Constitution of the Association of Dyslexia Specialists in Higher Education

1.  Name:
The Association of Dyslexia Specialists in Higher Education (ADSHE).

2.  The objectives of ADSHE are:
a.    To act as a forum for discussion of the professional interests of dyslexia*/SpLD specialists in Higher Education.
b.    To represent the professional and related interests of ADSHE members both within the HE sector and more widely at a national and international level.
c.    To share knowledge and disseminate good practice, including promoting and developing the understanding of all aspects of dyslexia*/SpLDs** within the HE sector.
d.    To clarify and promote students’ entitlement to specialist dyslexia*/SpLD support within individual HE institutions and throughout the sector.

*NB whilst ADSHE members are primarily concerned with working with students with dyslexia it is recognised that Dyslexia Specialists are increasingly required to offer support to students with a range of SpLDs including: dyspraxia, dyscalculia, ADHD, Asperger Syndrome and Autism. ‘Diagnostic’ assessment of these closely related and co-occurring SpLDs should be carried out by suitably qualified and experienced assessors.

** SpLDs – Specific Learning Difficulties/Differences

3.  In furtherance of the objectives but not otherwise the Executive Committee may exercise the following powers
a)    Power to raise funds and to invite and receive contributions provided that in raising funds the Executive Committee shall not undertake any substantial permanent trading activities and shall conform to any relevant requirements of the law
b)    Power to employ such staff (who shall not be members of the Executive Committee) as are necessary for the proper pursuit of the objectives
c)    Power to buy/or rent property or equipment as may be necessary for the achievements of the objectives.
d)    Power to co-operate with other charities, voluntary bodies and statutory authorities operative in furtherance of the objectives or of similar charitable purposes and to exchange information and advice with them.
e)    Power to establish or support any charitable trusts, associations or institutions formed for all or any of the objectives.
f)    Power to appoint and constitute such advisory committees as the Executive Committee may think fit.
g)    Power to do all such other lawful things as are necessary for the achievement of the objectives.

4. Membership

a) Membership of the Association shall be open to dyslexia specialists who have worked with or are working with students in Higher Education. Students on relevant training courses are eligible for membership for the duration of their course. Dyslexia specialists who are not currently working or are not suitably qualified are also eligible to join as affiliate members.
b) Membership of ADSHE is not transferable.
c) It is a condition of membership that member’s names and contact details are kept on a register which is confidential to the Executive Committee.
d) Membership will cease if any sum due from the member is not paid within three months of it falling due.
e) Where it is considered membership would be detrimental to the aims and objectives of ADSHE, the Executive Committee shall have the power to refuse membership or may terminate or suspend the membership of any member by resolution passed at a meeting. Members shall have the right to appeal via an independent adjudicator determined by mutual agreement of the Executive Committee.

5.  Executive Committee & Honorary Officers
ADSHE will be administered by an Executive Committee of no less than three (3) and no more than fifteen (15) members.
The Executive Committee will consist of a Chairperson and a Treasurer and any other additional officers as are deemed necessary by the Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee has the power to co-opt other members due to their skills or knowledge.
Co-opted executive officers shall hold office for two years and shall then either retire, be reappointed as a co-opted member by the Executive or may stand for election to the Executive.
An Annual General Meeting will be held to elect officers who shall hold office from the conclusion of that meeting for a period of two years.
There is no limit to the number of times a member may stand or hold office.

6. Meetings
a) Minutes of all Executive, General and Annual Meetings will be kept. These will be signed off by the Chair and retained in the official records.
b) When voting is required a quorum of two elected and five non-elected members is required for voting (by show of hands) to take place. c) A majority vote is acceptable except when amendments to the constitution are being voted on (see 8c).
d) Executive Committee Meetings will be held at least three times a year.
e) Special General Meetings may be called by the Executive Committee or by five non-elected members. Four weeks notice must be given to all members. The quorum for a Special General Meeting is two elected and five non-elected members.
f) The Chair of ADSHE will chair all meetings. In the absence of the Chair the Deputy-Chair, the Treasurer or another of the Honorary Officers will carry out this duty.

7. Finance
a) The income and property of ADSHE shall be applied solely towards the promotion of the objectives.
b) Executive Committee members may pay out or be reimbursed by ADSHE for reasonable expenses properly incurred when acting on behalf of ADSHE.
c) No income or property may be paid or transferred directly or indirectly by way of dividend bonus or by way of profit to any member.  This does not prevent:
i)a member receiving proper remuneration for goods or services supplied to ADSHE.
ii) an officer buying goods or services from ADSHE on the same terms as other members.
d) Annual accounts will be independently examined by an accountant and presented to the members at the Annual General meeting.

8. Amendments to the constitution
ADSHE may amend any part of this constitution provided that
a) it does not contravene law
b) that members are consulted on any proposed alterations
c) any amendment is passed by not less than two thirds of the members present and voting at a Special General Meeting.

9. Dissolution
a) ADSHE may be dissolved if deemed necessary by the members in a majority vote at a Special General Meeting.
b) Honorary Officers will remain in office in order to wind up the affairs of ADSHE.
c) If ADSHE ceases to exist all debts should be repaid. In addition any surplus assets or finances may then be distributed or donated to similar groups or charities.
This constitution was amended and accepted by a majority vote of the membership present at the AGM.

Date 25/9/2010

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