DeafBlind Division of the National Federation of the Blind Constitution
Amended June 2018
The name of this organization shall be DeafBlind Division of the National Federation of the Blind.
The purpose of this organization is to serve as a division of the National Federation of the Blind; to be a vehicle for collective action by the blind and the deafblind of the nation; to function as a mechanism through which the blind, deafblind, and interested sighted persons can come together to plan and carry out programs to improve the quality of life for the blind and the deafblind; to promote the vocational, cultural, and social advancement of the blind and deafblind; to achieve the integration of the blind and the deafblind into society on a basis of equality with the sighted; to focus attention upon the problems faced by deafblind people in all walks of life; and to take any other action which will improve the overall condition and standard of living of children, adolescents, adults and seniors who are blind or deafblind.
The members of this organization shall be blind, deafblind, and others interested in promoting the purposes of this organization. The members of this organization are members of the National Federation of the Blind and shall have the same rights, privileges, and responsibilities as other members of the National Federation of the Blind.
This organization shall be made up primarily of blind and deafblind people, and it shall be controlled by the blind and the deafblind. A majority of its voting members must be blind or deafblind.
Any member may be expelled for violation of this Constitution, for violation of the policies of the National Federation of the Blind, or for conduct unbecoming to a member of the Federation, by a majority vote of the active members present and voting at any regular business session of this organization, or by two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors. The National Convention of this organization may reinstate any person who has been expelled. Any person who feels that he/she has been unjustly expelled from this organization may appeal to the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind, which may (at its discretion) consider the matter and make a binding decision. Unless the decision to suspend or expel is reversed by the National Convention or by the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind, the ruling of suspension or expulsion shall continue in effect.
The name National Federation of the Blind, Federation of the Blind, or any variant thereof, is the property of the National Federation of the Blind; and if this organization ceases to be a part of the National Federation of the Blind (for whatever reason) it shall forfeit the right to use the name National Federation of the Blind, Federation of the Blind, or any variant thereof.
ARTICLE IV--OFFICERS AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The officers of this organization shall be: President; First Vice President; Second Vice President; Secretary; and Treasurer. The duties of those officers shall be those customarily associated with their respective offices. The officers shall be elected bi-annually by a majority vote of the members of this organization present and voting at the annual meeting. There shall be no proxy voting.
In 2019 the members will elect the President, 1st VP, 2nd VP and Secretary, members for two years. The Treasurer and 4 Board members for 2 years in 2020.
The board of directors of this organization shall consist of the five constitutional officers and four (4) additional members, four of whom shall be elected for two-year terms at the annual convention during odd numbered years, and five of whom shall be elected for two-year terms at the annual convention during even numbered years. The year after the meeting at which this constitution is adopted, The President, two vice presidents and the secretary shall be elected to two-year terms, in 2021 and in 2022 the Treasurer and four board members shall be elected to two-year terms. The board shall meet at the call of the president or on written call signed by any three of the board members.
The Board of Directors of this organization shall consist of the five (5) constitutional officers and four (4) additional members. The four (4) Board Members shall be elected at the same time and in the same manner as that prescribed for the election of officers. The Board shall meet at the call of the President or on written call signed by any five (5) of the Board Members. The Board shall advise the President and shall have charge of the affairs of the organization between meetings. At least a majority of the members of the Board must be present at any meeting to constitute a quorum to transact business.
If, for any reason, a position on the Board of Directors is vacated, the membership of the Division shall be informed as soon as possible. If the vacated office is neither that of President nor that of First Vice President, the President, with advice and consent of a majority of the remaining Board, shall determine whether or not to fill the vacancy by appointment. If the vacancy occurs within ten (10) months after the most recent election for that office, it may additionally be filled by special election at the subsequent national convention. Whatever decision has been made shall be transmitted to the affiliate membership within thirty (30) days after notification of the vacancy. The new Board member shall remain in office until the next regularly scheduled election for that office. If the office of President Is vacated, the First Vice President shall immediately assume that office. If the office of First Vice President is vacated, including to fill the office of President, the Second Vice President shall immediately assume that office, and the vacancy of Second Vice President shall be addressed in the manner prescribed above.
This organization shall hold its annual meeting at the time and place of the annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind. The Board of Directors shall conduct the business of the organization between annual meetings.
The President of this organization may call a special meeting of the body at any time he/she, or a majority of the Board of Directors, deems such action to be necessary. At such special meeting at least fifteen (15) members must be present to constitute a quorum to transact business, and written notice must have been sent to each member and to the members of the Board of Directors at least ten (10) days prior to the date of the meeting.
The President may appoint such committees as he/she or the organization deems necessary. The President shall be ex officio a member of all committees.
The dues for members of this organization shall be five dollars ($5.00) per year, payable in advance. No person may vote who is delinquent in the payment of his/her dues.
For persons joining this organization after the first annual meeting, dues received less than sixty (60) days prior to the next annual meeting shall not become effective until after the close of that meeting, and those persons may not vote or run for office at that meeting.
ARTICLE VIII--FUNDS AND FINANCING
The funds of this organization shall be deposited in a bank to be selected by the Treasurer with the approval of the President. All financial obligations of this organization shall be discharged by check, issued on order of the President, and signed by the Treasurer.
In the event of the dissolution of this organization, or (for whatever reason) it ceases to be a part of the National Federation of the Blind, its assets shall be transferred to the treasury of the National Federation of the Blind.
This constitution may be amended by two-thirds vote of the members present and voting at any meeting of this organization; but the amendments shall not become effective until they have been presented to the President of the National Federation of the Blind for review and approval.