CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWSOF DIVISION OF INTERNATIONAL SPECIAL EDUCATION AND SERVICES (DISES)
Section 1. Purpose
The primary purpose of this Division shall be to advance the international efforts on behalf of individuals with exceptionalities and to promote related educational, scientific, advocacy, and charitable purposes.
Section 2. Secondary Purpose
The secondary purposes shall be in line with the Division’s strategic goals:
A. To promote the quest for knowledge in international special education to improve the well-being of children with disabilities;
B. To foster and promote the dissemination of knowledge in international special needs education and improve the well-being of children and youth with disabilities and their families;
C. To foster and strengthen collaborative partnerships in international special needs education and improve the well-being of children and youth with disabilities; and
D. To promote advocacy for human rights of all children and youth with disabilities.
Section 1. Qualifications
Membership shall consist of professional personnel and other persons interested in the education of children and youth with exceptionalities.
Section 2. Minimum Membership Requirements
The Division must attain a membership of 1.5% of the total CEC membership by the end of the second year of operation to receive a charter, and maintain a membership of at least 1.5% of the total CEC membership to continue charter status unless exempted by the Board of Directors of CEC.
Section 3. Unified Membership
All members of this Division must hold concurrent membership in the Council for Exceptional Children. The Division may not accept enrollments for Division membership only.
Section 4. Membership Term
The policy pertaining to the membership year shall be consistent with the policy of the Council for Exceptional Children.
Section 1. Relationship to the Council for Exceptional Children
This Division shall be affiliated with the Council for Exceptional Children.
Section 2. Fiscal Year and Administrative Term
The fiscal year and administrative term of office shall be January 1 to December 31.
Section 1. Dues
Dues may be proposed by the Board of Directors and shall be consistent with the dues policies of the Council for Exceptional Children. Approval shall require a simple majority vote at the annual Board of Directors meeting.
Section 2. Payment of Dues
Annual dues shall be payable before the end of the individual’s membership year. Members whose dues are not paid by the last day of their membership year shall be considered delinquent, and they shall be dropped from membership of the organization.
Section 1. Elected Officers
The officers of this Division shall be president, a president-elect who shall succeed the president, the immediate past president, a secretary, a treasurer, a membership officer, an information and publications officer, a student representative and four members-at-large.
Section 2. Management Team
The Management Team shall be composed of the President, President Elect, Immediate Past President, Treasurer, and Executive Director, who shall cooperate in Division administration and ensure continuity in priorities and activities from year to year, and the Secretary who is a non-voting member and will record minutes.
Section 3. Appointed Representatives to the CEC Representative Assembly
The President shall serve as a Division member of the CEC Representative Assembly during his or her term. The second member of the CEC Representative Assembly shall be the President Elect.
Section 4. Prerequisite to Nomination, Election, and Appointment
All officers and representatives to the CEC Representative Assembly must be members in good standing of the Council for Exceptional Children and this Division at the time of their nomination, election, or appointment and remain so throughout their term of office.
Section 5. Succession
An elected or appointed officer, with the exception of the Treasurer, cannot succeed him/herself in the same office until after the expiration of one administrative year, provided that this shall not apply in the case of an officer selected to fill any portion of an unexpired term.
Section 6. Vacancies
A vacancy in the office of president shall be filled by automatic succession of the president-elect to the office. A vacancy in any of the offices except the president shall be declared and filled by action of the Management Team upon recommendation by the president, and such person(s) shall serve only until the end of the current administrative year or until replaced by a duly elected successor.
Section 7. Duties of Officers
A. Duties of the President
1. Act as the chief executive officer of the Division, provide leadership in general policy making, and carry out the directions of the membership;
2. Call and preside at all meetings;
3. Lead the annual review of priorities and strategic planning in cooperation with the Management
Team, submit final priorities for approval of the Board of Directors and membership, and ensure that approved priorities are carried out;
4. Ensure effective communication and coordination with CEC headquarters concerning international contacts, activities, and opportunities of the Division and CEC, and share opportunities with the membership, as appropriate;
