NDCPD (ND UCEDD) and Harstad University College Host Intellectual Disabilities Conference

October 28, 2011

The North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities and Harstad University College, Norway, hosted the "U.S.-Nordic International Conference on Intellectual Disabilities" at the Minot State University's Conference Center, Oct. 2-4. "It was exciting to have 25 colleagues from Norway here to collaborate and exchange research on intellectual disabilities," said Brent Askvig, NDCPD executive director. "It was an unbelievable opportunity for MSU faculty, staff and students to visit with international colleagues, listen to their presentations and discuss themes and topics." The conference themes included: inclusive schools and
education; employment opportunities and strategies; health care systems and services; and community living and supports.

There were four plenary sessions at which a Norwegian and American speaker discussed the same topic.
In addition to the plenary sessions, there were eight break-out sessions, as well as poster sessions. Conference presenters included current UCEDD directors Dr. Bryce Fifield of the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University in Logan, Utah and Dr. David Mank of the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at Indiana University. Also presenting were former AUCD Board member Dr. Charlie Lakin, director of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research in the U.S. Department of Education and former AUCD Associate Director Dr. Margaret Nygren of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

The conference was co-sponsored by NDCPD, MSU, Harstad University College, the National Competence Center on Intellectual Disabilities and the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.