hawaii from May 20-21, 2015 is moving along well.We do need more abstracts, and hope you can help us promote this conference with your colleagues.Michael Wehmeyer is the lead on this conference, and has developed a unique approach by partnering with PacRim.We hope to see as many of you as possible there.

The 2016 World Congress is also well into its planning cycle, with Congress Chair Phil Davidson doing an exceptional job.All the partnership work we have undertaken in recent years is paying off for the World Congress.Make sure you have this in your calendar for August 2016.

We are looking at Thailand as host of the Asia Pacific Regional Congress in 2017.We are just in the preliminary stages of planning, and I will update you as further information becomes available.

The Academy has been very busy and will be delivering a number of workshops at the North America Regional Congress in Hawaii.Ivan Brown, the Director, has been doing a great job looking ahead and connecting with our SIRG leaders.

The Executive met in Paris in January to facilitate meetings with the Lejeune Foundation and UNESCO, and both meetings went very well.We are looking at ways we can build a partnership with both organizations, and if you have any ideas, I encourage you to share them with the Executive.

On a sombre note, the Executive arrived in Paris for these meetings during the time of the Charlie Hebdo shootings.In the midst of such a difficult time, we were all very impressed with how the people of Paris came together as a city to promote the message of peace.It was a very touching experience for us all.

The Executive also reviewed our budget expenditures and revenues, and I want to compliment Council on the steps it took last July to manage the revenues and expenditures.We are on track to reduce the deficit budgeting that we have been experiencing over the last few years.

The IASSIDD Secretariat is working on a major revamp of our website, which as you can imagine, is a huge job.I want to thank Helene Ouellette-Kuntz and Maureen McDonald for their leadership and hard work on this. They are very interested in your feedback on our website.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate one of our own – Bob Davis of Monash University at Melbourne, Australia.Bob was the inaugural winner of the Victorian Health Minister's Award for his commitment to serving persons with disabilities.Bob's award reflects very well on our organization, and most of all, recognizes a wonderful man whose concern for the welfare of others sets an example for us all.

As you can see, there is a lot happening with IASSIDD.I am excited about the new partnerships we are developing, and I want to thank the Executive and Council members for all their hard work.This organization has been in existence for five decades, and its continuing success is the result of thousands of hours of volunteer time dedicated by individuals such as the Executive and Council members – and all of you!

I look forward to seeing you in Hawaii in May. Respectfully submitted,

Dr. Vianne Timmons
President, IASSIDD

August 27, 2014 Update

Dear colleagues,

On behalf of the IASSIDD Executive and the Local Organizing Committee of the 4 th European IASSIDD Regional Congress, we want to thank everyone who attended the Congress held at the University of Vienna from July 14-17. Your contributions, presentations and ideas created a truly memorable event for everyone at the University of Vienna and for the global IASSIDD family.

As a token of our appreciation, we want to share some of these memories and impressions with those of you who were at the Congress, as well as those of you who were unable to attend. You may find them on our website at http://iassidd2014.univie.ac.at/photosimpressions. Please note that it might take a bit of time to load the site.

In addition, we would ask those of you who presented posters at the conference to send us a pdf file of your posters so we might add them to the site for all to view. You may send them to germain.weber@univie.ac.at.

Thank you for your continuing commitment to IASSIDD, and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible from May 18-23 at the 2015 IASSIDD Americas Regional Conference in Hawaii, which is being held in partnership with the Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity.

Kind regards,

Dr. Vianne Timmons
IASSIDD President


Dr. Germain Weber
Chair, 2014 IASSIDD European Regional Congress

July 31, 2014 Update

Dear colleagues,

I hope you are having a wonderful July, and that those of you who were able to attend the IASSIDD Europe Congress in Vienna earlier this month found it to be both enjoyable and productive. Germain Weber did a great job as Chair of the Congress, and on behalf of the entire organization, I want to thank him for that.

In association with the Congress in Vienna, the IASSIDD Executive and Council held meetings at which a number of motions were passed. Two of these motions have to do with the long-term financial stability of the organization. You will recall that over the past number of years, membership fees have not been raised, with the exception of a slight increase to cover the increased costs to produce our journal. At the meetings, we passed a one-time $25.00 increase to membership fees, and capped the contribution to SIRGS at $20.00. These two changes are intended to provide more stable long-term funding for IASSIDD, and we will review the impact of them in a year to ensure they are serving that purpose.

Also at the meetings, a new SIRG was approved, called Inclusive Education Across the Lifespan. Scott Thompson will serve as inaugural Chair of the SIRG.

