American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Overview of Committees, Boards & Councils

Committees are an important part of the organizational structure and the work force of ASHA. ASHA is built on a system of committee actions linking the association with the attitudes and "real world" of its members. Committees provide a forum for members with varied interests to be involved in the work of the Association. The work that is completed by ASHA committees helps grow and strengthen the Association, the professions, and committee members themselves.

The Board of Directors (BOD) may establish and dissolve standing committees, boards, councils, ad hoc committees, working groups, and other entities necessary to conduct the Association's business, and designate and change their charges and determine their size, member qualifications, and terms (Article IV of the Bylaws, Section 4.9.1). All committees are responsible to the BOD. Each committee is assigned a BOD Liaison and an ex officio, who is a member of the National Office staff.

ASHA has approximately 45 committees/boards/councils that provide numerous volunteer opportunities for members. Some are profession or issue specific (e.g. Advisory Committee on Evidence Based Practice, School Finance Committee) and others are operations focused (e.g., Financial Planning Board, Committee on Honors).

The following are definitions for these bodies:

  • Ad Hoc Committees and Working Groups address single-focused issues that need a timely response and cannot be handled expeditiously by standing committees.
  • Advisory Boards and Councils are deliberative bodies without autonomous or judicial responsibility that identify issues in which action is needed and recommend implementation by the Association
  • Coordinating Committees assist the vice presidents in exploring and acting on ideas and issues raised by members.
  • Councils are convened by the Board to advise and plan and may have semi autonomous, judicial and/or advisory responsibilities. Councils also may advise the Board by proposing board policies, standards and/or directions, and may carry out delegated responsibilities.
  • Joint Committees consist of appointed or elected persons from several organizations who exchange information, conduct cooperative activities, and recommend actions regarding mutual concern.
  • Standing Committees, Boards and Councils recommend policies or execute specific undertakings as approved by the Board of Directors.

ASHA also offers many ad hoc volunteering opportunities for members who have limited time to volunteer. These opportunities, which are advertised throughout the year, include responding to a Call for Action on pending legislation, serving as a mentor, writing articles for an ASHA publication, participating in the peer review of ASHA policy documents, serving on a convention program committee, and many more.

Please e-mail governance@asha.org should you have any questions regarding service on a committee, board, or council.

Share This Page

Print This Page