David Hagner Joins the AAIDD Delegation to Poland

David Hagner trip to Poland

From October 12 – 23, 2014, David Hagner, a Research Professor at the Institute on Disability, travelled to Poland with a delegation of services providers, professionals, teachers, and researchers sponsored by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and The College of Advancing and Professional Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

The goal of the delegation was to research the supports provided for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Poland and explore areas for collaboration. They had the opportunity to tour hospitals, schools, and other facilities and speak with professionals working with people with disabilities. While on the trip, Dr. Hagner presented at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin and at the Jagellonian University in Krakow on “Current Practices in the US on Employment for People with Disabilities.”

“They are having a great deal of trouble modernizing away from segregated programs in Poland,” observed Dr. Hagner. “Every place we visited it was obvious that the staff are caring and dedicated, but their consumers were always segregated. In my presentation I used my small amount of time to try to explain our person-centered approach to services and funding, and one questioner said it was like we were on different planets.”

Dr. Hagner is a Research Professor and Rehabilitation Projects Director with the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability. He holds a Ph.D. in Vocational Rehabilitation from Syracuse University and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor with over 30 years’ experience in teaching, research, evaluation and direct service. He currently directs research and demonstration projects in the areas of transition, employment and community living for individuals with disabilities.

Dr. Hagner created a presentation with images and reflections from his trip. You can view a copy here. You can learn more about the AAIDD delegation here.