Charlotte M. Kimmel, Ph.D., Fellow AAIDD
Becoming a member in the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) provides many benefits for those working in or interested in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities. These include the following:
Educational opportunities such as presentations at the state and national conventions offer the latest information in the field. The Annual Texas Chapter Convention provides a variety of presentations of broad relevance. The Texas chapter has also provided regional trainings in the past focusing on specific topics (e.g., one recently focused on the impact of Hurricane Harvey and other natural disasters on people with IDD, their families, and staff). Additional regional trainings will be provided in the future. AAIDD’s professional journals and books contain the latest research, best practice guidelines, and policy developments in the field. National educational web forums and electronic newsletters provide key information.
Networking opportunities include Interest Network Groups for various professional and special interest groups that communicate new information and on-line participation. The Interest Networks are varied including such examples as Direct Support Professionals, Education, Gerontology, Health and Wellness, Leadership & Management in Community Living, Legal Process and Public Policy, Psychology, Research, Sexual and Social Concerns, Social Work, Student and Early Career Professionals, and Technology. There are some others also.
AAIDD membership automatically makes one a member of the Texas chapter. The Student and Early Career Professionals Interest Network Groups offer career and networking links to assist new members in making contacts with leaders in the field. All members can access a Career Center for posting or searching for a job. As a financial benefit, members receive discounts on bookstore purchases (AAIDD publishes some of the leading books and assessment instruments in the field), webinar courses, and convention registration (including the National and AAIDD Texas Chapter convention and regional trainings).
There are a variety of membership categories. Students receive a discount for any membership category. Students and Direct Support Professionals are eligible for support grants so they can attend the national AAIDD convention. The annual dues for the Basic membership are $85 ($68 with a student discount). 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 all 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.
Although AAIDD has thousands of members from over 55 countries, our Texas membership is currently 75 members according to the most recent report, a slight decline from the last newsletter report of 85. Attendance at the annual Texas AAIDD Conference usually exceeds 150, so it is obvious that many attendees are not members. Although AAIDD-TX welcomes all attendees, we want to attract those people who attend our annual conference but are not currently members. We are also interested in recruiting younger people and students who are new to the field. In addition, we also need to attract the professionals and administrators who have traditionally comprised much of our membership.
We welcome you to join this organization and help continue its long tradition. The Texas chapter is seeking ideas and strategies for increasing our membership. Our current Membership Chair is Lawrence Davis at Integral Care in Austin. If you have any ideas or recommendations on membership, please contact him at Lawrence.firstname.lastname@example.org.