SAVI Constitution and Bylaws

Constitution: SUPPORT ALLIANCE OF THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED, INC.

August 15, 2014

Article I: Name

The name of this organization is the Support Alliance of the Visually Impaired, Inc., otherwise referred to herein as SAVI, Inc.

Article II: Purpose

The purpose of this organization shall be:

  1. To work for a better public understanding of the abilities, skills, talents and goals of the blind and visually impaired;
  2. To work for equal access to education for all blind and visually impaired Kentuckians;
  3. To support equal employment opportunities and actively address issues related to the unemployment and underemployment of the blind and visually impaired;
  4. To represent the blind and visually impaired on issues affecting their interests;
  5. To provide programs and activities designed to increase interaction and facilitate understanding between the visually impaired, their sighted peers and family members;
  6. To work for the expansion and improvement of rehabilitation programs for the blind and visually impaired;/li>
  7. To distribute information on resources and opportunities available to the blind and visually impaired.

Article III: Affiliation

The Support Alliance of the Visually Impaired, Inc. (SAVI, Inc.) is a chapter of the Kentucky Council of the Blind, which is a state affiliate of the American Council of the Blind, Inc., a national 501C(3) organization.

Article IV: Membership

  1. The membership of the Support Alliance of the Visually Impaired, Inc. shall be of two (2) types, Voting Members (collectively known as the General Assembly) and Nonvoting Members:
    1. Voting Member: Anyone who is at least 18 years of age may become a Voting Member of the Support Alliance of the Visually Impaired, Inc. Voting Members are required to pay annual membership dues of an amount and at such time as determined by a recommendation from the Board of Directors of SAVI and ratified by a majority vote of the general assembly present and voting, providing a quorum has been established. Voting Members may participate in all activities of the organization, and shall have the right to vote and to hold office
    2. Nonvoting Members: The Board of Directors of SAVI 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 may pay dues as established by a recommendation from the Board of Directors of SAVI and ratified by a majority vote of SAVI's general assembly present and voting, providing there is a quorum. Nonvoting Members shall not have the right to vote or hold office.
  2. Blind and visually impaired individuals shall at all times constitute a majority of the general assembly of SAVI
  3. Expulsion of any member may be accomplished by a two- thirds majority vote of the general assembly present, providing a quorum is established. Voting will be conducted by secret ballot after a proper hearing, first before the Board of Directors of SAVI and then before a quorum of the general assembly.
  4. Nondiscrimination: No person, otherwise eligible, shall be denied membership in the Support Alliance of the Visually Impaired, Inc. on the basis of age, sex, race, religion, national origin, disability or sexual orientation.

