Membership in the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities initially consisted of 50 founding members.
Today, membership is made up of four different classes. These include:
- Academy Fellows: This membership class is composed of individuals from the world’s leadership in the scientific study of learning disabilities.
- Members: This membership class is composed of an unlimited number of individuals who are researchers and/or practitioners in the scientific study of learning disabilities. With appropriate demonstration of research activities and publications in peer-reviewed journals in the academic literature, these Members can advance to the Fellow class.
- Associate Members: This membership class is composed of individuals who are researchers and/or practitioners in learning disabilities but who do not possess a terminal degree in the field of learning disabilities or a related area.
- Student Members: This membership class is composed of graduate or doctoral students in the scientific study of learning disabilities who are eligible for Academy membership upon recommendation by a faculty member of the student’s college or university.
The disciplines represented by the membership are varied and reflect the multidisciplinary nature of research in learning disabilities. Clinical psychology, neuropsychology, and physiological psychology are a few of the areas included. Other members are from education, (more specifically, special education), educational psychology, and speech and language sciences. Also, the membership represents those from the medical professions including neurology, paediatrics, electrophysiology, and psychiatry law, nursing, genetics, speech and hearing sciences, and any related disciplines are included.
The multidisciplinary nature of the organization’s members is also personified by individuals within disciplines. A few examples include professionals representing both psychology and occupational therapy, special education and law, and pediatrics and nutrition.
The membership’s multidisciplinary approach to learning disabilities is further evident in the wide range of research interests. Some members’ research involves psychopharmacology; other members’ research involves the classroom. The list could continue; however, the unifying focus of all the varied research is learning disabilities.