Welcome to the AAIDD 145th Annual Meeting

Welcome to the 145th annual meeting of the AAIDD. On behalf of the equally amazing Planning Committee and Virtual Arrangements Committee (chaired by Michael Bloom), I thank you for attending our first ever fully virtual conference.

This year’s theme is Addressing Workforce Challenges: Promising Trends in Policy, Practice, and Research. While workforce challenges continue, this past year has taught us to adapt and persevere with creativity, dedication, and resilience.

We open this event on Monday with pre-conference sessions on the efficacy, application, and use of technology, which are available to all registrants at no additional cost. We will close the day with the Blue and Green Social hour, where you can reconnect with old friends, meet new ones, win prizes, and try out specially selected mocktail and cocktail recipes.

The program on Tuesday and Wednesday includes two plenary sessions that feature insights on current workforce trends and the future of the workforce in the academic, healthcare, and community support sectors and the leading sectors that employ people with disabilities. The program provides over 300 presentations and posters that highlight a rich array of emerging research, public policy, and evidence-based practices. The closing presidential address will build upon these presentations and issue a call to action for positioning our field for the workforce of the future.

Finally, please join us in honoring our Awardees and new Fellows, and I encourage you to visit our exhibitors in the virtual hall. I look forward to our joining together across the miles to share in this year’s conference!

Elisa Velardo, MMHS, FAAIDD, President-Elect, AAIDD Board of Directors and Conference Chair.