TRIBUTE – Professor Marcia Rioux

TRIBUTE – Professor Marcia Rioux

Tribute to Professor Marcia Rioux (1947-2021)

Trevor R. Parmenter and Ivan Brown

Today, we share sad news with you about the recent passing of Marcia Rioux. For many years, Marcia was a member of IASSIDD’s Council and Executive Committee, an IASSIDD Fellow since 1996, and a major influence in the growth of our Association.

 Marcia’s became a member of Council as the representative of the Roeher Institiute in Toronto, Canada when she became its President, following the untimely death of its founder Alan Roeher shortly after the close of our 1982 Congress. Marcia was a strong advocate – and lively debater – for the Association, then known as IASSMD, to move from what she perceived as its medical research bias towards a broader conceptualization of disability.

Marcia will be well remembered internationally as a long-time and tireless advocate for disability rights. Among an extensive array of advocacy work, her strong support of the International League of Societies for Persons with Mental Handicap (now Inclusion International) will long be appreciated. She was an indefatigable advocate who always strove to build a bridge between science and humanity.

With strong Human Rights and legal perspectives, Marcia significantly influenced the broadening of the path of research in our field. One example of this that stands out is her joint editorship in 1994 of Disability is Not Measles: New Research Paradigms in Disability with Michael Bach. This publication brought together contributions from a number of the presenters to a Forum on New Research Directions and Paradigms at the 9th Congress of IASSMD held on the Gold Coast, Australia in 1992. In the Foreword to the book, Marcia and Michael commented: Having worked from a human rights and equality paradigm in Canada in carrying out research on public policy and disability, we were curious to make connections with other researchers who were also re-examining the premises of the study of disability. The IASSMD provided us with a place to begin those discussions on an international level and to begin thinking about the implications and challenges for traditional researchers.

Marcia made very extensive contributions to scholarly literature and thinking. For example, she was one of the co-authors of Just Technology? From Principles to Practice in Bio-ethical Issues, jointly sponsored by ILSMH and the Canadian Association for Community Living and published by the Roeher Institute in 1994. It’s another historical coincidence that a Bioethics Symposium was also held in conjunction with the 9th Congress of IASSMD in 1992 to which Marcia contributed.

More than this, though, her life work demonstrated a rare talent of combining progressive conceptualizations of disability and research outputs with positive practical application. With an ear always open to understanding the lived experiences of people with disabilities and their families, she initiated and promoted helpful on-the-ground projects in several countries. At the same time, she clearly understood – and acted to influence – the role of laws, policy, and philosophy on how we think about and react to disability. As just one of many examples, she was a frequent visitor “down under” where she strongly influenced the development of Australian disability policy.

Marcia’s extensive work as President of the Roeher Institute was based on a social justice approach, and featured an interesting blend of comtemporary philosophy, a public policy focus, rights advocacy, research, and applied projects. Marcia was later appointed head of the School of Health Policy and Management at Toronto’s York University and director of its Institute for Health Research. Part of her “deal” in accepting this position was the establishment of a graduate program in critical disability studies, a program that has educated numerous young professionals in our field. Her exemplary work at York University – and well beyond – earned her the designation of Distinguished Research Professor. Marcia’s broad expertise and wide recognition brought her many other honours as well: a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Ontario Lieutenant Governor’s Community Volunteer Award (2013), and the Order of Canada (2014), among other awards.

Perhaps even more important than the astonishing strength of her professional work, Marcia was an all-out humanitarian at heart and a very good friend to all who knew her. Her buoyant manner, readiness to see the humour in a situation, and ability to spark a spirited friendly conversation on almost any topic made her a warm and wonderful companion over lunch or a glass of wine. Her numerous colleagues, students, and friends – who all had their unique experiences as part of Marcia’s life – will miss her abundant spirit and well-founded points of view.

Marcia’s legacy is surely her remarkable positive influence on the field of disability, and on its place within international societies. We can be proud that IASSIDD was one of the vehicles through which she was able to work and advocate so tirelessly yet so insightfully.

Vale, dear friend.

Marcia Rioux obituary:

JIPPID is having an impact

JIPPID is having an impact

IASSIDD is delighted to receive news that the Impact Factor for our Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities has jumped to 1.806!

Now might be a good time to consider writing up your congress paper as a manuscript for the journal.

