DADD Diversity Committee
What is Intersectionality? Intersectionality theory is a way to understand social inequalities by
acknowledging how multiple overlapping social identities impact and oppress certain populations (Weber, 2007). Examples of social identities include race, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and [dis]ability, among others.
For example, a female student of color who has autism will have different school experiences than her peers who are white, male, and neurotypical. Each category – race, gender, and [dis]ability – places her at higher risk of discrimination or oppression (National Association of School Psychologists, 2017; Proctor, Kyle, Fefer, & Lau, 2017).
An intersectional perspective requires sensitivity, vulnerability, and a willingness to listen to alternative perspectives.
Why is Intersectionality important to DADD? The DADD Diversity Committee seeks to advocate for the intersectional rights and safety for (a) individuals with autism, intellectual disabilities and/or developmental disabilities, and (b) the professionals who work with them. The Committee supports intersectional contributions to the field and commits to educating others on the importance of multiple perspectives of intersectionality in special education.
If you would like to get more involved with DADD’s Diversity Committee, with concepts of intersectionality in special education or in DADD, or get resources to apply these concepts to your practices, please contact Elizabeth Harkins, Diversity Committee Chair email@example.com.
National Association of School Psychologists. (2017). Understanding intersectionality.
[handout]. Bethesda, MD: Author.
Proctor, S. L., Kyle, J., Fefer, K., & Lau, C. (2017). Examining racial microaggressions,
race/ethnicity, gender, and bilingual status with school psychology students: The role of intersectionality. Contemporary School Psychology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1007/s40688-017-0156-8
Weber L. (2007). In Landry B. (Ed.), Race, Gender and Class: Theory and Methods of Analysis.
(pp. xi–xiv) [Forward] Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
DADD 2020 Elections
The Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities is currently seeking self-nominations for three upcoming board positions including: Vice-President (January 2020-December 2023), At-Large Member (January 2020-December 2022), & Student Representative (January 2020-December 2020/2021). Please take a moment to consider if this may be a good year for you to run for a position. For more details and a link to the nomination form, see below. And, please feel free to reach our with any questions to Jordan Shurr, Nomination Chair @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Nominations are due online by July 31 at 11:59pm.
The DADD Board of Directors supports the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities’ statement on identifying sexuality as a basic human right that everyone, regardless of cognitive or physical ability, has the right to make choices regarding sexual and gender expression and social relationships. Historically, people with intellectual disability and/or autism spectrum disorder were infantilized and assumed to have no interest in or ability for healthy sexual or gender expression. They also have limited access to a comprehensive sexuality education, tend to experience limited opportunities to establish gender and sexual identity (Niles & Harkins Monaco, 2017), social relationships and skills (Perkins & Borden, 2003), self-worth, self-determination, and emotional wellbeing (Murphy & Elias, 2006), and are at increased risks to engage in unsafe or unhealthy sexual activity as well as at increased risk for sexual abuse (Balderian, Coleman, & Stream, 2013; Harrell, 2014; Krohn, 2014).
As a basic right, each individual with intellectual disability and/or austim spectrum disorder has the right to explore and understand the complexities of gender and sexual diversity. Being supported in discovering gender and sexual identity is critical for these rights to be observed. We recommend families, schools, and support communities work together to deliver individualized education on sexuality that (a) is reflective of the individual’s values; (b) encourages informed decision-making; and (c) promotes sexual health and safety.
Baladerian, N. J., Coleman, T. F., & Stream, J. (2013). A report on the 2012 national
survey on abuse of people with disabilities. Los Angeles: Spectrum Institute.
Harrell, E. (2014). Crimes against persons with disabilities, 2009-1012 statistical tables.
Washington, DC: US Department of Justice.
Krohn, J. (2014). Sexual harassment, sexual assault, and students with special needs:
Crafting an effective response for schools. University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law and Social Change, 17, (1), 2.
Murphy, N. A., & Elias, E. R. (2006). Sexuality of adolescents with developmental
disabilities. Pediatrics, 118(1), 398-403
Niles, G., & Harkins Monaco, E. A., (2017). Gender Identity and Sexual Diversity:
Supporting Individuals with an Intellectual or Developmental Disability, manuscript submitted to DADD Online Journal.
Perkins, D. F., & Borden, L. M. (2003). Positive behaviors, problem behaviors, and
resiliency in adolescence. In R. M. Lerner, M. A. Easterbrooks, & J. Mistry (Eds.), Handbook of psychology: Vol. 6. Developmental psychology (pp. 373–394). New York: Wiley.
White House Council on Women and Girls (2014). Rape and sexual assault: A renewed
call to action. Washington, DC: Author.
2019 DADD Conference in Maui
We are excited to share the conference program in a new format this year, using a mobile app; please click here to access the app: EventMobi
You will be able to search through the app to find sessions based on format (lecture or poster), by day and search a presenter database. Additionally, you will be able to create a personalized agenda for sessions you would like to attend. Updates to the program and notifications/alerts occur in real time.
If you are interested in arranging for leisure activities and/or transportation to/from the airport, please check out this website: Maui Activities
We look forward to seeing you next week!
Join the DADD Board of Directors
We are currently in the process of filling four upcoming vacancies for appointed board positions including: publications chair, treasurer, communications chair, and executive director. I ask that you please review the position details below and, if appropriate, consider submitting an application. The positions will officially start on January 1 of 2020, however, the board has decided to provide mentorship between current and new office holders from February-December, 2019. Specific qualifications and requirements for each position are listed below, however each candidate should be (a) a current member of the division, (b) qualified for the duties of the position, (c) interested in active engagement with and service to the division, and (d) able to attend 1-2 yearly board meetings plus any additional online meetings. Each position holder will receive funding at the board approved rate to offset expenses for meeting attendance per division policies. Please see below for position descriptions, selection timeline, and application process. Thank you in advance for your consideration and please do not hesitate to contact Jordan Shurr (email@example.com) with any questions.
Please submit via email 1) a letter describing your interest in and qualifications for the position; 2) a condensed 1-2 page curriculum vitae or resume; and 3) the names of three references to Dr. Jordan Shurr (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than December 1, 2018.
Publications Chair- 3 year term, January 2020-December 2022 + mentorship [Feb-Dec 2019]
Treasurer- 4 year term, January 2020-December 2023 + mentorship [Feb-Dec 2019]
Communications Chair- 3 year term, January 2020-December 2022 + mentorship [Feb-Dec 2019]
Executive Director- 5 year term, January 2020- December 2024 + mentorship [Feb-Dec 2019]
This is the Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities (DADD) blog post