The Implausible Pursuit of Perfection and its Impact on Our Perception of Imperfect People

Rick Rader, MD, FAAIDD, FAADM, DHL (hon)

Co-sponsored by the URI College of Health Sciences

Dr. Rick Rader is the Director of the Habilitation Center at the Orange Grove Center in Chattanooga, Tenn. He is responsible for the creation, implementation and evaluation of innovative health delivery systems for individuals with complex intellectual and developmental disabilities across the lifespan. In his own words he functions as a “free range chicken” in crossing disciplines in the pursuit of increasing the longevity of this marginalized population. He is cross trained in internal medicine and medical anthropology.

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He was the first appointed Special Liaison for Family Health Concerns at the Presidents Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. He is one of six board certified physicians in developmental medicine. He has been a consultant to five former Surgeon Generals in the area of neurodevelopmental disabilities. He is the President of the American Association on Health and Disability and the Director of Public Policy at the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry. He is the Editor in chief of Exceptional Parent Magazine and has published over 300 articles on health and disability. He is a member of the Global Medical Advisory Committee at Special Olympics International where he contributes to health and wellness programs impacting over 6,000,000 athletes in over 170 countries. He has active research programs in sensory processing disorders, dementia and aging in people with developmental disabilities. He created the world’s first and only center dedicated to “joy and disabilities”, an ongoing initiative exploring how people with cognitive impairment capture, create, celebrate, express and share joy. He is an adjunct professor of Human Development at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

2020 Speaker List