Committee on Disability Issues in Psychology (CDIP) year-end CDIP chair report

Includes award nominations, presentation of symposia, the DisABILITY Resources Toolbox, roundtable on size diversity and telehealth updates

By Kim Gorgens, PhD

I can’t imagine that three years have passed since being appointed to Committee on Disability Issues in Psychology (CDIP) — the speed of this year as chair feels like it passed exponentially faster still. I am proud to have worked to support the mission of CDIP and the efforts of my extraordinary colleagues — I am especially proud to be nominating several of those colleagues for the most luminary APA awards in 2013. Below, I have included a "highlight reel" from the year and also a snapshot of the very important work to come. To support those priorities, we issued a specific call for committee members and we received nearly 40 completed applications for the two CDIP seats. We were stunned by the quality of those nominees and the depth and breadth of their commitment. As I leave the committee, I couldn’t be prouder of CDIP — its efforts, stakeholders, advocates, allies and especially those 36 applicants. I am confident in CDIP’s ongoing success and am honored to pass this torch to my esteemed colleagues, Drs. Andrews and Pick, who will be taking the helm as co-chairs. With gratitude, admiration and my continued service,

Kim Gorgens, PhD
2012 Committee on Disability Issues in Psychology Chair

Year-end highlights 

  • This year CDIP was honored to present its Distinguished Contributions to the Advancement of Disability Issues in Psychology Award to Rhoda Olkin, PhD, at APA 2012 Annual Convention in Orlando, Fla.

  • Together, CDIP members developed and presented six symposia at APA 2012 Annual Convention: Immigration, Race, and Disparities—Health Care, Education, Employment (sponsored by BAPPI, Division 45, CONA, CYF, CDIP,  CEMA, CGBLT, APA Committee on Postsecondary Accreditation, CSES, CWP and MFP), Assisting Members of Vulnerable and Underserved Populations Affected by Natural Disasters (sponsored by  CAPP, BAPPI. CONA, CDIP, CEMA and CRH), Women Under Siege— Disparities and Despair (sponsored by BAPPI, ad hoc Committee on Psychology and AIDs, CDIP, CEMA, CSES and CWP), Promoting the Health and Wellness of Women With Disabilities (sponsored by BAPPI, CONA, CDIP and CWP), Ethical Issues Unique to Research, Training, and Practice With Persons With Disabilities (sponsored by the APA Ethics Committee and CDIP) and Expanding Telehealth Service Models to Underserved Populations With Chronic Illness and Disability (sponsored BAPPI and APA Division 22).

  • In collaboration with the APA Disability Issues Office, two CDIP members (Drs. Linda Mona and Julie Williams) presented the disability diversity training for the 2012 Council of Representatives meeting and the 2012 Spring consolidated meetings of Committees and Boards.

  • CDIP supported the efforts of the Disability Issues office’s in the completion of the DisABILITY Resources Toolbox (DART).

  • CDIP and the Disability Issues Office completed the Handbook on Training Graduate Students with Disabilities in Psychological Testing and Assessment. 

Spotlight on excellence 

CDIP will be nominating the following extraordinary candidates for 2013 APA awards: 

  • Dr. Linda Mona for the Raymond D. Fowler Award for Outstanding Contributions to APA

  • Dr. Jeanne LeBlanc for the APA International Humanitarian Award

  • Dr. Dolores Cimini for the Committee on Women in Psychology (CWP) Leadership Awards for Service in Psychology

  • Dr. Mary Hibbard for the APA Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology

  • CDIP nominated Drs. Angela Kuemmel and Anisa Goforth to the Early Career Committee. 

  • CDIP nominated Drs. Randall Cox and supported the nominations of Drs. Dolores Cimini and Alan Goldberg to BAPPI. 

  • CDIP nominated Dr. Gitendra Uswatte to the APA Fellows Committee.

Size diversity 

  • In a year where size-diversity was highlighted in APA Presidential initiatives and the ongoing development of Clinical Treatment Guidelines for Obesity, CDIP continued to advocate for sensitivity to the ways in which perceptions about body size are reciprocally related to and embedded within cultural and environmental contexts. 

  • To advance our advocacy efforts, CDIP members will present a roundtable on size diversity (Psychology: One Size Fits All?) at the National Multicultural Summit in January 2013.

  • CDIP is taking the lead on a submission related to size diversity titled: Can psychology accommodate divergent views on size? Barriers to a nuanced understanding of obesity with the Committee on Women’s Issues in Psychology, Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs and the Committee on Socio-Economic Status.

Moving into 2013 

  • CDIP will forge a stronger collaboration with the Board of Convention Affairs to better promote access and inclusivity at upcoming APA conventions and will make the same commitment to international congress planners.

  • CDIP has invited the participation of liaisons/monitors from Divisions 17, 18, 33 and 38 (to join Division 22’s liaison and Division 40 monitor).

  • CDIP will continue to work with the Council on Accreditation to improve site visitor training and program compliance with disability-related issues including accessibility, graduate competencies and recruitment/retention of diversity (to include disability status).

•  Please watch for alerts as public comments are invited on the Guidelines and Principles for Accreditation of Programs in Professional Psychology (G&P).

  • CDIP is partnering with the Committee on Women’s Issues in Psychology on an APA 2013 submission titled: Abuse of Women with Disabilities as Reflected in Health Disparities.

  • CDIP is partnering with the Committee on Youth and Families submission to APA 2013 titled: Culture and Health Disparities among Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians: Indigenous Theory, Research, and Practice.

  • CDIP is partnering with the Committee on Aging, CDIP, Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs, Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns, Committee On Psychology and AIDS, Committee on Socioeconomic Status and the Committee on Women in Psychology on an APA 2013 submission titled: Health Disparities: Emerging Biopsychosocial Challenges of Older Adults Living with HIV.

  • CDIP is advocating for the inclusion of ability status as a diversity variable in incoming APA President Don Bersoff’s Proposal to Attract Culturally Diverse Students in Doctoral Programs.

Priority #1: Rehabilitation 

CDIP has drafted an APA resolution citing the efficacy of cognitive rehabilitation, highlighting the fact that psychologists make a critical contribution in cognitive assessment and treatment planning, and should be reimbursed under the appropriate CPT codes (at rates comparable to other cognitive rehabilitation providers.) This resolution is currently under review for Spring 2013 meetings.

Priority #2: Telehealth 

CDIP plans to generate a factsheet highlight important disability-related opportunities/challenges presented by emerging technologies.

Priority #3: Youth with disabilities 

CDIP is collaborating with CYF to address important issues including the incidence of violence against children with disabilities and the unique vulnerability children with disabilities have to bullying.

About the author

Kim Gorgens, PhD

Kim Gorgens, PhD, is a clinical associate professor in the Graduate School of Professional Psychology at the University of Denver.