BY-LAWS OF THE MARYLAND ASSOCIATION ON HIGHER EDUCATION AND DISABILITY (MD AHEAD)
The Maryland Association on Higher Education and Disability (MD AHEAD), is an organization of professionals committed to full participation of students with disabilities in higher education. The organization is dedicated to serving as a resource in promoting excellence in higher education for students with disabilities through networking among professionals, dissemination of information, and promoting professional development opportunities. MD AHEAD affirms its commitment to the support of policies and practices that advance and ensure the rights, privileges and inclusion of all individuals regardless of race, gender, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability or sexual orientation.
ARTICLE I: NAME AND AFFILIATION
1. The name of this organization shall be the Maryland Association on Higher Education and Disability (MD AHEAD).
2. The Maryland Association on Higher Education and Disability is an affiliate of the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), which is an international, multicultural organization of professionals committed to the full participation in higher education for person with disabilities.
ARTICLE II: DEFINITION
For the purposes of these by-laws, and under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an individual with a disability is defined as a person who (a) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or (b) has a record of such an impairment; or (c) is regarding as having such an impairment.
ARTICLE III: PURPOSE
The purpose of the Association shall be to:
- Provide leadership, education and professional development opportunities for a network of professionals who provide accessibility and disability services, and serve as Maryland’s primary source of expertise on students with disabilities in higher education through:
a. Facilitating communication among individuals professionally involved in programs for students with disabilities;
b. Developing the capability to make timely and meaningful responses to issues that affect the education of students with disabilities;
c. Facilitating the collection, evaluation, and dissemination of information for individuals who are professionally involved in programs for persons with disabilities;
d. Conducting regional workshops on disability issues and providing other forms of assistance, including technical assistance, training and mentoring.
- Support and promote policies, procedures and practices that increase access and opportunity in higher education for individuals with disabilities.
- Foster understanding throughout the higher education and wider community of the needs and issues of individuals with disabilities.
- Foster coordination among agencies working with post-secondary students with disabilities.
- Promote strategies to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from high school to college, from two-year colleges to four-year colleges, and from college to employment.
- Encourage and support legislation for the benefit of post-secondary students with disabilities.
- Promote strategies that embrace the values of diversity, inclusion, and universal access in higher education for students with disabilities.
ARTICLE IV: STRUCTURE
MD AHEAD is established as a volunteer professional organization directed by a volunteer Executive Board. The Executive Board will be composed of elected officers whose responsibility is to carry out the mission and goals of MD AHEAD through policy formulation, oversight of fiscal management, communication with the membership at large, maintenance of historical documents, and contributing to the growth and development of the organization.
ARTICLE V: MEMBERSHIP
MD AHEAD shall have the following classifications of members designated as “Institutional”, “Higher Education Professional”, “Partner” and “Individual”.
An Institutional Member shall be a 2-year or 4-year institution of higher education in the Maryland area (including Washington, D.C. and Virginia) and include up to three higher educational professionals of the institution, each of whom is entitled to one vote and is eligible to hold office.
Higher Education Professional Member:
A Higher Education Professional Member shall be any individual working in higher education to promote equal rights and educational opportunities for persons with disabilities. A Higher Education Member is entitled to one vote and is eligible to hold office.
A Partner Member shall be any individual working for an agency or organization (for profit and not-for-profit) who, by nature of his or her product, service or mission, is involved in matters related to students with disabilities in higher education. Partner Members are not eligible to vote or hold office but are eligible for all member benefits.
An Individual Member shall be any individual who is not primarily employed by an institution of higher education, but who has an interest or is professionally active in working to promote equal rights and educational opportunities of students with disabilities in higher education. Individual Members are not eligible to vote or hold office but are eligible for all member benefits.
