Societies Purpose

Societies Defined: Societies are groups of individuals who pursue common goals in a specific area of orthotics and/or prosthetics.

Mission Statement: The mission of the Societies of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists is to provide support to and advancement of the Academy's objectives of professional development through groups of individuals who pursue common goals in a specific area of orthotics and prosthetics.

Objectives: (A) To share information and knowledge among Society members; (B) To encourage literature, clinical and product development research; (C) To present and publish the results of A and B by publishing in the JPO, Academy Today and/or developing learning modules to be posted on the Paul E. Leimkuehler Online Learning Center.

The objectives of the Societies represent the activities each Society is expected to pursue. Following are some ways in which the Society can meet the goals of sharing information, facilitating research, presenting, and publishing.

Sharing Information

  • Conference calls
  • Roundtable discussions
  • Telephone calls
  • Newsletters
  • Letters (personal correspondence)
  • Journal clubs
  • Sketches, photos and slides
  • Society Listserve
  • Presenting at the Academy Annual Meeting or Chapter Meetings
  • Publishing in the Academy Today or the JPO

Specific Research Goals

  • Identify current and proposed research topics
  • Identify projects worthy of support
  • Identify existing or potential principal investigators and associates
  • Create research guidelines


  • Develop program content for potential inclusion in the Academy Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium and for the Online Learning Center
  • Provide scientific program content for Academy Chapter meetings


  • Encourage members to write articles to be published in the JPO
  • Encourage publication of articles in the Academy Today
  • Encourage members to write for other allied health journals
  • Encourage members to explore other avenues toward creating a body of literature specific to O&P

Policy for Society Newsletters

It is a goal of all societies to publish a newsletter. Newsletters are primarily intended to be an additional means of sharing scientific information or general practice information to assist practitioners and researchers in their everyday tasks.

Since newsletters carry the Academy name and are officially published by the Academy they need to be reviewed for major technical or grammatical errors, political sensitivities and apparent legal issues. In addition all newsletters must carry the following statement; "Information contained in this newsletter is not necessarily the view of the Academy, but rather the view of the individual authors."

Society newsletters will be forwarded to Academy staff for editorial review with a final review by the chair of the Scientific Societies Committee. Those involved in the review process will strive to accomplish the review within two weeks of receipt of the document.

In addition, Societies are encouraged to act as a resource for inquiries from inside and outside the profession, including speaking at meetings, reviewing literature on subjects in the individual Society's arena, and evaluating and developing position papers on components, techniques and treatments. Societies should also make recommendations to the Publications Committee Chair on textbooks and manuals that should be added to the list of recommended reading for Academy members. These should be submitted though the Academy's national office.

If a Society wishes to participate in or implement a long-range program not specified above they must submit a formal request to the scientific society chair and to the Academy Board of Directors no later than 30 days prior to the next scheduled board meeting. Requests for additional funds for special projects or projects not listed in the goals and objectives of the Societies must also be requested from the Board of Directors no later than 30 days prior to the next scheduled board meeting.

Policy for Academy Today Collaboration

Societies are encouraged to contribute 2-3 page clinical articles, which would include references, to the Academy Today. These clinical articles would then be used in an issue that is dedicated to the particular society's special interest.

Societies will receive a list of topics that will be covered in future issues of the Academy Today as they are determined. A Society may contribute a clinical article and suggest a topic for a future issue as well. For details on these clinical articles, including timelines for submission, Society Chairs should contact the Academy Office.

Once a clinical article is accepted for publication in the Academy Today the goal is to turn that article into a module for the Leimkuehler Online Learning Center. The Academy will work with the author/authors in the development of the learning module.

Policy for Leimkuehler Online Learning Center Module Submission

Each society is also encouraged to recruit its members to get involved in creating a learning module for the Online Learning Center (OLC). In this way we will ensure that learning opportunities on the OLC cover every area of interest to Academy members. A CD on "How to Create a Module" is available upon request.