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Interest Networks


What are Interest Networks?

Interest Networks provide a forum for AAIDD members with a shared interest or discipline to connect and share ideas and information. To advance their professional interests, AAIDD members are encouraged to join one or more Interest Networks. Interest Networks have additional benefits of membership, such as a newsletter, listserv, leadership opportunities or access to an additional journal (see Religion & Spirituality below), and most have a small annual membership fee. 

The "Assembly of Interest Networks" supports the activities of the Interest Networks of the Association. The Assembly meets at least annually, typically at the annual meeting of the Association.

AAIDD encourages the development of new Interest Networks. See the Interest Network Leadership Manual on this page for details. Interest Networks are encouraged to review Establishing & Maintaining a Social Media Plan, developed by the SECP Interest Network.

What do the Interest Networks do?

Interest Networks provide a forum for AAIDD members with a shared interest or discipline to connect and share ideas and information. They engage in workgroups and share information via e-newsletters, listservs, and journals. Information about activities planned for the year can be found in the Action Plans below.

Interest Networks submit a proposed Action Plan and progress report for Board approval each year. The Action Plan year is July 1 through June 30, and the plans address timely, relevant issues in the field and/or the unique needs of the Association. 

Click to see the Association's strategic plan, developed annually by the Board of Directors.

Click on the links below to see the action plans and the contact information of the current leadership for each group.


  • Communication Disorders 
    The Communications Disorders Interest Network seeks to support and sustain those with an interest in communication disorders and to promote active participation in the Association. 
    Communication Disorders 2019-2020 Action Plan
  • Creative Arts (See Facebook page)
    The Creative Arts Interest Network seeks to support the exchange of knowledge, ideas, research, and practices to enhance the lives of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through creative arts.
    Creative Arts 2019-2020 Action Plan
  • Direct Support Professionals (See Facebook page)
    The Direct Support Professionals Interest Network sees to increase awareness of DSP workforce issues amongst AAIDD members, promote related research and development activities, and to partner on relevant national initiatives that advance the field. 
    DSP 2019-2010 Action Plan
  • Education 
    The Education Interest Network seeks to advance the field in educating children, youth, and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
    Education 2019-2020 Action Plan
  • Families 
    The Families Interest Network seeks to expand attention to the roles of families and their needs In supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
    Families 2019-2020 Action Plan
  • Gerontology 
    The Gerontology Interest Network seeks to advance knowledge and practice in the field as it applies to an aging population.
    Gerontology 2019-2020 Action Plan
  • Health and Wellness 
    The Health and Wellness Interest Network seeks to promote health and wellness research, activities, and educational opportunities for professionals working in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities.
    Health & Wellness 2019-2020 Action Plan
  • International
    The International  Interest Network seeks to promote international research cooperation and to serve as a home for international members of the Association.
    International 2019-2020 Action Plan
  • Legal Process and Public Policy
    The Legal Process and Public Policy interest Network seeks to reduce barriers to the criminal justice system for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and to inform, support, and advocate for the legal rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
    Legal Process & Public Policy 2019-2020 Action Plan
     
  • Multicultural Concerns 
    The Multicultural Concerns Interest Network seeks to increase awareness, knowledge of, and skills related to multicultural issues and their impact on service delivery to persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
    Multicultural Concerns 2019-2020 Action Plan
  • Religion & Spirituality (See Facebook page)
    The Religion & Spirituality Interest Network seeks to advocate for the opportunities and supports needed for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to express their spiritual and religious interests, needs, and gifts, and to assist service providers and congregations in embracing inclusion. Membership in this network includes access to the Journal of Disability & Religion.
    Religion & Spirituality 2019-2020 Action Plan   
  • Research  
    The Research Interest Network seeks to support and advance the impact of research on the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities. 
    Research 2019-2020 Action Plan
  • Sexual and Social Concerns (See Facebook page)
    The Sexual and Social Concerns Interest Network provides activities and support for AAIDD members whose professional practice concerns sexuality and intimate relationships among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
    Social & Sexual Concerns 2019-2020 Action Plan 
  • Social Work
    The Social Work Interest Network provides activities and support for AAIDD members with a social work background or interest in social work and intellectual and developmental disabilities.
    Social Work 2019-2020 Action Plan 
  • Student and Early Career Professionals (SECP) (see Facebook page)
    The SECP Interest Network seeks to enhance the educational and professional knowledge of students and early career professionals working in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities and to promote their representation and involvement within AAIDD.  
    SECP 2019-2020 Action Plan
  • Technology
    The Technology Interest Network seeks to promote the use of technology as a strategy to increase the self-determination and quality of life of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
    Technology 2019-2020 Action Plan