American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) is an American non-profit professional organization concerned with intellectual disability and related developmental disabilities. AAIDD has members in the United States and more than 50 other countries.
The AAIDD is the oldest professional association concerned with intellectual and developmental disabilities. AAIDD advocates for the equality, dignity, and human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and for their full inclusion and participation in society.
The name of the Association has changed five times in its history, reflecting the changes in thinking about the condition known today as intellectual disability:
1876: Association of Medical Officers of American Institutions for Idiotic and Feebleminded Persons
1906: American Association for the Study of the Feebleminded
1933: American Association on Mental Deficiency
1987: American Association on Mental Retardation
2007: American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Mission and Goals
The AAIDD promotes progressive policies, sound research, effective practices, and universal human rights for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The Association's goals are to
- Enhance the capacity of professionals who work with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
- Promote the development of a society that fully includes individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
- Sustain an effective, responsive, well managed, and responsibly-governed organization.
The AAIDD publishes three highly regarded peer-reviewed journals, a catalog of important books, and evidenced-based assessment tools.
The AAIDD encourages a diversity of contributions from different traditions of inquiry and disciplines; all papers must meet the journal's criteria for rigor and peer review to be considered for publication.
- American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AJIDD). Established in 1896, AJIDD is a multidisciplinary journal for reporting original contributions of the highest quality on intellectual disability, its causes, treatment, and prevention.
- Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). Established in 1963, IDD is a multidisciplinary journal of policy, practices, and perspectives. As a journal with an applied focus, IDD provides a forum for the dissemination of rigorously reviewed, actionable information that is relevant to emerging policies, innovative practices, and transformative concepts.
- Inclusion. Established in 2013, Inclusion is a multidisciplinary journal that provides a multidisciplinary forum for the presentation and discussion of evidence-based interventions and strategies that promote the full inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in society.
The AAIDD publishes high-quality, essential books and tools for professionals and others in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities. The organization's most well-known book is its definition manual, first published in 1910 and now in its 11th edition: Intellectual Disability: Definition, Classification, and Systems of Support. 
The AAIDD is the publisher of the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS), an assessment tool that evaluates practical support requirements of a person with an intellectual disability. The SIS measures support requirements in 57 life activities and 28 behavioral and medical areas. The assessment is done through an interview with the self-advocate and those who know the person well.
SIS measures support needs in the areas of home living, community living, lifelong learning, employment, health and safety, social activities, and protection and advocacy. The Scale ranks each activity according to frequency (none, at least once a month), amount (none, less than 30 minutes), and type of support (monitoring, verbal gesturing). Finally, a Supports Intensity Level is determined based on the Total Support Needs Index, which is a standard score generated from scores on all the items tested by the Scale.
As the leading professional organization in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities, AAIDD offers cutting-edge educational opportunities to the global disability community, including an annual conference, e-learning, webinars, and professional research and exchange in countries outside the US.
The Association's YouTube channel  provides short educational videos on topics related to intellectual and developmental disabilities.