HLAK Chapter Bylaws


Hearing Loss Association of Kentuckiana



Article I-Name


The name of this organization is Hearing Loss Association of Kentuckiana (“HLAK”), Louisville, Kentucky, USA.  The Chapter is an affiliate of the parent organization, Hearing Loss Association of America (“HLAA”).  The Hearing Loss Association of Kentuckiana will be referred to as “HLAK” and/or the “Chapter”.



Article II-Objectives


HLAK is a volunteer organization of people with hearing loss, their relatives, friends, supporters and business contacts.  It is a nonprofit, nonsectarian, educational, support, advocacy organization devoted to the welfare and interests of those who have a hearing loss but are committed to participating in the hearing world.


The Objectives of the Chapter are to:

  1. Encourage identification of the people within the community that have a hearing loss.
  2. Provide education for them, their families, and friends on how best to cope with hearing loss.
  3. Foster programs and solutions aimed at alleviating the daily obstacles and challenges of a person who has a hearing loss.
  4. Engage in free and open communication with all concerned in finding a common basis of fellowship and understanding.
  5. Empower people with hearing loss so they feel in control of their lives and can continue to participate successfully in society.
  6. Create a community of education, advocacy, and support for people with hearing loss.



Article III-Functions


The functions of the Chapter shall be to:

  1. Promote programs designed to integrate people with a hearing loss into all aspects of society.
  2. Come together in fellowship, empathy and concern based on common experiences.
  3. Provide and exchange information relating to the nature, complications and possible remedies of hearing loss.
  4. Encourage and provide information to other groups to enable them to organize and serve people with hearing loss.
  5. Represent the interests of people with a hearing loss before public and private organizations and entities on matters pertaining to hearing and hearing impairment.
  6. Develop educational and social programs and activities for people with a hearing loss, their families and friends.
  7. Cooperate with other organizations and institutions on matters of mutual concern.
  8. Promote an awareness and appreciation of the interests of people with hearing loss.
  9. Provide any other services that will further the purposes of people with a hearing loss.



Article IV-Membership


Attendance and membership is open to any person who is interested in the Objectives and Functions of HLAK and the Objectives and Functions of the State and National Organizations.

  1. Active Membership is reserved to those who have joined HLAA and are current with their national dues.
  2. Active Members have the right to vote, make motions, hold office, chair committees and file grievances. HLAK does not require membership for attendance of events.
  3. Rights of Active Members:
    1. To hold any office in the Chapter and National Organization when duly elected or appointed.
    2. To make and/or amend motions and vote on them.
    3. To serve as a delegate to national conventions.
    4. To actively participate in all discussions concerning the Chapter.
    5. To present a grievance.
  4. Benefits of Active Membership:
    1. Hearing Loss Association of America is THE voice for all people with hearing loss.
    2. Information is brought to members through Hearing Loss Magazine: The Journal of Hearing Loss Association of America.
    3. The National Convention provides education and access to vendors and exhibitors.
    4. Support through local chapters and online information.
    5. Discounts on books, resource materials, convention fees and special promotions
    6. Advocacy efforts
    7. Surveys, courses and special events.
    8. Fellowship and support.
    9. Personal networking.
  5. “Voting rights, etc.” are reserved for those who have provided the Secretary with their HLAA membership number and expiration date.
  6. It shall be a goal of the Chapter to seek out anonymous sponsors who will provide or assist with the cost of membership for individuals who can not afford membership
    1. The Treasurer will maintain a separate account for this purpose.
  7. Members who are not online are encouraged to establish a communication link with someone who is online.
  8. Voting privileges are extended to current HLAA members enrolled under the Individual/Couple/Family Membership; the Student Membership or the Professional Membership, if that member is an active participant in HLAK meetings and socials.
    1. One (1) vote for Individual, Student or Professional member.
    2. Two (2) votes for a Couple or a Family



Article V-Governance


Rules of Conduct:

  1. HLAK shall be governed by these bylaws and those of the national organization.
  2. The Chapter shall meet twelve (12) times per year.

