The SIRG-PIMD focuses on individuals with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD / PMLD). They form a heterogeneous group. They are characterized by very severe cognitive, neuromotor and/or sensory disabilities, which lead to very intensive support needs.

The mission of the SIRG-PIMD is:

  • To provide a worldwide network for the exchange of knowledge and insights on persons with PIMD from research and practice. The SIRG-PIMD brings together researchers and practitioners with different disciplines and from different countries.
  • To promote cross-national, multidisciplinary collaboration in the area of persons with PIMD.
  • To provide a framework for the dissemination of information relating to the research interests, expertise, and publications of group members.
  • To foster innovation and quality improvement in the support of persons with PIMD. The ultimate aim of the group is to improve the quality of life and services for people with PIMD, their carers, and their families.

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.

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.

Chair: Bea Maes

Newsletter: Sara Nijs, Leentje Van Alphen

Social media: Jorien Luijkx

JPIDD associate editor: Annette Van der Putten

Website: Darren Chadwick

Early Career Researchers: Wieneke Penninga, Michelle King

Academy Link: Michael Arthur-Kelly


  • The 6th IASSIDD European Conference will be held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, from July 6-8, 2021. It will be a hybrid conference, with physical and online activities. See https://iassidd2021.com/
  • The next Early Career Researchers Meeting will be combined with the conference in Amsterdam either the day before or the day after the conference. The exact date will be communicated soon.


  • 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
  • Kathleen Tait, Australia
  • Michael Arthur-Kelly, Australia

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

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)