Information About the IFA

Below are new guidelines, developed by the Executive Board with input from the Committee Directors.

Last revised September 2020

Section 1: Guiding Principles

The Association shall strive in all ways to be international in its actions to support researchers, clinicians and stakeholders in fluency, fluency disorders and fluency differences, and their impacts on communication.

  1. The IFA general membership, Executive Board, committee Directors, and committee members shall include representatives from different continents so as to maximize diversity to the extent possible.
  2. International issues affecting stuttering and cluttering shall be given higher priority than local or regional issues.
The Association shall provide a forum for all points of view that are consistent with its mission.
  1. All individuals engaged in research, prevention, diagnosis, or treatment pertaining to fluency differences/disorders, or in any other activity consistent with the mission of the Association, such as participation in the development and maintenance of self-support (peer-to-peer) groups for those with fluency differences/disorders, are eligible for membership in the Association.
  2. The Association shall encourage collegial expression of varying points of view with respect to theoretical or debatable issues concerning the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of individuals with fluency differences/disorders rather than strive for consensus among its membership on such issues.

Primary Financial Mission:

As an organization with modest assets, the IFA confines its philanthropic initiatives to global education workshops and the underwriting of IFA congresses and meetings and the support of its membership to attend these meetings.

 

Section 2: Executive Board (EB)

Description and Responsibilities:

The EB is comprised of voting and non-voting members (see Bylaws for list). The EB serves as the administrative and policy-making body of the association. The EB is responsible for establishing charges for standing committees, creating ad hoc committees as needed, scheduling meetings of the association, and conducting the affairs of the association in keeping with its bylaws. The EB has the power to approve or disapprove the President’s appointment of the Directors of the Association’s committees. The EB is responsible for soliciting proposals for Congresses and selecting the Congress site. The EB approves all financial and public-facing matters related to the Association, including setting membership dues and establishing/adjusting benefits of membership.

Meetings of the Executive Board:

The EB will meet at least 6 times per year, either online or face-to-face as necessary.

Conflicts of Interest

During the election process, and annually, members of the EB shall declare any conflicts of interest, whether financial or non-financial, that might impact their work as officers of the Board. Additional declarations should be made at the outset of any meetings of the EB during which business is discussed that could involve additional real or perceived conflicts of interest.

Officers and Responsibilities

  1. President: Serves as Chief Executive Officer for the Association; establishes agendas and conducts meetings of the Association’s EB, Directors and membership; appoints, (with EB approval) Directors recommended by the Membership Committee; appoints members to Association committees following consultation with the committee Director; monitors the activities of all standing and ad hoc committees. Interacts with and manages all persons contracted for service to the IFA. In matters impacting the IFA’s participation in its Congresses or Joint Congresses with other organizations, the President shall serve as the liaison between the Congress Organizing Committee and the EB. The President also liaises with Elsevier and the JFD, signing contracts as appropriate. The President shall serve as the financial signatory for IFA business requiring a legally-responsible representative (e.g., contracts). The President shall, when appropriate issue public statements on behalf of the Executive Board, with its endorsement. Public statements on behalf of the membership shall require a poll of the membership.

  2. President-Elect: Performs the duties of the President in the President’s absence; assumes the office of President should a vacancy occur in that office; assumes the office of President upon completion of the President-Elect term, serves as a member of the Executive Board; assists the President as directed and monitors the activities of all committees.

  3. Treasurer: Serves as the Association’s Chief Financial Officer; directs the Finance Committee; is the primary contact/manager of the IFA’s bank account(s) and other digital payment systems (e.g., PayPal); prepares fiscal reports for the Association’s membership as directed by the Executive Board; serves as a member of the Executive Board. Both the Treasurer and Treasurer-Elect of the IFA should be chosen from among U.S. members of the Association to facilitate financial reporting requirements of the Association’s non-profit status.

  4. Treasurer-Elect: Is elected in the year prior to expiration of the Treasurer’s term. Performs the duties of the Treasurer in the Treasurer’s absence; assumes the office of Treasurer should a vacancy occur in that office; assumes the office of Treasurer upon completion of the Treasurer- Elect term, serves as a member of the Executive Board; assists the Treasurer as directed.

  5. Secretary: Maintains records and historical archive of the Association; serves as a member of the Executive Board; prepares agendas and minutes of all meetings of the Executive Board. For privacy and security reasons, the minutes for public pages of the IFA website shall not contain specific financial records or specific names.