ARTICLE VI: DUES
Membership will be open and available to any interested person according to the membership categories and dues categories established by the Executive Board. Amount of membership dues may be changed by majority vote of the Executive Board without by-laws amendment. Membership applications and renewals will be sent out annually, with dues to the organization payable before the end of the membership year. Membership shall operate on an academic year calendar of July 1- June 30, and any membership dues not paid by Nov. 15 will result in termination of the membership. After November 15, membership dues may be accepted and prorated depending upon individual circumstances.
ARTICLE VII: OFFICERS
1. Officers and Terms of Office
The Executive Board of MD AHEAD shall consist of the President, President- Elect, Immediate Past President, Secretary, Treasurer, Affiliate Liaison and At-large members.
When possible, the office of President should rotate annually between a professional employed by a 4-year postsecondary institution and a professional employed by a 2-year postsecondary institution so both types of institutions are equally represented.
The term of office for any elected officer shall begin July 1 following the election. Any officer can serve consecutive terms, if elected.
All officers must be members in good standing of the organization at the time of their nomination and election and remain so throughout the duration of their term of office.
In the event of a vacancy on the Executive Board, the remaining members of the Board shall designate a replacement subject to an affirmative vote by the majority of the voting members attending the next scheduled MD AHEAD meeting or via email or online voting.
Duties of Officers
A. The President shall serve a (1) year term. The President shall preside as Chairperson at all meetings of MD AHEAD and perform such other duties as may be necessary to ensure proper functioning of the Association. He or she shall appoint the chairs of all committees and at-large members of the Executive Board, and shall serve as ex-officio on all committees. The President shall serve as the official liaison between MD AHEAD and all other organizations and groups. He or she will provide final approval over all monies disbursed by MD AHEAD. The President will serve ex-officio in the year following the end of his or her term of office.
B. The President-Elect, in the absence of the President, shall perform all of the duties of the President, without prejudice to his or her subsequent term of office as President. The President-Elect shall assist the President in the work of that office and perform other duties as may be assigned by the President or the Executive Board.
C. The Secretary shall be the recording officer of MD AHEAD, keeping the minutes of all meetings of the Executive Board and distributing them as directed. In collaboration with the Treasurer, the Secretary shall be responsible for maintaining and updating all membership records and providing an annual MD-AHEAD Directory for the members. The Secretary shall serve a (2) year term, staggered with the term of the Treasurer, and elections for this office shall occur every other year.
D. The Treasurer shall be responsible for receiving all monies of MD AHEAD under policies approved by the Executive Board. He or she shall keep appropriate records of receipts and disbursements. The Treasurer will perform the duties customary to the office and such additional duties as may be directed by the President. He or she shall submit financial reports to the Executive Board as requested and to the general membership once a year during the annual meeting where the state of MD AHEAD is reported. The Treasurer shall serve a (2) year term, staggered with the term of the Secretary, and elections for this office shall occur every other year.
E. Immediate Past President: Upon completion of his or her term, the President shall remain on the Executive Board for the following term as the Past President. The primary duties of this office are to serve as an advisor to the Executive Board, assist members of the Executive Board with their responsibilities, and conduct the annual elections of the Association. The Past President is also responsible for gathering input and evaluating the Association’s effectiveness in fulfilling its mission and reporting the findings to the Executive Board at the end of the one-year term.
F. The Affiliate Liaison will serve as a liaison to AHEAD and other affiliate memberships such as C-AHEAD. The liaison will maintain the MD AHEAD affiliate website (i.e updating schedule of events, by-laws, and executive board staffing list). The President with approval of the Executive Board shall appoint this position. Terms and responsibilities shall be described as the positions are created. No appointed member shall serve more than a 3-year term.
G. At-Large Members of the Executive Board are to carry out the work of MD AHEAD and may include the following: membership, special events, and legislative liaison. The President with approval of the Executive Board shall appoint these positions. Terms and responsibilities shall be described as the positions are created. No appointed member shall serve more than a 3-year term.
ARTICLE VIII: NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS
Elections shall take place annually at a time and manner as determined by the Executive Board in order for the newly elected officers to assume office by July 1.
