SIG Volunteer Leadership Handbook

Special Interest Group Participation on Annual Convention Program Committee

The purpose of this process is to integrate the interests and expertise of the leaders and affiliates of ASHA's Special Interest Groups (SIGs) into program planning for ASHA's Annual Convention by ensuring that each SIG has an official representative of its interests on a Convention topic committee of the SIG's choice.

The table below identifies the timeline and process for identifying and inviting Convention topic strands, committee chairs, and committee members. The steps in bold represent new elements or steps to integrate SIGs into topic committees.

Year Before Convention

By July 30 Convention co-chairs finalize topic strands. SIG Coordinators receive list of topic strands.
By August 31 Co-chairs secure agreement from a topic chair or co-chairs for each strand. SIGs receive list of topic chairs.
September, date TBD Program Committee meets at the ASHA National Office. Includes Convention co-chairs and topic chairs.
By November or December 1 (varies)

Each SIG identifies one topic strand for its primary affiliation. The Professional Development Manager (PDM) (or other designee) notifies the respective topic committee of the SIG's selection.

By December 31 Topic chairs identify and invite Topic Strand Committees. Committees may range in size from 6 to 40 members, depending on the number of papers submitted previously in that strand and the number anticipated for the target Convention. (See below for more information on SIG representation.)


Primary Affiliation Topics

Each SIG shall designate one topic as its primary. A topic may be the primary affiliation for more than one SIG. A SIG may change its primary affiliation topic from year to year.

Designated SIG Representative

Each SIG will designate one of its affiliates (typically the PDM) to represent its interests on the primary affiliation topic committee. SIG representatives are to be treated as full and active committee members, operating within the general guidelines and policies of the program committee. They are expected to adhere to all deadlines and assume other responsibilities (e.g., paper review, invited speaker follow-up) as assigned by the topic chair. SIG representatives shall not travel or represent the topic independently, except at the explicit request of the topic chair.

Topic chairs are expected to accept SIG nominations of official representatives. If a topic chair finds that a SIG-nominated individual is not able to participate fully, meet deadlines, or otherwise fulfill his/her responsibilities, the topic chair shall ask the SIG leadership for an alternative nominee.

Ad Hoc SIG Representation

A SIG's Coordinating Committee is welcome to recommend SIG affiliates to topic chairs to be invited to be a member of any Convention topic committee. Topic chairs are encouraged to consider these recommendations in forming their committees, but are not bound to accept them.

Topic chairs will be provided with a list of SIGs and SIG leaders and encouraged to look to SIGs as a significant source of subject-matter expertise for topic committee members.

Budgetary Authority

SIG Budget

Each SIG is allocated funds outside the Convention budget to independently develop one Short Course and one invited session. These sessions are independent of topic committee review; however SIGs are encouraged to work collaboratively with topic chairs to complement rather than duplicate Convention sessions.

Topic Committee Budget

The SIG representative to a topic committee may make suggestions to the topic chair for the allocation of committee funds, but all topic committee budget decisions remain with the topic chair.

Collaborative Budget

By agreement of a topic chair and a SIG Coordinator, Convention funds and SIG funds may be co-mingled and applied together to meet a shared goal for a specific presenter.

Guidelines and Review

All SIG activities related to Convention sessions must adhere to the standards, procedures, and rules governing Convention activities. In particular, SIG Short Courses and invited sessions that are not complete by the submission deadline will not be accepted. Also, SIG Short Courses are subject to cancellation if minimum enrollment, as determined by the Director of Conventions and Meetings, is not reached.

The procedure for SIG participation on the Annual Convention Program Committee will be reviewed after 2 years by SPEB, the current and previous Convention Co-Chairs, and the SIG Coordinators and revised if necessary to ensure that it meets the intent of integrating SIGs' interests and expertise into Convention planning.

Approved by SPEB by e-mail ballot, effective 8/15/2011. Minor editorial changes 2/1/2013, 12/1/2014

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