Celia Feinstein Receives Service to the Field Award

photo of Celia S. Feinstein standing near colorful painting
Celia S. Feinstein

June 2020

Celia Feinstein, former Executive Director of the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, College of Education has been given the Service to the Field Award by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD).

Ms. Feinstein has served the field for more than 40 years while holding the following roles at the Institute: Coordinator of Research and Dissemination, Assistant Director of Research and Program Evaluation, Director of Exemplary Services and Technical Assistance, Associate Director, Co-Executive Director, and Executive Director. Additionally, she has held an appointment as Associate Professor of Urban Education at Temple's College of Education since 2012.

This award, according to AAIDD is awarded annually for "contributions to improved service to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities."

Celia's contributions to the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities include her work in the assessment of quality of life of people with intellectual disability, the development of leadership skills among people with intellectual disability, and pre-service and continuing education for professionals in the field. She contributed to the Pennhurst Longitudinal Study, a federally funded project that evaluated the impact that closing a state institution had on people with disabilities and continues to testify in hearings concerning the closing of two more institutions in Pennsylvania.

Celia stepped down from her position as Executive Director in March but continues to manage several key projects at the Institute. This award has come at a time when most people are slowing down, but Celia is as involved as ever in her field.

"While I'm reflective about my career across four decades, this is not the time to stop," Celia says. "I am honored by this acknowledgement of my work, and I thank AAIDD for it, but there's more to be done. I don't intend to stop fighting for and working with people with disabilities."

Celia's service to the field has also included terms on the boards of directors of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD, President 2016–2017) and the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL), service on the Pennsylvania Governor's Commission on Intellectual Disability, and President of the AAIDD Legal Process & Public Policy Interest Network. Ms. Feinstein was preferred to Fellow of the AAIDD in 1992 and honored with the Dybwad Humanitarian Award (AAIDD, 2000) and the Lifelong Achievement Award (The Arc of the United States, 2010).

"I hope this award, and the acknowledgement of the hard work represented in it, will inspire the next generation of professionals to help ensure a society where ALL people are valued and respected."

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