The nomination and election process shall be conducted by email or online ballot. The Board will send out a call for nomination to members; nominees shall be contacted by the Board to verify their acceptance of the nomination. Members will be emailed the slate of candidates and ballots in order to vote.
The candidates receiving the largest number of votes will be named the new members of the Executive Board. The Executive Board will appoint all newly elected members no later than May 15.
ARTICLE IX: COMMITTEES
The President shall name such standing and ad hoc committees as may be needed to conduct the business of the MD AHEAD. Such committees shall operate within the purposes and philosophy of the MD AHEAD and shall be specifically charged. Ad hoc committees shall be automatically dismissed upon completion of their tasks.
ARTICLE X: MEETINGS OF THE MEMBERSHIP AND EXECUTIVE BOARD
Meetings of the Membership
When possible, there shall be four meetings of the membership per year but no fewer than three (fall, winter and spring). Additional meetings may be determined by the Executive Board. The dates and locations of the meetings will be determined by the Executive Board.
The President or assigned designee shall notify members of the date and location of any meeting 30 days in advance, except in the rare case of an emergency meeting called by the President.
Attendance at all meetings is open to all members in good standing. At least one meeting per year will be open to invited guests, such as members of C-AHEAD and AHEAD in Virginia.
One meeting a year shall be considered the annual meeting at which the formal business of the organization will be conducted and passed by a simple majority of those present. During this meeting a report will be given by the President on the state of the organization and a finance report will be given by the Treasurer.
A quorum sufficient to conduct official business at a meeting of the organization shall be defined as the presence of six members in good standing of the organization’s total membership.
A majority of votes by the members present at a meeting at which a quorum is met shall be necessary for the adoption of the matter to be voted upon.
Where an email or online vote is sought, adoption shall be by a majority of those responding, provided at least one-third of the members entitled to vote shall cast vote.
Meetings of the Executive Board
In addition to meetings of the membership, the Executive Board should conduct a minimum of two board meetings a year.
A quorum for the Executive Board to conduct official business shall be two-thirds of the Board officers.
ARTICLE XI: FINANCE
The Executive Board is responsible for maintaining the fiscal integrity of the Association and for ensuring financial stability. The Treasurer shall serve as the chief financial officer for the organization under the direct supervision and approval of the President.
The fiscal year of the MD AHEAD shall be from July 1 through June 30.
Income shall be derived from the dues, contributions and such other sources as the Executive Board may approve, consistent with the purpose of the organization and exemption under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
No part of the net earnings of the MD AHEAD shall inure to the benefit of any member, sponsor or private individual. This shall not prevent payment of responsible compensation for services rendered to or for the MD AHEAD in effecting its purpose.
The books of the MD AHEAD shall be audited at the conclusion of each MD AHEAD fiscal year in a manner prescribed by the Executive Board.
ARTICLE XII: RULES OF ORDER
Robert’s Rules of Order Revised shall be the parliamentary reference for proceedings of the MD AHEAD unless otherwise specified in the by-laws.
The President may appoint a parliamentarian for all voting meetings of the MD AHEAD.
ARTICLE XIII: AMENDMENTS
These bylaws may be amended at any regular MD AHEAD meeting provided a 30-day notice of the proposed amendment has been given in writing to all members.
ARTICLE IX: ACCESSIBILITY
MD AHEAD shall hold all meetings, conferences, programs, activities and social gatherings in places that are physically accessible to persons with disabilities. Registration forms for all activities of MD AHEAD shall include an invitation to persons with disabilities to request in advance any disability-related accommodations needed to make the meetings and activities accessible. MD AHEAD shall provide reasonable accommodations that are requested in a timely manner. All written materials generated by MD AHEAD shall be made accessible in an alternate format if requested as necessary by a person with a disability. The website created and maintained by MD AHEAD and all web-based materials and activities contained therein shall meet the accessibility standards as detailed in Section 508 and/or W3C.