Association Bylaws

American Sign Language Teachers Association

ARTICLE I – NAME and LOCATION of ORGANIZATION

Section 1, Name of the Association. The name of this non-profit organization shall be known as the national American Sign Language Teachers Association (ASLTA).

Section 2, Location of the Association. The Home Office of ASLTA shall be maintained at a location determined by the ASLTA Board of Directors. The President of ASLTA, with approval of the ASLTA Board of Directors, shall designate an individual to function as an office administrator to carry out the functions and responsibilities for the successful operation of ASLTA. The office shall be the repository of all records, files, papers, and documents pertaining to the business of the Association.

ARTICLE II – OBJECTIVES

  1. To provide a closer relationship between teachers of American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf Studies and other organizations with interests consistent with the mission of the Association.
  2. To provide development opportunities for ASL and Deaf Studies teachers.
  3. To develop and maintain certification standards for ASL teachers and programs offering ASL and Deaf Studies courses.
  4. To certify ASL teachers and programs offering ASL and Deaf Studies courses.
  5. To develop standards and procedures for the accreditation of training programs, facilities and personnel involved in the education of teachers of ASL and / or Deaf Studies.
  6. To develop and maintain a national directory of members, certified teachers, and certified ASL and / or Deaf Studies programs.
  7. To provide an effective avenue for the exchange of information regarding methods and materials in the instruction of ASL and Deaf Studies.
  8. To encourage the development and maintenance of affiliated chapters.

ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP

Section 1, Membership Categories. Membership in ASLTA shall be open to teachers of ASL, Deaf Studies, and other interested persons. There shall be seven categories of membership. Members in good standing have paid the appropriate dues according to their membership category on an annual basis.

  1. Certified Member: This category applies to those people who have ASLTA certification from this organization. Members shall have full voting privileges.
  2. Associate Member: This category applies to those people who are working as ASL teachers, tutors, paraprofessionals, lab assistants, linguists, Deaf Studies faculty, and ASL-related positions. Members shall have voting privileges in all matters of the Association except evaluation and certification.
  3. Supporting Member: This category applies to those people who are current students or ASL teachers in training programs and other individuals who support ASLTA’s mission. Members shall not have voting rights.
  4. Retired Member (Certified only): This category applies to those people who are no longer teaching ASL but have ASLTA certification from this organization. Certification will remain in good standing as long as dues are paid. Members are exempted from certification renewal procedures and fees. Members shall have full voting rights.
  5. Retired Member (General): This category applies to those people who are no longer teaching ASL and have no ASLTA certification from this organization. Members shall not have voting privileges.
  6. Institutional Member: Educational institutions, agencies, corporations, and other associations which support the mission of the Association may choose to join as an institutional member. Institutional members shall not have voting privileges. The institutional member shall be listed in the Association’s membership directory.
  7. Honorary Member: This category applies to those people who have been honored by the Association for their contributions to the field of ASL instruction. Honorary members shall receive the Association’s newsletter and pertinent mailings. Since honorary membership is a lifetime designation, honorary members shall pay no annual dues.

Section 2, Dues. Dues for all membership categories shall be determined by majority vote of the Board of Directors. Dues are payable yearly. The membership cycle is September 1 thru August 31. Members in arrears more than three months after payment is due shall be dropped from membership.

ARTICLE IV – MEETINGS

Section 1, General Meetings. General meetings of the membership shall be held biennially during odd numbered years at a location and date to be determined by the Board of Directors.

Section 2, Quorum. For the purpose of conducting meetings, at least twenty-five (25) voting members in good standing shall constitute a quorum. For issues involving the ASLTA Evaluation & Certification system, only members holding ASLTA certification may vote and at least twenty-five (25) voting members in good standing holding certification shall constitute a quorum (see Article III, Section 1.2).

Section 3, Special Meetings of the Membership. In absence of a quorum, the President or at least four (4) Board members may call a special meeting of the membership. Motions made at a special meeting are non-binding and are referred to the Board of Directors for further action. The Board of Directors, at its discretion, may defer action on motions until the next General Meeting with quorum, refer motions to an appropriate committee for disposition or conduct a mail referendum vote to determine consensus of the membership for selected motions made while in a Special Meeting.

Section 4, Board of Directors Meetings. The Board of Directors shall meet at least once annually. Special meetings of the Board may be called by the President.

Section 5, Parliamentarian. The President, at his / her discretion, may appoint a Parliamentarian to advise the organization on parliamentary procedures.

