By Laws

By Laws

AVRASA By Laws (as amended 2021 July 16)

ARTICLE I - NAME

The name of this organization shall be known as Association of Vocational Rehabilitation in Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (AVRASA).

ARTICLE II- MISSION and PURPOSE

AVRASA's mission is to educate, advocate and support rehabilitation counselors and human service professionals to provide comprehensive and integrated services to individuals with disabilities.

In pursuant of this mission, AVRASA’s vision is to:

  • Promote self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities which includes obtaining and maintaining gainful employment

  • Enhance the skill level of members through the provision of education and training

  • Assist in the continued development of rehabilitation service standards and extend them to all human service settings

  • Assist in the continued development of resources for training professionals inclusive of all human service fields

  • Foster ongoing communication between rehabilitation professionals and service providers to expand and enhance services for individuals with disabilities

  • Develop mechanisms to facilitate integration of vocational rehabilitation within the overall service delivery process

  • Educate human service professionals of the importance of vocational rehabilitation

  • Function as a clearinghouse for gathering and disseminating information within the rehabilitation community

  • Assist in the formulation of state policies and regulations pertinent to vocational rehabilitation and employment

  • Serve as an advisory body to the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), the State Legislature, Local Governments and Civic Associations

  • Advocate on behalf of the rehabilitation field and with individuals with disabilities

ARTICLE III - MEMBERSHIP AND DUES

Section I - Qualifications:

AVRASA is open to all individuals, agencies and organizations interested in providing comprehensive services to individuals with disabilities.

Section II - Types of Membership:

There shall be the following classes of membership: individual, organization, student and retiree.

  • Individual: An individual who chooses to join independently of any organization.

  • Organization: A not-for-profit or for-profit dues paying agency. Includes up to 5 attendees per meeting.

  • Student: An individual who is enrolled full-time in an accredited school or a recent graduate within the 12-months prior to annual membership calendar year. (Must provide verifying documentation)

  • Retiree: An individual who has officially retired.

Section III - Continuing Education Credits Offered:

  • CRC renewal credits through the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification Sponsor Code #00060090

  • CASAC renewal credits through the NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports under Education and Training provider #0813-expiration date 5/1/22

  • LMHC renewal Credits through New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners under provider #MHC01-60-expiration date 4/30/22


Section IV - Membership Year and Dues:

The membership calendar year shall run from January 1st to December 31st. Early Bird registrants are eligible for a 10% discount up to and including the first meeting of the membership calendar year.

*LMHC members are not eligible for the early bird rate at this time, due to full membership discount of 17%*

**All rates are subject to change**

Section V - Non Members:

Non-Members requesting continuing education credits (CRC/LMHC) will be subject to a fee per meeting.

**All rates are subject to change**


ARTICLE IV - AVRASA OFFICERS TERM OF OFFICE AND DUTIES:

Section I - Officers:

The officers of AVRASA shall be President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Events Coordinator, Co-Media Coordinator (2), Marketing Coordinator, Membership Coordinator, Government Relations Coordinator, Special Projects Manager, Field Advocate and Research Manager, College Engagement Coordinator, Long Island Coordinator, Long Island Assistant. These officers shall constitute the Executive Committee of AVRASA.


Section II - Terms of Office:

Executive Committee Officers will be re-evaluated every 2 years. Officers will be voted on and appointed every two years. The Nomination and Voting process will be conducted electronically in the last quarter of ODD numbered years for the upcoming Even numbered year term.

The following positions are considered Promotional from existing Positions Only: President, Vice President, Treasurer

All other positions are open to general membership based on nomination by AVRASA member or an Executive Committee Member

Section III - Duties of Officers:

General Responsibilities of the Board:

  • Present a projected one-year plan for AVRASA including meeting schedule, potential workshop topics, goals and objectives, etc.

  • Serve as Chair on a Sub-Committee

  • Develop partnerships and collaborations with various entities (i.e. OASAS, ASAP, HRA colleges/universities, professional organizations, etc.)

  • Conduct presentations on behalf of AVRASA

  • Assist with the coordination of program planning activities


President

Responsibilities:

  • Preside over General Membership and Executive Committee Meetings.