1.      Eight (8) of these meetings will be educational in nature.

  1. Educational/Speaker meetings shall be held monthly except for our Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter festival activities.
  2. At least seven (7) members in good standing shall constitute a quorum for conducting business at regular meetings.
  3. There should be more than one type of meeting. For Example:  Speaker’s, Business, Dinner, Sign Language Practice, Governing Board and Committee meetings.
  4. Voting may occur at a Speakers, Business, Board, Committee or Dinner Meetings.

1.      Voting may also take place via e-mail or U.S. Mail.

2.      Whenever possible, the President will announce via the internet, web site, or newsletter that a vote on an issue is planned.

  1. The Governing Board shall meet at least two (2) times per year. 

1.      Other meetings may be conducted via the internet.

  1. There will be a joint meeting of the Governing Board and the Advisory Board at least three (3) times per year.



Article VI-Officers



  1. Officers of HLAK shall be President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer.

1.      These officers shall be elected by a simple majority vote of the members for a term of two (2) years.

2.      These officers and the Immediate Past President shall appoint the officers in # D below.

  1. The Immediate Past President shall automatically serve as an officer for a term of not more than two (2) years.
  2. Elected officers shall serve no more than one (1) term, (two (2) consecutive years) in any one (1) office without an interval of four (4) years.

1.      Under special circumstances, the Governing Board may allow an officer to complete/fill a term vacancy and then be elected to the same office.

  1. Additional officers:  Editor, Historian, Public Relations Director, Webmaster committee chairs, and Indiana Representative shall be appointed by the new Elected Board and shall become voting members of the Governing Board.

1.      The committee chairs and the Indiana Representative may be elected by their appropriate constituents/members upon the request of the Governing Board.

  1. Elections are to be held via e-mail or U.S. Mail prior to the annual August meeting.

1.      Election results shall be announced at the annual August meeting.

  1. In the event of an emergency, the Board can call for a new election.
  2. All officers must be online prior to taking office.

1.      Free e-mail accounts may be obtained through the public library.

2.      When deemed necessary the Governing Board may vote to suspend this rule for one (1) term.

  1. All of the above officers shall constitute the Governing Board.
  2. The Board of elected officers may choose to combine an office for a term if it is expedient and logical to do so.
  3. At least two-thirds of the officers should have a hearing loss or be directly related to a person with a hearing loss.
  4. Newly elected and appointed officers will assume office at the September meeting.




  1. President:

1.      Shall preside at all meetings of the membership and Governing Board.

2.      Shall appoint chairpersons of all standing committees determined by the Governing Board and all formed by a vote of the membership.

3.      Shall monitor and report activities of KCDHH through the KCDHH HLAK representative.

4.      Shall represent the Chapter at local and civic meetings.

5.      Shall coordinate obtaining speakers for meetings.

6.      Shall speak for the Chapter.

7.      Shall maintain rules and regulations in accordance with good protocol and National’s requirements.

8.      Shall co-sign all checks with the Treasurer.

9.      Shall be an ex-officio non-voting (except for committees chaired) member of all committees except the nominating committee.

10. Shall see that all Chapter decisions are put into effect.

11. Shall see that all Chapter materials are turned over to successors.

12. Shall alert National to changes in offices and complete a brief history and summary of activities.

13. Shall support the State Coordinator/s in their efforts to produce the Kentucky State Fair HLAA/HLAK booth, by supplying membership volunteers.

  1. Vice-President:

1.      Shall assist the President in all duties

2.      Shall temporarily perform the duties of the President when s/he is absent or disabled.

3.      Shall be an ex-officio non-voting (except for committees chaired) member of all committees except the Nominating Committee.