Article V: Officers and the Board of Directors

  1. The officers of the Support Alliance of the Visually Impaired, Inc. shall be:
    1. Past President;
    2. President;
    3. Vice President;
    4. Secretary;
    5. Treasurer;
    6. One Director for every 25 voting members.
  2. The majority of the voting members of the Board of Directors must be visually impaired with the President and Vice President being legally blind.
  3. Terms of office shall be for two years, and all officers must be members in good standing of the organization throughout their terms of office. No officer, except for the secretary and treasurer, shall serve more than two full consecutive terms. Any officer not eligible to serve another term in any given office may be eligible to serve in any office other than the one he/she is vacating.
  4. Removal: An officer may be removed from his/her office for inactivity, failure to perform his/her duties and/or engaging in unethical, illegal, or disreputable behavior that might risk damaging the image of SAVI.
    1. Inactivity shall be defined as missing three or more consecutive regularly scheduled meetings without giving just cause to at least one other member of the Board of Directors by phone, e-mail, in person, or regular U.S. postal mail. If found guilty of inactivity by a majority of the Board of Directors, the charges must then be reported to the SAVI general assembly, along with substantiating documentation and/or testimony. A motion to remove the inactive officer must be made and seconded by the general assembly and passed by a two-thirds (2/3) majority secret ballot, providing a quorum is present at the time of the vote.
    2. Illegal behavior shall be defined as any behavior of which the officer is found guilty in violation of city, county, state, or federal law. Any officer charged with such an unlawful act will be immediately suspended from his/her office until the officer being charged with such illegal act, or acts, is found to be guilty or not guilty by a court of law. If not guilty, the officer may resume his/her office with SAVI. If found guilty by a court of law, the offending officer shall be removed immediately from his/her office without need of any other action by SAVI's Board of Directors or general assembly.
    3. Failure to perform his/her duties, unethical or disreputable behavior shall be defined on a case-by-case basis by either majority of the remaining SAVI Board of Directors or no less than any two SAVI members who are not members of the Board of Directors. The charges must then be reported to SAVI's general assembly, along with substantiating documentation and/or testimony. A motion to remove the officer in question must be made and seconded in the general assembly and passed by a two-thirds (2/3) majority secret ballot, providing a quorum is present at the time of the vote.
    4. The removal of any officer shall be considered as a vacancy, and such vacancies shall be filled in accordance with Section E below.
  5. If a vacancy occurs in any Board position, except for the office of President, the Board of Directors may elect an individual to serve in the position until the next General Assembly meeting. If a vacancy occurs in the office of President, the Vice President shall succeed to the office of President and will serve the remainder of the term to which the President was originally elected. The General Assembly will elect a successor to complete a partial term of office at its next regularly scheduled meeting provided a quorum is present and providing that nominations and elections are conducted as stipulated elseware in this Constitution.
  6. The Board of Directors of the organization shall be made up of the organization's officers: Past President, President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and one Director for every twenty-five (25) Voting Members.
  7. The Board of Directors is the governing body of this organization between regular meetings of the organization. The Board of Directors may adopt resolutions and take action on behalf of the organization provided that any such action is consistent with the decided policy of the organization's General assembly. A report of all actions taken by the Board must be recorded in writing and read at the next regular meeting of the general assembly.
  8. No member of the Board of Directors shall receive compensation for services to SAVI. Board members may be reimbursed for preapproved expenses incurred in the exercise of the duties of their offices.

Article VI: Regular, Special Meetings and Quorums

  1. 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.
  2. Regular meetings of the general assembly shall be held at least quarterly for the purpose of conducting the business of the organization, with the time and place to be determined by the Board of Directors.
  3. The General Assembly shall be the ultimate authority within this organization on all matters except those delegated elseware in this Constitution to the final authority or discretion of the Officers, Board of Directors, or standing committees.
  4. Special membership meetings and activities may be scheduled by the Board of Directors.
  5. Notice of all regular and special meetings shall be communicated to the membership not less than ten (10) days prior to the meeting. Communications may be accomplished either by or any combination of the following: telephone, postal mail, e-mail or other electronic means approved by the Board. It shall be the Secretary's, and/or other board designees, responsibility to notify the organization's members of such meetings.
  6. Quorums:
    1. One-third of the membership shall constitute a quorum for conducting business at the regular meetings of the General Assembly.
    2. At least twenty-five (25) per cent of the total general assembly 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.

Article VII: Elections

  1. Elections of the Organization's officers shall be held on or before December 1 annually, or as needed, with regularly elected officers assuming their positions on January 1. In the case of specially called elections, those persons elected shall assume their duties immediately.
  2. The election for the President, Vice President and directors shall be held in even numbered years, and the Secretary and treasurer shall be elected in odd numbered years. The number of directors required will be based on the number of members submitted to the Kentucky Council of the Blind for the March 15 count in even numbered years.
  3. The Nominating Committee will submit a list of candidates, as provided elseware 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 otherwise indicate their willingness to serve in the office for which they are being nominated.
  4. Election for any office for which two or more candidates are nominated must be conducted by secret ballot.
  5. The fiscal year of the Support Alliance of the Visually Impaired is January 1 through December 31.

Article VIII: Procedures

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 these bylaws or unless suspension of which is accepted by a majority vote of the members attending the meeting.

