Who We Are
The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) is an international organization that promotes progressive policies, sound research, effective practices, and universal human rights for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. AAIDD Wisconsin (AAIDD-WI) is a state chapter of this greater organization that translates and applies the mission at a local level. Activities of the Chapter are overseen and conducted through an all-volunteer Board. Its members are actively involved at both the state and national level for AAIDD.
The Wisconsin Chapter began in 1968 under the guidance of Harvey Stevens and Gilbert Szymanski. Wisconsin was the second state in the nation to have a chapter within the larger AAIDD organization. The first chair of the Wisconsin chapter was Richard Scheerenberger in 1973 – 1974. The chapter has had many influential leaders over the years and continues to thrive and grow.
AAIDD-WI promotes activities that support people who work in the field so that the quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is enhanced.
To accomplish this mission, the association commits its individuals and collective resources to:
- Support the National office of AAIDD in pursuing their mission and principles;
- Increase the perception of AAIDD-WI as a resource organization and source of expertise, thereby influencing public policy;
- Increase collaboration with other professional groups; and
- To provide continuing education and training opportunities to members and others in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Adopted by the AAIDD-WI Board of Directors
AAIDD principles (or core values) that guide the achievement of its goals relative to its mission:
- Cultivate and provide leadership in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities that encompasses a diversity of disciplines, cultures, and perspectives.
- Enhance the skills, knowledge, rewards, and conditions of people currently working in the field and encourage promising students to pursue careers in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities.
- Advance the assurance of all human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including equality, individual dignity, choice, and respect.
- Promote genuine accommodations to expand participation in all aspects of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, opportunities for choice and self-determination, and access to quality health, education, vocational, and other human services and supports.
- Influence positive attitudes and public awareness to contributions of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
- Establish partnerships and strategic alliances with organizations that share our values and goals.
AAIDD’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.