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Member Spotlight 

Name: Leslie Walker-Hirsch, IMEd, FAAIDD

Location: Santa Fe, NM

Member since:  34 years

Employment: 
Self-employed as President of Moonstone: Consulting in social and sexual development, for those with IDD, their families, schools, states and agencies. 

Why did you join AAIDD?  
AAIDD is a long standing, cross-disciplinary organization that has and has had tremendous influence on public policy, best practice and new research. This organization would be able to enlighten a broad segment of those who serve people with IDD about the need to acknowledge and give credibility to the social and sexual rights and responsibilities of healthy expression of sexuality and prevent sexual exploitation of this sometimes vulnerable population.

Why did you choose the field of intellectual disability?
I have always had a place in my heart and mind for people who learned differently and who were deprived of all many of the things I took for granted in life: freedom, love, education, acceptance and inclusion in their communities.  I knew deeply that I could offer something to relieve some of the hardships that had been imposed upon them as a result of prejudice and ignorance. And that is what I was determined to do!

AAIDD leadership positions: 
  • Member of the Awards and Fellowship Committee
  • Founder and Chairperson of the  AAIDD Special Interest Group on Social and Sexual Success
  • President of the General Division
  • Video presenter as part of the AAIDD Video Educational library
  • Presenter at nearly all of the National AAIDD meetings and many AAIDD regional meetings
  • Coordinator of and contributor to the committee that was charged with developing the information document on Sexuality and Intellectual Disability