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[Rev. October 13, 2022]

The bylaws of the North American Federation of Adapted Physical Activity (hereinafter referred to as NAFAPA) are reviewed by each standing NAFAPA Board and revised to delineate changes in goals and processes as the organization responds to current needs and efforts. The NAFAPA Board will present any modifications of the bylaws, and such changes will be voted upon, at the NAFAPA business meeting of the upcoming biennial symposium.


The current bylaws were reviewed and voted on at the NAFAPA business meeting held St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada on October 13th, 2022 and became effective immediately upon adoption.


 Article 1. Constitution


  1. NAFAPA is constituted as the North American branch of the International Federation of Adapted Physical Activity (hereinafter referred to as IFAPA).


  1. Mission: The mission of NAFAPA is to advance scientific inquiry and the creation, dissemination, and application of knowledge in Adapted Physical Activity.


  1. Vision: An Adapted Physical Activity field that ensures equitable opportunities for meaningful participation in physical activity, sport, and exercise for individuals experiencing disability across the lifespan.


Article 2. Purposes


2.1 Share contemporary research, practical knowledge, and emerging trends in adapted physical activity to all interested parties.

2.2 Offer participants and constituent groups opportunities for dialogue, development of collaborative projects, and professional support.

2.3 Encourage professional cooperation in the field of physical activity to the benefit of individuals of all abilities and across the lifespan.

2.4 Support the translation and application of research results in various areas of professional practice related to sport, exercise, and physical activity.

Article 3. Fundamental Activities

3.1 Initiates, facilitates, and supports biennial international research symposia in the area of adapted physical activity.

3.2 Encourages and promotes academic study in adapted physical activity.

3.3 Promotes and disseminates best practice in adapted physical activity that are founded upon inclusive and meaningful participation of individuals with specific interests and needs.

3.4 Develops and disseminates NAFAPA newsletter to all identified affiliates and interested parties.

3.5 Cooperates with other national and international organizations focused on health, physical activity, and/or disability.


Article 4. Non-Discrimination


4.1 NAFAPA abides by principles of mutual respect and recognition, sovereignty, and non-interference into rights of its affiliates. It recognizes rights of all adapted physical activity scientists and educators throughout North America to participate in international activities. It will strictly oppose every form of discrimination for reasons of ethnicity, cultural background, religion, political views, language, ability, sexual preference, or gender.


Article 5. NAFAPA Membership


5.1 The NAFAPA membership includes those who have registered for the biennial NAFAPA symposia or have paid the membership fee. A member must be affiliated with a North American program or institution.


5.2 Members have the responsibility to support the mission and purposes of NAFAPA and adhere to all by-laws of the organization.


5.3 Members may take part in all aspects of the NAFAPA Business Meeting which is held in conjunction with each biennial symposium.


5.4. The members elect representatives to serve on the NAFAPA Board and be elected as representatives to the Board so desired, eligible, and elected.

5.5. All members are eligible to approve of specific NAFAPA tasks and activities and review and ratify any changes to the by-laws.

5.6  All business items warranting a vote will be communicated to the members two weeks prior to a call for the vote. Every member has one vote and decisions are made by simple majority.

Article 6. NAFAPA Board of Directors


6.1 The Board of Directors is the executive representative of NAFAPA who oversee and conduct all business related to the mission and purposes of the organization.


6.2 The NAFAPA Board is elected by members with each officer serving a two-year term in the intervening years between symposia. NAFAPA Board members must be affiliated with a North American program or institution.


6.3 The NAFAPA Board has at least six members: President, President-Elect, Past President, Secretary, Treasure, Member at Large, and Representative to Affiliate Organizations.


6.3.1 President. The President shall serve a two-year term (following his/her term as President-Elect). This person shall be responsible for calling and conducting business meetings, facilitating communication with the NAFAPA affiliates, and shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Symposium Director.


6.3.2 President-Elect. The President-Elect shall be elected for a two-year term. This person shall assist the President as needed, and shall serve in an advisory capacity to the officers and members of NAFAPA.