  • Oversee the coordination of all program planning activities.

  • Coordinate meeting agenda for General Membership and Executive Committee meetings.

  • Supervise all duties of officers (e.g. check writing, review all mailings, etc.)


Qualifications:

  • At least three years membership with AVRASA

  • At least 2 years experience on the Executive Committee of AVRASA

  • Ability to attend scheduled membership and Executive Committee meetings.

  • Strong organizational and communication skills

  • Administrative experience

  • Must have 2 years supervisory experience.

  • Access to computer, e-mail, internet, fax machine, copier, etc.


Vice President

Responsibilities:

  • Preside over General Membership and Executive Committee meetings in absence of the President.

  • Oversee the coordination of trainings, events and conferences.

  • Ensure that meeting location has all necessary accommodations for speakers

  • Initiate contact with guest speakers to identify training needs

  • Send confirmation and thank you letters to guest speakers

  • Contact CRCC and OASAS to obtain continuing education credits

  • Distribute CRC and CASAC certificates to credentialed members

  • Prepares, collects and reviews evaluations.


Qualifications:

  • At least one year membership with AVRASA

  • At least 1 years experience on the Executive Committee of AVRASA

  • Ability to attend scheduled membership and Executive Committee meetings

  • Strong organizational and communication skills

  • Administrative experience

  • Access to computer, e-mail, internet, fax machine, copier, etc.

Administrative Secretary

Responsibilities:

  • Take accurate minutes of all meetings and teleconferences.

  • Present minutes to President for review in a timely fashion (i.e. two weeks after General/Board Meetings).

  • Forward final copy of minutes to Corresponding Secretary for distribution to membership and distribute copies of minutes during meetings.

  • Maintain updated records of all meetings, events, and activities.

  • Serve as back up to Corresponding Secretary.

Qualifications

  • At least one year membership with AVRASA

  • Ability to attend scheduled membership and Executive Committee meetings

  • Strong writing and computer skills (i.e. Microsoft Word and Excel) Administrative experience

  • Computer literate, access to e-mail, internet, fax machine, copier, etc.


Corresponding Secretary

Responsibilities:

  • Electronically distribute minutes, meeting announcements, newsletters, and any other correspondence to General membership

  • Manage AVRASA voice mail (i.e. update greeting, retrieve messages, forward messages to appropriate Board member)

  • Serve as back up to Administrative Secretary


Qualifications

  • At least one year membership with AVRASA

  • Ability to attend scheduled membership and Executive Committee meetings

  • Strong writing, organizational and communication skills Administrative experience

  • Strong computer skills (i.e. Microsoft Word and Excel)

  • Access to e-mail, internet, fax machine, copier, etc.


Treasurer

Responsibilities:

  • Develop an annual budget.

  • Maintain all books of account showing all receipts and disbursements

  • Maintain membership status of all agencies and individuals

  • Prepare and submit all financial reports required by law

  • Submit a financial status report at General membership and Executive Committee meetings on financial balance of AVRASA account

  • Responsible for depositing all monies within 48 hours of receipt

  • Monitor account activity online and report any irregularities to the Executive Committee

  • Interface with and assist the AVRASA’s Accountant in preparing financial statements and/or documents required by government regulatory agencies

  • Work with Membership Coordinator to oversee the collection of membership dues at general membership meetings

  • Make timely payments for all accounts payable activities (credit cards, website fees, telephone fees, etc.)


Qualifications

  • At least one year membership with AVRASA

  • At least 1 year experience on the Executive Committee or Advisory Board preferred

  • Ability to attend scheduled General membership and Executive Committee meetings

  • Familiar with accounting software (i.e. Quicken, QuickBooks) or Excel

  • Strong writing, organizational and communication skills Administrative experience

  • Strong computer skills (i.e. Microsoft Word and Excel)

  • Access to computer, e-mail, internet, fax machine, copier, etc.


