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 those working in or interested in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities. Educational opportunities include presentations at the state convention on the latest information in the field. The recent Annual Convention provided a wealth of such opportunities. The Texas chapter also develops regional trainings that focus on specific topics. For example, a recent one focused on the impact of Hurricane Harvey and other natural disasters on people with IDD, their families, and staff. AAIDD’s professional journals and books present the latest research, practice, tests, and policy developments in the field. Educational web forums and electronic newsletters provide key information. Networking opportunities include a variety of Interest Network Groups for various professional and special interest groups that communicate new information and in which on-line participation is invited. 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 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 and tests in the field), webinar courses, and convention registration (including the AAIDD Texas Chapter convention and regional trainings).
There are a variety of membership categories. Students receive a 20% discount for any membership category. Student s and Direct Support Professionals are eligible for support grants for attending the national AAIDD convention as well. 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 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 thousands of members from over 55 countries, our current Texas membership, according to the most recent report, is down to 119. Given that attendance at the annual state convention often exceeds 200, it is obvious that many attendees are not members. Although AAIDD-TX welcomes all attendees, we are looking for new strategies for attracting people to membership. We are especially focused on younger people working in or students in the field but would also like to re-attract the professionals and administrators who have traditionally comprised the bulk of the membership.
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, please contact me (email@example.com) or our Texas Association Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org).