Kentucky Council of the Blind Constitution

Revised November, 2003

Amended November, 2013

Article I - Name:

The name of this organization is the Kentucky Council of the Blind Inc.

Article II - Purpose:

The purpose of this organization shall be:

  1. To explore ways in which members, both as individuals and as a group, can contribute to the economic, social and civic well-being of the community;
  2. To work for a better understanding by the public of the capabilities and aspirations of the blind and visually impaired;
  3. To work for improved quality education for all blind and visually impaired Kentuckians;
  4. To support broad employment opportunities for the blind, and to actively address issues related to the unemployment and underemployment of the blind;
  5. To represent the blind and visually impaired on issues affecting their interests;
  6. To act as an advocate for the rights of blind and visually impaired people;
  7. To provide programs and activities designed to increase interaction and facilitate understanding between the visually impaired, their sighted peers and family members;
  8. To work for the expansion and improvement of rehabilitation programs for the visually impaired;
  9. To distribute information on resources and opportunities available to the blind and visually impaired.

Article III - Membership and Affiliation

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  1. The Kentucky Council of the Blind is a state affiliate of the American Council of the Blind.
  2. The membership of the Kentucky Council of the Blind shall be of two (2) classes, voting and non-voting.
    1. Anyone who is at least 16 years of age and who resides within the state of Kentucky, or within a 25-mile radius of the state, or who has once been a resident of the state of Kentucky, may become an annual or life member of the Kentucky Council of the Blind.
    2. Annual members: Annual members shall pay membership dues each year of an amount and at such time as determined by the General Assembly. Annual members may participate in all activities of the organization, and shall have the right to vote and to hold office.
    3. Life members: An individual may become a life member of the Kentucky Council of the Blind upon payment of a life membership fee, of an amount to be determined by the General Assembly. Life members may participate in all activities of the organization and shall have the right to vote and to hold office.
    4. The General Assembly may establish, as it deems appropriate, classes of supporting, sustaining and honorary memberships. Members in these classes may participate in all activities of the organization and shall pay dues as established by the General Assembly, but shall not have the right to vote or to hold office.
    5. Junior Member: Any person who has not reached the age of sixteen (16) years may become a Junior Member of the Kentucky Council of the Blind. Junior members will pay membership dues as designated by the General Assembly. Junior members may participate in activities of the organization, but are not eligible to vote and may not hold office.
  3. Legally blind individuals shall at all times constitute a majority of the voting membership of the Kentucky Council of the Blind and of all chapters in good standing.
  4. Expulsion of any member may be affected by a two-thirds majority of those members present and voting at a General Assembly meeting. Voting will be conducted by secret ballot after a proper hearing, first before the Board of Directors and then before the General Assembly.

ARTICLE IV - Chapters and Partners

  1. Any group of six (6) or more annual or life members in good standing, a majority of whom are legally blind, may apply for affiliation as a chapter of this organization. Such application must include the Constitution and/or Bylaws of the chapter, the names and addresses of all chapter members, the names of the officers of the chapter, and dues for any member of the chapter not already a member of the Kentucky Council of the Blind. The application must be approved by the Board of Directors.
  2. Chapters may elect officers and hold regular and special meetings. Blind and visually impaired individuals must at all times constitute a majority of the membership of each chapter. The president and first vice president of all chapters of the Kentucky Council of the Blind must be legally blind.
  3. Chapters will be required to submit membership lists and pay annual dues for their members, as set forth elsewhere in this Constitution or by the General Assembly.
  4. A chapter in good standing may elect one of its members to serve as a chapter representative on the KCB Board of Directors. Prior to the seating of the representative on the KCB Board, the chapter president shall certify to the KCB President in writing the name, address, telephone number, and email address (if applicable) of the chapter representative. All representatives must be certified at least once a year.
  5. The Kentucky Council of the Blind may, at the request of a chapter, provide bookkeeping services to assist the chapter in its day-to-day operation. KCB shall provide monthly reports to all such chapters reflecting all financial transactions of that chapter. Upon request KCB may also assist chapters with the creation of publicity materials and other services as approved by the KCB Board of Directors.
  6. The Kentucky Council of the Blind may enter into partnerships and coalitions with new and existing groups and organizations for the purpose of working toward common goals of benefit to persons who are blind or visually impaired.

ARTICLE V: General Assembly

  1. A regular meeting of the General Assembly, known as the annual convention, shall be held once a year, with the time and place to be determined by the Board of Directors.
  2. The General Assembly shall be the ultimate authority within this organization on all matters except those delegated elsewhere in this Constitution to the final authority or discretion of the Officers, Board of Directors, or standing committees.
  3. Special membership meetings may be called as deemed necessary by the Board of Directors.
  4. Written notice of all regular and special meetings shall be published to the membership not less than fourteen (14) days prior to the meeting.

ARTICLE VI: Procedures

  1. All matters of business shall be conducted according to the most recent revision of Robert's Rules of Order, except where otherwise provided for in this Constitution.
  2. Quorums:
    1. One-fourth of the membership registered for the convention shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of business at the regular annual meeting, except as provided in Article IX.
    2. At least ten (10) per cent of the total voting membership of the organization shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of business at a special meeting of the organization.
    3. A majority of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of business at a meeting of the Board.
  3. Elections:
    1. The Nominating Committee will submit a list of candidates, as provided elsewhere in this Constitution. All elections are open for nomination of candidates from the floor. Candidates must either be present at the time of the election, or must indicate in writing in advance their willingness to serve. Upon nomination, the candidate must state his/her name, address, and interests.
    2. Election for any office for which two or more candidates are nominated must be conducted by secret ballot.