Author Guidelines are here: Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual

If you would like to discuss the suitability of a topic or if you have an idea for a special issue, email the Co-editors in Chief: Laurence Taggart – or Rhonda Faragher –

You’re invited – Webinar sponsored by Families SIRG

You’re invited – Webinar sponsored by Families SIRG

“Exploring Research on Asian Families Raising Children with Developmental Disabilities”

Sponsored by IASSIDD SIRG Families

Thursday June 3 2021

08:30AM – 10:00AM (INDIA)

11:00AM – 12:30PM (TAIWAN)

Calculate your time zone



Dr. Sarah Dababnah, Associate Professor, University of Maryland, Baltimore

The Lived Experience of Caregivers Assisting People with Disability in Ernakalum, India

Dr. Nathan Grills, Senior Research Advisor, University of Melbourne

Dr. Lynette Joubert, Professor, Melbourne School of Health Sciences

A Three-tier Family Support Model for Young Children with Suspected Developmental Disabilities in Taiwan

Dr. ChuSui Lin, Professor, Chung-Yuan Christian University & Ms. Pei Ing Wee, Clinical Psychologist

Feasibility and Acceptability of the WHO-Caregivers Skills Training (CST) Program for Families of Children with Developmental Disorders or Delays in India

Dr. Koyeli Sengupta, Director, Ummeed Child Development Center, Mumbai, India


IASSIDD congress from hybrid to virtual event in 2021

IASSIDD congress from hybrid to virtual event in 2021

A release from the Congress Committee:

The Congress Committee has determined that the 6th IASSIDD congress 2021 will be a virtual congress. We hoped to have a hybrid (both in-person and online) Congress as announced last fall. However, due to the continuing challenges of COVID-19, we deemed that it is not wise to have an in-person component for the 6th IASSIDD congress this summer. While we know that meeting in person eventually will be safe again, we sadly do not believe that it will happen in time to safely have an in-person event the beginning of July 2021 in Amsterdam. This was a difficult decision to make since all IASSIDD in-person meetings from 2020 needed to be cancelled entirely because of COVID-19.

This will be the first time that an IASSIDD congress has gathered entirely online, as many of our participants have been doing these past 12 months. While we lament that we cannot be together in person to connect with one another, we are nevertheless excited about the new opportunities a virtual gathering offers.

We will be able to open the 6th IASSIDD congress to much greater participation than ever before. Instead of traveling long distances and having only 200 participants or so gathered together, we are throwing wide the doors open to many more participants who never before have been able to participate in person. Moreover, in this way we will reflect as well the congress theme: Value Diversity.

Imagine an opportunity for many people from different countries and fields to participate in the virtual opportunities that will be included, gaining tools and resources to connect, networking and participate together online.

We hope to see all of you at our first virtual congress!

Alice Schippers,

Congress Chair

WHO – Guidelines on mental health promotive and preventive interventions for adolescents

WHO – Guidelines on mental health promotive and preventive interventions for adolescents

Adolescence is one of the most rapid and formative phases of human development. During this time adolescents develop knowledge and social-emotional skills and acquire attributes and abilities that are important for assuming adult roles and active contribution to society. Up to 50% of all mental health conditions start before the age of 14 years and up to one in five adolescents experience a mental disorder each year. Suicide is one of the three leading causes of death among older adolescents. In turn, poor adolescent mental health is associated with a range of high-risk behaviours, including self harm, tobacco, alcohol and substance use, risky sexual behaviours and exposure to violence, the effects of which persist throughout the life-course and have serious implications.


TRIBUTE – Michael Mulcahy

TRIBUTE – Michael Mulcahy

Dr Michael Mulcahy, an innovative, clear, penetrative thinker, always courteous, and respectful of others died on January 1st 2020, after a short illness – our thoughts are with Joan, his children and extended family.

Michael was born in Australia, where his father worked as a Doctor. His mother returned to Ireland after his father’s early death at the age of 33.

Michael was always prepared to push the boundaries – leaving secondary school early to study independently for the National University Matriculation exam – commencing his Medical Studies in University College Dublin where he graduated with distinction in 1953.

He commenced his Psychiatry training in America – completing them at St Vincent’s Hospital Dublin in 1962.

Michael was elected to the position of Vice President of the IASSIDD in 1985. Prior to this he worked closely with Annaliese Dupont who took over the position of President following the untimely death of President-Elect Alan Roeher in a plane crash in 1982, soon after the closing of the Association;s Sixth Congress held in Toronto.

Michael was instrumental in nominating New Delhi as the venue for the Seventh Congress in 1985 and worked closely with Annalise to develop a rich program at a venue; being the first held outside of the European-North American area.

