FL AHEAD Bylaws
The Florida Association on Higher Education and Disability (FL-AHEAD)
ARTICLE I: NAME
This not for profit, State-wide organization shall be known as The Florida Association on Higher Education and Disabilities, or AHEAD (FLA-AHEAD), also referred to as the Association throughout this document.
The Florida AHEAD (FLA-AHEAD) will be an affiliate of the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), an international professional membership association committed to full participation of persons with disabilities in postsecondary education. AHEAD addresses current and emerging issues with respect to disability education and accessibility to achieve universal access.
ARTICLE II: STRUCTURE
The Florida AHEAD has been established as a volunteer professional organization directed by an Executive Board and operated under the authority of the Executive Board. This Executive Board will be comprised of elected officers and committee chairs, and its purpose will be to carry out the mission of the Association through policy formation, fiscal management, open communication with the membership at large, maintenance of historical records, and development and oversight of the organization.
ARTICLE III: PURPOSE
The purpose of the Association is to provide educational and professional development opportunities and develop a state-wide network for disability support services.
Mission: The mission of the FLA-AHEAD is to improve professional knowledge and educational initiatives that effect full participation of students with disabilities in postsecondary education and specifically:
- Improve and promote statewide and State-wide regional communication among disability professionals.
- Sponsor professional development opportunities for individuals in the field
- Publish and disseminate best practices and knowledge regarding current technology in the field
- Expand current and develop new educational resources and opportunities for students with disabilities
Improve and promote
Section 1: Educational Opportunities
The Association shall serve as the region’s state’s primary source of expertise for information on disability, disability awareness, related legislation, disability rights and responsibilities, and any other relevant information as it relates to higher education and disability. This objective may be accomplished through any of the following means:
- Offering assistance to members on topical information, current issues and needed resources.
- Collecting and disseminating relevant information through various venues such as publications (electronic or hard copy) and training programs.
- Maintaining an up-to-date website with resources and links to other relevant sites.
Section 2: Professional Development
The Association shall organize and host activities for the purpose of providing professional development opportunities for disabled student services providers and their constituents in the region. This objective may be accomplished through activities such as:
- Hosting State-wide conferences to address both national and State-wide issues.
- Facilitating access to experts in areas of particular interest.
- Facilitating access to webcasts and other broadcasted events for remote and/or underfunded institutions.
- Sponsoring video- and/or teleconference meetings and presentations.
Section 3: Professional Interaction and Connecting Opportunities
The Association shall facilitate professional interacting and connecting opportunities for State-wide disabled student services providers and their constituents, with particular attention to remote and/or underrepresented institutions.
- Offering scholarships/fee waivers for representatives from these institutions to attend State-wide events and/or become members of the organization.
- Developing an electronic distribution list and/or a listserv that is all-inclusive.
- Holding some State-wide events in places that are more accessible to institutions in remote areas.
- Sponsoring video- and/or teleconference meetings and presentations.
- Encouraging individuals from these areas to hold office and/or volunteer on committees in the Association.
ARTICLE IV: MEMBERSHIP
Section 1: Membership shall be open and available to any interested person who fits into membership categories and dues categories as established by the Executive Board and contained in the By-laws. The benefits of membership include notice of the availability of educational materials and publications produced and/or distributed by the Association; reduced registration fees for State-wide events and conferences; eligibility to apply for scholarships/fee waivers for State-wide events and conferences; eligibility to run for office, participate and/or chair Association committees, and vote in Association elections. Additional benefits may be determined by the Executive Board.
Section 2: The Florida AHEAD is an equal opportunity organization and does not discriminate in its membership with regard to race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, gender status, sexual orientation, disability, marital status or political affiliation. All interested individuals and institutions are encouraged to become members.
Section 3: Membership Categories
Membership dues shall be determined by the Executive Board and reviewed on an annual basis. Membership categories for this Association are as follows:
- Individual Membership: any active professional in the field of disabled student services, higher education professional, or other interested individual. Each individual member is entitled to one vote in the organization.
- Institutional Membership: this level of membership allows up to three individuals from an institution to be members of the organization. Each of the three individuals is entitled to one vote in the organization. Additional members from that institution may be added at an additional cost.
- Student Membership: any student interested in the field of disabled student services and/or participating in those services. Each student member is entitled to one vote in the organization.
Membership shall operate on an academic year calendar of July 1 – June 30, and any membership dues not paid by October 1 of the academic year will result in termination of that membership.
