In 2007, the six members of the Committee on Disability Issues in Psychology (CDIP) were Arnie Abels, PhD (Chair); Don Daughtry, PhD; Doug Johnson-Greene, PhD; Jennifer Gibson, PhD; Randall Cox, PhD; and Elizabeth Cardoso, PhD.

Liasons to the Committee

In 2007, the three liaisons to the Committee included Erica Johnson, PhD (Division 22, Rehabilitation Psychology); Ena Vazquez-Nuttall, EdD (Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest); and Angela Kuemmel, BA, (APA Graduate Students).  


The Committee held two meetings in 2007, in conjunction with the APA Consolidated Meetings, on March 23rd-25th and September 28th-30th.

Committee Mission

The defined 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; and 

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

The Committee reports to Council through the Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest (BAPPI). 

CDIP Activities

Activities promoting inclusion of knowledge about disabilities and disability issues in education, training programs, and professional development of psychologists

In January 2007, the Committee on Accreditation (CoA) hosted the first Accreditation Assembly. The accreditation community attended this event to engage in a discussion with the CoA on emerging issues for higher education in psychology.  A representative from CDIP attended the assembly to promote individuals with disabilities in psychology training and internships.  The assembly included one session on disability-related competence in doctoral, internship and postdoctoral programs.

Drs. Cardoso and Gibson attended on behalf of CDIP the Women in Leadership meeting that was held in conjunction with the September Fall Consolidated Meetings. Convened by the Committee on Women in Psychology (CWP) the meeting held focus groups to identify leadership development needs for women. Based on results of the focus groups and an email survey, CWP and its Leadership Development working group will develop plans for the initial leadership program in 2008, including curricula.

Another member generated a presentation accepted for this year’s annual convention of the Southwest Teachers of Psychology, SWTOP.  The presentation focused on class room strategies for addressing diverse students, with a concentration on students with disabilities.  

Activities Related to the 2007 Convention

Several members participated in an APAGS symposium entitled “Disability Issues in Psychology Not Typically Covered in Graduate School Diversity Courses”. 

One CDIP member was a presenter on the PTCC panel, "Creating an Inclusive Class Room".  The focus was on teaching strategies aimed at students with disabilities. 

CDIP hosted its second annual Conversation Hour. This year’s discussion focused on distance mentoring.  Also at this event was the presentation of the first annual CDIP Mentoring Award. This award was established in 2006 to recognize psychologists who have provided outstanding formal or informal mentoring to psychology students with disabilities. The 2007 awards were presented to Dr. Beatrice Wright and Dr. Julie Williams.

CDIP also participated in a joint BAPPI symposium on the Psychological and Health Impacts of Social Injustice: Mental heath effects of racial profiling and stereotyping.

Activities related to promoting awareness of disability issues in psychological research as well as specific research activity in disability areas

Members worked on the following writing projects:

  • “Mentoring Students and Professionals with Disabilities” was submitted for publication to Professional Psychology: Research and Practice this fall’

  • “Navigating through Societal Norms:  Living in the United States with Disability and Psychological Implications” for Disability: Insights from Across Fields and Around the World, Volumes I, II, and III”, was submitted and accepted as a chapter proposal.

  • An article, “Disability and Clinical Competency” was submitted to the Training and Education in Professional Psychology journal.

  • A power point presentation “Disability in Education for Psychology Teachers in Community Colleges” was developed.

CDIP regularly comments on proposed APA new business items to ensure that APA policies are informed by disability and that the impact of proposed policies upon persons with disabilities is considered. This year comments were submitted for nearly every item on the 2007 Cross Cutting Agendas.  The Committee also provided written feedback to a number of draft reports including those from the Task Force on Resiliency and Strength in Black Children and Adolescents and Task Force on Evidence-Based Practice with Children and Adolescents.

Activities Related to Diversity Training and Representation

CDIP is strongly committed to multiple aspects of diversity in terms of its composition. 

In addition to the committee’s need for individuals with specific skills and abilities consistent with the committee's goals and activities, the committee recognizes a need for composition balance on the basis of personal characteristics.  In 2007, the composition of CDIP consisted of two Caucasian males who are blind/visually impaired, one Caucasian male with no disability, one Caucasian female with a mobility disability, one Caucasian male with a cervical spinal cord injury, and one Hispanic female with no disability. 

In keeping with its commitment to diversity, CDIP recruited and nominated two ethnic minority psychologists for membership in 2008.