End of year wrap-up
By Lawrence Pick, PhD and Erin E. Andrews, PsyD
2013 has been a great year for the APA Committee on Disability Issues in Psychology (CDIP). The committee has been involved in a number of initiatives and programs that support the mission of CDIP. One highlight this year was joining with APA Government Relations Office, the National Council on Disability, the National Association of Social Workers and the Child Welfare League of America for a congressional briefing on Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children in April 2013.
CDIP drafted a proposed resolution addressing issues related to the service provision of individuals with cognitive disabilities. Currently, the resolution is being reviewed by the other APA boards and committees. We are excited about the potential outcomes that this proposed resolution should have for individuals with cognitive disabilities.
CDIP presented its 2013 Distinguished Contributions to the Advancement of Disability Issues in Psychology Award to Izabela Schultz, PhD, in recognition of her contributions and commitment to promoting inclusion of individuals with disabilities in professional psychology. She received her award at the APA Convention in Honolulu in August 2013 and presented the keynote lecture, “Accommodating Persons with Nonvisible Disabilities in the Workplace” at the CDIP conversation hour.
CDIP members developed and presented four symposia in conjunction with other BAPPI Committees at the 2013 APA Annual Convention: Abuse of Women with Disabilities as Reflected in Health Disparities (BAPPI, CDIP, CLGBT, CWP, and the Women’s Program Office); Can Psychology Accommodate Divergent Views on Size? Barriers to a Nuanced Understanding of Obesity (BAPPI, CDIP, CEMA, CSES, and CWP); Culture and Health Disparities Among Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians — Indigenous Theory, Research, and Practice (BAPPI, CONA, CYF, CDIP, CEMA, and CSES); and Health Disparities — Emerging Biopsychosocial Challenges of Older Adults Living with HIV (BAPPI, CONA, CDIP, CEMA, CLGBT, COPA, CSES, and CWP). CDIP members also participated in the Lee Gurel Lecture (APA Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools, CDIP, and Committee on Psychology Teachers at Community Colleges) and a number of additional presentations.
Very soon, CDIP will publish two tip sheets regarding the provision of telepsychology services to individuals with disabilities; one for psychologists and the other for consumers. Look for a link to these resources on the CDIP Web page.
CDIP is engaging in continued work with the Board of Convention Affairs to help make the annual APA convention accessible to those with disabilities, to ensure accessibility and inclusion of individuals with disabilities at all levels of psychology training, and to emphasize education and training specific to disability as a culturally diverse population. This work is particularly relevant, given the number of people in the U.S. living with one or more physical, cognitive, intellectual, sensory or psychiatric disabilities is projected to increase considerably over the next 10-20 years. This projection is fueled by the increased aging population, the increased detection of developmental disorders, the return of military veterans from combat and advances in health care that make survival increasingly possible after major illness and injury.
Upcoming CDIP initiatives for the 2014 year include addressing the use of language as it relates to disability in writing and speaking, developing resources for students with disabilities transitioning from high school to college, and gathering data about psychologists and trainees with disabilities.
This is the last year of CDIP service for Erin Andrews, PhD, and Lawrence Pick, PhD, who have served as co-chairs of the committee for 2013. We have greatly enjoyed working on the committee toward advocacy for the approximately one in five Americans (i.e., roughly 50 million Americans) who currently live with a disability (U.S. Department of Education, 2007).