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Special and Inclusive Education Research SIG Bylaws

American Educational Research Association

Special Interest Group: Special and Inclusive Education Research

Article I.


The name of this Special Interest Group (“SIG”) is the Special and Inclusive Education Research SIG (hereinafter, the “SIG”). 

Article II.


The SIG is a Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association (hereinafter, “AERA” or “Association”) established to facilitate the formation of research specialties of an intra- or cross-divisional nature and to increase the exchange of knowledge within research arenas of special interest, and for other purposes in keeping with achieving the mission and objectives of the Association. 

Article III.


The SIG shall be governed by the Association’s Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws and policies, as periodically amended. The Bylaws, decisions and actions of the SIG shall not conflict with the Association’s Bylaws and policies, including the SIG Handbook and all guidelines, procedures and policies associated with the Association’s Annual Meeting and its program. 

Article IV.

PURPOSES OF THE SIG: Special and Inclusive Education Research

The purpose of the Special and Inclusive Education Research (SIER) SIG is to promote the study and dissemination of topics, research-based practices, and research methodologies related to implementation, access, equity, progress, and outcomes in the education of persons with disabilities and their families, advancing equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency throughout the lifespan.

Article V.


Section 1. Eligibility. Membership in the SIG shall be open to any AERA member who supports the purposes of the SIG and who pays the specified SIG dues and all additional fees required of SIG members by the Association. 

Section 2. Joining the SIG. AERA members shall join the SIG by paying SIG dues and Association fees through the AERA Central Office using the appropriate AERA print or electronic form.   

Section 3. Members in Good Standing. SIG members are considered ‘in good standing’ immediately upon the recording of their dues paid in full by the AERA Central Office. 

Section 4. Length of Membership in the SIG. The length of membership in the SIG shall be from the date membership dues are recorded by the AERA Central Office to the end of the AERA membership year as established by the Association. AERA members may join the SIG at any time, but SIG membership expires simultaneously with AERA membership. 

Section 5. Voting Rights. All SIG members in good standing, with fully paid SIG dues, shall be entitled to vote for SIG officers and on any other matter where a vote is required or taken. 

Article VI.


Section 1. Required Officers.  The SIG shall have a Chair, Secretary/Treasurer, and Program Chair who shall be elected and shall serve as the three required officers. The SIG may have any other officers that its members from time to time chose to designate. 

Section 2. Other Officers. The other officers of this SIG shall be determined on an as needed basis. 

Section 3. Eligibility to Hold Office. All members in good standing of both AERA and the SIG and who are not restricted from holding a particular office due to requirements in the Association’s or the SIG’s Bylaws and policies shall be eligible to run as candidates for election or appointed as officers and for any office within the SIG. 

Section 4. Length of Term of Office.Unless otherwise specified in these Bylaws, the term of each officer shall be for one year. The term of each officer shall begin the day following the close of the AERA Annual Meeting and end on the last day of the next AERA Annual Meeting. 

Section 5. Eligibility to Succeed to the Same Office for Consecutive Terms. Unless otherwise specified or restricted in these Bylaws, individuals shall be eligible to be nominated and to succeed themselves, if elected, to the same office for consecutive terms.

Section 6. Automatic Succession of Offices. There shall be an automatic succession of the following offices, from Secretary/Treasurer to Program Chair to Chair, in that order, such that the person elected as Secretary/Treasurer shall automatically assume the office of Program Chair following the completion of one term (1 year) as Secretary/Treasurer, and then shall automatically assume the office of Chair following the completion of one term (1 year) as Program Chair.

Section 7. Limit to Length of Service in One Office. No person may serve in the same office for more than three consecutive years. The Chair of the SIG shall be charged with ensuring that this requirement is met.

Section 8. Officers as Members of AERA for Entire Term. All individuals serving as officers of the SIG shall be members of AERA during their entire term of office. 

Section 9. Vacancies. Whenever any elected office is vacated for any reason before the term of that officer has been completed, the SIG Chair shall on advice from the Executive Committee appoint a replacement until new elections are held. This replacement shall assume the full duties and responsibilities of that office immediately upon appointment. In the case of the Chair position being vacant, the Executive Committee shall by majority vote elect an individual to complete the term of the Chair. 

Article VII.


Section 1. Chair. The Chair shall be responsible for the general administration of the SIG, for ensuring that the SIG Bylaws are followed, and shall act as liaison between the SIG and AERA and the SIG and the SIG Executive Committee. The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the SIG’s Executive Committee and at the Annual Business Meeting. The Chair shall act as parliamentarian or shall appoint a SIG member to serve in that role for each meeting. The Chair shall appoint ad hoc committees as needed. Unless otherwise specified in these Bylaws, the Chair of the SIG shall appoint persons to assist officers, to chair committees or to carry out other work of the SIG. 

Section 2. Secretary/Treasurer. The Secretary/Treasurer shall be responsible for managing and reporting on the financial accounts of the SIG and the safe keeping of all financial documents of the SIG.

Section 3. Program Chair. The Program Chair shall be responsible for managing all SIG related conference proposals, proposal reviewers and reviews, and developing all allotted conference sessions.

