American Sign Language Teachers Association
Ratified by the Membership on May 15, 2011
MISSION OF THE ASLTA
To perpetuate, preserve, and promote American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf Culture through excellence in teaching. This includes teaching ASL as a heritage or first language, as a second language, and as part of Deaf Studies.
ARTICLE I – NAME and LOCATION of the ASSOCIATION
Section 1 – Name of the Association
The name of this non-profit national organization shall be known as the American Sign Language Teachers Association (ASLTA). For the remainder of the Bylaws, the ASLTA shall be called “the Association.”
Section 2 – Location of the Association
The home office of the Association shall be maintained at a location determined by the Board of Directors of the Association. The office shall be the repository of all records, files, papers, and documents pertaining to the business of the Association.
ARTICLE II – OBJECTIVES
- To perpetuate, preserve, and promote American Sign Language as a heritage language.
- To provide a closer relationship between teachers of ASL and Deaf Studies and other organizations with similar interests consistent with the mission of the Association.
- To provide an effective avenue for the exchange of information regarding methods of teaching and materials related to the instruction of ASL and Deaf Studies.
- To provide professional development opportunities for ASL and Deaf Studies teachers.
- To develop and maintain certification standards for ASL teachers and academic programs offering ASL and Deaf Studies courses.
- To provide a certification system to ensure highly qualified teachers of American Sign Language and Deaf Studies.
- 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.
- To develop and maintain a national directory of fellow members including certified teachers and certified ASL and/or Deaf Studies programs.
- To encourage the development and maintenance of affiliated chapters.
- To support the ASL Honor Society program for the benefit of secondary and postsecondary ASL students.
ARTICLE III — MEMBERSHIP
Section 1 – Categories of Membership
Membership in the Association shall be open to teachers of ASL and/or Deaf Studies and other interested individuals. There shall be five categories of membership. Members in good standing shall pay dues according to appropriate categories of membership on an annual basis.
- Certified Member A certified member who is a member in good standing and has received ASLTA teacher certification from the Association shall have full voting privileges in all matters of the Association.
- Associate Member An associate member who is a member in good standing and is not ASLTA-certified as a teacher of ASL and/or Deaf Studies shall have voting privileges in all matters of the Association except evaluation and certification.
- Supporting Member A supporting member in good standing who is a non-certified individual or student not teaching ASL and interested in supporting the objectives and activities of the Association but shall not have voting privileges.
- 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. One designated person shall receive the Association’s newsletter and other pertinent mailings. In addition, the institutional member will be so noted in membership directories or other listings of the membership of the Association.
- Honorary Member Those individuals or organizations who are honorary members recognized by the Association for their contributions to the mission of the Association shall not have voting privileges. Honorary members shall receive the Association’s newsletter and pertinent mailings. Furthermore, honorary members shall receive an embossed certificate in recognition of their contributions to the Association. Since honorary membership is a lifetime designation, honorary members shall pay no annual dues.
Section 2 – Membership Dues
Dues for the categories of membership of the Association shall be determined by a majority vote of the Board of Directors. Annual dues shall be payable in January. Members in arrears more than four (4) months after payment is due shall be dropped from membership. Those members who are certified members must pay dues annually to maintain their teacher certification.
ARTICLE IV – MEETINGS
Section 1 – General Business Meetings
General business 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 of the Association.
Section 2 – Quorum
For the purpose of conducting meetings, at least twenty-five (25) voting members in good standing shall constitute a quorum. For those issues involving the ASLTA Certification System, only members (at least 25 members holding ASLTA teacher certification in good standing) shall vote (please refer to Article III, Section 1 and 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 shall be non-binding and 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 a 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 if necessary.
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 of the Association
The Board of Directors of the Association shall be composed of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Chapter Affiliation Chair, Professional Development Chair, and Member-at-Large, who shall be responsible for business matters of the Association between biennial general business meetings. All Board members, except the immediate Past President, shall have voting privileges. The immediate Past President shall serve as a consultant to the Board for up to two years. The President shall appoint, subject to confirmation by the Board of Directors, standing and special committees of the Association. By unanimous consent, the Board of Directors may waive confirmation procedures.
Section 3 – Budget
The Board of Directors, with the cooperation of the Treasurer, shall prepare a budget on an annual basis by April 15, 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 the Association for services. No other charges, direct or indirect, may be made against the Association budget without consent of the Board of Directors.
SECTION 4 – Removal of Board Members or Committee Chairs
Any Board member or committee chair may be removed from office for cause with a majority vote of the Board of Directors based on a vote of no confidence or at the Board of Directors’ discretion.
ARTICLE VI – DUTIES of OFFICERS
Section 1 – Duties of the President
The President shall be the primary elected officer of the Association. S/he shall preside at all meetings of the Association and Board meetings. S/he shall be responsible for the oversight of all Board duties and for coordination of all Board activities but not limited to preparation of the Board meeting agendas and appointing committee chairs. S/he shall serve as the primary liaison with external organizations.
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 became vacant prior to the expiration of the term of office of the President. The Vice-President shall serve as Bylaws Chair. In addition, s/he shall perform all duties as assigned by the President and approved by the Board of Directors. S/he shall oversee the implementation and activities of committees assigned by the President.
Section 3 – Duties of the Secretary
The Secretary shall keep accurate and complete minutes of all meetings of the Association and the Board of Directors. The Secretary shall maintain a roster of all members of the Association, and shall keep on file all documents, electronic data storage, communications and other papers related to the business of the Association.
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 of Directors meeting, and an audit is performed annually.