ARTICLE V: MEETINGS
The Florida AHEAD shall hold an annual meeting of the members for the purpose of electing officers of the organization and conducting the business of the organization as proposed or presented by any of its members. The Executive Board shall be responsible for giving due notice of the annual meeting to members of the Association. Additional special meetings may be called by the Executive Board to address issues that affect the Association and its members. Any member may propose to the Executive Board the calling of a special meeting, and the Board will then determine by resolution or by vote of the membership whether a special meeting is warranted. When using a membership vote, a vote of at least ten percent of the membership in favor of calling a meeting will indicate a special meeting is warranted.
ARTICLE VI: EXECUTIVE BOARD
Section 1: Authority
Executive authority of the Association shall rest with the Executive Board as described below. The Executive Board shall use the Constitution and By-laws contained herein as the ultimate authority for the Association.
Section 2: Elected Officers
The executive officers for The FLA-AHEAD shall include President, President-elect, Secretary, Treasurer and Immediate Past President. The offices of President-elect, Secretary and Treasurer shall be elected by a vote of the members at an annual meeting. Because the office of President is filled by the outgoing President-elect, and the office of Immediate Past President is filled by the outgoing President, elections for these officers will only be held in the event the office is vacated or unable to be filled by the person in or coming in to that position. Nominations for all offices being vacated shall be accepted for a period of no less than 30 days, with notice of the nomination and election dates being given to the membership at least 21 days prior to the opening of the nomination period. Electronic voting shall be open and available to members for at least 15 days prior to an annual meeting for the purpose of allowing members who are unable to attend the annual meeting to exercise their voting rights. Voting for elections shall close by no later than 2:00 p.m. (CST) or 3:00 p.m. (EST) on the last day of the annual meeting, and the Immediate Past President shall announce the results of the election before the close of the annual meeting. The officers’ terms shall begin on July 1 following the elections. Each of these officers shall sit on the Executive Board, and their responsibilities are as follows:
President: The President shall serve a one-year term as the principle executive officer and shall preside over meetings of the members and of the Executive Board. The President shall be authorized to sign, in conjunction with another designated member of the Executive Board, any legal or fiduciary documents pertaining to the organization. The President shall provide general leadership and perform and/or delegate tasks necessary to carry out and advance the purpose of the Association. The President shall be an ex officio member of all standing committees and shall appoint chairpersons for each such committee. Additional duties may be determined by the Executive Board as necessary. The President shall coordinate the general elections at annual meetings, according to election policies and procedures established by the Executive Board and approved by the membership. If the President-elect is unable, for any reason, to assume the office of President at the end of his or her term, the outgoing President shall call for nominations from the membership, and the incoming President shall be determined by a vote of the general membership.
President-elect: When the President is absent or unable, for any reason, to perform the duties of President, the President-elect shall perform these duties and have the full authority of the office of President until such time as the President is able to resume those duties. Additional duties of the President-elect shall be determined at the first organizational meeting of the Executive Board following an election, and may include such duties as coordinating committee operations and/or organizing the annual meeting for the following year. The President may assign additional duties to this officer during his or her term as needed. The President-elect shall serve a one-year term in this office, and a successor shall be determined by a vote of the general membership each year at annual meeting. At the completion of this term, the President-elect shall take the office of President for the next term.
Secretary: The secretary shall record the minutes of all meetings of the members and the Executive Board and keep them in the Association’s official records. Additionally, the Secretary shall be responsible for providing the membership with due notice of any Association upcoming events or votes; oversee the publication of all official Association documents, correspondence and announcements; keep official records of all Association activities and actions; and maintain the official membership records, including mailing lists and e-mail distribution lists. Additional duties may be assigned by the President and/or the Executive Board as necessary. The Secretary shall serve a two-year term, staggered with the term of the Treasurer, and elections for this office will occur every other year at the annual meeting. If the Secretary is, for any reason, unable to complete his or her term of office, the President shall appoint a new Secretary, subject to the approval of the Executive Board, for the remainder of the term. The individual replacing the elected Secretary is eligible to run for the office of Secretary at the next annual meeting.