Progress continues toward our forthcoming conferences. The next one – a partnership with the Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity – will take place in Hawaii on May 20 and 21, 2015, with Michael Wehmeyer serving as Chair. And under the capable leadership or our President-Elect, Phil Davidson, the 2016 Melbourne IASSIDD World Congress is really beginning to take shape.

As always, the IASSIDD Executive and Council continue to work hard to ensure that your Association flourishes. We appreciate any input you have for us.

Respectfully submitted,

Dr. Vianne Timmons
President, IASSIDD

July update, 2014

Dear colleagues,

After what was a very long winter where I live in Canada (and in many other places around the world, I'm sure!), summer is finally here. I hope 2014 has been a good year for you so far, and that with summer now in full swing, you are finding time to spend with family and friends.

Over the past several months, your IASSIDD Executive has been working hard on your behalf. We have scheduled monthly conference calls to ensure we have adequate time to attend to the business of IASSIDD. The Executive is still focusing on partnerships, and is hoping to connect with UNESCO later this year. In addition, we are also working to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of our organization, and hope very soon to be recommending some strategic changes on the operation to Council to help us achieve this goal.

The members of the Executive are all looking forward to seeing many of you in Vienna, Austria from July 14-17 for the IASSIDD European Regional Conference. This regional conference promises to be another successful event, and for that, we all owe a great debt to Germain Weber and his team. They have done a fantastic job or organizing the conference, and as you can tell from the program, there will be a wide variety of interesting sessions that will appeal to everyone. The IASSIDD Secretariat also deserves a note of appreciation, as they have been working hard with Germain's team to make sure the conference is as productive and enjoyable as possible for all who attend.

I would also like to update you on some other IASSIDD conferences that are on the horizon. Michael Wehmeyer has taken the lead in the planning of the IASSIDD North America conference in Hawaii on May 20 th and 21st, 2015. This conference will follow on the Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity, and this is a unique partnership which we are very excited about.

You will also be interested to know that Phil Davidson has the planning well in hand for the IASSIDD World Congress that will be held in Melbourne, Australia from August 15-19, 2016. Phil and the local organizing committee are ahead of schedule in their planning and organization, and I will provide you with further updates about this and other forthcoming conferences over the next year.

If you are heading to Vienna, I'll see you there! Travel safely.

Vianne Timmons
President, IASSIDD

February update, 2014

Happy Chinese New Year!

2014 is the Year of the Horse – a year for all of us to reflect on (and even emulate!) the energy and hard work that horses symbolize for so many people around the world. With that in mind, the IASSIDD Executive has been working hard on two major themes – partnerships and financial sustainability.

On the partnership front, a small group of the Executive met in New York to initiate a relationship with UNICEF. We had an excellent meeting, and have applied to participate in the organization's Global Partnership on Children with Disabilities. I will be sure to provide additional details as they become available in the coming months.

In addition, the Executive spent a day looking at the financial sustainability of the organization. We explored every option that we could think of that would ensure a healthy organization into the future. We need to make some bold steps in this area, and the Executive has asked the relevant committees – Membership, Publications, and Finance – to look at our proposals. I look forward to their deliberations.

In the meantime, we have already begun to take some simple but important steps. We as an Executive have reduced our meetings to once a year outside of the meeting held when Council gets together. We are also looking at the best way possible to tie people in remotely to reduce travel. In New York, for example, we had three Executive members join our deliberations via Skype.

A great deal of planning is taking place in other areas. As you are all aware, the 2014 Vienna conference is fast approaching, and planning for that is well in hand. We are looking at a partnership with PacRim for a 2015 North America conference in Hawaii, and Phil Davidson is well into planning for the 2016 Melbourne World Congress.

I believe that 2014 will be a great year, and one in which the IASSIDD organization benefits from all of the energy and hard work all of you put into it. Thank you for everything you do for IASSIDD, and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in Vienna.


Dr. Vianne Timmons
President, IASSIDD

July Update, 2013

It is hard to believe that it is already just over a year since the IASSIDD World Congress took place in Halifax!

Since that time, the IASSIDD Executive has been busy on a number of fronts, and has held several “virtual meetings" via conference call. And of course, we've been corresponding regularly by email – something that is always necessary in an international organization!

The reviews of the World Congress were very positive, with few suggestions for improvement as planning continues for the 2016 Melbourne World Congress. Participants said that the volunteers were incredible, the range of presentations was excellent, the quality of speakers was exceptional, and the entertainment was fantastic.

In addition, the Congress netted a profit of more than $60000 US, and a detailed conference planning binder was compiled and passed on to Phil Davidson to assist with the planning for Melbourne, which is already well underway. It is also of note that a significant amount of work has taken place to coordinate with the Toyko conference committee, and that the European regional conference planning is also moving forward. I hope to see you at those upcoming conferences.

