Constitution

CONSTITUTION OF THE ACL SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP ON SPEECH AND LANGUAGE PROCESSING FOR ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES (SIG‐SLPAT)

Original Constitution approved by ACL Exec 11/23/2011

I. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

Assistive technologies (AT) enable individuals with disabilities to do things that would otherwise be difficult or impossible for them to do. Especially in cases where a disability affects some mode of communication, speech and language processing techniques could greatly enhance AT. At the same time, researchers in speech and language processing could benefit from investigating techniques appropriate for AT and/or using AT as a testbed.

The purpose of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) Special Interest Group on Speech and Language Processing for Assistive Technology (SLPAT) shall be to promote interest in applying speech and language processing technologies to the general area of AT; to promote an interdisciplinary approach to speech and language processing for AT that includes an understanding of and an appreciation for the user populations for which the technologies are developed; to provide members of the ACL with a special interest in AT with a means of exchanging news of recent research developments and other matters of interest in AT; and to sponsor meetings and workshops in speech and language processing for AT that appear to be timely and worthwhile, operating within the framework of the ACL's general guidelines for SIGs.

II. ELECTED OFFICERS

The elected officers of the SIG shall consist of a President, a Vice President, a Secretary‐Treasurer and a Student Member. These officers shall be members in good standing of the ACL.

The term of all elected officers of the SIG shall 2 years, dating from January.

The duties of the President shall be: (1) To have primary executive authority over actions and activities of the SIG. (2) To prepare a written report on the activities of the SIG for the Executive Committee of the ACL, for presentation to the ACL at its Annual Business Meeting. (3) To be responsible for communication with the ACL Executive Committee. (4) To assist in facilitating meetings/workshops put on by the SIG.

The duties of the Vice President shall be: (1) To have secondary executive authority over actions and activities of the SIG (in conjunction with the President). (2) To be the primary facilitator of the meetings/workshops put on by the SIG.

The duties of the Secretary‐Treasurer shall be: (1) To maintain a membership roster of the SIG. (2) To be responsible for any moneys awarded to the SIG by the ACL; to collect and manage any dues that may be required by the organization; and to present a written annual report on the SIG finances to the Executive Committee of the ACL. (3) To act as a Liaison Representative, who shall be primarily responsible for communication with members of the SIG, and answering inquiries about the SIG. (4) To assist in facilitating meetings/workshops put on by the SIG. (5) To call for nominations for elected officers prior to elections.

The duties of the Student Member shall be: (1) to act as the Webmaster for the SIG, (2) to interact with the other SIG officers in making decisions concerning the SIG, (3) to run/collect and tally votes for elections (assuming the Student Member is not running him/herself).

III. ELECTION OF OFFICERS

All officers of the SIG shall be elected by a vote of the membership. The vote shall take place at least 4 weeks before the expiration of the terms of the officers to be elected, with at least 4 weeks' notice of nominations to SIG members. Elections will be electronic, using either electronic mail or the Web. In cases where nominations from the membership do not result in a full slate of officers, all of the officers will work together to establish a slate.

Elections shall take place every two years. Terms of office will normally be aligned to the calendar year. If an officer leaves their post prematurely, a replacement may be elected to complete their term of office.

To ensure continuity, the outgoing President will serve as the Past President for the two years following them stepping down from that position.

To be eligible to stand for election as a student board member, candidates should be expected to complete at least one year of their term of office before their Ph.D. defense would reasonably be scheduled.

IV. CHANGES TO THE CONSTITUTION

Changes to the SIG‐SLPAT constitution may be proposed by the SIG‐SLPAT officers or by ten SIG‐SLPAT members. They will first be posted on the SIG‐SLPAT Web page, with SIG‐SLPAT members invited to comment on the changes. Afterwards the proposed change will be circulated to the SIG‐SLPAT membership, and a ratification vote will be held. The amendment will be adopted if a majority of those voting approve it.

The ACL Executive Committee may veto proposed constitution changes if they are incompatible with the ACL Constitution or SIG guidelines.

(download: SIG-SLPAT-Constitution.pdf)