The purpose of a SIRG is to provide opportunities for international and multidisciplinary networking between researchers and members of IASSID within the same area of interest. In this way, they may create opportunities for sharing information, developing initiatives, identifying new colleagues and being visible to newcomers in the field. Through the SIRGs, groups of researchers in the field may easily collaborate on common themes of interests.
The SIRG has as its founding principles:
- Provide a focus for the worldwide exchange and dissemination of research and practice, as well as networking, in the field of persons with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities. Individuals with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities form a heterogeneous group. The 'core group' consists of individuals with such profound cognitive disabilities that no existing standardized tests are applicable for a valid estimation of their level of intellectual capacity and who often have profound neuromotor dysfunctions for example, spastic tetraplegia. In addition to profound intellectual and physical disabilities, it has been demonstrated that they also frequently have sensory impairments. Individuals with PIMD form a physically very vulnerable group of persons with a high dependence on personal assistance for every day tasks, 24 hours a day. The SIRG/PIMD brings together researchers and practitioners from different disciplines and from different countries.
- Promote cross-national, multidisciplinary collaboration in the area of persons with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities. The ultimate aim of the group is to improve the quality of life and/or services for people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities, their carers, and their families.
- Provide a framework for the collation of information relating to the research interests, expertise, and publications of group members. Within the overall process of collaboration, the views and contributions of nonprofessionals, including people with intellectual disabilities and their families and friends, are a fundamental component, and will be given the priority they deserve.