AACP Consumer-Presenter Scholarship Policy and Procedure

August 1, 2009

I. Policy:

Health and human services consumers may apply for an AACP scholarship for the purposes of participating as part of a conference program. An AACP Member must sponsor the application of the consumer for funds to cover the travel, one day’s registration fee, and up to one night’s stay.

As the annual AACP budget allows, the organization will dedicate up to $5000 per year for “consumer-presenter scholarships.”

1) Funding is intended for people who identify as consumers and represent themselves as systems-level peer advocates and those who have suffered stigmatization and marginalization with its attendant issues (e.g. inadequate care). Eligible consumer-presenters include adults with significant mental illness and/or disabling effects of trauma; youth with mental illness or trauma related syndromes with disabling effects, including developmental issues; and family members who have been affected by another family member with mental health in ways that were functionally significant for them.

2) The eligible conferences that a consumer-presenter may be funded to attend are the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting, the Institute on Psychiatric Services, and the AACP Winter Meeting. There may be exceptions made for special circumstances, i.e. participation at conferences for other organizations that directly involve AACP programs.

3) Funding is intended for those who have insufficient resources to afford the travel expenses of attending a conference in order to make a presentation. If a person lives within 2 hours of the conference site, the Executive Committee would approve transportation/per diem/registration, but NOT lodging.

4) For adults 18 and above, $1000 is the maximum allowed per scholarship.

5) Youth under 18 attending as consumer-presenters may seek funding for an accompanying parent or guardian, with the provision that they share hotel expenses, that the accompanying adults have insufficient resources to pay their own way and that the package for transportation and hotel not exceed $1500.

6) The AACP welcomes consumers who wish to attend the AACP board meetings, participate in its receptions or membership meetings, or who want to attend more of the conference than any one-day consumer attendance fee allows. However, the AACP is unable to fund any activities beyond those encompassing a total of a one-night stay at an eligible conference in order to specifically meet the obligations of the presentation for which funding is requested.

7) In order to be fair to all AACP members who may wish to sponsor the funding of a consumer-presenter, each AACP member will be limited in sponsorship to both no more than two approved scholarships per year and a maximum annual outlay of 2000 dollars for sponsored consumer-presenters.

8) In order to be fair to all possible potential consumer-presenters, any person who is a consumer-presenter will be allowed a maximum of one scholarship every two years.

II. Procedure:

  1. As Sponsor, the AACP Member completes an application form so that the AACP (AACP president or designee) receives it at least 45 days in advance of travel.
    1. Application form contents:
      1. Name of AACP-member-sponsor
      2. Name of consumer-presenter
      3. Conference name and sponsor (preliminary/final program enclosed as a supporting document)
      4. Abstract/summary of the conference session at which the consumer will participate, including educational objectives
      5. Basic eligibility:
        1. Endorsement and explanation of “consumer” status as described in (I, 1), above. The sponsor will also identify the consumer-presenter as being in at least one of three classes of consumers: adult consumers, youth consumers, family consumers.
        2. Evidence that the sponsor has sought participation of a consumer-presenter who lives within two hours travel of the conference site, or offers explanation of extenuating circumstances for selecting a non-local consumer-presenter.
        3. Clear endorsement that other funding sources (with specific sources sought noted, both personal and through external funding) are unavailable to the applicant consumer-presenter. If no other sources are available at all, this must be clearly stated and explained.
      6. Listing of anticipated costs:
        1. Air and surface travel
        2. Conference registration
        3. Hotel fee (incuding taxes)
        4. Per diem (not to exceed $100/day): food and miscellaneous
  1. Approval. The AACP’s Executive Committee reviews the application and determines approval or rejection, as appropriate, within three weeks of receiving the application. The Executive Committee may exercise an option to fund all or part of the requested amount. In addition to basic eligibility, other broad criteria for approval include:
    1. Evidence of a financially prudent use for the amount requested from the AACP.
    2. Merits of the application, based on goals consistent with the mission of the AACP.
  1. Funding. Once an application is approved, the AACP, in a timely manner, will directly reimburse the consumer-presenter for approved costs after the travel has been completed. In the form of furnishing receipts, the applicant, with endorsement by the AACP-member sponsor, will supply evidence of all funds spent.
    1. In extraordinary circumstances, the AACP may consent to fund the consumer-presenter in anticipation of travel. The executive committee is responsible for this determination on a case-by-case basis.

4) Board Review: Minimally, on an annual basis, the Board of Directors will review all the Executive Committee’s approved and denied applications for scholarship. The AACP President is responsible for presenting a summary and all appropriate supporting documents to the board.