ARTICLE V – BOARD of DIRECTORS

Section 1, Composition of Board of Directors. The President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Evaluation and Certification Director, Chapter Affiliation Director, Professional Development Director, Communications Director, and ASLHS National Coordinator shall constitute the Board of Directors, and shall be responsible for business matters of the organization between regular meetings. The Immediate Past President shall serve as a consultant to the Board of Directors for up to two years. All Board of Directors members, with the exception of the President, shall be voting members of the Board. In case of a tie vote, the President will cast a vote to break the tie.

The President shall appoint, subject to confirmation by the Board of Directors, the committees of ASLTA. By unanimous consent, the Board of Directors may waive confirmation procedures.

Section 2, Budget. The Board of Directors, with the cooperation of the Treasurer and Office Administrator shall prepare a budget on an annual basis by October 1st, based on the five-year strategic plan. The budget will clearly indicate projected revenue and sources (e.g., membership, grants, financial support) as well as projected expenditures including specific charges to ASLTA for services. No other charges, direct or indirect, may be made against the ASLTA budget without consent of the Board of Directors of ASLTA.

Section 3, Removal of Officers or Committee Chairs. Any officer or committee chair may be removed from office with a majority vote of the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE VI – DUTIES of OFFICERS

Section 1, Duties of the President. The President shall be the primary elected officer. S/he shall preside at all Board meetings and be responsible for the oversight of all Board duties. S/he shall also be responsible for coordination of all Board activities, including but not limited to preparation of the Board meeting agendas, appointing committee chairs and overseeing the implementation of committee work.

Section 2, Duties of the Vice President. The Vice President shall serve in the absence of the President. S/he shall succeed to the office of President should that office become vacant prior to the expiration of the term of office of the President. The Vice President will oversee bylaws compliance and maintenance of Association policies and procedures. In addition, the Vice President shall perform all duties as assigned by the President and approved by the Board of Directors.

Section 3, Duties of the Secretary. The Secretary shall keep accurate and complete minutes of all meetings of the organization and the Board of Directors. The Secretary shall maintain a roster of all members of the Association, and shall keep on file all documents, disks, communications and other papers related to the business of ASLTA.

Section 4, Duties of the Treasurer. The Treasurer shall ensure that accurate financial records are kept and maintained, and reports are made at each Board meeting, and an audit is performed annually. The Treasurer shall obtain their ASLTA certification within one year of being elected to the position.

Section 5, Duties of Evaluation and Certification Director. The Evaluation and Certification Director will manage the Evaluation, Revision and Appeals Committee and serve as liaison between the Evaluation Committee and Board of Directors. Any Board items related to Evaluation and Certification will require the Evaluation and Certification Director’s presence at the ASLTA Board meeting.

Section 6, Chapter Affiliation Director. The Chapter Affiliation Director shall have charge of all affiliated ASLTA chapters. S/he shall oversee the affiliation process and maintenance process of chapters, including submission of chapter bylaws, fulfillment of required procedures for affiliation and annual maintenance of chapters in good standing.

Section 7, Professional Development Director. The Professional Development Director shall be responsible for coordinating all aspects of professional development activities, including but not limited to conference planning and coordinating professional development opportunities for ASLTA members.

Section 8, Communications Director. The Communications Director will be responsible for all publicity and outreach by the Board to the membership.

Section 9, ASlHS National Coordinator. The National Coordinator, as a program representative to the ASLTA Board, will ensure program goals, projects, and initiatives are completed that focus on providing additional value to ASL teachers and students to enhance ASL education in heritage language and world language contexts. On an annual basis, the National Coordinator will present ASLHS plans, projects, and budget for the next following year’s activities to the Board.

Section 10, Compensation. Members of the Board of Directors shall serve without compensation except for standard expenses as approved by the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE VII – ELECTION and APPOINTMENT OF OFFICERS

Section 1, Officers to be Elected and / or Appointed. The officers to be elected, and who shall serve until their successors are duly elected, shall be President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Chapter Affiliation Director, Professional Development Director, and Communications Director. The additional Board of Director position, Evaluation and Certification Director, is appointed by the Board of Directors. The additional Board of Directors Position, ASLHS National Coordinator, is appointed by the ASLHS Board. All nine (9) positions shall be members of the Board of Directors. The President, Vice President, Evaluation and Certification Director, and Professional Development Director must hold ASLTA permanent Professional/Master certification and be members in good standing for at least two years prior to election or appointment to the Board of Directors. The Secretary, Treasurer, Chapters Affiliation Director, and Communications Director must hold a minimum Qualified/Certified certification and be members in good standing for at least two years prior to election or appointment to the Board of Directors.

