Name: Vincent M. Chesney, MS, FAAIDD
Location: Shamokin, PA
Member since: 1998
Employment: Psychological Services Associate, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; Adjunct Instructor, Luzerne County Community College
Why did I join AAIDD: Association membership is offered to graduate students in the Human Services Management/Special Education Psychology program at Western Maryland: McDaniel College. While at the college my interaction with other graduate programs such as Deaf Education and Gerontology encouraged a multidisciplinary mindset that the association fosters. I was so impressed by the association’s journals and camaraderie that I have remained a member since that time.
Why did I choose the field of intellectual disability: In the 1970s my mother was the teacher for our area's Arc early intervention program. My grandmother, a nurse, occasionally served as her assistant. In those years, before the county's then-newly initiated Intermediate Unit assumed the role of serving at-risk youth, I was able to watch my mother and grandmother teach and care for the students. These visits during my own childhood years developed a deeper appreciation of diversity within me. As a result questions of a psychological nature as well as human rights issues have always interested me, which of course are prominent in this field.
AAIDD leadership positions: Chair, Mental Health Services SIG; Member, Awards and Fellowship Committee; Delegate, Delegations to Cuba, Brazil and Poland