4.      Shall maintain a list of all Board members and committees.

  1. Secretary:

1.      Shall keep minutes of all membership and Governing Board meetings. (May use a copy of the Captioning)

2.      Shall handle all correspondence.

3.      Shall maintain a membership list with the Membership Chair, President, Editor and Webmaster.

4.      Shall maintain an e-mail/group list with the Webmaster.

5.      Shall maintain all Chapter records not specifically assigned to someone else

6.      Shall maintain a record of all motions and votes.

7.      Shall record the proceedings of business meetings so that there can be no question as to what action was taken.

8.      Shall co-chair the Membership Committee.

9.      Shall assist the Nominations Committee by confirming the validity of the members HLAA membership number.

  1. Treasurer:

1.      Shall maintain all records of all receipts and disbursements.

2.      Shall obtain a copy of receipts or appropriate documents before reimbursing a member.

3.      Shall make reports of the financial condition at membership and Governing Board meetings when requested.

4.      Shall provide the Secretary with an annual report for publication in the HLAK newsletter.

5.      Shall submit regular monthly summaries (financial reports) for the newsletter.

6.      Shall co-sign checks with the President.

7.      Shall report newsletter payments to the Editor and coordinate a U.S. Mail list.

8.      Shall have an internal audit yearly

9.      Shall, at the discretion of the Board or when income/disbursements warrant, have an external audit at least every two (2) years (at the change of officers).

10. Shall maintain records/reports as directed by National’s Controller to maintain tax exempt status.

11. Shall complete a 990-EZ or other tax form yearly. (It is important to demonstrate to Grantors that we have a record of good bookkeeping and citizenship even if it is not required.)  Tax forms should be completed in a timely fashion.

12. Shall deposit all income and valuable effects in the name of HLAK at depositories designated by the Governing Board.

13. Shall balance bank statements monthly.

14. Shall serve as co-chair of the Ways and Means Committee.

15. Shall turn all records over to incoming Treasurers.

  1. Immediate Past President

1.      Shall serve as a member of the Governing Board.

2.      Shall serve in activities delegated by the President.

3.      Shall advise/assist the President as requested or needed.

  1. Editor:

1.      Shall edit the newsletter.

2.      Shall distribute the newsletter via the internet and/or the U.S. Mail.

3.      Shall assist the Secretary in maintaining an accurate membership list.

4.      Shall maintain the Chapter’s e-mail list in coordination with the Secretary.

5.      Shall maintain and coordinate a U.S. Mail Newsletter list with the Treasurer.

  1. Historian:

1.      Shall be the custodian of the club’s past, gathering and recording the present to preserve it for the future.

2.      Shall maintain a club scrapbook to document important events in the life of its members and the Chapter.

a.      Shall illustrate the growth and accomplishments achieved in the Chapter.

b.      Shall add names, dates and short descriptions to scrapbook entries to help future members know what took place.

  1. Public Relations Director

1.      Shall report to the President and act in agreement with the President on needs for PR.

2.      Shall establish contacts in the media for publicizing meetings, socials and whatever functions are deemed by the Chapter to need publicity.

3.      Shall write/speak for the Chapter with the President's approval when needed.

  1. Webmaster:

1.      Shall maintain the Chapter’s Website

2.      Shall coordinate with National on all website issues.

  1. Committee Chairs:

1.      Shall report all committee activities to the President/Vice- President.

2.      Shall report committee activities to the membership through the newsletter and meetings.

  1. Indiana Representative:

1.      Shall coordinate the activities of the Indiana members.

2.      Shall advise the President and the Board of issues which affect Indiana members.

3.      Shall communicate with the Indiana State HLAA Coordinator on Indiana issues.

4.      Shall advise the membership through the newsletter and meetings of Indiana issues and communications with the State Coordinator.

5.      Shall maintain contact with Indiana members and assist the Membership and Newcomers Committees regarding. Indiana members.

6.      Shall work with the Membership Committee in recruiting Indiana membership.



Article VII-Governing Board


Composition and Duties

  1. The Governing Board shall consist of all elected and appointed officers including the past President and the chairs of all committees. Board meetings will be open to the general membership.
  2. The Governing Board shall meet three (3) times per year and as the board deems necessary. The Board may choose to meet via the internet.
  3. The general membership should be advised of the Board meetings prior to holding the meetings.
  4. At least four (4) officers must be present for a quorum.
  5. The Governing Board shall make recommendations to the general Membership for all matters concerning vacancies, removals and other business that require resolution.
  6. The Board shall respond to all issues of the budget as directed below.
  7. The Governing Board shall meet with the Advisory Board three (3) times per year.



Article VIII-Nominations and Elections



  1. A committee for nominations shall be appointed by the President, from membership volunteers, to present the slate of nominees for elected office at the May meeting prior to the election.