Section 2, Election Procedures. There shall be alternating elections every two (2) years. Groups of officers to be elected in alternate elections are as follows:

  1. The President and Secretary and
  2. The Vice President and Treasurer

Elections will take place by electronic ballot through the ASLTA website to be opened at 12:00am on the second day of the biennial meeting in the time zone where the meeting is held and closed at 11:59pm on the second day of the biennial meeting in the time zone where the meeting is held. All voting members in good standing 30 days before the biennial meeting shall be provided with one (1) electronic ballot. Election results will be announced at the regular biennial meeting, in the ASLTA newsletter and on the ASLTA website.

Section 3, Nominations Process. Nominations for elected members of the Board of Directors shall be made by a Nomination Committee composed of three (3) ASLTA certified members in good standing who are accepted by the Board of Directors. At least one of those members must hold professional / master level to serve as the Nomination Committee Chair. Recommendations for nominations of officers may be submitted to the Nomination Committee by any voting member of the organization, provided the nomination is accompanied by 1) biographical data detailing the nominee’s qualifications for the office and 2) signature of the nominee giving signed consent. A call for Nomination Committee members from the membership, shall be announced in the ASLTA newsletter, ASLTA website, and/or by email in January and again 30 days before nominations start during the election year. Nominations from the membership can be submitted to the Nomination Committee between 90 days prior to the biennial conference until 30 days prior to the biennial conference. This process applies to President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer positions.

For the positions of Communications Director, Chapter Affiliation Director, and Professional Development Director, nominations can follow the process as indicated above or be made from the biennial conference platform at the first general assembly meeting.

Section 4, Expiration of Terms of Office. Officers of this organization shall continue in office until the conclusion of the business meeting held during the biennial meeting of the membership.

Section 5, Limit on Consecutive Terms in Office. Beginning July 1, 2019, no elected Board member may serve more than two (2) consecutive 4-year terms on the Board, regardless of position.

Section 6, Resignations, Vacancies and Removal from Office.

  1. A Board member may resign by notifying the President of the Board in writing 30 days prior to the effective date.
  2. The Board of Directors shall have the authority to fill any vacancy on the Board that may occur between regular meetings of the organization with the exception of the office of the President that shall be filled by the Vice President.
  3. Board members who miss two consecutive meetings or fail to fulfill duties may be asked to resign and are subject to removal with a majority vote of the Board of Directors.

Section 7, Nepotism. It is in ASLTA’s best interest to avoid conflict of interests between familial/domestic obligations, to reduce favoritism or the appearance of favoritism, and to prevent family conflicts from affecting ASLTA as an organization. Therefore, no two people with a familial/domestic relationship may serve on the ASLTA Board or any ASLTA-related committee during the same term.

ARTICLE VIII – CHAPTER AFFILIATION

Section 1, Recognition of Local Chapters. The President, with the approval of the Board of Directors, shall have the authority to officially recognize local organizations of ASL / Deaf Studies teachers as local chapters of ASLTA.

Section 2, Compliance with Guidelines for Local Chapters. Affiliated ASLTA chapters must comply with requirements as stipulated in the Guidelines for Local Chapter Affiliation and Maintenance.

Section 3, Termination of Official Recognition of Local Chapters. The President, with approval of the Board of Directors, shall have the authority to terminate the recognition of any local ASLTA chapter that fails to abide by the philosophy, bylaws and policies of ASLTA, and / or to maintain itself as an active organization.

ARTICLE IX – AMENDMENTS to BYLAWS

These bylaws may be amended only by electronic ballot to all voting members in good standing with a 2/3 affirmative vote and a majority of eligible votes cast.

ARTICLE X – PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Association in all cases to which they are applicable and consistent with these Bylaws, and any special rules of order the Association may adopt.

ARTICLE XI – DISSOLUTION

In case of dissolution, all monies and records shall be given to a non-profit organization chosen by the ASLTA membership.

First revision 10/31/01

Second revision 2/25/02

Approved at NAD / ASLTA Conference July 2003

Amended by 2/3 vote of eligible members on July 27, 2018 (Articles III, VIII, IX)

Amended by 2/3 vote of eligible members on January 21, 2019 (Articles III, VII) 

Amended by 2/3 vote of eligible members on March 30, 2019 (Articles IV, V, VI, VII)

Amended by 2/3 vote of eligible members on April 30, 2019 (Articles V, VII)