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Experiential Learning: AAIDD Delegations to Countries Outside the US

 

AAIDD Delegations


In fulfillment of its mission, AAIDD routinely offers opportunities for professionals in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities to conduct professional research and exchange in countries outside the US through its Delegations. For each Delegation, delegates participate in a professional and cultural program arranged by AAIDD. Through each Delegation, participants are able to:
  • research the structure and delivery methods of supports provided for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities;
  • learn firsthand about the nation's approach through meetings with representatives of health, education, and social service systems, including policy makers, academics, clinicians, and educators; and
  • participate in site visits to schools, clinics, and facility- and community-based services.

Activities and Arrangements

While all Delegation's focus on intellectual and developmental disabilities, each Delegation's activities are unique. Some Delegations have participated in international conferences and symposia, others have had in-depth interactions with families and direct service providers. The length of trips vary, but average about 10 days.

Typically, the Delegation opportunity for the year is announced in January, with the Delegation taking place in the fall. The costs associated with the opportunity are the responsibility of each Delegate. Delegations are not a revenue generator for the Association; each program's fee includes travel, hotel, interpreters, and most meals. AAIDD does not offer scholarships to participate.

Past Delegation Destinations

AAIDD Delegations have traveled to:

  • Iceland and Ireland (2017), led by Margaret Nygren, Executive Director
  • Australia (2016), led by Margaret Nygren, Executive Director
  • Japan and Korea (2015), led by Margaret Nygren, Executive Director
  • Poland (2014), led by Margaret Nygren, Executive Director & Felicia Wilczenski, UMass Boston
  • Norway (2013), led by Margaret Nygren, Executive Director
  • Brazil (2012), led by Margaret Nygren, Executive Director
  • Cuba (2011), led by Margaret Nygren, Executive Director
  • India (2010), led by Joanna Pierson, Past President, Board of Directors
  • China (2008), led by Doreen Croser, Executive Director
  • Russia (2007), led by Doreen Croser, Executive Director & Joanna Pierson, Vice President, Board of Directors
  • South Africa (2005), led by Doreen Croser, Executive Director
  • China (2001), led by Steven Warren, President, Board of Directors
  • China (1996), led by Doreen Croser, Executive Director   

 

AAIDD's travel partners have included People to People, Academic Travel Abroad, Tumlare, Colibri Boston, the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), and the University of Massachusetts Boston.