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5-8 July: IASSIDD congress for researchers, carers, and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities

6th IASSIDD Europe Congress Value Diversity

25 June 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare problems that have long affected people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, such as those with Down syndrome or autism: poor health care, lack of access, being “written off” by society, and early death. From 5-8 July, over 800 prominent researchers from across Europe and the world will meet to discuss the latest research on topics ranging from the huge impact of COVID-19 on these populations to everyday issues like education, work and family relationships. They will be joined in presentations, discussions and debates by parents, carers, policymakers and disabled people themselves.

This Amsterdam-based online conference of the International Association for the Scientific Study of

Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IASSIDD), for which local arrangement have been made by Dutch

NGO Disability Studies in Nederland (DSIN), isn’t avoiding the tough issues.

“We live in a society that stigmatises and discriminates against disabled people, based on the wrong assumption that disability impacts quality of life (only) negatively,” explains Prof Alice Schippers, director of DSIN and Professor in Disability Studies at the University of Humanistic Studies.

“In several keynote debates we will redress these wrongs. Fiona Kumari Campbell will speak about ableism, the construct that underlies prejudice and discrimination, which historically led to eugenic measuresToday, prevention or ending of disabled lives is still happening. We need to value diversity in designing a “New Normal” in which nobody will be left behind, and in which the rights and privileges of one group will not impede those of another.”

“The congress brings together scientists, experts by experience, professionals and people with multiple

identities,” adds dr Sofie Sergeant, also of DSIN. “We want to connect knowledge, experience and people and

we do everything we can to make our conference as accessible as possible. We hereby appeal to all speakers

to use accessible language, use clear presentations, use subtitles and explain visuals. The conference is in

English, but we try to organize some workshops and presentations in such a way that Dutch-speaking experts

by experience can also participate thanks to collaboration with presenters and their whisper interpreters.”

View the full congress programme.

From 5-8 July, over 800 prominent researchers from across Europe and the world will meet to discuss the latest research.