Psychology Interest Network


AAIDD promotes progressive policies, sound research, effective practices, and universal human rights for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

As part of AAIDD, the Psychology Interest Network (PIN) promotes wellbeing and quality of life among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through advocacy, research, and identifying and promoting effective behavioral health practices. PIN aims to connect psychologists, researchers, practitioners, educators, and self-advocates in the field to further the wellbeing and quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Research Spotlight

Check out the research project our 2023 AAIDD Psychology Interest Network Scholarship Recipient is working on!

Diana Ugalde

Name, current position, and current place of work:

Diana Ugalde, Ph.D. Student in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, College of Arts Education and Sciences, Florida International University.

What is your research area of interest?

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

What are you currently working on?

I’m working on various research projects at the moment focused on initiatives promoting competitive integrated employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and the impact family-supportive work initiatives have on families of people with IDD.

When you are not engaging in research, what are some things you like to do for fun/relaxation?

I enjoy crocheting and knitting, going on adventures with family and friends, playing video games, and traveling during my downtime. 

If people are interested in contacting you to learn more about your research, how can they reach out?


Conference Highlights

Interested in having your project highlighted on the website? Please fill out our research survey so we can learn more about your presentation: 

Wolf Wolfensberger Valor Award 

The Wolf Wolfensberger Valor Award is presented by the Psychology Interest Network (PIN) of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD). The award recognizes a mental health professional who is committed to empowering clinical practice or research that amplifies the inherent dignity of all people. This award may also be used to recognize mental health and/or psychology professionals that have faced significant adversity in their pursuit of justice for all people. Each year, the award will honor a demonstrated commitment against discriminatory and oppressive practices through research, clinical practice or political activism that advances social inclusion for people with developmental disabilities.

The award is named for Wolf Peregrin Joachim Wolfensberger, PhD (1934-2011), a leader in PIN and AAIDD whose research and practical skills influenced the discipline to focus on the fact that life has value. The award is meant to reflect the bravery of Wolfensberger who as a psychologist challenged the field with his innovative work and as a youth overcame a corrupt fascist system by immigrating to the United States.

Wolf Wolfensberger Valor Awardee 2024

Dr. Guy Caruso, PhD, FAAIDD  

Dr. Caruso is the Senior Department/Western Coordinator for the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, which is Pennsylvania’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service. He is responsible for coordinating Institute training and related activities in the western part of Pennsylvania. He works on several Institute grants and provides technical assistance to the 25-year long Pennsylvania Independent Monitoring for Quality Program (IM4Q). This is a state funded and statewide program in which over 5000 interviews are conducted by people with disabilities, family members and interested others to discover how people served/supported view their life and how we can help improve their lives.

He has worked in human services for 53 years both in institutional and community settings and in several capacities and as a consultant in the US and Canada.  Much of his work has been with families and people with disabilities using person centered approaches in helping family and people with disabilities plan their futures.

Dr. Caruso received his master’s and Ph.D. from Syracuse University where he studied with Dr. Wolf Wolfensberger.   Dr. Caruso was mentored by Dr. Wolfensberger and became a friend, colleague, and collaborator with him. 

Wolf Wolfensberger Valor Awardees 

Hall of Fame

2023 Tim Barksdale, Psy.D., LMSW, NADD-CC

2022 Cameron Neece, Ph.D.

2020 Karyn Harvey, Ph.D.

2019 Carol Salas, Psy.D.