Thursday, January 28, 2016

Membership Has Its Privileges


No, I’m not just randomly shuffling letters in my alphabet soup. Listed above are some of the organizations that Imagine! is proud to be counted among their dues paying membership.

The reason for our membership in these organizations is straightforward. They are all organizations that are able to compile and disseminate best practices in their areas of expertise. They keep us informed and provide support and assistance to our endeavors. Our memberships are purposeful. We at Imagine! believe it is absolutely vital that we are able to share, learn, and collaborate with any organization that can help us keep our skills, knowledge, and information up to date.

Let me ask a question. Would you want to go see a doctor who refused to read the latest medical journals? Who didn’t keep up on recent medical advances because he or she was “too busy?”

Of course not.

Well, as an organization with a purpose to help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), we would be doing the people we serve a great disservice if we weren’t committed to staying on top of the latest developments in our field. Our field has changed a great deal over the past few decades. In less time than it has taken the National Football League to host 50 Super Bowls (go Broncos!), we have gone from a model that emphasized isolation and institutionalization to one that emphasizes community interaction and natural supports.

Attitudes and approaches to our services (and other aspects of running our organization) continue to evolve, and we must stay on top of that evolution. So we will continue to utilize our memberships to become better, smarter, and more effective. We will continue to ask ourselves each year if the memberships we have bring value to our organization and the people we serve. We will continue to team up, influence, and absorb so all of us are better at our jobs.

We will continue to stay out in front of what is happening in our world, because what we do is too important to ever fall behind.

Then again, what do I know?

1 comment:

  1. No question that it is important to survey professional information that is up to date and relevant and to belong to professional organizations as appropriate. Some organizations ask their employees to assess that also and join as appropriate and will reimburse to some level for membership dues. Importantly, one must balance the cost of membership against the benefit of that membership. So it's not enough to say that membership is important. A tax-funded organization must also show accountability and reveal the costs and benefits of these memberships. So what do you pay for the alphabet soup you listed and what are the direct benefits to those memberships - most especially to persons with a developmental or intellectual disability and secondarily to those who directly assist in providing services to them? Do these memberships pass the criteria of being a high priority in a person-centered decision making process? And how many persons with I/DD continue to sit on the wait list because of membership dues and other perks of administration?