ARTICLE VII: Board of Directors

  1. The Board of Directors shall consist of the following:
    1. Five (5) officers, including a President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
    2. Five (5) directors;
    3. The Immediate Past President;
    4. Chapter representatives, as established elsewhere in this Constitution; and
    5. Ex officio non-voting members, as established elsewhere in this Constitution.
  2. The Board of Directors is the governing body of this organization between meetings of the General Assembly. The Board may adopt resolutions on behalf of the organization. The Board may take no action that is contrary to the decided policy of the General Assembly. A report of all actions taken by the Board must be presented in writing and read before the next meeting of the General Assembly.
  3. The majority of the voting members of the Board of Directors must be legally blind. The President and First Vice President must be legally blind.
  4. No member of the Board of Directors shall receive compensation for services to the Kentucky Council of the Blind. Board members may be reimbursed for expenses incurred in the exercise of the duties of their offices.
  5. Terms of office shall be for two years. Officers shall be elected by the General Assembly in even-numbered years and directors in odd-numbered years. No person may hold the same office for more than two (2) full consecutive terms, except for the offices of secretary and treasurer.
  6. To be eligible for election to the KCB Board of Directors, an individual must be a voting member in good standing of the Kentucky Council of the Blind for at least one (1) year immediately prior to the nomination. All members of the Board of Directors must be members in good standing of the organization throughout their terms of office.
  7. Should a vacancy occur in any statewide Board position, except for the office of President or First Vice President, the Board of Directors may elect an individual to serve in the position until the next General Assembly meeting. Should a vacancy occur in the office of President or First Vice President, the First and/or Second Vice President shall succeed to the next higher office and will serve until the next regular meeting of the General Assembly. The General Assembly will elect a successor to complete a partial term of office, providing that nominations and elections are conducted as stipulated elsewhere in this Constitution.
  8. Board meetings are subject to call by the President, or shall be called upon written request of a majority of the voting members of the Board. Regular meetings shall be convened at least once each calendar quarter.
  9. Any member of the Board of Directors who misses at least three (3) consecutive meetings of the Board may be removed from office by a majority vote of the Board. Said member will be notified in writing at least fourteen (14) days in advance of such pending action, and will be given the opportunity to be heard by the Board prior to any such action.

ARTICLE VIII: Committees

  1. The following committees, consisting of at three members each, shall be appointed by the President:
    1. PR/Membership: This committee shall consist of at least three members, plus one representative from each chapter. This committee shall conduct membership campaigns designed to attract new members, retain current members, encourage former members to renew their memberships, and assist in locating individuals who have moved and for whom no forwarding addresses are available. This committee will be responsible for the composition and distribution of newsletters, press releases, and other similar materials designed to publicize the work of the organization. It shall also coordinate radio, television and/or Internet projects conducted by the organization.
    2. Resolutions and Constitution/Bylaws: This committee will receive all proposed amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws and will, in consultation with the submitter, prepare proposals for presentation to the membership, as provided elsewhere in this Constitution. This committee will receive, write and/or edit resolutions related to the organization and to the blind and visually impaired. Resolutions may be presented to the Board of Directors or to the General Assembly for consideration. Upon passage, all resolutions will be distributed to the membership in writing.
    3. Development: This committee shall be responsible for the raising of funds to be used by the organization. Development programs may include fund-raising campaigns, writing of grants, development of donor lists and other activities as deemed appropriate by the committee and approved by the Board of Directors. All development efforts must be submitted to, and approved by, the Board of Directors prior to being initiated by the committee.
    4. Nominating: This committee shall compile a slate of candidates for the offices to be filled by election at the annual General Assembly meeting. This slate of candidates shall be published to the entire membership not less than fourteen days prior to the General Assembly meeting, and shall consist of each candidate's name, address, interests etc.
    5. Budget: This committee, elected from within the membership of the Board of Directors, will develop an annual budget for the organization, to be submitted for approval by the Board no later than the end of the first quarter of each year.
    6. Convention: This committee shall be responsible for the planning and coordination of the annual convention of the organization.
    7. Program: This committee will periodically plan and conduct informational and educational programs for the organization. Such programs may be of interest to the general membership, or may be designed to appeal to a specific segment of the membership. Programs may be planned in cooperation with the membership committee to attract or retain specific populations in the organization.
    8. Legislation and Advocacy: This committee will assist individuals with issues related to discrimination, the obtaining of appropriate services, and other concerns. This committee may also work with the Resolutions Committee in the formulation of organization policy concerning proposed legislation and/or regulations. This committee is responsible for the communication of such views to appropriate individuals and government bodies.
    9. Awards: This committee will distribute announcements related to awards presented by the organization. The committee will receive nominations for awards and select award recipients. The committee will be responsible for obtaining appropriate recognitions for award recipients. The committee also may, from time to time, propose new awards or write guidelines for existing awards. All such guidelines and proposed awards must be approved by the Board of Directors prior to implementation.
  2. The President may appoint any other committees as deemed appropriate.
  3. Committee chairpersons will serve as ex officio non-voting members of the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE IX: Amendments

  1. This Constitution may be amended at any regular meeting of the organization by a two-thirds majority vote of those present and voting, provided that:
    1. a quorum consisting of fifty (50) per cent of the membership registered for the convention is present;
    2. both the original and amending language, together with the name of the submitter and the recommendation of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee, has been published to the membership in writing not less than fourteen (14) days prior to the meeting;
    3. both the original and amending language is read in its entirety on the floor of the convention at the time of its consideration.
  2. Bylaws may be adopted and amended at any regular meeting of the organization by a simple majority vote of those present and voting, provided that such amendments comply with all other requirements set forth in this Constitution.