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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice

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Position Statement of AAIDD

Central to the mission of AAIDD is the promotion of universal human rights for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Inherent within the notion of universal human rights is the sense of belongingness--based in the underlying values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice—that is the right of all humans. However, not all humans have had equal opportunities to actualize this right. People with IDD, particularly people with IDD that experience other marginalized identities based on race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or other social and political characteristics, face deep and historical disadvantages that must be the focus of efforts to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.

To adopt practices that foster the belongingness and universal human rights of people with IDD, AAIDD actively engages its members, partners, and the world at large to:

  • Recognize that the systemic barriers faced by people with IDD are amplified among those who also have other marginalized identities.
  • Work toward a future in which all people with IDD have the opportunities and resources that meet their unique needs for support, promote self-direction, and foster quality life outcomes.
  • Promote practices and policies to eliminate barriers to the full participation in society by all people with IDD and promote inclusion of people with IDD in research, practice, and policy.
  • Seek out diverse perspectives and promote continuous, transparent processes to reduce and eliminate systemic barriers that marginalize people with IDD, particularly people with IDD that experience intersectionality, in research, practice, and policy.

AAIDD remains committed to its vision of a future which includes and respects both difference and sameness, strengths and weaknesses, and the inclusion of all people in an equitable and just society.


AAIDD Board of Directors
November 9, 2022

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