The Australian Association of Developmental Disability Medicine (AADDM) was formed in September 2002 as a network of doctors with an interest in improving the health status of people with intellectual and developmental disability. The work of AADDM main focuses on the professional development of its members and their clinical colleagues, and political advocacy. The committee holds quarterly teleconferences and welcomes input from members. AADDM holds yearly conferences and produces excellent newsletters. AADDM has been and continues to be a major contributor to government policy with a remarkable history of successful advocacy leading to widespread changes in healthcare delivery throughout Australia.

In collaboration with the NSW Council on Intellectual Disability (NSW CID), AADDM successfully advocated over many years for the development of a Medicare item to fund general practitioners to perform year health assessments for people with intellectual disability. The Medicare item first became available in July 2006 and resulted in tens of thousands of health assessment being performed throughout the country. In 2009 AADDM provided the Hon Secretary Hon Bill Shorten MP with a literature review outlining the evidence for early intervention in children with intellectual disability, then in 2010 the Labor party announced funding for this process as part of their platform for re-election. These changes have now been delivered throughout Australia. In addition the National Disability Strategy sets out a ten year national plan for improving life for Australians with disability, their families and carers and includes specific suggestions madeby AADDM & NSW CID under the sixth priority area; “Health and wellbeing—health services, health promotion and the interaction between health and disability systems; wellbeing and enjoyment of life.”

Join AADDM, support these activities and be part of an effective association that provides information and support and continues to improve the health of people with developmental disability in Australia.