DSHA Constitution

DELAWARE SPEECH-LANGUAGE-HEARING ASSOCIATION CONSTITUTION

Amended 2013
Article I: Name
The name of this organization shall be the Delaware Speech-Language-Hearing Association herein after referred to as the “Association”.

Article II: Purposes
The purposes of this Association shall be:

A. To facilitate professional interaction and exchange of information among speech language pathologists, audiologists, and practitioners in related disciplines.

B. To promote a high level of professional standards and services.

C. To promote the study of the processes of human communication and related physiology.

D. To provide continuing education opportunities in the areas of professional growth and clinical skills.

E. To encourage the use of multi-disciplinary approach in the management of communication/swallowing disorders.

F. To disseminate information about communication/swallowing disorders and available resources to related professions and the public.

G. To represent the professions on legislative, regulatory, and other public issues.

H. To promote the investigation and prevention of disorders of human communication/swallowing and related disorders.

I. To foster improvement of clinical procedures in the fields of speech, language, swallowing and hearing.

J. To advocate the rights and interests of persons with communication/swallowing disorders.

K. To assist and encourage students to enter the fields of speech pathology and audiology.

Article III: Membership

A. Membership in the Association shall be independent and not controlled, directly or indirectly, by any other organization.

B. Members shall be classified as follows:

1. Full Member:

      a. A Full member shall hold a graduate degree with a major emphasis in speech-language pathology, audiology, or speech, language or hearing science OR a graduate degree and present evidence of active research, interest, and performance in the field of human communication.

2. Associate Member:

      a. An Associate Member shall hold a BS or BA in the field of speech-language pathology, audiology, or speech, language or hearing science OR shall be a person in a related field who is not eligible for full membership.
      b. Dues will be the same as those having Full member status.

3. Student Member:

      a. A Student Member shall be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program with an emphasis in speech language pathology, audiology or speech and hearing science concentration.
      b. Dues shall be waived for Student Members.

4. Life Member:

      a. Life Member status may be granted to an Association member, Full or Associate, who has reached the age of sixty-five (65), retired from professional practice, and has been a member in good standing for eight (8) consecutive years prior to retirement.
      b. Individuals interested in being granted Life Member status must make application to the Membership Chair and be approved by a majority vote of the Executive Council for such status.
      c. Individuals granted Life Member status shall enjoy the privileges of membership that they held before becoming Life Members.
      d. Dues shall be waived for Life Members.

C. Privileges of membership

1. All members in good standing shall have the right to attend and to participate in all meetings.

2. All members in good standing shall receive all publications of the Association.

3. All Full members in good standing shall comprise the voting membership.

4. Only Full members in good standing shall have the right to hold elective office.

5. Only Full members in good standing shall have the right to serve on the Executive Council.

6. Full members may request a general membership business meeting if they present a written petition to the Executive Council stating the reason for the meeting and having signatures of at least ten (10) percent of the current members having Full membership status.

7. Any member who violates the Constitution and /or Code of Ethics of this Association shall be suspended by two-thirds vote of the Executive Board provided the person has been given a written statement of the violation and has been granted the right to appear before the Executive Board.

8. Any member who has not submitted payment of dues as stipulated under Article VIII may be dropped from membership in the Association upon recommendation by the Committee on Membership and two-thirds vote of the Executive Board or will be dropped automatically from membership for nonpayment of dues after one month from date of expiration.

Article IV: Ethics

All members shall agree to abide by the Code of Ethics of the Association.

Article V: Discrimination

The Association shall not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identification, or impairment/disability. All programs and activities of the Association shall be conducted in furtherance of this policy.

Article VI: Dues

A. The annual dues shall be recommended by the Executive Council and approved by members.

B. Dues shall be payable on the last day of each year for the next membership year.

C. Dues not paid by the last day of February shall be considered delinquent and the member concerned shall be notified that their membership has been terminated by the Association.

D. Applicants seeking membership in the Association for the first time after August 1 will pay dues at one half (1/2) of the annual rate.

Article VII: Officers

A. President

1. Will complete a two year term of office beginning January 1.

2. Will preside at meetings of the Association, adhering to “Robert’s Rules of Order”.

3. Will call all meetings not specifically mentioned in the Bylaws and Policies, with the approval of the Executive Council.

4. Will form committees and select chairs of committees.

5. Will act as Chair of the Executive Council.

6. Will fill, by appointment, all vacancies of elected and appointed officers, subject to approval of the Executive Council or may fill vacancies by calling a special election.

7. Will be empowered to sign checks.

8. Will be allowed to serve consecutive terms.

9. Will function as a voting member of the Executive Council in the event of a tie vote.

B. Past President

1. Will complete a one year term of office immediately following expiration of his/her term as President.

2. Will function as a voting member of the Executive Council.

3. Will discharge the duties of the President in the event of his/her absence.

4. Will assume the office of President and complete the term of that office in the event of the resignation of the President.

