Ellis M. (Pat) Craig, Ph.D.
AAIDD Texas Chapter Membership Chair
Membership in the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) offers many benefits for professionals and others interested in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities. Among the educational opportunities are the presentations at the state convention of the latest information in the field. The Texas chapter also hosts regional trainings that focus on specific topics. AAIDD’s professional journals and books present the latest research, practice, and policy advances in the field. Members-only educational web forums and electronic newsletters provide key information. Networking opportunities include 22 professional divisions, special interest groups, and action groups that communicate new information and in which on-line participation is invited. The geographic structure of AAIDD allows networking opportunities on a state, regional or national level. AAIDD membership automatically makes one a member of the Texas chapter and the 6-state Region V. The Student and Early Career Professionals groups offer career and networking links to assist new members to make important contacts. All members can access a Career Center for posting or searching for a job. As a financial benefit members receive discounts on book store purchases (AAIDD publishes some of the leading books in the field), webinar courses, and convention registration (including the AAIDD Texas Chapter convention and regional trainings).
There are a variety of membership categories that can make joining financially reasonable. Students receive a 20% discount for any membership category. The annual dues for the Basic membership are $85. This includes access to an electronic version of one of the two journals, the American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AJIDD) or Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). All members have access to an electronics-only journal, Inclusion. A Classic membership (electronic access to both journals) is $135. The Standard category, which includes print and electronic copies of the journals, is $185. A Premium category, which includes special gifts of Association books, is $260. A Corporate membership for $600 is also available, with 20% discounts for the memberships of an unlimited number of employees On-line or printable membership registration is available at www.aaidd.org.
Although AAIDD has over 3,000 members from over 55 countries, our current Texas membership, according to the most recent report, is only 128 (a slight increase from the last report). Given that attendance at the annual state convention often exceeds 300, it is obvious that the majority of attendees are not members. Although AAIDD Texas Chapter welcomes all attendees, we are examining different strategies for attracting people to membership. We are especially focused on younger people working in or students in the field.
I hope that you will join the organization and help continue its long tradition. The Texas chapter is seeking ideas about how to increase the membership. If you have any ideas or recommendations, or would be willing to serve on the Membership Committee, please contact me (email@example.com) or our Texas Association Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org).