Board of Directors Meeting March 17, 2003


Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 1:04 p.m. (EST) on Saturday, March 17, 2003, by President Ruth Luckasson.


Members present—Ruth A Luckasson, president. David L. Coulter, vice president; Joanna L. Pierson, secretary–treasurer; Steven F. Warren, past president; Sharon C. Gomez; Stanley D. Handmaker; Robert H. Horner; Yves Lachapelle; Genevieve D. Pugh; David A. Rotholz; Frances E. Ulrich; Mark H. Yeager; Members absent—Ann P. Turnbull, president-elect; Brian Clukey; Cathy Ficker Terrill; William C. Gaventa; Amy S. Hewitt; Alison Alya Reeve; Neil J. Ross; Martha E. Snell; National staff present—M. Doreen Croser, Ana Montoulieu. Guests—Wendy Nehring, Tim Shriver.

Acceptance of Minutes

Joanna Pierson presented the minutes.

M/S/P (S. Handmaker, S. Warren): To unanimously accept the minutes of the Board of Directors meeting on January 10–12, 2003.

M/S/P (D. Rotholz, D. Coulter): To accept the minutes of the Executive Committee conference call on January 27, 2003.

M/S/P (S. Warren, M. Yeager): To accept the minutes of the Executive Committee conference call on February 24, 2003.


President: R. Luckasson reported that AAMR is working with other groups as part of the International Justice Project on the death penalty issue and has received funding from the British government to design materials for attorneys. There will be a committee appointed to develop these materials. She also plans to appoint a committee to create a new adaptive behavior scale assessment. This will utilize the current definition of mental retardation and the Supports Intensity Scale. Funding opportunities for this instrument will need to be explored. R. Luckasson reported that the public policy seminar that AAMR holds jointly with other groups that advocate for people with developmental disabilities had 350 attendees. The program was extremely successful with work on Capitol Hill to follow. The Executive Committee reviewed the recommendations for a new tagline and selected: promoting best practices, leadership, and self-determination. Her latest update to the membership was included with the Board materials and will be distributed with the next issue of the journals. Over 4,000 people downloaded the Chicago conference program the first week it was online.

Secretary–Treasurer's: J. Pierson noted that the final deficit for last year was $79,905, significantly lower than expected. In a comparison to last year's revenues and expenses, the Association is doing better. She commented that the important challenge is to turn from decreasing deficits to actively seeking new funding possibilities.

M/S/P (J. Pierson, F. Ulrich): To suspend last year's motion to designate $10,000 from current reserves to a capital replacement and technology enhancement fund.

Vice President: D. Coulter told Board members that he will send the draft of the strategic plan by e-mail. He described the 2004 AAMR Conference that will be held in Philadelphia. Its theme will be “meeting the challenge of health and wellness (physical, mental, and spiritual.”

Executive Director: D. Croser updated the Board on the journal subscription situation, which appears to be a $27,000 problem, significantly less than anticipated. The Supports Intensity Scale (SIS) was delivered and is currently being edited. It is targeted for sale beginning in the autumn. There was a discussion of selling the current Adaptive Behavior Scale to ProEd. The Board agreed that it was a good idea to sell it. For the book program, staff are working on marketing and looking at distributors to increase sales. Although the new membership system is not currently operational on the webpage, it is close to being ready according to the consultants.

Assembly Speaker Pro-Tempore: M. Yeager reported that the Assembly leadership is continuing to work on the “Power of One” campaign. He has heard from some regions on this. He also is moving forward on the revision of the Constitution and Bylaws of the Association.

Conference Chairperson: D. Rotholz explained that he has updated the leadership manual to reflect the Conference's evolving structure. He has sent this document to both current and incoming leaders of Divisions and Special Interest Groups.

Power of One Campaign: The leadership has received the materials for this campaign. The Board expressed its appreciation for the work of William Gaventa on this and its willingness to continue to assist him in his efforts.