  6. Member-at-Large: Serves as a member of the Executive Board; represents and advocates for the diverse voice and opinions of the general membership in deliberations of the Executive Board and committees. Suggestions for IFA initiatives and grievances should be brought to the Member-at- Large.

  7. Past-President: Advises the President as needed; serves as a non-voting member of the Executive Board for one year past the presidency.

  8. Ex-officio members: The Membership Committee Director and the Editor of JFD serve as non- voting members of all meetings of the Executive Board.

  9. Webmaster: the EB shall employ the services of a webmaster, who will design, maintain and administer the IFA website under the direction of the EB. A contract with the EB (with the President as signatory) will specify the expectations of the Webmaster’s duties. Content posting to the IFA website requires approval of the EB. The Webmaster serves as advisory (non-voting) to the EB.

Section 3: Committees’ Responsibilities and Charges

The work of the IFA is done by the Executive Board and the Directors and members of committees aligned with the IFA mission. Below is a description of each committee’s responsibilities and charges.

Procedural Guidelines

  1. Decisions of committees that impact finances, public communications or the public face of the organization must be approved by the EB before dissemination or implementation.
  2. All committee Directors and committee members must be IFA members. The inclusion of student members on all committees is strongly encouraged.
  3. With the exception of Advocacy (and with that exception approved by the EB), all committee Directors shall be currently licensed or retired professionals working in the field of fluency/fluency disorders in either University- or Institute-affiliated research, University-level teaching or licensed/certified clinical practice.
  4. Committee Directors are appointed by the President in consultation with the EB. Committee members are appointed by the President in consultation with the committee Director and the EB. The typical term of each committee member, including Directors, is three years, after which the Membership Committee shall conduct a search for new members.
  5. The retirement of committee members prior to the expiration of their terms shall initiate a search for their replacement by the Membership Committee..
  6. All Directors and committee members must abide by the IFA Code of Practice statement (link to Appendix).
  7. For committee meeting and voting purposes a quorum shall be a simple majority of committee members. Actionable votes of individual committees require a simple majority of voting members.
  8. All standing committees may develop ad hoc committees with the consent of the EB.
  9. Each standing or ad hoc committee should have a minimum of three members. Some committees
    specify committee membership more narrowly by nationality or constituency (e.g., advocacy).
  10. The following committees are each charged with preparing content for the “back pages” of JFD at a
    minimum rate of once per year: Practice, Research and Publications, Advocacy, and Congress Organizing Committee. This content should not be committee minutes. Its content should endeavor to further the mission of the IFA to educate, advocate, and disseminate information relevant to research and practice. The EB shall advise each committee of the due date of this content each year and review content prior to publication.

Membership Committee:

Description and Responsibilities: The Membership Committee, in collaboration with the IFA webmaster, manages all aspects related to membership in the Association. In conjunction with the Treasurer, and with the approval of the EB, the Membership Director sets the cost of dues for membership in the Association. The committee recommends benefits of membership to the EB for approval. The committee develops recruitment methods, manages issues related to IFA membership, and oversees the IFA website, social media, and mailing lists. The Membership Director and webmaster assist association members with any membership-related issues.
This committee manages all aspects of Association elections. Managing the election process includes sending out the call for nominations for elected positions, preparing a slate of nominations chosen from current IFA members for elected positions; conducting elections according to the Association’s Bylaws. Elections for EB members are staggered so that no more than half of the EB positions are up for election in any single election cycle. See Section IV of this document for the election schedule.
This committee is responsible for conducting searches for members of the various committees, making recommendations to the President and EB which may include existing committee members but also include at least one additional nominee.


Awards and Congress Bursaries Committee:

Description and Responsibilities: Manages the nominations and review processes for the awards given by the Association (see Appendix for list of awards). This committee manages the nomination and review process for IFA awards and recognitions following established review processes. During years in which the Congress is held, this committee is responsible for coordinating the review process for bursaries funded by IFA and other funds, following guidelines established by the EB. This committee, in collaboration with the IFA Treasurer, reviews applications for student awards and member bursaries according to the committee’s guidelines. The committee’s recommendations are then approved by the EB.

 

Research and Publications Committee:

Description and Responsibilities: The charges of this committee include:
and dissemination of the proceedings of IFA Congresses and Joint Congresses. To enable its best work, this committee should seek to have at least one doctoral degree-seeking student on its roster at all times. This committee will review any requests to disseminate calls for research participants using the IFA website, membership lists or email resources, and forward these requests to the EB (See Appendix for Request Form).