5. Serve as a Division member of the CEC Representative Assembly.
6. Serve as the Division’s representative to the CEC Convention Program Advisory Committee and assist the President-Elect in planning for the CEC convention
7. Authorize payment of expenses approved by the Board of Directors;
8. Serve as a Division representative to the CEC Inter-Divisional Caucus;
9. Represent the Division in coordinating activities with other organizations, agencies, and CEC Divisions, or appoint qualified designees to act in this-capacity; and
10. Make periodic progress reports for the Division newsletter and annual report to CEC and the Division membership.
B. Duties of the President-Elect
1. Serve in the place of, and with the authority of, the President, in case of the President’s absence or inability to serve;
2. Serve as the Division’s representative to the CEC Convention Program Advisory Committee and ensure that all responsibilities thereof are carried out;
3. Develop the schedule and make the arrangements for the Division’s Board of Directors meeting, General Membership Business Meeting, and other Division events to be held at the CEC convention;
4. Exercise overall supervision of the progress of Standing Committees, ad hoc committees, and individual assignments and coordinate the exchange of essential information on activities and outcomes across Committees as necessary for accomplishing priorities;
5. Act as leader of the Division’s representation to the CEC Inter-Divisional Caucus; and
6. Serve as one of the Division’s representative to the Representative Assembly.
C. Duties of the Immediate Past President
1. Assist in the development of a of worldwide promotion of DISES and its activities, as approved by the Board of Directors;
2. Serve as the program chair of annual DISES events.
3. Serve as ex officio chair of the Elections and Constitution Committee; and
4. Serve as an ex officio member of the Awards Committee.
D. Duties of the Secretary
When an Executive Director is available, items 1, 2, 5, and 6, below, may be assigned by the President to the Executive Director.
1. Receive and respond to all instructions, forms, requirements, and directives, issued by CEC headquarters, at the instructions of the President or Executive Director;
2. Provide rosters of members of the Board of Directors and Extended Leadership, including email address books to other Board members, and general members who may request such information;
3. Maintain a careful record of the entire proceedings of Board of Directors, Extended Leadership meetings and the General Business Meetings, and official transactions of the Division and forward one copy of such records to the general office of the Division within two weeks following each meeting (in person or by teleconference or other electronic means);
4. Provide minutes of Board of Directors/Extended Leadership meetings and General Membership Business Meetings, suitable for distribution to all Board Members within thirty days of the next meeting for review;
5. Maintain records of correspondence, or carry on correspondence as necessary, at the direction of the President or Executive Director;
6. Assist the President and Management Team in maintaining the Division’s Policies and Procedures Manual; and
7. Interface with the Executive Director to ensure the acquisition of archival documents.
E. Duties of the Treasurer
1. To serve as custodian of the funds of the Division;
2. The Treasurer is appointed by the President and Management Team for a two-year term, with the appointment ratified by the Board of Directors. The Treasurer may be reappointed for a second term.
3. Maintain the financial records of the Division. While the Division’s funds will include funds for general Division functions, including grant funding projects as well as for traditional Division activities, the treasurer shall maintain accurate accounts for each. Reports on all accounts and financial projections must be kept separately, but may be compiled for reporting;
4. Authorize payment of expenses approved by the Board of Directors;
5. Make reports on the financial status of the Division to the Board of Directors, Extended Leadership, and General Membership Business Meeting;
6. Respond to the President’s request for fiscal data during the year;
7. Serve as ex officio chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, and as chair of its subcommittee on Fund-Raising;
8. To transfer all monies and records to the new treasurer within 15 days of the beginning of the fiscal year OR of the end of the Treasurer’s term; and
9. The Treasurer will comply with all CEC directives for Division Treasurers.
F. Duties of the Student Representative
1. Act as a liaison between the Division and the Student CEC organization and promote membership within the Student CEC, including a report to the Board of Directors on matters pertaining to student member interests at each Board Meeting;
2. Initiate and coordinate the development and support of domestic and international student chapters;
3. Collaborate with the Membership Secretary and Information and Publications Officer in the development of international student-to-student communications;
4. Research, pursue, and seek assistance within the Division for funding opportunities relating student involvement with the interests and goals of the Division; and
5. Serve as an ex officio member of the Membership Committee.
G. Duties of Members at Large
1. Collaborate with the Membership Officer on the continuing development of international networks and on information and linkages of value to network members in each region;
2. Share information on professional issues, needs, effective practices, and research in their regions for the distribution to Division members and the international community;
3. Provide guidance to the Board of Directors and Extended Leadership concerning Division functions, products, and services of interest to individual in their regions, and on understandings, terminologies, communications and interactions appropriate to their regions, including a report to the Board of Directors at each meeting.