6.3.3 Past President. The immediate Past President shall serve a two-year term (following his/her term as President). This person shall serve in an advisory capacity to the officers and members of NAFAPA.


6.3.4 Secretary/Archivist. The Secretary/Archivist shall maintain minutes of NAFAPA meetings and shall maintain a mailing list of NAFAPA members and affiliates.


6.3.5 Treasurer. The treasurer shall serve a four-year term. The treasurer is responsible for all finances and the expansion of paid membership. The treasurer is responsible for reporting a current account of NAFAPA financial information at Board meetings, and to the membership as part of the NAFAPA business meeting. 


6.3.6 Member at Large. At the time of the vote, members at large shall be enrolled as students at institutions in North America. There shall be two to four members at large serving for a two-year term. Members at large, in concert with the President, will serve as Editorial Board members responsible for developing the NAFAPA Newsletter, oversee and maintain the NAFAPA website, and serve in an advisory capacity to the Board. 

6.3.7 Representative to Affiliate Organizations. The Affiliate Representative shall be elected for a two-year term. This person shall serve as a liaison from NAFAPA to IFAPA and other identified affiliate organizations, and shall represent NAFAPA at IFAPA and other professional meetings.


6.4 The NAFAPA Board will be elected by the members.  Nominations for officers will be solicited in advance of each research symposium and voting will be conducted electronically.  New officers will be announced at the NAFAPA business meeting.   


6.5 Any vacancy on the Board that occurs between symposia shall be filled by the Board member next in line without requiring an Assembly vote. 


Article 7. Operating Code


7.1 Biennial Research Symposium. The primary function of the NAFAPA Board is to facilitate the initiation, identification, and implementation of a biennial research symposium.


7.1.1 Guidelines for submitting a proposal to host the NAFAPA symposium and developing the meeting are reviewed and revised by the NAFAPA Board.


7.1.2 The NAFAPA Board will invite/solicit letters of interest for hosting the symposium followed by full proposals approximately one year before the symposium is to take place.  Proposals will be thoroughly reviewed and considered by all officers and the host will be determined by a majority vote of the current NAFAPA Board members.         


7.1.3 Once the symposium host is approved, the Symposium Director will have full authority, responsibility, and autonomy with respect to decisions about the symposium. The Symposium Director will also facilitate and oversee all relevant honors and awards associated with the organization.


7.2 Business meetings. Business meetings shall be held during each biennial research symposium. In the event of cancelation or postponement of the symposium, a virtual business meeting including the Board and membership shall be convened. Primary items of business shall be seating of new officers, announcement of the host of the next NAFAPA Research Symposium, reports from the officers, and revisions to the NAFAPA constitution and bylaws.  Members of the NAFAPA in attendance will be invited to discuss these items and bring any new items to the attention of the NAFAPA board.


7.3 Finances. All finances are managed by the Treasurer in consultation with the president, president-elect, and past president. Major expenses will be voted on by the NAFAPA board prior to execution.


Article 8. Honors and Awards


8.1 At the time of the Biennial Research Symposium, NAFAPA offers four awards: (a) the Greg Reid Student Poster Award; (b) the Patricia Austin Graduate Student Award; (c) the New Investigator Award; and (d) the Honor Award.

8.1.1 The Greg Reid Student Poster Award is offered to an outstanding student poster presented at the NAFAPA symposium. This award is administered by the Director hosting the NAFAPA symposium.

8.1.2 The Patricia Austin Graduate Student Award is offered for an outstanding graduate student research paper in adapted physical activity. This award is administered by the NAFAPA Board.

8.1.3 The Allen W. Burton New Investigator Award recognizes a new investigator who has begun and is very likely to continue making significant scientific contributions to the field of Adapted Physical Activity. This award is administered by the NAFAPA Board.

8.1.4. The Dale A. Ulrich Leadership Award is the most prestigious award offered by NAFAPA. This award is granted to an individual with a distinguished career of outstanding professional contributions to the field of Adapted Physical Activity. The Dale A. Ulrich Leadership Award is administered by the NAFAPA Board.

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