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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.

  • Administration
    The Administration Interest Network seeks to support and sustain the value and impact of  the Association  among professionals who manage and lead practices, projects, programs, and organizations. Administration 2017 Action Plan
  • 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
  • Community Services
    The Community Services Interest Network seeks to increase knowledge of division members and their information sharing related to changes in community services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.​ Community Services 2017 Action Plan
  • 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.​ Plan Pending
  • 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 2017 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 2017 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 2017 Action Plan
  • Gerontology 
    The Gerontology Interest Network seeks to advance knowledge and practice in the field as it applies to an aging population.  ​Gerontology_2017 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 2017 Action Plan
  • Humanism
    The Humanism Interest Network seeks to support to Humanists in the field and promote the legitimacy  of a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and the general preference of critical thinking and evidence over acceptance of dogma or superstition. Humanism 2017 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 2017 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 2017 Action Plan ​
  • Mental Health Services  
    The Mental Health Services Interest Network seeks to promote mental and behavioral health research and practice and educational opportunities for mental health professionals working in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities.  ​Mental Health 2017 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 2017 Action Plan
  • Psychology
    The Psychology Interest Network provides activities and support for AAIDD members with a psychology background or interest in psychology and intellectual and developmental disabilities. Multicultural 2017 Action Plan  ​
  • Religion & Spirituality 
    The Religion & Spirituality Interest Network seeks to advocate for the opportunities and supports needed for people with ntellectual 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 2017 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 2017 Action Plan
  • Sexual and Social Concerns 
    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. Soc Sex Concerns 2017 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 2017 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 2017 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 2017 Action Plan