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Interest Networks

What are Interest Networks?

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, online community, or additional journal, and most have a small annual membership fee. 

AAIDD encourages the development of new Interest Networks. The Interest Network Leadership Manual outlines the process.

The Assembly of Professional Interests coordinates the activities of the Interest Networks  of the Association. The Assembly meets at least annually, typically at the annual meeting of the Association.

Related Links

Interest Network Leadership Manual (PDF)

What do the Interest Networks do?

The Board of Directors develops a strategic plan for the Association on an annual basis and requires all active Interest Networks to submit a proposed action plan and progress report for approval each year. Interest Networks must submit an annual action plan/progress report each year to remain in good standing.The plan year is July 1 through June 30.  

The Board of Directors encourages Interest Networks to develop Action Plan proposals to address timely, relevant issues in the field and/or the unique needs of the Association. 

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. Plan Pending
  •  Creative Arts Therapies 
    The Creative Arts Therapies Interest Network seeks to increase knowledge and awareness of the therapies that utilize self-expression through creative arts. Creative Arts Therapies 2018 Action Plan
  • Direct Support Professionals  
    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. Direct Support Professionals 2018 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 2018 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. Plan Pending
  • Gerontology 
    The Gerontology Interest Network seeks to advance knowledge and practice in the field as it applies to an aging population.  Gerontology 2018 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 2018 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 2018 Action Plan
  • Leadership & Management in Community Living
    The Administration Interest Network seeks to support and sustain the value and impact of  the Association  among professionals who manage and lead community-based practices, projects, programs, and organizations. Leadership & Management in Community Living 2018 Action Plan
  • Legal Process and Advocacy
    The Legal Process and Advocacy 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 & Advocacy 2018 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 2018 Action Plan
  • Psychology
    The Psychology Interest Network provides activities and support for AAIDD members with a psychology background or interest in mental health and intellectual and developmental disabilities. Psychology 2018 Action Plan  
  • Religion & Spirituality 
    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. Religion & Spirituality 2018 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 2018 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 2018 Action Plan   
  • Student and Early Career Professionals (SECP) 
    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 2018 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 2018 Action Plan