National Goals on Research, Practice, and Policy Conference

Date:  Thursday, August 6, 2015

Overview of the Meeting

National Goals 2015 is a unique event and opportunity to summarize the current state of knowledge and identify a platform of national goals in research, practice, and policy in intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Within the context of civil rights, notably advanced through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and other landmark legislation, the resultant goals will reflect the commitment the US has already made to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through federal laws and regulations, court decisions, and national policy initiatives and illuminate our nation’s expectations for the outcomes of relevant public policies and programs.

Building upon the findings of the 2003 meeting entitled Keeping the Promises: National Goals, State of Knowledge and Research Agenda for Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, the intended outcomes of this meeting are to emphasize the vision for the future and leadership of research, practice, and policy in intellectual and developmental disabilities.

National Goals 2015 is an invitation only, working meeting jointly organized by the RTC on Community Living/Institute on Community Integration (MN UCEDD), The Arc of the US, the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), the RTC on Developmental Disabilities and Health/Institute on Disability and Human Development (IL UCEDD), and the RTC on Employment at the University of Massachusetts Boston, with the support of NIDDR and AIDD.

The meeting is organized into 10 strands, or broad focus areas:

  1. Education
  2. Employment and economic self-sufficiency
  3. Health and Wellness
  4. Supports for Families
  5. Aging, retirement and end of life
  6. Self-determination and self-advocacy
  7. Justice
  8. Social Inclusion
  9. Long term supports and services
  10. Workforce

Each strand is structured with a planning committee liaison, strand leader, research mentor, and policy consultant along with 10-12 strand participants. Names and contact information for your strand leadership can be found in the attached confirmation letter.

Meeting Agenda and Goals

The meeting agenda will consist of

  • An opening plenary intended to describe the meeting process and set the stage for the work through a presentation on transformations/paradigm shifts in social science
  • The division of participants into strands for a review of the current knowledge and generative discussion resulting in a list of research, practice, and policy goals that, if implemented nationally, would enhance the quality of life for people with IDD.
  • A closing plenary that provides a summary of the goals identified by strands and a presentation that translates the “10,000 foot” work concluded by participants to the direct impact or influence they have on the lives of people with IDD.

By the end of the conference we are hopeful that the strand participants will have addressed the following questions and drawn recommendations for the future of IDD research, policy and practice.

  • What are the established research findings (as evidenced in the literature) related to this topical area?  What do we know?
  • What are the big debates or points of contention in the existing literature/research?
  • What issues exist with regard to operationalization of constructs and instrumentation; methodological issues and other related research challenges in this topical area?
  • What are the unanswered questions of importance (what we do not know)?
  • What are the next research questions that need to be answered?
  • What are the critical implications for policy and practice?