As Vice President he was an active networker. He and Annaliese focussed on keeping the Association solvent, and developing the science.  At the Dublin Council meeting, Michael initiated the resolution to switch the Congress schedule to quadrennial in order to alternate each two years with the congresses of the International League of Societies for Mental Handicap (ILSMH, later Inclusion International).

In keeping with the spirit of the earlier initiative in New Delhi, Michael warmly supported Australia’s nomination to host the 1992 Congress.

The Congress to Dublin in 1988 had over a thousand registrants, which meant in practice for Ireland a light was shone on what was possible to achieve on behalf of People with Intellectual Disabilities and their Families – informed by science and practice from other countries – precipitating the growth of a strong local advocacy movement.

As President and a member of the Scientific Program Committee, Michael also provided strong support during the lead up to the 1992 Congress held in the Gold Coast, Australia, which also attracted a similar number of registrants as the Dublin meeting.

Michael also actively supported the work of the Joint Commission which had been earlier established between WHO, ILSMH and IASSIDD.

He actively promoted research, was open to new ideas, supportive and encouraging of colleagues, but seldom if ever promoted himself; a faithful friend, always the gentleman, engaging, courteous and fun to be around.

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam agus go bhfanfaidh sé ina shíocháin

Stephen Kealy

Trevor Parmenter

TRIBUTE – Terrence Raymond Dolan

TRIBUTE – Terrence Raymond Dolan

It is with sadness to report the death on 11 December, 2019, of Terrence (Terry) Dolan who served as President of IASSIDD from 1992 to 1996. Our thoughts are with his wife Mary Ann, his children and extended family.

Terry was born on 24 May 1940, in Huron, South Dakota, the eldest of six children. He received his B.A. in Psychology from Dakota Wesleyan University in 1962, A M.S. from Trinity University in Physiological Psychology in 1963 and a Ph.D in Psychology and Physiology in 1966 at the University of Texas, Austin in 1970. In 1970, Terry completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship with Dr Dewey Neff at Indiana University.

Before taking up the position of Directorship of the Waisman Center for Mental Retardation and Human Development at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1982, Terry held positions of Director of the Parmly Research Institute at Loyola University; Program Director of Behavioral and Neural Sciences at the National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C.; and a Von Humboldt Scholar at the University of Erlangen, Germany.

Prior to his presidency of IASSIDD Terry served terms as President of the Association of Mental Retardation Research Centers in the U.S. and President of the American Association of University Programs for People with Disabilities.

Terry was elected President Elect of IASSIDD at its Council meeting held in conjunction with the 1988 Congress held at Trinity College, Dublin, following the nomination by then President Dr Michael Mulcahy. Terry then led the Program Committee for the successful 1992 Congress held on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia; the first being held in the Southern Hemisphere. Through Terry’s influence many of the leading researchers in intellectual disabilities from the U.S. made the long journey to “down under”, enriching the array of scientific presentations.

During Terry’s presidency a number of structural initiatives were adopted by the Association, including the formation of Special Interest Research Groups (SIRGs), the introduction of Individual Memberships and a name change from the International Association for the Scientific Study of Mental Deficiency to the more contemporary International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities.

As Past-President, Terry provided strong support to the Local Organising Committee for the 2000 Congress held in Seattle.

But for us who were close to him, it was the cutting sense of humour and love of the laugh that we will remember.

In 2017, Terry was honoured with a Lifetime Distinguished Alumni Award from Dakota Wesleyan University In retirement, Terry and Mary Ann first relocated to Tucson, Arizona and in 2008 to Chicago to be closer to children and grandchildren.

Neil Ross

Trevor Parmenter

Opportunity to review new titles from Plural Publishing

Opportunity to review new titles from Plural Publishing

Roy Brown, Book Review Editor for JPPID, has received a publisher’s press release with three new titles.

If you would be interested in reviewing one of these books for JPPID, please contact Roy by email to

Behavior Management: Systems, Classrooms, and Individuals

Editors: Jennifer Walker & Colleen Barry | Published: 8/17/2020 | ISBN-13: 978-1-63550-224-4



Teaching Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities

Editors: Brittany L. Hott, Kathleen M. Randolph, & Lesli Raymond  Published: 11/5/2020 | ISBN-13: 978-1-63550-225-1



Special Education Law and Policy: From Foundation to Application

Editors: Jacqueline A. Rodriguez & Wendy Murawski | Published: 12/21/2020 | ISBN-13: 978-1-63550-231-2




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)