Committee mission

The mission of the Committee on Disability Issues in Psychology (CDIP) is to further the central purpose of APA – to advance psychology as a science and as a profession and as a means of promoting health and human welfare – by ensuring that people with disabilities receive the full attention of the Association in order that all human resources are actualized.

Specifically, the mission of CDIP is to:

  • Promote the psychological welfare of people with disabilities;

  • Promote the development and implementation of psychological service delivery models responsive to the needs of people with disabilities;

  • Promote the awareness of disability issues in psychological research as well as specific research activity in disability areas;

  • Promote inclusion of knowledge about disabilities and disability issues in education, training programs, and professional development of psychologists.

2008 Committee roster
  • Don Daughtry, PhD, Chair

  • Randall Cox, PhD

  • Jennifer Gibson, PhD

  • Elizabeth Cardoso, PhD  

  • Fong Chan, PhD

  • Jesus Aros, PhD

In addition we would like to extend our appreciation to Angela Kuemmel, APA Graduate Students (APAGS) Liaison through August, 2008; Erica K. Johnson, PhD, CRC, Division 22 Liaison; Barbara Palombi, PhD, BAPPI Liaison. Our work as a committee was greatly enhanced by all of their valuable contributions.   

Dr. Daughtry and Dr. Gibson will rotate off CDIP at the close of 2008 and Dr. Randall Cox will serve as CDIP Chair beginning in 2009.

Thank you to all of the CDIP members who helped to make our terms productive and enjoyable. We would like to extend a special thanks to our Staff Liaison, Anju Khubchandani, and Sara Laney, Office Coordinator who contributed their time and energy to such an important committee.


In the fall of 2007, CDIP identified three priority areas. Since that time we have actively pursued initiatives consistent with these new areas of emphasis. The priority areas are: 

  • Promote opportunities and accessibility within training programs for individuals with disabilities.

  • Develop training competencies for individuals with disabilities.

  • Identify and advocate for people with disabilities in leadership positions on APA boards and committees.

The following report will provide an update on activities affiliated with CDIP including the Guidelines Task Force, Convention activities, and Professional Publications carried out in the past year.

I. APA Task Force on Guidelines for Assessment and Treatment of Persons with Disabilities

Established in 2006, the major charge of this task force was to develop a set of guidelines on assessment and treatment involving persons with disabilities. The task force was funded again in 2007 and held two meetings, in June and November. During the first half of 2008, the Task Force completed its revision of the document in and submitted it for peer review. The document has since been forwarded to the Board of Professional Affairs (BPA) and Committee on Professional Practice and Standards (COPPS), and will continue through the governance process.  

II. Testing/assessment handbook for graduate students with disabilities

Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest (BAPPI), at its spring 2008 meeting, provided useful feed back concerning the Testing/Assessment Handbook for Students with Disabilities. The draft handbook was the work product of an APA task force funded during 2007. CDIP has formed a subcommittee to address needed revisions by the end of the year, and plans to resubmit the handbook to BAPPI by its spring 2009 meeting. 

III. CDIP 2008 Convention activities
  • CDIP annually prepares sessions on Disability Issues prior to Convention in order to increase the visibility of disability issues in psychology and promote opportunities for psychologists to increase their awareness and knowledge of issues related to disability.

  • CDIP cosponsored a symposium addressing “Best Practices of Integrated Care: Opportunities and Challenges” which highlighted models of integrated care across social status, disability status, age, multicultural representation, and chronic disease.

  • CDIP hosted a Conversation Hour featuring a discussion on Education and Training of Psychologists working with People with Disabilities. Bill Stiers, PhD, Division 22 President was this year’s guest speaker. In addition, CDIP presented its second annual Mentoring Award; recipients were Dr. Arnold Abels and Dr. Kimberly Gorgens.