1.      The slate will be listed within the HLAK July Newsletter prior to the election.

2.      Elections shall take place via e-mail/U.S. Mail and results announced at the August meeting.

3.      Any HLAK member in good standing may be nominated from the floor or via e-mail prior to the July meeting

4.      The Secretary will assist the Nominations Committee in confirming the voters HLAA membership.

a.      The ballot could include a tear off section which will have the voter’s HLAA membership number.

b.      The Secretary who will not see the ballot will confirm the validity of the number.

c.      The Nominations Committee’ members will not have access to the list of members HLAA membership numbers.)

  1. Officers shall be nominated by a simple majority of HLAK membership votes cast.
  2. Each member whose membership number is recorded with the Secretary shall be entitled to one (1) ballot vote.

1.      Members with Couple or Family Membership shall be entitled to two (2) ballot votes.

2.      The Nominations Committee may request that the Governing Board suspend the requirement that officers be online (VI, G) if there are insufficient nominees or a particular promising nominee would not be able to serve.  This suspension will last one (1) term and must be requested before June of each election that has this need.

a.      This suspension will last one (1) term and must be requested before June of each election that has this need.

b.      The membership must be made aware that a rules suspension has taken place so that other nominations can be made.

c.      If there are at least two (2) candidates for an office, the request should not be made.

d.      The request must be made for each separate office needing the suspension).



Article IX-Rules of Order


In general meetings shall be informal except when business or good order requires more formality.

  1. The most current edition of Robert’s rules of order shall be used in the instances when formality is required.
  2. The Secretary and the President should be familiar with these rules and invoke them when needed.
  3. The Secretary should have a copy available at all business and Board meetings.



Article X-Amendments to the Bylaws



  1. Amendments to the Bylaws may be proposed at any (voting) meeting by motion of any HLAK member registered with the Secretary.

1.      The motion must be seconded and voted upon.

2.      A written draft shall be submitted to the membership via the internet or U.S. Mail 30 days prior to a vote.

3.      Two thirds of the votes collected via e-mail and/or U.S. mail shall determine the outcome of the amendment.

  1. In an emergency, the Governing Board may vote for an accelerated process that will allow an e-mail/U.S. Mail vote but by-pass the 30 day period.



Article XI-Financial



  1. The fiscal year of the Chapter shall be the same as that of the national office.
  2. The annual financial report shall be audited as directed by the Governing Board.
  3. There shall be no dues assessed.  Fees for specific services may be assessed.
  4. In the event that the Chapter dissolves or ceases to function all remaining funds and assets shall be given to the national office.
  5. A budget will be presented to the membership each February.
  6. Bank Balance will be maintained at $500 or more.

1.      A majority of a meeting membership may temporarily approve a 20% reduction in this buffer if it can be demonstrated that the amount will be replaced in a reasonable time and manner.

2.      2/3 voting membership is required to reduce the buffer below $500 longer than the current fiscal year.

3.      2/3 voting membership is required to permanently change the amount of the buffer.

4.      100% of the budget in addition to the $500 buffer is required before money may be spent on a wish list item.

  1. President and Treasurer can adjust budget items as much as $100 as long as they remain within the total budget amount.

1.      The majority of the officers is required to move money (in excess of $100) from one (1) budget item to another while remaining within the total budget.

2.      A majority of the voting membership is required to increase the budget

3.      Non-budget items of less than $100 may be added by a majority of officers as long as the $500 buffer is not diminished.

  1. The President and Treasurer are authorized to pay all budget items without further approval of the membership.
  2. The President and Treasurer may present a revised budget to the voting membership at any time.
  3. The President may present a “Wish List” to the voting membership when the budget is proposed.

1.      The majority of the meeting membership can set the priorities (sequence) and add or delete items of the Wish List at any time.

2.      When income exceeds the required budget and buffer, the majority of officers may authorize a Wish List expenditure.

  1. It is suggested/requested that each member make a voluntary donation of at least $10 each year.
  2. Members who receive the newsletter by post must contribute a fee as assigned by the Governing Board. (As an example, the current fee is $15 per year for printing and mailing costs.)
  3. A standing “Ways and Means” Committee must be formed to identify and develop sources of income.
  4. The President, Webmaster, and the Ways and Means Committee are authorized to explore possibilities for selling ads on the web site and in the newsletter.

