Conference General Session and Friday Keynote

General Session, Thursday, March 12, 2020


Robert Schalock, Ph.D.

Robert Schalock, Conference General Session speaker

Bob is Professor Emeritus at Hastings College (Nebraska) where he chaired the Psychology Department and directed the Cognitive Behavior Lab from 1967 to 2000. He currently has adjunct research appointments at the University of Kansas (Beach Center), University of Salamanca (Spain), Gent University (Belgium), and University of Chongqing (Mainland China). Bob has been involved in the field of intellectual disability for the last 40 years. Initially, he was a research psychologist studying the biochemical and behavioral basis of cognitive disabilities. Since 1972, his work has focused on the development and evaluation of community-based programs for persons with disabilities and the key roles that the concept of quality of life and the supports paradigm play in planning and delivering individualized supports within a service delivery system. Bob has published widely in the areas of personal and program outcomes, the supports paradigm, adaptive behavior, clinical judgment, quality of life, and the transformation of disabilities organizations.

Bob has been actively involved in the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities since 1972. He has served as AAMR President (1997-1998) and President of the Academy on Mental Retardation (1988-1991). He is currently first author of the upcoming 12th edition of the AAIDD Terminology and Classification Manual.

Bob is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and has assisted a number of jurisdictions in their efforts to develop community-based programs for persons with intellectual and closely related developmental disabilities within the context of the supports paradigm, the quality of life construct, and outcomes-based evaluation. Bob and his wife Susan are “semi-retired” and live in the mountains of northeast Washington State. His hobbies include gardening, camping, fishing….and writing.

Friday Keynote, Friday, March 13, 2020


Caryn Ward, Ph.D., HSP-P

Caryn Ward, Conference Friday Keynote speaker

Dr. Ward is the Associate Director for Education and Measurement of the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill. At NIRN, she is the Director of the State Implementation and Scaling up of Evidence Based Practices (SISEP) Center funded by US Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs. Dr. Ward has extensive experience in leading and developing infrastructure and capacity development with state and local education agencies as well as early childhood programs nationally. Within NIRN, Dr. Ward leads the development of implementation capacity measures and fidelity measures for use within education as well as other disciplines. Dr. Ward has served in a leadership role for the National Center for School Turnaround and currently serves on the advisory board of the National School Climate Center and research council for Communities in Schools - NC.