Article VIII.


Section 1. Non-Officer Leadership Positions. The SIG may from time to time establish important leadership positions that are not officers of the SIG.

Section 2. Titles of Non-Officer Leadership Positions. None currently. 

Article IX.


Section 1. Membership. There shall be an Executive Committee consisting of the SIG Chair, Secretary/Treasurer, and Program Chair. 

Section 2. Responsibilities and Powers. The Executive Committee shall have responsibility and powers to provide leadership and to direct and review the general affairs of the SIG within the limits set forth in these Bylaws. 

Section 3. Meetings. The Executive Committee shall hold at least one meeting each year in person and shall communicate as needed throughout the year. This meeting may be during the Annual Meeting. The Chair shall be responsible for setting the time and place of this meeting and for creating and distributing the agenda for this meeting.

Section 4. Quorum and Decision-making. A majority of the members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum, and decisions of the Executive Committee shall be by a majority of those present, provided a quorum is present.

Article X.


Section 1. Oversight of the Nominations and Elections Process. The Executive Committee shall be responsible for setting up, monitoring and providing other oversight duties regarding all aspects of the nomination and election processes of the SIG.

Section 2. Nominations Committee. The Nominations Committee shall consist of the Executive Committee under the oversight of the Chair of the SIG. 

Section 3. Nominations and Nomination Process.

Section 3a. The Nominations Committee shall seek eligible individuals to serve as candidates for each officer and non-officer position.

Section 3b. No SIG member may nominate an individual for any SIG office without the prior consent of the individual to be nominated.

Section 3c. The SIG Chair shall ensure that the Nominating Committee elicits at least two candidates for each position to be elected. No election may be held or will be certified by AERA for any elected position unless there are at least two candidates nominated and placed the ballot for that position.

Section 3d. By the deadline set by the Association, the Nominations Committee shall submit the names of the candidates and any other information required by AERA for inclusion in the AERA electronic ballot system. The deadline for this submission shall be determined by the Association.

Section 4. Date for Completion of Election Tabulation. All election processes and tabulation of votes for designated officers and non-officer positions for the following year shall be completed within the timeline and by the deadline established by AERA in conducting its electronic election of Officers of the Association. The Chair of the Nominations Committee shall receive the results of the balloting from the AERA Central Office.

Section 5. Notification of Results. The SIG Chair shall be responsible for reporting the results to the membership. 

Article XI.


Section 1. Annual Business Meeting. The SIG shall hold its Annual Business Meeting in conjunction with the AERA Annual Meeting. Unless otherwise noted in these Bylaws, decisions during this meeting shall be made by the majority of SIG members present and voting.

Section 2. Other Meetings. The SIG may hold other official business meetings at times and places approved by the Executive Committee and vote of the SIG members. The SIG may conduct SIG business and vote on motions in person, electronically, or by e-mail or mail.

Section 3. Officer and Committee Meetings. The Officers and Committees of the SIG shall meet when, where and as needed to conduct the business of the SIG or carry out the charges of the committee within the parameters and requirements of these Bylaws. The SIG Chair, other SIG officers and committee chairs shall set the meetings and notify all officers of the date, time, place and agenda or purposes of the meetings.

Section 4. Notice of Meetings. Announcement of day, time and place of any official business meeting of the SIG membership shall be made by the SIG Chair as far ahead as is reasonably possible. In all cases notice shall be communicated to members at least three weeks in advance of a meeting.

Section 5. Rules of Order.In all cases to which they apply and do not conflict with the provisions of these Bylaws and the Association Bylaws, Robert’s Rules of Order (current edition) shall govern all business meetings of the SIG.

Article XII.


Section 1. Dues.The amount of dues for the SIG shall be decided by a majority of the membership by postal, e-mail, or electronic voting. This vote shall be administered by the AERA Central Office.

Section 2. Effective Date of Dues Increases. All increases in dues shall go into effect for all categories of SIG membership for the following membership year as determined by the Association.

Section 3. Allocation of SIG Assets. The SIG Chair, the Executive Committee or majority of members voting at the Annual Business Meeting or by electronic vote shall authorize the expenditure of SIG funds for any allowable purpose that is requested and approved. In instances where the Executive Committee or majority of the membership approved a standing maximum expenditure as funds permit, such as to cover the costs of awards or refreshments as part of the SIG reception following the Annual Business Meeting, the Chair and Treasurer shall jointly be responsible for giving final consent to commit SIG funds up to the amount approved.

Section 4. Overseeing the Allocation of SIG Assets. The SIG Chair and the Treasurer shall have the joint responsibility to ensure that all SIG assets, including money collected via dues, are allocated and spent in ways and in a timely manner to fulfill commitments made by the SIG members or Executive Committee, to pay fees to the Association, to pay debts and to enhance and promote the SIG and the purposes, goals and objectives of the SIG and the Association. 

Article XIII.


Section 1. Name of the Awards.The SIG shall present on an annual basis, when merited, the following Award as approved by Council: (a) Outstanding Dissertation Award, and (b) Distinguished Researcher Award.