Membership Coordinator

Responsibilities:

  • Oversee membership outreach through development of membership profiles and resources

  • Solicit members and serve as Chair of the membership committee

  • Maintain and update Membership Profiles and Resource Directory

  • Keep accurate records of membership status and work closely with the Treasurer regarding membership payments

  • Responsible for bringing sign in sheets, and workshop material to general membership meetings

  • Forward renewal invoices to members annually

Qualifications :

  • At least one year membership with AVRASA

  • Ability to attend scheduled membership and Executive Committee meetings

  • Strong writing and computer skills (i.e. Microsoft Word and Excel)

  • Administrative experience

  • Access to computer, e-mail, internet, fax machine, copier, etc.


Conference Coordinator

Responsibilities:

  • Develop topic and organize annual conference

  • Oversee and chair annual conference committee

  • Solicit speakers, vendors, funds, resources for annual conference


Qualifications:

  • At least one year membership with AVRASA

  • Previous participation on the Annual Conference Committee required

  • Ability to attend scheduled membership and Executive Committee meetings

  • Strong writing and computer skills (i.e. Microsoft Word and Excel)

  • Administrative experience

  • Access to computer, e-mail, internet, fax machine, copier, etc.


Assistant Conference Coordinator

Responsibilities:

  • Provide assistance in annual conference planning and coordination

  • Serve as back-up in the absence of the Conference Coordinator

  • Solicit speakers, vendors, funds, resources for annual conference

Qualifications:

  • At least one year membership with AVRASA

  • Previous participation on the Annual Conference Committee preferred

  • Ability to attend scheduled membership and Executive Board meetings

  • Strong writing and computer skills (i.e. Microsoft Word and Excel)

  • Administrative experience

  • Access to computer, e-mail, internet, fax machine, copier, etc.


Public Relations Coordinator

Responsibilities:

  • Engage in public relations and advocacy efforts

  • Communicate with politicians and other influences for the benefit of AVRASA

  • Solicit media coverage for annual conference and other events

Qualifications:

  • At least one year membership with AVRASA

  • Ability to attend scheduled membership and Executive Committee meetings

  • Strong writing and computer skills (i.e. Microsoft Word and Excel)

  • Administrative experience

  • Access to computer, e-mail, internet, fax machine, copier, etc.


Resource Coordinator-

  • Oversee and organize AVRASA’s subcommittees.

  • Facilitate Advisory board teleconference calls and meetings

  • Provide Executive Committee with up-to-date reports on status of all subcommittees

  • Serve as liaison and create partnerships with other professional organizations

  • Serve as liaison with grants writer to facilitate grant applications

Qualifications:

  • At least one year membership with AVRASA

  • Ability to attend scheduled General membership and Executive committee meetings as well as meetings of other professional organizations.

  • Strong writing, organizational and communication skills

  • Strong computer skills (i.e. Microsoft Word and Excel)

  • Access to computer, e-mail, internet, fax machine, copier, etc.


Communications Coordinator

Responsibilities:

  • Monitor, update and maintain AVRASA website and accounts with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media

Qualifications:

  • At least one year membership with AVRASA

  • Ability to attend scheduled General membership and Executive committee meetings

  • Strong computer skills (i.e. Microsoft Word, Internet, Social Media)

  • Strong writing, organizational and communication skills

  • Access to computer, e-mail, internet, fax machine, copier, etc.


Marketing Coordinator

Responsibilities:

  • Develop and update marketing material for distribution

  • Assist Membership Coordinator with increasing membership through marketing efforts

  • Develop and distribute quarterly newsletter

  • Solicit members and oversee marketing committee

  • Oversee student involvement in AVRASA, serve as liaison to college programs


Qualifications :

  • At least one year membership with AVRASA

  • Ability to attend scheduled General membership and Executive committee meetings

  • Strong writing, organizational and communication skills

  • Strong computer skills (i.e. Microsoft Word, powerpoint, publisher, etc)

  • Access to computer, e-mail, internet, fax machine, copier, etc.


Long Island Coordinator

Responsibilities:

  • Assist with the facilitation of membership expansion to Long Island

  • Oversee and organize AVRASA’s Long Island members, meetings and events

  • Serve as liaison and create partnerships with professional organizations and colleges on Long Island

  • Work closely in conjunction with Vice President to coordinate venues and video conferencing for General Membership Meetings and other events

  • Distribute CRC and CASAC certificates to credentialed members at Long Island locations

  • Prepares, collects and reviews evaluations at Long Island locations.