1.      A majority of the Governing Board may approve their proposals.



Article XII-Grievance Procedure



  1. Individual members or a group of members shall have the right to present signed or unsigned grievances for action and decision by the membership. Written grievances shall be presented to the President.
  2. Grievances shall be included in the agenda for the next membership meeting. If it is agreed that they should be pursued, the President shall appoint a committee of three (3) to serve as a grievance committee and to make an investigation and present a written report on its findings at the next membership meeting.
  3. Officers shall not serve on a grievance committee.
  4. Approval of the grievance committee’s recommendation shall be binding on the officers, except that the action may be appealed in writing to the executive committee of the national office within sixty (60) days.



Article XIII-Committees


Required Committees:

It is understood that many committee meetings will be conducted via the internet.

  1. Nominations Committee

1.      Shall prepare the slate and coordinate all election processes.

a.      See Article VIII.

2.      Shall recommend community leaders for our Advisory Board.

  1. Ways and Means Committee

1.      Shall brainstorm ways to finance projects and raise money for the Chapter

2.      Shall present the most promising projects to either the Board or the Chapter

3.      Shall lead and direct the projects for all the membership

4.      Shall lead and encourage members to take part in fund raising projects

  1. Program Committee

1.      Shall plan eight (8) education meetings for each year, October through September.

2.      Shall work with the Social Committee to determine which months to plan these meetings.

3.      Shall, with the assistance of the President and Vice- President, plan and procure an educator for each meeting.

4.      Shall introduce the educator/program at the meetings.

  1. Social Committee

1.      Shall plan four (4) festival meetings for each year, October through September.

2.      Shall work with the Program Committee to determine which months to plan these meetings.

3.      Shall plan and over-see social gatherings.

a.      Examples:  Dinner Meeting, Theater, Luncheon, Party, Movie.

4.      Shall supply refreshments (snack and drink) for educational meetings.

  1. Membership Committee

1.      Shall work to increase and support the membership. It will identify and implement ways to bring people with hearing loss to our meetings.

2.      Shall assist non-internet members by connecting them with a buddy to keep them updated on all internet transmissions.

3.      Shall work closely with the Secretary, as co-chair, to maintain an accurate membership list. 

4.      Shall welcome all new attendees, enroll and introduce them to the membership.  

5.      Maintain and distribute “Newcomer’s Information” folder.  

6.      Develop a mentoring team.

Recommended Committees:

  1. Sign Language Committee.
  2. Recreation Committee
  3. Advocacy Committee

1.      Shall coordinate with the President in providing representation at pertinent public/state meetings.

  1. Publicity Committee.



Article XIV-Advisory Board


An Advisory Board consisting of the Governing Board, four (4) Business Leaders (Accountant, Lawyer, Doctor, P R Specialist etc) and our Audiologist/Professional Advisor shall meet four (4) times per year to discuss connecting HLAK to the community at large, problems of the Chapter in relation to the community, and other business issues as requested by the President or Governing Board.

  1. The Primary Goals of the Advisory Board:

1.      Develop better community relations.

2.      Develop name recognition.

3.      Develop and maintain a professional/business organization.

4.      Develop ways to Educate, Support and Advocate for people with a hearing loss.

5.      Position the Chapter for grant support.

  1. The President shall report to the Advisory Board the status and well-being of the Chapter prior to the quarterly meetings.
  2. The President shall provide all members of the Governing Board with an Agenda one (1) week prior to the meeting.
  3. The President or appropriate Committee Chair shall report on the status of the Board’s previous recommendations or actions.
  4. Advisory Board Members shall serve for two (2) years.

1.      Initially, two (2) members shall serve for one (1) year and two (2) for two (2) years.)

2.      Two (2) members shall rotate off and two (2) new members shall rotate on each year.

  1. The Nominations Committee of the Chapter shall recommend members of the Advisory Board.

1.      The simple majority of the Governing Board shall approve all new Advisory Board members.