H. Duties of Membership Officer
1. Make recommendations and carry out a program for membership growth and retention;
2. Maintain, update, and expand DISES national and international networks;
3. Create databases of information and email address books generated by international networks and DISES;
4. Serve as ex officio chair of the Membership Committee;
5. Interface with other CEC units concerning international membership activities on matters of particular concern to DISES; and
6. Interface with the Student Representative on matters pertaining to student memberships on a worldwide basis.
I. Duties of Information and Publications Officer
1. Recommend and elicit information on DISES’ dissemination of professional information;
2. Seek and recommend opportunities for joint ventures in publications and information services;
3. Recommend authors, sources, and content to newsletter editor(s);
4. Develop and produce information for approval by the Management Team and distribute that information;
5. Prepare materials for distribution at CEC and DISES conferences;
6. Prepare and distribute e-blasts and e-communications with membership;
7. Serve as DISES central source and editor of web site information;
8. Serve as ex officio chair of the Information and Publications Committee;
9. Cooperate with the MT to evaluate the performance of newsletter and journal editors, and website administrator(s);
10. Submit a marketing and public relations plan and budget; and
11. Draft a portfolio of marketing materials with the assistance of relevant Division board and general members.
J. Duties of the Division’s representatives to the CEC Representative Assembly
1. To represent the Division at meetings of the CEC Representative Assembly and to participate in balloting, and other activities necessary to the functioning of the CEC Representative Assembly;
2. To report regularly to the Division’s Board of Directors and general membership on activities of the Representative Assembly and CEC;
3. To communicate issues and concerns from the Division to the CEC Representative Assembly; and
4. To inform the Division about the disposition of Representative Assembly issues and advice forwarded to the CEC Board of Directors.
Section 8. Election of Officers
The officers of the Division shall be elected by the membership from those members in good standing who are nominated by the Elections and Constitution Committee.
Section 9. Terms of Office
A. Board members and officers will serve for two consecutive years with the exception of the President, President Elect, and Immediate Past President.
B. The President, President Elect, and Immediate Past President will serve for one year terms, each succeeding the other, i.e., the person elected as President Elect will serve for a 3-year period, first as the President Elect, then as the President, and finally as the Immediate Past President.
C. Two Members at Large, the Membership Officer, and the Student Representative shall begin their terms on even numbered years.
D. The Secretary, two Members at Large and the Information and Publications Officer shall begin their terms on odd numbered years.
E. The Treasurer is appointed by the President and Management Team for a two-year term, with the appointment ratified by the Board of Directors. The Treasurer may be reappointed for a second term.
F. A call for nominations must be issued by Elections and Constitution Committee, who must approve the final slate of officers.
G. Elections will be held in October. New board members will begin their term on January 1.
Section 10. Removal from Office
A. A petition for removal of a Board of Director member shall be signed by at least five members of the Board of Directors, and submitted to the President. If the President is the subject of the petition, it shall be submitted to the Immediate Past President who shall then carry out all further responsibilities in this process.
B. The President (or Immediate Past President) shall, within fourteen days, notify each Board of Directors member in writing of the receipt of such a petition, solicit relevant evidence from all parties concerned, and organize the Board of Directors for a telephone conference, electronic conference and/or meeting to consider the matter within 30 days following receipt of the petition.
C. At the Board of Directors meeting, an opportunity shall be made available to all interested parties to present any relevant evidence. A two-thirds majority vote of all Board of Directors members present, provided that there is a quorum, shall be required for removal of the officer. Board members residing outside of the United States may submit their vote by proxy via another member of the Board of Directors. The officer being considered for removal shall be provided with the results of Board action in writing within seven days. Removal from office shall be effective immediately.
D. Upon receipt of written notification of removal, the officer concerned shall have fifteen days to submit to the president written notice of appeal.
