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About Centre for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

The Centre for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (CIDD) is based within the Institute of Nursing & Health Research at Ulster University and is led by Dr Laurence Taggart.

The centre was founded by Prof Roy McConkey in 1997; Roy still remains part of the CIDD as Emeritus Professor. The group consists of four academic staff and seven doctoral students. The members within the CIDD have published over 200 peer-reviewed journal publications. The centre has research income in excess of £4 million.

The CIDD has strong cross-border links with

  • Trinity College Dublin
  • Dublin City University

UK links have been established with

  • Napier University, Edinburgh Scotland
  • South Wales University, Cardiff, Wales
  • University College London (UCL)
  • City, University of London
  • University of St Mark and St John (Plymouth);
  • Bristol Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit
  • University of Leicester, Leicester, England.

International links have also been established with

  • the University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • University of Illinois, USA
  • University of Manitoba, Canada
  • Charlesturt University, Australia
  • the University of Sydney, Australia

The CIDD also has links with the Medical Research Council’s Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, England.

Aims of the Centre

  • To undertake research into the health and wellbeing of children, adults and older adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their families
  • To forge alliances with family carers, Health and Social Care Agencies and with the third sector, and other stakeholder groups, to plan, deliver and disseminate research
  • To initiate research that will inform the development and organisation of policy and impact upon services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • To undertake joint projects with similar research groupings and networks primarily in Ireland and UK but also internationally
  • To translate research into evidence-based practice through training courses, publications and workshops.

Programmes of Work

The Centre focuses on three main strands of work.

Vulnerability and complex needs

  • Dsiability across the lifespan
  • Communication and social skills
  • Family support and the needs of carers

Health and wellbeing

  • Promoting healthy lifestyles
  • Enhancing emotional well-being
  • Chronic disease management
  • Healthy Ageing
  • Accessing healthcare services
  • Health promotion

Social Inclusion and Advocacy

  • Accessing mainstream services
  • Education options and choices
  • Accommodation and Employment
  • Citizenship and participation

Cross-cutting themes

Within each programme, our research has a strong focus on the person within the context of the family and local community. We endeavour to take a life-span perspective from early childhood to old age and aim to involve service users in our project planning and implementation. Service evaluations will also form part of our programme of work.