Looking forward, as President I have established the following priorities:

1) Financial sustainability: IASSIDD's long-term financial sustainability as an organization is critical. For the first time in our history, we have ongoing expenses to support the Secretariat, and we need to ensure that we have the revenue to continue this initiative for the long term

2) Governance: Governance training is essential for IASSIDD's Executive and Council. This is important to ensure accountability, transparency and ethical conduct in all that we do in the name of the organization. As a start, all who have official roles within the organization have been asked to review a new conflict of interest policy and sign a conflict of interest form. In addition, we are working to ensure that the various committees are more actively involved in the governance of the organization.

3) Partnerships: We need to foster partnerships with other national and international organizations. To this end, in January the Executive met in Washington and had coordinated sessions with George Jesien from AUCD and Maggie Nygren from AAIDD. The discussions were preliminary and focused on how we could collaborate on initiatives.

In addition, the Executive has assigned responsibilities to its members:

  • Michael Wehmeyher: VP – Americas and Publications
  • Lisa Wang: VP – Asia-Pacific for 1 year with Henry Kwok
  • Colleen Adnam: VP – Africa/Eastern Mediterranean and SIRG Coordination
  • Germain Webber: VP – Europe
  • Eric Emerson: WHO Liaison
  • Glynis Murph: Past President and Academy Liaison
  • Phil Davidson: President-Elect
  • Keith McVilly: Treasurer
  • Hélène Ouellette-Kuntz: Secretary
  • Vianne Timmons: President

All Executive members have been working hard on your behalf, and will present their reports at the forthcoming Council meeting. I look forward to that meeting, and to hearing your thoughts on the future direction of IASSIDD.

Respectfully submitted,

Vianne Timmons
President, IASSIDD

February Update, 2013

2013 is only a month old, but it is already shaping up to be a busy year for IASSIDD.

The Executive held a meeting in January, with a full agenda that included meetings with our two sister organizations in the United States, AAIDD and AUCD. At the meetings, we discussed ways we can continue to collaborate in the future, building on the work we did together at the IASSIDD World Congress in July 2012.

Developing partnerships such as these will be an area of strong focus for IASSIDD over the next four years. Some other priorities will be financial sustainability and governance, which are becoming increasingly top-of-mind for all international organizations, and will only gain in importance for IASSIDD as we continue to mature as an organization.

I am also pleased to report that your IASSIDD Vice-Presidents have taken in a number of important coordinating roles. Colleen Adnams will be the IASSIDD SIRG coordinator, Michael Wehmeyer is now the Publications Coordinator, and Germain Weber is assuming leadership of the 2014 European conference. In addition, Glynis Murphy will fulfill the liaison role with the Academy, and Eric Emerson will continue in his role as WHO liaison and partnership coordinator. It will be a busy year for the team.

The next meeting of the IASSIDD Council will be in Tokyo on August 24. It will be held in conjunction with the Asia Pacific Regional Conference, which will take place on August 24 and 25.

I hope to see you in Tokyo later this year, and on behalf of the IASSIDD Executive, I wish you all the best for 2013.


Vianne Timmons
President, IASSIDD

Fall Update, 2012

It's hard to believe that three months have already passed since the July 2012 IASSIDD World Congress in Halifax. It was a pleasure to see so many of you at the Congress, and I hope that the intervening months have been pleasant and productive for everyone.

At the Congress, a new IASSIDD Executive was chosen to serve our organization for the next four years, and I was honoured to be elected President. Since that time, we have been busy finalizing the Executive and Council members for the next four years, and undertaking our responsibilities for our terms in office.

As we begin our work in earnest as your new representatives on the Executive and Council, I would like to thank the following people who served IASSIDD so well in these capacities over the last four years. I would also like to announce the new Executive and Council for the current term.

PAST – 2008-2012

PRESENT – 2012 - 2016

David Felce - Past President
Bob Davis – VP Asia/Pacific Region
Jan Blacher – VP North/South America
Giorgio Albertini – VP Europe
Colleen Adnams - South African Association for the Scientific Study of Mental Handicap
Tamar Heller - AAIDD
Kathy O'Grady - Inclusion Ireland
Michael Seidel - German Society of Mental Handicap
Giorgio Albertini - San Raffaele Research Institute
Philip Dodd - UCD Centre for Disability Studies
Mike Kerr- Welsh Center for Learning Disabilities
Roy Brown - Down Syndrom SIRG/IASSID Academy
Angela Hassiotis - Challenging Behaviour and Mental Health SIRG
Christine Bigby - Aging SIRG
Ivan Brown - Quality of Life SIRG
Bob Davis - Health Issues SIRG
Eric Emerson - Families SIRG, WHO liaison
Jan Blacher - Families SIRG
Bea Maes - Profound Multiple Disabilities SIRG
David McConnell - Parenting with Intellectual Disabilities SIRG
Hans Reinders - Ethics SIRG
Julie Beadle-Brown – Comparative Policy & Practice SIRG
Richard Hastings - Individual Member
Gwynnyth Llewellyn - Individual Member
Liliana Mayo - Individual Member
Germain Weber - Individual Member
Tony Holland - JIDR Editor
Matt Janicki - JPPID Editor/Past Treasurer
Shigeru Suemitsu – Individual Member
Neil Ross - Individual Member

