Passing of William I. Gardner, Ph.D.
It is with great sadness that we inform our readers that William I. Gardner, PhD passed away on Saturday, November 29, 2014, at the age of 85, following a long illness. Dr. Gardner was a major influential authority in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities. His contributions to NADD in particular, and to the field in general, were enormous and will have a major impact for years to come.
“There are some losses that leave an emptiness in the universe, a blank space on any page written from this point onward, and an aching that surpasses words. This is such a loss,” wrote one NADD Board Member upon learning of Dr. Gardner’s death.
Another Board Member noted, “Bill made a great deal of difference in the professional lives of virtually all of us serving folks with ID/MI, and for the many thousands whom we have in turn served…He was one of the tallest, most respected, and most loved of the giants in our field.”
Dr. Gardner is well known for developing the multimodal diagnostic assessment model as well as diagnostically-based treatments. The multimodal diagnostic assessment identifies bio-psycho-social interwoven influences that have contributed to or continue to represent risk factors. The diagnostically-based treatment approach considers a bio-psycho-social intervention that is integrated into a comprehensive treatment plan. His work in this area has been internationally accepted and is considered the “gold standard” of assessment and treatment practices. This is his legacy and it will continue to be the clinical standard for now and the future.
He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology – Developmental Disabilities from Vanderbilt University in 1958. He had spent much of his academic career at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where he previously served as Chairman of the Department of Psychology. His most recent position was Professor Emeritus, Rehabilitation Psychology Program, University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Dr. Gardner has given over 100 seminars and workshops on dual diagnosis throughout the United States, Canada, Belgium, The Netherlands, England, Sweden, Denmark, Italy and Croatia.
He has over 140 publications and most of them related to mental health issues in persons withIDD. Dr. Gardner has contributed to the NADD literature through contributions to the NADD Bulletin, writing book chapters for the NADD Press, and authoring or co-authoring NADD Press books such as:
- Behavioral Supports: A Multimodal Functional Approach
- Practice Guidelines for Diagnosis, Treatment & Supports
- Treatment of Aggression in ID
Dr. Gardner has been a long term NADD supporter. He has served on the NADD Board of Directors and subsequently has served on the NADD Advisory Council. In recognition of his major contributions to the field, he received the NADD Frank J. Menolascino Award for Excellence in 1995. At the NADD 31st Annual Conference, Dr. Gardner was awarded the Earl L. Loschen Award for Clinical Practice. Additionally, NADD bestowed a Lifetime Achievement award to Dr. Gardner during the NADD Conference in recognition for his enormous influence in the field. Thousands upon thousands of people with disabilities have experienced significant improvement in their quality of life due to his contributions to the field.
Due to his illness, Dr. Gardner w not able to attend the conference. He asked that his friend and colleague, Diane Cox-Lindenbaum receive these awards on his behalf. Click here to view the award presentation and acceptance.
Dr. Gardner was the lead monitor on behalf of NADD for a class-action lawsuit settlement case in a large northeastern state. He delivered trainings and developed protocols for assessing clinical outcomes. This was one of a dozen other class-action lawsuits where he functioned as an expert witness or a monitor.
Dr. Gardner has been a giant and influential figure in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities. Much of his writings, teachings, and mentorships have been in the area of mental health issues concerning people with IDD. His impact on the field is unparalleled and his spirit will live on. He will be missed greatly, not only by the NADD family but all those who have been impacted by him.
Cards can be sent to the family at:
3105 Clove Drive
Madison, WI 53704
In lieu of flowers, Dr. Gardner requested that donations be sent to NADD’s Joli Fletcher Tlalka Memorial Fund, named in memory of the daughter of NADD’s Founder, Robert J. Fletcher. This fund was established to financially assist Direct Support Professionals to attend and participate in NADD conferences. Donations can be made online by clicking here or may be sent to:
132 Fair Street
Kingston, NY 12401-9913
To read Dr. Gardner’s obituary and remembrances by friends and family, click here.
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