Article IX: Committees

  1. The following committees, consisting of at least three members each, a majority of whom are blind or visually impaired, shall be appointed by the President:
    1. PR/Membership: 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 also be responsible for the design, composition and distribution of materials designed to publicize the work of the organization.
    2. Fundraising and Budget: This committee shall be responsible for the raising of funds to be used by the organization, and for developing an annual budget. All fund-raising activities must be submitted to, and approved by, the Board of Directors prior to being initiated by the committee.
    3. Nominating: This committee shall compile a slate of candidates for the offices to be filled by election by the General Assembly. 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.
    4. Activities and projects: This committee will plan and conduct recreational and informational activities for the organization. Such activities may be of interest to the general membership, or may be designed to appeal to a specific segment of the membership. Activities may be planned in cooperation with other committees.
  2. The President may appoint any other committees as deemed appropriate.

Article X: Amendments

  1. This Constitution may be amended at any regular meeting of the general assembly 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 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 ten (10) business days prior to the meeting;
    3. both the original and amending language is read in its entirety on the floor of the meeting at the time of its consideration.
  2. Bylaws may be adopted and amended at any regular meeting of the general assembly, provided a quorum has been established, by a simple majority vote of those present and voting, provided that such amendments comply with all other requirements set forth in this Constitution.

Article XI: Dissolution of Organization

If the Support Alliance of the Visually Impaired, Inc., is dissolved for any reason, the Board of Directors shall make provision for the payment of all liabilities of the Corporation. The remaining assets, if any, shall be distributed for civic and educational purposes which are consistent with the purposes for which SAVI, Inc. was formed, with the provisions of Kentucky Revised Statutes Chapter 273, and with the exempt purposes enumerated in Section 501c(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended. Any such assets not distributed by the Board of Directors shall be disposed of by the Circuit Court of the county in which the principal office of the Support Alliance of the Visually Impaired, Inc. is then located to such organizations organized and operated exclusively for civic, charitable, educational, religious or scientific purposes as shall at that time qualify as exempt organizations under Section 501c(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended.

Bylaws: Support Alliance of the Visually Impaired Inc.

Approved March 10, 2015

Dues

The dues of this organization shall be ten dollars ($10.00) annually for those wishing to be annual members of SAVI and the Kentucky Council of the Blind. Of this amount, $8 will go to the Kentucky Council of the Blind and $2 will go to SAVI. Those who choose to become lifetime members of the Kentucky Council of the Blind shall pay local dues of $2.00 annually to maintain SAVI membership. Those choosing not to become a member of the Kentucky Council of the Blind shall pay the same annual local dues as KCB lifetime members .To be a member in good standing and eligible to vote at the annual election, the dues must be paid not less than thirty days prior to the election.

Duties Of Officers

  1. The president shall be responsible for conducting regular and special meetings of the Board and General Assembly and perform any other duties outlined in the constitution or designated by the Board or General Assembly.
  2. The Vice president shall carry out duties normally assigned to the president if for some reason the president is unable to fulfill his/her duties. In addition, the Vice President may carry out other duties as designated by the Board or General Assembly.
  3. The secretary shall keep an accurate record of all Board meetings and meetings of the General Assembly. The Secretary shall also be responsible for any necessary correspondence and maintain records (such as membership) necessary for conducting the business of the organization and perform other duties designated by the SAVI Board or General Assembly.
  4. The treasurer of this organization, in addition to the usual duties of such office, shall forward to the secretary the names of all voting members as received. The treasurer shall furnish a financial report at each meeting of the Board of Directors or General Assembly.

Reimbursement

Members may be reimbursed for expenses incurred on behalf of the organization, provided they present a receipt for such expenses and that such expenses have been preapproved by the Board or General Assembly.

Cancellation of In Person Meetings

During the regular school year, meetings of the Support Alliance of the Visually Impaired will be cancelled if the Owensboro City Schools cancel classes. If there is a need to cancel in person meetings of the General Assembly at times when schools are not scheduled to be in session the president and/or his/her designee will make every effort possible to contact members to advise them of meeting cancellations.