Chapter VIII. Convention Affairs


Policy that the Board of Directors determines the site of the APA annual convention

Council voted that the Board of Directors shall have the power to determine the location of convention sites.


Policy on the length of the annual convention

Council voted that the time span of the convention should be allowed some flexibility to meet exigencies of space, but in no case should it exceed seven days.

Policy regarding the designation of division program chairs

Council recommended to divisions that they designate divisional program chairmen at least a year before they are to assume office so that planning discussions for the next convention can be initiated during the week of the proceeding convention; and that the lack of experience which handicaps divisional program chairmen could be minimized by adoption of a scheme of succession similar to that employed for the APA Convention Program Committee, whereby a member of the committee progresses from membership to the chairmanship over a three-year period, or such other rotation plan as seems feasible.

Policy that all convention programming must be submitted through a division

Council voted that in order to assure adequate scientific screening of programs for which the APA may be held accountable by the public, all substantive programs should be submitted through an APA division, whether such programs are initiated by an individual or by some organization not an integral part of the APA.

Policy regarding the listing of authors on joint papers

Council approved the policy that the order of listing of authors' names on joint papers should follow the principle that the person who will read the paper be listed first.

Policy on listing of convention sessions

Council directed the Convention Program Committee to list pre- or post-convention sessions, limited attendance meetings, and meetings for which a fee is charged, provided the committee judges the meeting to be: (a) of interest to the membership, and (b) the requesting organization be nonprofit making, or governmental, or an organization affiliated with the APA.

Policy on business meetings and presidential addresses for organizations not an integral part of APA

Council voted that business meetings and presidential addresses for organizations not an integral part of APA should be scheduled at the discretion of the Convention Program Committee.


Policy on reimbursement of non-APA guest speakers at convention

Council voted that expenses incurred when APA officers invite non-APA members to participate in the APA-wide programs at the Annual Convention be considered a legitimate convention expense and that distinguished speakers who are invited to address the convention should be offered reimbursement for expenses and may receive an honorarium when they are not members of the APA.


Guidelines on physical and social accessibility

The imposition of physical and social barriers makes it difficult or impossible for persons with disabilities to attend professional meetings. Such exclusion has at least two effects:

  1. It hinders the handicapped in the pursuit of their professional goals and denies them the benefits gained by association with their colleagues.

  2. It deprives society of the possible contributions of a significant number of its members, whose disabilities are extraneous to the positive contributions they might make.

Considered in this context, barriers to the participation of individuals with disabilities have the same effects as those derived from the barriers against contributions by such minority groups as blacks. The issue is a civil rights issue.

As citizens of this society we should be sensitive to such civil rights issues. As psychologists we should especially be aware both of the psychological damage done to the handicapped and nonhandicapped by these barriers and of the psychological and social benefits to be gained by both groups when access is free and when they are allowed to gain from each others contributions. APA, as an organization, has held as policy that it would convene only in cities that placed no barriers that were based on race, creed, color, or -place of origin-all criteria that are irrelevant to professional contribution. APA, as an organization, also holds that barriers based on sex are equally irrelevant. We are thus acting in accord with the worthy tradition of APA when we state our policy regarding the handicapped. We wish to bring the following goals to the attention of our members, and urge them to implement these goals as rapidly as possible:

Definition: By "APA" is meant the American Psychological Association, its boards, committees, and task forces, or any groups meeting under the auspices of the Association in their capacity as members of the Association.

  1. Cities: It will be the goal of APA to convene only in cities where the convention area is physically and socially accessible to the handicapped.

  2. Hotels and Related Accommodations: It will be the goal of APA to designate for convention, lodging, or official dining and social function use only those facilities that provide independent access for participants who happen to have a disability. Every hotel thus designated will have such access at or safely near the main entrance.

  3. Functions: It will be the goal of APA that all social or official functions, including dining functions for special interest groups, of the type described in the convention, program, or posted at conventions, or arranged through mailings of division members, or planned as unit functions shall be held in independently accessible places.

  4. Designation and Monitoring of Accessibility: It will be the goal of APA prior to the acceptance of a city or hotel or other facility to inspect and certify that facility as a convention accommodation. Inspection and monitoring will be by at least one handicapped person for each class of disabilities who will test accessibility of the accommodations.

  5. Feedback: Provision will be made to assess personal reactions of APA's members with disabilities to the physical and social accessibility of the facilities provided, and to obtain recommendations from them for further changes.

  6. Joint Participation: It will be the goal of APA to join with other professional organizations to set up a continuing representative council in order to promote agreed upon resolutions for accessibility and for discussion of common actions on these and related topics that may arise.

  7. Dissemination: All cooperating professional organizations noted in Section 6 that hold conventions will be advised of these resolutions and will be apprised of the results of APA inspection, monitoring, and feedback.

  8. Implementation: At present, we urge adoption of the foregoing as goals. We urge APA as rapidly as possible to convert these goals into active policy, and we request regular reporting to the Council of Representatives through the Board of Social and Ethical Responsibility for Psychology of steps taken that move in this direction. (Also included in Section XII: Public Interest.)


Policy on using laws that criminalize consensual adult sexual behaviors as criteria in selecting convention sites

APA reaffirms its opposition to laws criminalizing consensual adult sexual behavior in private and directs the Board of Convention Affairs to consider the presence of such laws as a factor in the selection of future convention sites and in programming.


Policy on scheduling dates of the annual convention

Council approved having the dates for the annual convention remain as presently defined by the Board of Convention Affairs from the second Thursday in August to the following Sunday.