C. President-Elect

1. Will function as a voting member of the Executive Council.

2. Will discharge the duties of the President in the event of his/her absence.

3. Will assume the office of President following the completion of a [one-year] term as President-Elect.

D. Secretary

1. Will take and maintain the minutes of all general membership business and Executive Council meetings.

2. Will function as a voting member of the Executive Council.

3. Will serve a two year term of office concurrently with the President.

4. Will be allowed to serve consecutive terms.

E. Treasurer

1. Will maintain proper financial records and submit a financial report at each general membership business meeting.

2. Will be empowered to sign checks.

3. Will function as a voting member of the Executive Council.

4. Will serve a two year term of office concurrently with the President.

5. Will be allowed to serve consecutive terms.

Article VIII: Nominations and Elections

A. Nominations

1. A nominating committee shall be appointed by the President from the members of the Executive Council. A minimum of 5 people will comprise the nominating committee.

2. The Nominating Committee will submit the slate of candidates to the Secretary twenty-one (21) days prior to the elections. Two names shall be submitted by the Nominating Committee for each office. If the Nominating Committee has made a good faith and diligent recruiting effort but has obtained only one name of a candidate, that name shall be submitted.

3. Nominations from the general membership shall be submitted to the Secretary to be received no later than twenty-one (21) days prior to the election.

4. The slate of candidates shall be presented to the membership ten (10) days before the election.

B. Elections

1. Elections shall be held at an annual general membership meeting

2. Notices of elections shall be included in the meeting announcement, provided to each member in good standing and shall contain a full list of all nominees.

3. Ballots shall be treated in a confidential manner.

4. Officers shall be elected by a majority of Full members in good standing. Ballots received during the meeting of the election will be counted, as will all electronic ballots and absentee ballots received prior to the election held at the business meeting. In the event of a tie vote for any officer, only Full members present at the business meeting will vote in run-off balloting. The Executive Council will record the votes of Full members and ensure that individuals are not able to vote both in person and with an absentee ballot.

5. Elections for the office of President-Elect will occur in odd numbered years and elections for the Secretary and Treasurer will occur in even numbered years.

6. In the event of the incapacity or resignation of the President, the President-Elect shall immediately succeed in the office to complete the unexpired term, as well as the term for which he or she has been elected.

7. In the event of the incapacity or resignation of any other officer, the President shall appoint a successor to fill the unexpired term until the next election of the Association, at which time the vacancy shall be filled.

Article IX: Executive Council

A. Membership shall include the President, Past- President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and Committee Chairs.

B. All meetings shall be convened by the President, or by written request of a majority of the Executive Council.

C. The Executive Council members

1. Will formulate policies of the Association.

2. Will select time and place of meetings of the Association.

3. Will transact all business of the Association between regular meetings.

4. Will report on all actions taken by and all recommendations of the Executive Council to the general membership at the next general membership business meeting or through Association correspondence.

5. Will establish, with the President, any committee deemed necessary for the proper functioning of the Association.

6. Will determine by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those Executive Council members present and voting to affiliate (or not) with any other organization.

7. Will meet at least quarterly.

8. Will attend no less than one-half (1/2) of the Executive Council meetings. In the case of co-chairs, they will share the one-half meeting attendance requirement.

9. Will submit a written committee report if the committee is not represented at an Executive Council meeting.

10. The Executive Council will call a general membership business meeting within 30 days of receiving a petition as outlined
in Article 3, Section C, 6.

D. A quorum will consist of a minimum of five (5) members of the Executive Council.

Article X: Meetings

A. There shall be at least two general membership business meetings a year.

B. The election meeting shall be considered a general membership business meeting.

C. Notices of each general membership business meeting shall be provided to each member in good standing.

D. Special general membership business meetings may be called by the President with the approval of the Executive Council.

E. Notification of a special general membership business meeting must state a reason for the meeting.

Article XI: Amendments to the Bylaws and Policies

A. Proposed amendments to the Bylaws and Policies shall be made in writing to the Secretary. The amendment(s) will then be presented to the Executive Council at the next meeting of the Council for comments and recommendations. Approval must be carried by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Executive Council.

B. Changes in the Bylaws and Policies may be enacted by a majority of those members in good standing, present and voting, at the general membership business meeting following the introduction of the amendment(s).

C. Availability of all proposed amendments to the Bylaws and Policies must be included in the notice of the next regularly scheduled general membership business meeting.

Article XII: Disbursement of Funds Upon Dissolution

Upon Dissolution of the Delaware Speech-Language-Hearing Association, all obligations of the organization shall be paid and discharged, or adequate provisions shall be made to pay outstanding balances. All remaining monies of the Association at the time of dissolution will be contributed to a worthy charity serving persons with communication/swallowing disabilities in Delaware, as chosen by the Delaware Speech-Language-Hearing Association Membership.