With much sadness, the team at ATECH shares the news of the passing of our colleague Dave Hingsburger. We are among the thousands of professionals who knew and loved Dave, charmed by his stories, and motivated by his passion for helping those with intellectual disabilities.
Dave’s unflagging support and advocacy in the disability rights community made him a giant in the field, and his wit and wisdom will be sorely missed.
Dave worked for many decades as a clinician and trainer, blogger, writer, and advocate. Dave wrote daily about disability, diversity, humanity and behavior, oftentimes using humor to make his point, and sometimes deliberately provoking reactions. Dave authored many books which have been used by disability professionals world-wide to better understand those with intellectual disabilities. A quote on Dave’s website reads:
I used to think that my voice was equally important, if not more so, than the people I supported. In this story I saw this man advocate for himself, speak for himself, and voice his own dreams. It was at this point I understood that I was his ally not his advocate and that only he could advocate for himself. Our job then is to support advocacy, even teach advocacy, but once those are done our primary job is to shut up.
Dave’s eloquence on the subject of understanding humanity is well represented in his books: Behaviour Self! Using Behavioural Concepts to Understand and Work with People with Developmental Disabilities, Just Say Know!: Understanding and Reducing the Risk of Sexual Victimization, and Power Tools: Thoughts about Power & Control in Service to People with Developmental Disabilities, are just a few titles among the list.
Dave was the founder and editor of the International Journal for Direct Support Professionals, as well as a skilled interviewer, showcased in his monthly “Let’s Talk with Dave” webinar series created in partnership with NADSP.
Dave’s work will continue to inspire future generations of direct support professionals, and we at ATECH will be among them. We would also like to express our deepest condolences to Joe Jobes, Dave’s husband, and all of his family.