Section 2. The Outstanding Dissertation Award. This award shall be presented to a graduate student or recent graduate (within 3 years) of a graduate program. for demonstrating excellence in research related to the education of children, adolescents and adults with disabilities. 

The Distinguished Researcher Award.This award shall be presented to a researcher for making a substantial contribution to the knowledge base in the field of special education research.

Section 2a. The Outstanding Dissertation Award is presented to the individual or individuals who meet the following criteria as approved by the SIG and Council: Their research should have been conceived and conducted by them while they were enrolled as a graduate student and not published as of October of the year of nomination. Their research should represent an original, scholarly contribution to knowledge about special education or related services for infants, toddlers, children, or youth with disabilities.

The Distinguished Researcher Award is presented to the individual or individuals who meet the following criteria as approved by the SIG and Council: Individuals are chosen based on a body of research that has made significant and sustained contributions to research, policy, and/or practice in the field of special education.

Section 3. Awards Criteria and Procedures. Detailed criteria and procedures for this [these] award[s] can be found on the SIG website which is accessible from the AERA website (www. or can be obtained by contacting the AERA Central Office.

Article XIV.


Section 1. Membership Decision to Voluntarily Dissolve the SIG. Should it be decided that the SIG is no longer meeting the needs and serving the purposes for which it was founded, the SIG shall be voluntarily dissolved by a majority vote of the members present at a SIG Business Meeting followed by a two-thirds vote of those SIG members voting in a postal, e-mail, or electronic ballot administered by the AERA Central Office within 30 days of the vote to terminate passed at the Annual Business Meeting. A message of the results of this election shall be sent in writing to the SIG membership, AERA Central Office and Chair of the SIG Executive Committee by the SIG Chair within one week of the counting of the votes. 

Section 2. Other Circumstances that May Result in the Dissolution of the SIG. The SIG may automatically be dissolved should its membership fall below the minimum number established by Council for active SIGs; should its members approve the merging of the SIG with one or more other SIGs, or for other reasons pursuant to the Bylaws of the Association and the SIG. In addition, a Special Interest Group may be dissolved by the AERA Council for good and sufficient reasons.

Section 3. Distribution of SIG Assets. Should the SIG be discontinued for any reason, its assets shall be used to pay all outstanding debts and obligations. Any remaining funds shall be returned to the AERA.

Article XV.


Section 1. Approval Process of the Initial Bylaws. The process for approving the initial Bylaws shall be as follows, with the actions of AERA Council noted for the information of membership:

Section 1a. The officers of the SIG shall decide the process for the construction of a draft of the Bylaws, and offer SIG members an opportunity to comment on this draft.  The officers shall be responsible for making specific revisions, additions and/or deletions in the Bylaws based upon the feedback and suggestions. 

Section 1b. After the membership has provided feedback and input on the draft of the Bylaws, the SIG Chair shall submit a copy of the draft to AERA Central Office for review. Central Office may send it back to the SIG Chair with comments for revisions or may forward the Bylaws to the SIG Executive Committee for review and recommendation to the AERA Council for approval.  The SIG Executive Committee may return the Bylaws to the SIG Chair to address specific concerns before making a recommendation to Council.

Section 1c. The AERA Council may require changes or revisions in the language of the Bylaws or amendments thereof prior to final approval. Once approved by the AERA Council, the SIG Chair shall be notified that the Bylaws are in effect and will stay in effect until notification in writing to Central Office of the favorable or unfavorable vote of SIG members. The SIG Chair and officers, with the assistance of the AERA Central Office, shall then complete the process of getting approval of the Bylaws by a vote of SIG members. The SIG Chair shall have 30 days to convey in writing to Central Office and the Chair of the SIG Executive Committee the dates and manner of voting decided upon by the SIG officers.

Section 2. Ratification. After AERA Council approval, these Bylaws shall require a majority vote of those members voting electronically, such voting to be administered by the AERA Central Office on behalf of the SIG. The AERA Central Office shall transmit in writing the manner, dates and results of this vote to the SIG Chair within 10 days of the final count of the votes. 

Section 3. Effective Date of Implementation.These Bylaws shall take effect immediately upon receipt in writing to the AERA Central Office by the SIG Chair acknowledging the Central Office’s written statement of the favorable vote of the SIG membership for the presented version of the Bylaws or amendment(s) thereof.

Section 4. Amendments to the SIG Bylaws. These Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of those members voting at a duly called Annual Business Meeting and a majority of the members voting by postal, e-mail, or electronic voting as designated by the Executive Committee of the SIG or elsewhere within these Bylaws. Amendments to the SIG Bylaws must be approved by the AERA SIG Executive Committee and Council.

Article XVI.


Within 30 days of the membership’s adoption of the SIG Bylaws approved by the AERA Council and all amendments to the Bylaws, the entire set of Bylaws shall be posted on the AERA website for the SIG with the date of Council’s approval and membership adoption included. The SIG Chair shall send an electronic communication to all SIG members announcing the posting of the Bylaws on the SIG website.