Treasurer: The Treasurer shall have custody of and be responsible for all funds and securities of the organization; receive and provide receipts for all monies due and payable to the Association from any source, and deposit such monies in the name of the Association in account(s) designated by the Executive Board as Association accounts; disburse all funds of the organization, under policies approved by the Executive Board or the members or upon written direction of the President or designee, and shall authorize disbursements in writing prior to disbursement. The Treasurer shall keep accurate records of all of the Association’s financial transactions, deposits and disbursements, and submit quarterly reports to the Executive Board and annual reports to the full membership reflecting the financial status and activities of that quarter or year. The Treasurer shall serve a two-year term, staggered with the term of the Secretary, and elections for this office will occur every other year at the annual meeting. If the Treasurer is, for any reason, unable to complete his or her term of office, the President shall appoint a new Treasurer, subject to the approval of the Executive Board, for the remainder of the term. The individual replacing the elected Treasurer is eligible to run for the office of Treasurer at the next annual meeting.
Immediate Past President: When the President completes his or her term, he or she remains on the Executive Board for the following term as the Immediate Past President. The primary duties of this office are to serve as an advisor to the Executive Board and assist other members of the Executive Board with their responsibilities. In addition, this officer shall conduct the annual elections for the Association. The Immediate Past President is also responsible for gathering input and evaluating the Association’s effectiveness in fulfilling its mission and reporting his or her findings to the Executive Board at the end of his or her one-year term.
If the Association is unable to determine a replacement for an outgoing officer, the outgoing officer shall retain the duties of said office until such time as a replacement is found and approved by the membership. No elected officer shall be eligible to serve two consecutive terms in the same office except by resolution of the Executive Board and consent of that officer.
Section 3: Appointed members
Additional members of the Executive Board shall be determined by the Executive Board and may include positions such as standing committee chairpersons, individuals representing specific areas of the region and/or types of institutions of higher educations, or other such positions as deemed necessary by the Executive Board. These positions shall be appointed by the President with the approval of the rest of the Executive Board. Terms and responsibilities shall be described as the positions are created.
ARTICLE VII: FINANCE
Section 1: Responsibility
The Executive Board is responsible for maintaining the fiscal integrity of the Association and for ensuring financial stability and growth. The Treasurer shall serve as the chief financial officer for the organization.
Section 2: Income
Income shall be derived from sources consistent with the purpose and mission of the Association, as contained in Article III of this document, and from membership dues as set by the Executive Board.
Section 3: Fiscal Year
The fiscal year for the Association shall be from July 1 – June 30.
Section 4: Transactions
All financial transactions, fees and references made thereto will be in U.S. funds.
Section 5: Disbursement
Association funds shall be determined by the Executive Board and used for purposes consistent with the purpose and mission of the Association as contained in Article III of this document. No part of the net earnings of the Association shall be disbursed for the benefit of any member, officer, sponsor or private individual, except when such payment is warranted as the responsible compensation for services rendered to or for the Association in effecting its purpose.
Section 6: Dissolution
In the event of the dissolution of The FLA-AHEAD, all Association assets will be liquidated, any Association debts shall be paid, and any remaining Association proceeds shall be submitted to AHEAD to hold for future use in The FLA-AHEAD.
ARTICLE VIII: COMMITTEES
The President, with the approval of the Executive Board, shall name standing and ad hoc committees as deemed necessary to conduct the business of the Association. All such committees shall operate within the purpose and mission of the Association as contained in Article III of this document, and they shall be specifically charged as to their purpose and function. Standing committees shall remain in operation at the discretion of the Executive Board, and ad hoc committees shall be dismissed upon completion of their assigned tasks.
ARTICLE IX: AMENDMENTS
Section 1: Proposals for Amendment
Proposals for amendment, alteration or repeal of these By-laws, or for adoption of new By-laws, may be initiated by resolution of the Executive Board, by unanimous resolution or consent of a standing committee, or by petition of at least 10% of the membership.
Section 2: Submission of Proposals
Proposals for amendment, other than those initiated by resolution of the Executive Board, shall be submitted to the Executive Board, which, in turn, shall call for a vote of the membership. The Executive Board may call a special meeting of the membership to discuss the amendment, may submit the amendment to a vote by mail (and e-mail or web posting where practicable), or, when within a reasonable timeframe, may submit the amendment to the members for a vote at the annual meeting.
Section 3: Approval
These By-laws may be amended, altered or repealed and new By-laws adopted only by majority vote of the members of this Association in accordance with this Article.
Section 4: Notice
The Secretary shall give due notice (at least 30 days) to the members of the Association regarding the content of the amendment and the nature and date of the upcoming vote on the amendment.
Proposed Membership Level and Dues
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