Vianne Timmons – President
Glynis Murphy – Past President
Phil Davidson – President Elect
Keith McVilly – Treasurer
Hélène Ouellette-Kuntz – Secretary
Colleen Adnams – VP Africa/Eastern Mediterranean
Germain Weber – VP Europe
Michael Wehmeyer – VP Americas
Henry Kwok – VP Asia Pacific
Kuo-Yu Lisa Wang – Co-VP Asia Pacific (1yr term)
Eric Emerson – WHO Liaison
Dr. Robert Davis - Council (Health SIRG)
Dr. Giorgio Albertini - Council (Down Syndrome SIRG)
Dr. Roy Brown – Council (Academy)
Dr. Christine Bigby - Council (Aging SIRG)
Dr. Ivan Brown/Dr. Alice Schippers - Council (Quality of Life SIRG)
Dr. Bea Maes – Council (Profound Multiple Disabilities SIRG)
Dr. David McConnell – Council (Parenting with Intellectual Disabilities SIRG)
Dr. Julie Beadle- Brown – Council (Comparative Policy & Practice SIRG)
Dr. Malin Broberg – Council (Families SIRG)
Dr. Jane McCarthy - Council (Challenging Behaviour and Mental Health SIRG)
Dr. Hans Reinders - Council (Ethics SIRG)
Dr. Anthony Holland – Council (JIDR Editor)
Dr. Matthew Janicki – Council (JPPID Editor)

Given that the next regional conference is less than a year away, it is a good time to list the preliminary conference schedule for the next few years. Please mark these conferences in your schedules and try to attend. We will provide further details on these and other IASSIDD conferences as they become available, but it in the meantime, it is worth noting that we will be holding our Council meetings at the regional conferences beginning in 2013 in Japan.

August, 2013 – Asia-Pacific Regional Conference – Tokyo, Japan--Please visit our website at www.iassid.org for more information.
2014 – European Regional Conference – Vienna, Austria
2016 – 15th World Congress – Melbourne, Australia

Thank you for all your continued support of our organization.


Vianne Timmons
President, IASSIDD

Summer Update - Report on 2012 World Congress - July, 2012

I would like to take this opportunity to provide an update on the 2012 IASSID World Congress, which took place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada from July 9-14.

The Congress was very successful, with approximately 800 delegates from around the world in attendance, and more than a dozen plenary speakers.More than 250 concurrent symposia featuring approximately 700 speakers took place across 12 tracks,and scholars also made 120 poster presentations. The net result was a thought-provoking Congress that brought to light a great deal of new research in the field of intellectual disabilities, and I believe the event was a fitting follow-up to the 2008 Cape Town Congress.

I would like to thank everyone who participated in the Congress - as delegates, presenters, moderators, plenary speakers, and as volunteers. I appreciate your commitment to IASSID, and to people worldwide with intellectual disabilities.

I would also like to update you on a couple of other developments from the Congress. At the Council meeting, the name of the organization was changed to the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD). This is a positive development, and one that will more inclusively reflect the work of members throughout the organization.

Also at the Council meeting, a new Executive was elected:

  • Glynis Murphy, Past President
  • Vianne Timmons, President
  • Helene Ouellete-Kuntz, Secretary
  • Keith McVilly, Treasurer
  • Phil Davidson, President-Elect

I would like to extend particular thanks to Glynis Murphy for her work as President over the past four years.

Those of you who attended the opening ceremonies of the Congress will recall that Michael Bach, Executive Director of the Canadian Association for Community Living, gave a heartfelt address related to the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in all aspects of society. Michael has since expressed an interest in creating an Inclusive Education SIRG, and I would encourage anyone who is interested in participating in such a SIRG to let me know at vianne.timmons@uregina.ca.

Thank you once again for your involvement in IASSIDD, and I hope to see you at future conferences. The Asia-Pacific Regional Conference will take place in Tokyo, Japan in August 2013, the European Regional Conference will take place in Vienna, Austria in 2014, and the next World Congress will be in Melbourne, Australia in 2016. Be sure to mark your calendars!

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Vianne Timmons
President, IASSIDD