Name: Sarah A. Hall, Ph.D.
Employment: Assistant Professor, Ashland University
Why did you join AAIDD?
I was initially drawn to AAIDD because of the mission and values of the association. When I attended my first AAIDD Annual Meeting, I was surrounded by people who were passionate about the lives of people with IDD and welcoming to new people. I was also excited to meet the leaders in the field who wrote about topics I was researching. Through my involvement in AAIDD, I believe that I can help to make a real difference in the lives of people with IDD.
Why did you choose the field of intellectual disability?
I have been drawn to the field of intellectual and developmental disability since I was young. I am a sibling of a brother with multiple disabilities. As a child, I attended my brother's Special Olympics competitions and became overwhelmed with emotion. I watched my parents advocate for my brother to give him opportunities that were not yet available, which strengthened my passion to make a difference. When I led a Friendship Ministries bible study as a young adult, I lit up with joy and felt a sense of belonging each time we met. My commitment to the field was strengthened when I interviewed adults with intellectual disabilities as a graduate student and was able to share their perspectives. My experiences inspired me to work in the field, and I continue to choose this path because of the people I meet along the way.
AAIDD leadership positions:
I am a co-chair for the Student and Early Career Professionals Special Interest Group, on the Editorial Board for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Inclusion, and served as the volunteer recruitment leader on the Local Arrangements Committee for the 2013 Annual Meeting.