Abstract

The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) and The Arc of the United States (The Arc) have a long history of joined efforts to develop, express, and evaluate disability policies. These efforts have resulted in a series of formal statements on critical issues such as education, healthcare, human rights, and criminal justice. Their joint efforts further important policy goals including providing clear strong communication about important policy values and directions, promulgating key principles of high quality supports and services, affirming best professional practices, and emphasizing personal outcomes. In addition, the joint efforts (a) affirm important aspects of organization identity; (b) enhance the organizations' abilities to assure the input of a wide variety of perspectives; (c) engage members' expanded ranges of experiences and talents; (d) multiply staff and leadership resources; (e) increase communication strength and avenues; and (f) establish processes for timely review and revision of policies as critical disability issues arise or change, and new opportunities for policy integration and advancement occur. This article describes the processes used to develop, express, and evaluate the position statements; summarizes the policy content of several joint statements; and discusses the role of these organization position statements.

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