E. Within seven days following receipt of a valid written notice of appeal, the president shall, in writing, call for the appointment and meeting of an Appeal Board. The Appeal Board shall consist of five members in good standing of the Division appointed by the Board of Directors and five members in good standing of the Division selected by the appealing officer. No member of the Appeal Board, with the exception of the Chair, will be a current officer, Board member, or committee chair of the Division. The president shall serve as the nonvoting Chair of the Appeal Board. If the appealing officer is unable to select the members willing to serve, the decision of the Board of Directors will stand.
F. At the meeting of the Appeal Board, an opportunity shall be made available to all interested parties to present any relevant evidence. A two-thirds majority vote of the members present is necessary to overturn the decision of the Board of Directors and reinstate the removed officer. Reinstatement is effective immediately.
G. The officer whose appeal has been considered shall be provided with the results of the Appeal Board action in writing within seven days. This action is final.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Section 1. Composition
The Board of Directors shall consist of the president, president elect, immediate past president, secretary, treasurer, the membership officer, the information and publications officer, the student representative, four members-at-large, and chairs of standing committees (non-voting members). The Executive Director shall participate in all Board of Directors meetings.
Section 2. Duties of the Board of Directors
A. To serve as the Division’s administrative policy making body;
B. To act upon such official recommendations and petitions as may be received;
C. To adopt an annual budget;
D. To determine the publications that should be issued;
E. To select the site of the meeting sponsored by the Division;
F. To insure delivery to the Division’s members the services, benefits and products that the Division advertises;
G. To assume such other responsibilities as are, or as shall be; and assigned through the constitution and bylaws; and
H. To appoint the Division’s Representatives to the CEC Representative Assembly.
Section 1. Nature of the Position
The role of the Executive Director is to assist the Management Team and DISES in all matters deemed by the President to be germane to the proper functioning of the Division. The Executive Director serves at the direction of President and the Management Team.
Section 2. Removal from Position
Procedures for removal of an Executive Director shall be dependent on the Management Team recommendation, as ratified by the Board of Directors.
Section 3. Yearly Written Evaluation
The Executive Director shall be evaluated on a yearly basis by the President and the Management Team. The written evaluation will be submitted to the Executive Director and submitted to DISES Personnel files.
Section 4. Duties of the Executive Director
A. Assist the President and the Management Team in the execution of business initiatives, events, and ongoing activities, as described and directed by the President, with Board approval. This will include continual interaction with the President and President Elect regarding Division affairs, including the scheduling and planning for Board of Directors Meetings and the collection and distribution of biannual reports.
B. Maintaining the DISES archive;
C. Participate in meetings of the Board of Directors and Extended Leadership, and in General
Membership Business Meetings;
D. Serve as a general link between members and the DISES Management Team, including the maintenance of Division contacts (phone, e-mail, mailing address); as well as the maintenance for the general Division records with assistance from the DISES Secretary; and
E. Keep the President and Management team apprised of all legal formalities with the Division as known (including registration with the appropriate state agencies, tax related issues, and any other Division formality. The Board may provide the Executive Director with the authority to follow-up on such formalities, or may act on its own behalf.
Section 1. Meetings
A minimum of one annual business meeting shall be held.
Section 2. Special Meetings
The Board of Directors shall have the authority to conduct regional meetings, conventions or conferences in addition to the annual meeting.
Section 3. Quorum
A majority of the membership of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum at a regular or specially-called meeting.
Section 1. Standing Committees
Standing committees shall be Awards, Budget and Finance, Elections and Constitution, Information and Publications, and Membership.
Section 2 . Appointment of Committee Chairs
The president, with the approval of the Board of Directors, shall appoint the chairs of the standing committees with the exception of the Elections and Constitution, Budget and Finance, Information and Publication, and Membership committees.
A. The immediate Past President shall serve as chair of the Elections and Constitution Committee.
B. The treasurer shall serve as chair of the Budget and Finance Committee.
C. The Information and Publications officer shall serve as the chair of the Information and Publications Committee.
D. The Membership Officer shall serve as the chair of the Membership Committee.
Section 3. Appointment of Committee Members
Committee members shall be appointed by the chair, subject to approval by the president. All committees shall have no less than two members in addition to the chair. The chairs and members of committees shall serve two-year terms unless indicated otherwise.
