Bridging the gap: from evidence to improved health for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities

Hilton Hotel, Belfast, Northern Ireland

June 19-21, 2017

The IASSIDD Health SIRG will be holding a conference in Belfast, N Ireland on the 19th-21st June 2017 at the Hilton Hotel. The theme of the event is “Bridging the gap: from evidence to improved health for persons with IDD”. An international planning group has been working to organize the conference which will feature keynote addresses by Dr Bev Temple (CANADA) and Prof Roy McConkey (N. IRELAND).

The conference focuses on the following 6 themes:

  • Obesity led by Dr Tessa Hilgenkamp (The NETHERLANDS)
  • Mental health co-led by Prof Angela Hassiotis (UK) and Prof Sally Ann Cooper (SCOTLAND)
  • Frailty and aging led by Prof Hélène Ouellette-Kuntz (CANADA)
  • Mortality co-led by Dr Emily Lauer (USA) and Prof Pauline Heslop (UK)
  • Access to healthcare/primary care guidelines co-led by Dr Matt Hoghton (UK), DR Bill Sullivan (Canada) and Dr Esther Bakker (The NETHERLANDS)
  • Health promotion and healthy environments co-led by Dr Jenneken Naaldenberg (The NETHERLANDS) and Lisa O’Leary (SCOTLAND)

During the two-day conference, a state-of-the-evidence 30-minute lecture (plenary-style) and 1hr workshops/practical sessions will be provided for each theme. Each theme will also have a dedicated space and time for a poster session. Two types of posters will be included: research reports and new conceptualization and theory.


Accepted posters will be grouped into poster tours. These tours will feature poster authors presenting their research for 5 minutes followed by a short time for discussion. Each tour will be open to all participants. There will be enough time during the conference for participants to visit the other posters.

Registration will be capped at 150 participants per day.

One June 21st, some participants (members of the IASSIDD Health SIRG) will join the planning committee to form small task and finish groups for each theme (4-5 people per theme). These groups will use the time together to develop a plan to produce an ‘outcome’ over the next year. Outcomes are meant to ensure our time together leads to action and may include a journal article, a policy brief, consensus statement or guidelines, or a research proposal.


The best poster overall will be awarded the MAHM “Frans Scholten Award” of €1000. The best poster by a student (first author and presenter) and the best poster by an early career researcher* (first author and presenter) will also each receive €1000. *early career researchers are individuals within 10 years of obtaining their last degree.

Social Event

Monday June 19th at 7pm: Tour and Dinner at the Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast historical landmark (

• Includes a glass of wine on arrival, a 30-minute tour of the gaol, a four-course meal, wine with dinner, and an Irish band

• 20-minute walk from the Hilton Hotel or a short taxi ride

• only 75 USD per person.

The Crumlin Road Gaol dates back to 1845 and closed its doors as a working prison in 1996. After extensive renovations the gaol re opened as a visitor attraction and conference centre. Today you can take a guided tour of the prison and hear about the history of the site from when women and children were held within its walls through to the political segregation of republican and loyalist prisoners and learn about why the decision was taken to close the prison. During the tour of the gaol you will view all four wings from the architecturally-stunning gaol circle and of course pay a visit to the condemned man’s cell before seeing the execution cell where the majority of the 17 men were hanged.

Important Dates:

  • December 15, 2016 – abstract submissions open
  • February 15, 2017 – abstract submissions close
  • March 15, 2017 – communication of acceptance or non-acceptance to presenters
  • April 15, 2017 – early bird registration deadline

(Register for the Conference at

June 19 & 20, 2017 – join us in Belfast!

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