Societies of the Academy were created for the purpose of enhancing learning opportunities for Academy members with specific areas of interest and to share expertise in a particular area with all those in the O&P profession. Their primary objectives are education and information dissemination. Since societies function as a part of the Academy and fall within the scope of the Academy's bylaws they may not take individual positions on issues that have not been cleared through the Academy Board of Directors. They may however suggest policy positions to the Board of Directors at any time through the Academy's national office. Societies may not enter into any agreements or arrangements with outside commercial or scientific organizations without first having these approved by the Academy's Board of Directors. All society communications are internal to the Academy.
Societies derive their funding from the Academy through membership dues. Society budgets are developed by the Academy Board of Directors each year. Currently 50% of all dues collected for society memberships are available to the societies for their work. These funds may be used under the same guidelines as all Academy funds and approval for use of the funds is requested through the Academy national office.
Societies may use Academy copyrighted materials including the logo only for purposes which are expressly noted in the Academy Bylaws.
The Academy and Societies are mutually interdependent and supportive. The Societies provide an avenue for expanding Academy activities, for encouraging research and for enhancing communication and dissemination of research findings. The Societies are encouraged to participate in the Academy Annual Meeting, submit modules for review to the Leimkuehler Online Learning Center and contribute clinical content to the Academy Today. The Academy will provide the publicity, scheduling, staff support, visibility, and the prestige of Academy affiliation.
This cooperative relationship between the Societies and the Academy is mutually beneficial for the O&P profession. It is important that the Academy provide standard guidelines for forming, operating and terminating the Societies to maintain an orderly approach to the development of Societies and assure a high degree of quality and integrity. These guidelines serve to preserve the overall structure and mission of the Academy while allowing for broader member growth and development. The operating policies and procedures, enacted by the Board of Directors, are designed to reduce uncertainties and ambiguities in the formation and operation of these Societies.