Section 4. Awards Committee
The Awards Committee is responsible for carrying out procedures to solicit, evaluate, and recommend nominations for the DISES International Lifetime Achievement Award which shall be presented periodically, but not necessarily annually. At least 50 percent of members shall be from outside of the United States.
Section 5. Budget and Finance Committee
The Budget and Finance Committee is responsible for studying, and making recommendations concerning, the financial affairs of the Division, and for recommending and carrying out approved fundraising activities. The treasurer is ex officio chair of this committee. In addition, the committee shall work:
A. To develop plans for raising funds; and
B. To audit the treasurer’s reports
Section 6. Elections and Constitution Committee
The Elections and Constitution Committee is responsible for carrying out the election process of the Division and for recommending amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws, as necessary. The Past President is ex officio chair of this committee. In addition, the committee shall work:
A. To solicit recommendations for nominations from the entire membership in September each year;
B. To nominate at least two candidates for president elect and for other officer positions to be filled;
C. To distribute the ballots to the membership in by October 15 each year
D. To determine winners by the preferential voting procedure described in the Roberts Rules of Order,
Newly Revised, latest edition;
E. To announce the results through electronic means in November.
F. To receive and review all proposed amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws and refer with recommendations to the Board of Directors; and
G. To call to the attention of the Board of Directors other changes which may be needed in the Constitution and Bylaws.
Section 7. Information and Publications Committee
The Information and Publications Committee shall include the newsletter and journal editors and is responsible for recommending, and eliciting feedback, on the dissemination of professional information, and for seeking and recommending opportunities for joint ventures in publications and information services. Membership shall include Editors and Information Providers/Distributors, and the Web Steward, and additional members including members from outside the US and Canada. The Information and Publications Officer is ex officio chair of this committee.
In addition, the committee shall work:
A. To continuously review the publications structure of the Division and recommend policies and procedures related to its growth and development;
B. To assess the composition of the membership for consideration in determining the scope of the publications program; and
C. To recommend to the Board of Directors publications to be issued.
Section 8. Membership Committee
The Membership Committee is responsible for studying, making recommendations, and carrying out a program for membership growth and retention. This Committee shall consist of a minimum of eight members. The Membership Officer is ex officio chair of this committee.
In addition, the committee shall work:
A. To maintain a current record of members and to provide all officers and committee chairs with this list upon request;
B. To maintain an active program for the recruitment of new members and renewal of members; and
C. To support CEC Headquarters in its follow-up of membership renewals and member recruitment and retention programs.
Section 9. Ad Hoc Committees
Ad hoc committees may be established and their functions assigned at the discretion of the president. Such establishment must clearly indicate the purpose and length of service of the committee.
DURATION AND DISSOLUTION
The duration of the Division shall be perpetual unless the officers of the Division unanimously determine that it should be dissolved. The officers shall inform the membership that the Division is to be dissolved.
Upon the dissolution and final liquidation of the Division, the officers shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all the debts and liabilities of the Division, distribute all of its assets to the Council for Exceptional Children, a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, to apply to one or more of its programs including:
A. The Yes I Can! Awards Program for its use in recognizing the achievements of students who have excelled despite their disability;
B. The Kayte M. Fearn CEC Ethnic Diversity Scholarship which annually provides a cash scholarship to a CEC student member from an ethnic background who is pursuing a degree in special education;
C. The In Remembrance of…” Fund in honor of an individual to support the activities and programs of the Council; and/or
D. The General Council Fund supporting the activities and programs of the Council.
The rules of parliamentary practice comprised in Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised, latest edition, shall govern the proceedings of this Division subject to the special rules which have been, or may be, adopted.
Section 1. Submission of Proposed Amendments
Proposed amendments to this Constitution and Bylaws shall be submitted in writing to the Elections and Constitution Committee for review.
Section 2. Review by the Board of Directors
The Elections and Constitution Committee shall refer all proposed amendments with recommendations to the Board of Directors.
Section 3. Referral to the Membership
All proposed amendments submitted to the Board of Directors shall be submitted to the membership not less than 30 days prior to the annual meeting or other established voting period.
Section 4. Final Action
This Constitution and Bylaws may be amended by a mail, electronic, or voice vote, and must pass by a two-thirds majority of the members voting.
Amended by electronic vote of the membership: October 15, 2015