Section 5 – Duties of the Chapter Affiliation Chair
The Chapter Affiliation Chair (CAC) shall have charge of all affiliated chapters of the Association in the United States of America. 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 6 – Duties of the Professional Development Chair
The Professional Development Chair (PDC) shall be responsible for coordinating all aspects of professional development activities but not limited to (1) conference planning, (2) maintaining a resource listing of presenters, (3) assistance with professional development opportunities for members and (4) assistance with professional development workshop hours and Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for members of the Association.
Section 7 – Duties of the Member-at-Large
The Member-at-Large shall perform all duties as assigned by the President and approved by the Board of Directors. S/he shall be responsible for publicity and outreach under the direction of the Board.
Section 8 – Compensation
Board Members shall serve without compensation except for standard expenses as approved by the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE VII – ELECTION and APPOINTMENT of BOARD MEMBERS
Section 1 – Board Members to be Elected and/or Appointed
Those Board members of the Association to be elected, and who shall serve until their successors are duly elected, shall be President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. Three other Board members of the Association: Chapter Affiliation Chair, Professional Development Chair, and Member-at-Large shall be appointed by the President, subject to approval of the Board of Directors. All of them shall be members of the Board of Directors. President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Chapter Affiliation Chair, Professional Development Chair, and Member-at-Large shall have Professional-level certification and be members in good standing for at least two years prior to election or appointment to the Board of Directors.
Section 2 – Nomination Process
Nominations for elected members of the Board of Directors shall be made by a Nomination Committee composed of three (3) Professional-level members in good standing selected by the Board of Directors. Recommendations for nomination 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. A call for nominations from the membership, stating and describing the offices open for election, shall be printed in the Association newsletter, the website and/or email. Nominations from the membership must be submitted to the Nomination Committee at least ninety (90) days prior to the biennial general business meeting.
Section 3 – Election Procedures
There shall be alternating elections every two (2) years. Groups of officers to be elected in alternate elections are as follows:
- The President and the Secretary (2013, 2017 and so forth)
- The Vice President and the Treasurer (2011, 2015 and so forth)
Elections will take place by email or online ballot at least sixty (60) days prior to the start of the biennial general business meeting. All voting members in good standing shall be provided with one (1) ballot. Return of ballots will be accepted at least thirty (30) days prior to the start of the biennial general business meeting. Election results will be announced at the biennial business meeting of the Association, in the Association newsletter, and/or on the Association website. In the event that no prior nominations are offered for a position, nominations from the floor at the general business meeting will be accepted.
Section 4 – Expiration of Terms of Office
Board Members of the Association shall continue in office until the conclusion of the biennial general business meeting of the membership.
Section 5 – Limit on Consecutive Terms in Office
Any Board member shall serve no more than two (2) consecutive 4-year terms in the same position.
Section 6 – Resignations, Vacancies and Removal from Office
- A Board member may resign by notifying the President of the Association in writing 30 days prior to the effective date.
- The Board of Directors shall have the authority to fill any vacancy on the Board that may occur between biennial general business meetings of the Association with the exception of the President that shall be filled by the Vice President.
- Board members who miss two consecutive meetings or fail to fulfill duties may be asked to resign and subject to removal with a majority vote of the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE VIII COMMITTEES
Types of Committees:
There shall be two (2) types of committees: Standing; and Ad Hoc.
The chairpersons and members of all committees shall be appointed by the President, with approval by a majority of the Board of Directors, however, the President may authorize committee chairpersons to select the other members of their respective committees. Committee chairpersons must be voting members in good standing. Supporting members in good standing may serve as committee members. A committee shall consist of a minimum of three (3) members in good standing. Permanent Standing Committees: The standing committees shall include, but not be limited to, the following; Bylaws, Certification, and Membership.
Ad Hoc committees may be appointed by the President in order to address a specific organizational need. Ad Hoc committees may include, but are not limited to: Fundraising, Nominations, Legislative, and Conference.
ARTICLE IX – CHAPTER AFFILIATION
Section 1 – Recognition of Affiliated Chapters
The President, with the approval of the Board of Directors, shall have the authority to officially recognize groups or organizations of ASL-Deaf Studies teachers as affiliated chapters of the Association.
Section 2 – Compliance with Guidelines for Affiliated Chapters
Affiliated chapters of the Association shall comply with the requirements as stipulated in the Guidelines for Chapter Affiliation and Maintenance. Chapters shall pay affiliation fees by January annually.
Section 3 – Termination of Official Recognition of Affiliated Chapters
The President, with approval of the Board of Directors, shall have the authority to terminate the recognition of any affiliated chapter of the Association that fails to abide by the philosophy, bylaws and policies of the Association, and/or to maintain itself as an active affiliated Chapter of the Association.
ARTICLE X – BYLAWS AMENDMENTS
The Bylaws of the Association shall be amended or revised only by mail or email ballot to all voting members in good standing with a 2/3 affirmative vote and a majority of eligible votes cast.
ARTICLE XI – 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 the Bylaws, and any special rules of order the Association may adopt.
ARTICLE XII — DISSOLUTION
In the event of dissolution, all of the remaining assets and property of the Association shall after payment of necessary expenses, be distributed to such organizations as shall qualify under Section 501c (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended or successor provisions as the Board of Directors shall determine.
2011 ASLTA Bylaws Revision Ratified by the ASLTA Membership on May 15, 2011
2010 ASLTA Bylaws Revision Ratified by the ASLTA Membership on August 31, 2010
2003 ASLTA Bylaws Approved at the NAD/ASLTA Conference in July 2004