Qualifications:

  • At least one year membership with AVRASA

  • At least 1 year experience on the Executive Committee of AVRASA

  • Ability to attend scheduled membership and Executive Committee meetings

  • Strong organizational and communication skills

  • Administrative experience

  • Access to computer, e-mail, internet, fax machine, copier, etc.

  • Familiar with video conferencing technology


Section II-Order of Succession:

Should an office position become vacant before regular elections, the Board may select one of the following options:

  1. Mid year elections will be held to fill an office

  2. A qualified existing officer may interview for the position

ARTICLE V- MEETING

Section I:

There shall be bi-monthly General Membership Meetings of AVRASA on a date to be fixed by the Executive Board. These meetings shall be held for the transaction of necessary AVRASA business and for the election of AVRASA officers when applicable.

Virtual Meetings:

Section II-Notices:

Members shall be given at least 30 days notice of annual meetings and at least five days notice of special meetings

Section III Voting:

The Nominating Committee, Chaired by the Member at Large, will identify candidates from the pool of general members.

One month prior to the election of officials, nominations for candidates shall be taken and announced in the meeting's minutes. Candidates may be nominated by:

  • Themselves

  • Dues paying members

On the day of the election, candidates must give a 5 minute speech highlighting their interest in running for an Executive Committee or Advisory Board seat. Time will be allotted for questions and answers.

Members of the Executive Committee and all dues paying members may vote for officials.

Votes will be taken anonymously by written ballot.

Officials will be elected by simple majority.

Section V- Agenda:

The President shall prepare an agenda for every meeting. There shall be six meetings held bi-monthly throughout the year. These meetings shall serve as an opportunity to transact business, distribute information and provide continuing education.

Suggested order of business:

  1. Welcome

  2. Reading and Acceptance of minutes

  3. Treasurer’s Report

  4. Committee Report(s)

  5. Old Business

  6. New Business

  7. Legislative Updates

  8. Announcements

  9. Continuing Education Workshop

The President can modify the meeting agenda in accordance to recommendations from Executive Committee and/or organizational needs.

ARTICLE VI - STANDING COMMITTEES

Conference Planning: This committee is responsible for organizing the conference format, identifying speakers and location. This committee is also responsible for marketing the conference and creating a budget.

Advocacy Committee: This committee is responsible for designing efforts to advocate for the field and promote Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling efforts.

Marketing Committee: This committee is responsible for organizing and distributing marketing material to include brochures, announcements, newsletters, etc. both in print and in the media.

Membership Committee: This committee is responsible for recruiting members and organizing membership drives.

Supervisors: This committee is comprised of Directors, Coordinators and Supervisors of Rehabilitation Professionals. The committee is responsible for providing its members with peer supervision, education and training.

Additional committees: To be determined by the Executive Committee.

ARTICLE VIII - EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Section I - Composition:

The Executive Committee shall consist of all officers of AVRASA as indicated in Article V, Section I.

Section II- Functions:

The Executive Committee shall be the governing body of AVRASA between meetings of the general membership; it shall direct the policies, management and procedures of AVRASA and may make such rules and regulations as it may deem necessary and which will be consistent with the By-laws.

Section III- Meetings:

The Executive Committee shall meet monthly and will hold weekly teleconference meetings. Special meetings shall be called anytime upon at least 72 hours of notice by the President, or in his/her absence, by the First Vice President.

ARTICLE VIII - BY-LAWS

Section 1. Amendment. These by-laws may be amended from time to time as follows:

(a) The Executive Committee may propose amendments for approval.

(b) Proposed amendments may be submitted to the Executive Committee through the President. Such proposals shall be submitted at least 90 days prior to the general membership meeting at which such proposed amendments are to be discussed.

(c) At least 30 days prior to member association action, the proposed amendment and the Executive Committee's recommendations shall be made available to all members.

(d) Proposed amendments recommend by the Executive Committee shall be acted upon by the general membership by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the members present at a scheduled general membership meeting with at least 30 days notification of members.