Bylaws of the Division of Rehabilitation Psychology

Division 22 American Psychological Association

(Amendments ratified September 19, 2018 by an electronic ballot of the membership.)

Article I. Name

Section 1: Name

  1. The name of this organization shall be “Rehabilitation Psychology, Division 22 of the American Psychological Association (APA),” hereinafter referred to as “the Division.”

ARTICLE II. Mission, Purpose and Vision

Section 1: Mission and Purpose

  1. Mission: To lead the community of psychologists who, through research, practice, education, and advocacy, enhance the well-being of people living with disabilities or chronic health conditions.

  1. Purpose: The purpose of the Division is to bring together all members of the American Psychological Association (APA) and affiliates who are concerned with enhancing the lives of people living with disabilities and chronic health conditions. Rehabilitation Psychology is the application of psychological knowledge and understanding in activities such as research, clinical practice, teaching, public education, and advocacy on behalf of individuals and disability related health care and social policy. Rehabilitation psychologists consider psychological, biological, cognitive, social, environmental, political, and economic factors that affect the well-being of people living with disabilities and chronic health conditions. The Division is mindful of the fact that limitations of functioning may not only be inherent in the disability itself, but are often attributable, in whole or part, to environmental and institutional barriers, and to negative social attitudes.

Section 2:  The Vision of the Division is to:

  1. Set the standard of practice for culturally competent, evidence-based, wholistic,
    and personalized care.

  2. Promote innovative and rigorous research to improve outcomes, services, and
    organizations, and reduce costs.

  3. Set the standards for education and training in the competencies of
    rehabilitation psychology.

  4. Be the premier source of psychological knowledge regarding disability and
    chronic health conditions for healthcare professionals, policymakers, the public,
    and the media.

  5. Champion disability as a human rights and social justice issue.

  6. Move communities and organizations towards greater access for all in health care,
    the workplace and public engagement.

ARTICLE III. Membership

Section 1: Qualifications

A. Any member or affiliate, in good standing, of the APA, who is interested in the purposes and objectives of the Division, shall be eligible for membership.

B. Professionals from related disciplines and psychologists who are not members of the APA with an interest in disability-related issues are eligible to become affiliate members of the Division. Affiliate members cannot vote or hold office in the Division.

Section 2: Classes, Rights, and Initiation of Active Status

A. The classes and rights of members in the Division, and the time of their initiation into active membership status, shall be in conformity with the provisions established by the American Psychological Association.

Section 3: Admission to Membership

A. Applications for membership shall be reviewed by the Division’s Membership Committee, who may act on behalf of the Division’s Executive Board to welcome and / or endorse Member applicants.

Section 4: Fellows

A. Members of the Division may be nominated as Fellows in the American Psychological Association by the Executive Board. The Fellows Committee may act on behalf of the Executive Board to endorse Fellows applicants.

Section 5: Termination of Membership

A. Membership in the Division may be terminated for the following reasons:

1. Termination of membership in the APA

2. Non-payment of Divisional assessment

3. By a majority vote of the Executive Board for ethical, professional or other determined reasons.

B. Reinstatement — Members may be reinstated to membership upon payment of Divisional assessments. Individuals whose membership is terminated for other reasons must have their membership application reviewed and approved by a majority vote of the Executive Committee.


Section 1: Officers

A. The Officers of the Division shall be a President, President-elect, immediate Past-President, Secretary, and Treasurer, who shall perform the usual duties of those positions as described in Keesey's Modern Parliamentary Procedures unless otherwise indicated by these Bylaws.

B. The President will preside, or delegate the authority to do so, at the business meetings of the Division.

C. The Treasurer is responsible for monitoring and reporting on the Division finances. At least annually, the Treasurer will recommend to the Board a budget for the Division.

D. The Secretary is responsible for recording the activities and business of the Division and reporting this information to the Board.

Section 2: Executive Committee and Board

A. The Executive Committee shall consist of voting members of the Executive Board and will include all the current officers, the Divisional Representative(s) to the APA Council of Representatives, six Members-at-Large, one representative of each Division 22 Section, one Student Representative, and one Early Career Psychologist (ECP) Representative.

1. Student Representative eligibility is defined as having current enrollment in a doctoral program in relevant specialty of psychology and/or in a fellowship training program in a relevant specialty and being a student member of the Division.

2. ECP Representative eligibility is defined as being a current member of the American Psychological Association and Division 22, and current APA guidelines defining ECPs based on the length of time since receipt of a doctoral degree in Psychology.

3. The Executive Committee will appoint, by majority vote, persons to key management positions for the Division

B. The Chairs of Committees, Special Interest Groups, and Task Forces, liaisons and monitors to APA and other external groups, and appointed management positions shall sit with the Executive Committee as non-voting members; this combined group is the Executive Board.  

C. The Executive Board shall conduct and supervise all of the official business of the Division, including all specific duties described in Article VI, Finances.

D. The Executive Board shall meet at least once a year.

E. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the members of the Executive Committee.

F. In the event that there is less than a quorum present at a Board meeting, business conducted by those attending shall become official when the transactions are submitted to the absent Executive Committee members and approved by a quorum.

G. The Executive Board may, by two-thirds vote by the members of the Executive Committee, remove any officer from office. The Executive Committee shall name a Member, as replacement to serve the duration of the term.

Section 3: Committees, Special Interest Groups and Sections

  1. There shall be the following Standing Committees: Program; Membership; Nominations; Fellows; Science; Education and Training; Continuing Education; Awards; Communications; Practice; Diversity; Disability Identity; International; and Mentorship.

  1. The chair of the Nominations Committee shall be the immediate Past-President. All other chairs of the Committees shall be appointed by the President.

C. Such Ad Hoc Committees as may be necessary shall be established and dissolved by the President. Chairs of Ad Hoc Committees are appointed by the President.