Practice Committee:

Description and Responsibilities: This committee facilitates the translation of research science in fluency disorders to clinical practice by developing and evaluating proposals for IFA-facilitated and supported Global Workshops and other professional training opportunities, including potential opportunities delivered via telecommunication, with particular focus on under-served regions or communities, facilitating communication among members working in diverse settings.
The Practice Committee may also act as an IFA clinical practice registry, facilitating surveys (in collaboration with Research and Publications Committee) and providing IFA with overviews of (a) different clinical practices in fluency disorders used in different age groups in various countries worldwide, (b) workshops and professional training opportunities available/running globally. In this way, under-served regions could be pinpointed and receive focused support. It may recruit applied research proposals to the Research and Publications Committee for endorsement.


Advocacy Committee:

Description and Responsibilities: The Advocacy Committee must have a minimum of one member who self-identifies as a person who stutters or clutters. The charge of this committee is to provide a voice for people who stutter and clutter worldwide, by informing the EB of issues that are relevant to the IFA’s mission and programming. This may include advocating for growth in therapy resources for those who stutter or clutter, reimbursement for therapy services, matters of public perception or bias, and other advocacy activities. To satisfy this charge the committee should liaise with other advocacy groups in stuttering and cluttering.


Congress Organizing Committee:

Description and Responsibilities: The primary charge of this committee is organization, administration, and planning of all aspects of IFA Congress or Joint Congress meetings. This committee liaises with related organizations and local organizations in the congress city to plan the Congress. This includes: ensuring a high-quality research presence on the IFA website, at IFA and Joint Congresses; initiating and supporting activities to promote research via its PhD network and other initiatives; initiating and supporting the exchange of opinions and reviews of stuttering research and practice; provision of information to researchers; editing developing the Congress budget, planning a diverse and inclusive schedule of presentations, and managing all aspects of the Congress program [Please see the Congress Planning Manual]. Major decisions regarding the costs of attendance at congresses, sponsored speakers, and general features of the Congress program (e.g., Congress location, length, major tracks, etc.) should be conveyed in a timely fashion by the Congress Organizing Committee Director or a liaison selected by the this committee to the EB for approval.


Finance Committee:

Description and Responsibilities:The Treasurer serves as the de facto Director of the Finance Committee. The primary charge of the Finance Committee is financial governance of the Association; it also accepts and processes applications for financial support, including bursaries for Congress attendance, following recommendations of the Awards and Bursaries Committee. It provides recommendations to the EB regarding substantive decisions that impact Association income or expenditures.


Section 4: Nominations, Elections, and Terms of Service

Nominations:

Nominees for all EB positions will be restricted to IFA members who are current professionals in stuttering or cluttering (or retired in good standing) and will follow the Association’s guiding principle to derive its leaders from different continents and communities so as to maximize diversity to the greatest extent possible. The Membership Committee will endeavor to present to the EB at least two nominees for each office for which an election is being held, with an explicit priority to encourage diversity of membership in language, culture and experience with fluency disorders. The Membership Committee will forward the recommended nominees to the EB for approval at least two months before the election date.

 

Elections:

The EB will establish an election date that is at least two months prior to the end of the officer’s term of service. Elections for members to serve on the EB shall be by an electronic ballot. The Director of the Membership Committee will oversee the election and ensure that candidates are IFA members and that the process is accurate and fair.

 

Terms of Office for the Executive Board

With the exception of JFD editor and webmaster, or to fill vacancies, EB terms begin in July. Members serve three-year terms. Members can run again and be re-elected; no office is term-limited.
Terms of Office for Committee Directors and Members:
Committee Directors serve at the behest of the IFA President. Terms for committee Directors must be renewed every three years.


Grievance/Appeal Procedure:

Grievances and/or appeals should be addressed to the Executive Board via the IFA President in writing, with rationale for the disagreement or grievance.


Operational Procedures manual revisions:

Updates to the Operational Procedures manual are supervised by the President-Elect. This document shall be reviewed by the EB at least once every five years and updated as needed. Committees are able to suggest changes to both mission and operating procedures in this manual, subject to EB approval.

ADDENDA


I Code of Practice
II List of IFA Awards
III Awards Nominations form
IV Global Workshops application form
V Global Workshops procedures
VI Template for NIH bursary for Congress
VII Template for IFA bursary for Congress VIII Fee waiver form
VIII Request for Membership Fee Waiver

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JFD

Journal of Fluency DisordersBrowse the current issue
(
non-members)

The official journal of the International Fluency Association
IFA Members receive online access to JFD as a member benefit.

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