Committee Vacancies

M/S/P (S. Gomez, F. Ulrich): To endorse the appointments of the Executive Committee of Donna Lehr to the Health Promotion Committee and Genevieve Pugh to the Finance Committee.


2005 Disability Summit Concept Paper: D. Croser presented information on the draft agreement and concept paper to hold a Disability Summit in 2005 jointly with other organizations advocating for people who have developmental disabilities. It was noted that the governmental affairs cooperation between AAMR and The Arc, who have been joined by other groups, has led to activities such as this, with the end result of productive coalition building. The conference will most likely be in the fall in the Washington, DC, area.

M/S/P (F. Ulrich, D. Coulter): To support the 2005 Disability Summit and endorse the agreement to establish the alliance necessary to create this and other efforts.


M/S/P (S. Warren, S. Gomez): To adjourn the meeting at 1:54 p.m. (EST).

Respectfully submitted,

Joanna Pierson, PhD, FAAMR


Executive Committee Conference Call April 21, 2003


The meeting was called to order at 1:02 p.m. (EST) on Monday, April 21, 2003, by President Ruth Luckasson.


Members present—Ruth A Luckasson, president; Ann P. Turnbull, president-elect; David Coulter, vice president; Joanna L. Pierson, secretary–treasurer; David Rotholz, Conference; Mark Yeager, Assembly. National staff present—M. Doreen Croser, Ana Montoulieu. Guest—Valerie Bradley.

New Business

Board Member Terms: Because the new governance structure becomes effective this May, the terms of certain Board members will need to be extended. Those elected and currently on the Board will be asked to consider extending for one year. Names from this group will then be drawn to determine exactly whose term will be extended. This follows the recommendation of the SIGN Implementation Committee, which was approved earlier by the Board. A. Turnbull will follow-up on this plan. J. Pierson will draw the names because she was the chair of the SIGN Implementation Committee. The results will be presented to the Board at the May conference call.

Membership Dues Increase: D. Croser presented the proposed cost of living adjustment to the membership dues. This is based on previous Board action that dues should be increased based on the cost of living. This will be submitted to the full Board of Directors and then to the Conference and the Assembly.

M/S/P (D. Coulter, D. Rotholz): To accept a 7.33% membership dues increase across all categories of dues.

Strategic Plan Update: D. Coulter sent a copy of the plan to the Executive Committee. Because no one has had a chance to review this, it will be discussed at the May conference. A. Turnbull recommended a discussion of the plan at a session at the Chicago conference this year, which will provide the membership a chance to be involved in the evolution of the plan. Part of the plan needs to look at high profile projects that would raise significant revenues for the Association. M. Yeager recommended that the goals be written behaviorally and that task forces work on each of the goals throughout the year. A. Turnbull recommended that the goals be prioritized and that Executive Committee members be involved in the task forces. D. Rotholz recommended the addition of timelines.


Adaptive Behavior Scales Status: D. Croser will be having an attorney review the publisher's agreement to purchase the rights to the Adaptive Behavior Scale. It is for 12% and $150,000.

Chicago Convention: Although they have accomplished the necessary nuts and bolts work for the conference, the small AAMR staff has been taxed to its limits. This will need to be addressed next year. The Executive Committee will look at how to simplify the conference process. Staff need to be able to devote their time to the priorities of the Association rather than spending so much time on the conference.

Financial Status: J. Pierson reported that expenses, particularly personnel expenses, are lower than last year. Membership is lower as are journal subscriptions. Publications revenue is higher, and a large number of members have chosen to join Divisions and Special Interest Groups at a cost of $10.00 for each. It is important that we start to look at ways to raise significant revenues for AAMR.

Workgroup on SSA Listing of Impairments: D. Croser reported that they are looking at the definition of mental retardation. There needs to be a committee to link with SSA on this. It was recommended that the Terminology and Classification Implementation Committee, with the addition of some other members, be this committee.


The meeting was adjourned at 2:25 p.m. (EST).

Respectfully submitted,

Joanna Pierson, Ph.D., FAAMR