  • For the 4th consecutive year, former CDIP members joined efforts to offer the Continuing Education workshop, Ethical Practice Issues and Persons with Disabilities. Presenters included: Greg Taliaferro, PhD, Irene W. Leigh, PhD, Izabela Schultz, PhD, Cheryl Shigaki, PhD, and Alette Coble-Temple, PsyD.

IV. Professional publications

CDIP members participated in a variety of publications that served to educate and inform the profession regarding various areas of issues related to aspects of disability. These publication activities are noted below.

CDIP members, Drs. Don Daughtry and Jennifer Gibson, as well as former CDIP Chair Arnold Ables, coauthored an article addressing the mentoring of graduate psychology students and professionals with disabilities. The article was part of a special issue on mentoring from Professional Psychology Research and Practice featured in the October 08 issue. The article CDIP’s contribution to the special PPRP issue dedicated to mentoring related concerns for under served populations. This work was an outgrowth of the APA Centering on Mentoring initiative.

Daughtry, D., Gibson, J., Abels, A. (2008). Mentoring Students and Professionals with Disabilities. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice.

During summer 2008, several articles were submitted to APA’s Journal on Training and Education in Professional Psychology (TEPP). Four current and former CDIP members submitted articles addressing various aspects of training related disability issues. Dr. Randall Cox, Dr. Jennifer Gibson, Dr. Barbara Palombi, and Dr. Erica K. Johnson contributed submissions.   These articles were organized into a symposium, submitted for presentation at the APA 2009 convention. Dr. Barbara Palombi will be the symposium chair, and Dr. Emil Rodolfa will serve as the discussant. Areas addressed will include models of supervision, cultural competencies, and clinical considerations for working with individuals with disabilities. The symposium will also cover a community model of inclusion for pre-doctoral interns with disabilities.  Authors and working titles are:

  • Angela Kuemmel & Erica K. Johnson - Disability-Related Cultural Competence in the Clinical Supervision Setting

  • Randall Cox - The Use of Supervision in Training Disability-Related Competence

  • Jennifer Gibson - Disability Competency in Clinical Training

  • Arnold Abels - Just for Thought: Supervisees with Disabilities

Don Daughtry

Daughtry, D., Gibson, J., & Abels, A. Mentoring Students and Professionals with Disabilities. Professional Psychology Research and Practice  

Daughtry, D. (October 2009). Should I just tell them I can’t find the door.  In Darrell Cleveland (Ed.) When minorities are especially encouraged too apply: Addressing diversity and affirmative action in PWI’s. New York, NY: Peter Lang Inc.

Jennifer Gibson

Jennifer Gibson's Summit proposal, “Advancing Care to Clients with Disabilities through Clinical Competency” has been accepted for January. She is not able to attend and Arnie Ables will be presenting.

Gibson, J. (2009). Clinical Competency and Culturally Diverse Clients with Disabilities: The Case of Linda. The clinical casebook of multicultural psychology: Implementation of culturally proficient strategies by Gallardo, M. E. & McNeill, B. (Eds.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Gibson, J. (2009). Navigating through Societal Norms: Living in the United States with Disability and Psychological Implications. Disability: Insights from Across Fields and Around the World, Volumes I, II, and III by Marshall, C. A., Kendall, K., Banks, M. E., Mariah, R., Gover, S. (Eds.). Praeger Press.

V. Additional CDIP activities

CDIP met twice at the spring and fall Consolidated Meetings in 2008. CDIP has also held two major conference calls to facilitate work on agenda items. CDIP maintains an active listserv in order to enhance productivity between rounds of consolidated meetings.

CDIP continues to pursue disability related activities consistent with its mission, and priorities highlights are noted here. 

Members participated in Public Interest Advocacy Day held on September 18, 2008. This workshop was sponsored by the APA Public Interest Government Relations Office. Dr. Don Daughtry and Dr. Barbara Palombi attended a federal advocacy workshop followed by Capitol Hill visits with federal policy makers. We addressed legislative issues including the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act and the Melanie Blocker Stokes Mothers Act.