D. The functions of Committees shall be determined by the Executive Board and/or by the President and said functions shall be prepared in writing by the designated Chairperson and submitted for approval to the Executive Committee prior to the Committee's formal operation.

E. Such Special Interest Groups (SIGs) as may be decided shall be established or dissolved by a majority vote of the Executive Committee. The chairs of Special Interest Groups are appointed by the President.

F. Sections may be formed by petition of 20 members and approval by the Executive Committee. The purpose and bylaws of the sections must be approved by a majority of the petitioning members and submitted for approval by a majority vote of the Executive Committee of the Division prior to the section's formal operation. The bylaws of the section shall also be consistent with APA Bylaws. A section may have officers and a board elected by members of the section according to the section's bylaws. Each section shall have one voting representative on the Executive Committee. Sections can be dissolved by a majority vote of the Executive Committee of the Division.


Section 1: Nominations Process

A. The immediate Past-President will serve as Chair of the Nominations Committee. The President shall appoint two other members of the Nominations Committee from among past or present members of the Executive Board.

B. The Committee shall prepare a slate of officers, Divisional Representative(s) to the Council of Representatives of the American Psychological Association, Members-at-Large, and an ECP, for those positions that are open for the succeeding year.

C. The Nomination Committee will work to present at least two nominees for each office to be voted upon.

D. The membership shall be solicited for nominees for each office by January of each year. At least one call for nominations shall be made to the Membership before that date.

E. Each nominee shall prepare a personal statement as enumerated by the Nominations Committee and such statements shall be distributed to the membership prior to the APA deadline for receipt of ballots.

F. The Student Representative will be appointed to the Executive Committee by the President, in consultation with the Past President, President-Elect and current Student Representative, from those student affiliates of the Division who will continue as a graduate student or post-doctoral trainees during the next-year term of office.  The term of the Student Representative will be for one year. The Student Representative may be re-appointed for additional terms by succeeding Presidents.

G. The representative to the Executive Committee from each Section shall be selected in accordance with the bylaws of the Section that the person represents.  

Section 2: Elections and Terms

A. Only members in good standing may vote in elections.

B. The results of the elections shall be announced at the Annual Board and Business Meetings of the Division.

C. The Secretary and Treasurer shall each be elected for a term of three years.

D. Members-at-Large of the Executive Committee shall be elected for terms of three years, with two members elected each year.

E. The person elected President-elect serves a three-year term on the Executive Committee; one year as President-elect, one year as President, and one year as immediate Past-President. At the end of one year, the President-elect shall succeed the outgoing President, and the outgoing President shall succeed the outgoing immediate Past- President.

F. The Divisional Representative(s) to the APA Council of Representatives shall be elected for terms of three years in accordance with APA policy.

G. The term of the ECP Representative will be for two years. The ECP Representative may complete their term of office, if the term begins at any time when the member is technically still an Early Career Psychologist, based on the current APA guidelines for ECPs.

H. The term of the Section Representative will be in accordance with the bylaws of the Section represented.

I. Executive Committee members begin and end their terms of office immediately following the APA Annual Convention; the exception to this is Division Representatives to Council whose terms adhere to APA policy.

J. In the event of a vacancy on the Executive Committee of a Member-at-Large, Divisional Representative to Council, ECP Representative, or, officer , the President will put forward a candidate from among the Division 22 Membership and the Executive Committee shall vote on the appointment of this candidate, as replacement, to act in the vacancy until the end of the term for the vacated position. For the Student Representative, the President will appoint a new Student Representative for the remainder of the one-year term. For a Section Representative, the Section will appoint a new Section representative in accordance with the Bylaws of the section represented.


Section 1: Fiscal Year

A. The fiscal year of the Division shall coincide with the fiscal year of the American Psychological Association.

Section 2: Dues and Assessments

A. The Executive Committee shall determine the amount of dues and assessments to be paid by the membership.

B. In collecting dues and assessments, the Division may utilize the offices and facilities of the American Psychological Association.

Section 3: Disbursements

A. Unless authorized by the Executive Committee or the President, no member, including the Treasurer, may obligate the Division to the payment of any funds.

B. All requests for payment of funds must be made through the Treasurer.

Section 4: Annual Budget

A. The Treasurer shall prepare a budget for consideration by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee’s duties will include review, amendment and approval of the annual budget. The President may alter the approved budget in conjunction with the Treasurer, who must agree to such changes. These changes in the budget cannot exceed the total amount of the entire budget approved by the Executive Committee by more than an amount equal to two percent of the total budgeted expenses of the Division, and a change in the amount allocated for any major budget category cannot exceed an amount equal to two percent of the total budgeted expenses of the Division. Any budget increase of more than this amount must be approved by a majority of the Executive Committee.

Article VII. Amendments

Section 1: Proposal of Amendments

A. Amendments to these Bylaws may be proposed by any member in good standing by submitting such proposal to the Executive Board in writing through the Secretary.

B. Proposals for amendments shall be considered at the next regular meeting of the Executive Board.

Section 2: Ratification

A. Upon approval of a proposed amendment by the Executive Committee, such proposal shall be submitted to the entire membership of the Division not later than ninety days thereafter.

B. At least sixty days shall elapse between the submission of such a proposal to the membership and closing the vote on the proposal.

C. A two-thirds vote of those casting ballots shall be required for the adoption of an amendment.

D. Notification of the outcome of the voting on proposed amendments shall be made to the membership at the earliest opportunity.

Article VIII. Rules of order

Section 1: Keesey's Rules

A. Keesey's Modern Parliamentary Procedures shall govern all proceedings of the Division unless otherwise contradicted by the provisions of this these Bylaws. 


Division 22 Bylaws (PDF)