ACB of Indiana Constitution and Bylaws
Constitution & Bylaws
The texts of the ACBI Constitution, Bylaws, and Amendments can be found below.
Last amended, in convention assembled, October 2021
Table Of Contents
- Membership, Voting and Dues
- Powers and Duties of Convention, the Officers, the Board of Directors, and of Committees.
- Duties of Officers
- Powers and Duties of the Board of Directors
- Standing Committees
- Special Groups
- Fiscal Year
- Code of Conduct
Article I: Name
The name of this organization shall be the American Council of the Blind of Indiana.
Article II: Purpose
The purpose of the American Council of the Blind of Indiana is to strive for the betterment of our total community.
- Through a representative state organization primarily of blind people and persons with low vision;
- By providing a forum for the views of the blind and persons with low vision from all corners of the state and from all walks of life.
- By elevating the social, economic, and cultural levels of the blind and persons with low vision;
- By improving educational and rehabilitation facilities.
- By broadening vocational opportunities.
- By encouraging and assisting the blind and persons with low vision, especially the newly blinded, to develop their abilities and potentialities and to assume their responsible place in the community.
- By cooperating with the public and private institutions of and for the blind.
- By providing for the free exchange of ideas, opinions, and information relating to matters of concern to blind and persons with low vision.
- By conducting a program of public education aimed toward improving the understanding of the problems of blindness and of the capabilities of blind people and persons with low vision.
Article III: Membership, Voting and Dues
- Any person who is at least eighteen (18) years old is eligible to become a member of this organization upon complying with the provisions hereinafter contained. A majority of the members of this organization must be blind or visually impaired.
- Each member in good standing attending a regular convention shall be entitled to one vote.
- In an in-person regular convention set by this organization where there are no participants voting remotely such as e-mail, analog telephone, smart phone or any electronic voting system, persons in attendance shall vote secretly using paper ballots.
- In a regular convention set by this organization where all participants use a virtual voting system, such as e-mail, analog telephone, smart phone, an electronic or virtual voting system to vote, ACBI shall utilize the most practical and accessible system to permit voting by secret ballot.
- In a regular convention set by the organization as a hybrid meeting, participants attending in person shall vote by secret paper ballot, and those voting remotely shall vote by secret ballot using an accessible virtual voting system such as e-mail, analog telephone, smart phone, any electronic or virtual voting system to vote remotely.
- Dues shall be paid on a calendar year basis, the amount to be set forth in the Bylaws.
- There shall also be provision for non-voting associate membership by organizations and individuals who wish to support our efforts. Annual dues for associate membership shall be set by the Board of Directors.
Article IV: Officers
- The officers of this organization shall consist of a president, a vice-president, a secretary, and a treasurer, and their terms of office shall be two years beginning January 1 of even numbered years, immediately following the annual convention.
- In addition to the officers, this organization shall have nine directors to be elected by the convention for terms of three years. At the first election three shall be elected for three years, three shall be elected for two years, and three shall be elected for one year.
- Officers elected after the adoption of this amendment shall not be elected for more than three (3) consecutive terms to the same office, and no director shall be elected to more than two (2) consecutive terms. Twelve (12) months or more shall be counted as a full two-year term for officers. Eighteen (18) months or more shall be counted as a full three-year term for directors.
- Officers and directors shall be elected by a majority vote cast at any regular convention. The president and vice-president of this organization must be blind/visually impaired. A majority of all board members referenced in Sections A. through D. of this article must be blind/visually impaired.
- Vacancies of offices occurring between conventions shall be filled by temporary appointment of the board of directors. An election will be held at the next regular convention to fill the vacancy for the duration of the term.
- The immediate past president shall be automatically a voting member of the board of directors.
- A chapter president or a chapter designee who is not an elected member of the board may participate at Board meetings with voting privileges.
- The executive committee shall consist of the president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, and immediate past president to carry out assignments of the board.
Article V: Powers and Duties of Convention, the Officers, the Board of Directors, and of Committees
- Any voting member of the organization may make or second motions, propose nominations, serve on committees, and be elected to office. The convention shall determine the time and place of its meetings.
- Officers of this organization shall perform the usual functions of the offices as prescribed by Robert’s Rules of Order Revised, unless provided for in the Bylaws.
- The Board of Directors shall be the governing body of this organization between conventions provided that it shall make no policy decisions and take no official action in conflict with existing decisions or actions of the convention.
- A nominating committee consisting of no less than three and no more than five members shall be appointed by the president not later than ninety days prior to the convention.
- The Board of Directors by a two-thirds vote may recognize and designate any group consisting primarily of five or more visually impaired individuals within the state of Indiana as a local chapter of the American Council of the Blind of Indiana provided that the constitution, by-laws, and statements of purpose of the group are not in conflict with the constitution and bylaws of the American Council of the Blind or of the American Council of the Blind of Indiana and providing that members of the local chapter shall not be eligible to continue such membership longer than one year without holding simultaneous membership in the American Council of the Blind of Indiana. Any financial agreement between the American Council of the Blind of Indiana and a local chapter shall be subject to a two-thirds vote of approval by the Board of Directors. Examples of such agreements may include: Appropriations to a local chapter, a sharing of profits in a fund-raising project, a sharing of expenses in a program to advance the welfare of the blind and persons with low vision, or cooperative involvement in any financial venture in which the American Council of the Blind of Indiana may properly engage.
Article VI: Meetings
- A regular meeting of this organization shall be held once each year to be known as the annual convention. A majority of all votes certified and seated at the convention shall constitute a quorum to do business.
- The board of directors shall hold four (4) meetings each year. Additional meetings may be held at the call of the president or at the request of any five (5) voting members of the board. A quorum to conduct routine business shall consist of a majority of the voting members. Executive actions shall require a quorum consisting of two-thirds of the voting members of the board.
Article VII: Dissolution
The American Council of the Blind of Indiana, Inc. will in case of dissolution pay all liabilities from the assets of the organization and any remaining funds will be given to a nonprofit organization designated by a majority of the membership.
Article VIII: Amendments
This constitution may be amended at any regular convention of this organization by a two-thirds vote, and bylaws by a simple majority vote of those present and voting according to voting procedures contained herein.
Any person eighteen years or older shall be eligible to apply for membership in this organization.
The dues of this organization shall be seven dollars ($7.00) annually effective 2003. To be a member in good standing and eligible to vote at the annual convention, the dues must be paid not less than thirty days prior to the convention.
3: Duties of Officers
- The president shall be responsible for the supervision of all employees of this organization and for the selection and dismissal of all employees of this organization except for professional staff subject to the approval of the Board of Directors.
- The president shall also be responsible for signing on behalf of the organization, all documents, and contracts, including contracts involving monetary transactions approved by the Board of Directors. The treasurer may be appointed by the president to sign if the president is not available at the time of required signage.
- The secretary shall keep an accurate record of all Board meetings and conventions of the organization.
- 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.
4: Powers and Duties of the Board of Directors
- All appointments of professional staff shall be submitted to the Board of Directors within thirty days. Such appointments shall not be final until approved by an affirmative vote of the majority of the Board of Directors.
- Dismissal of professional staff shall be the sole responsibility of the Board of Directors. Such dismissal shall require a majority vote of the Board of Directors and only after the employee in question has been offered an opportunity for a hearing.
- The Board of Directors shall elect a committee of three which shall recommend a budget to the Board of Directors for the ensuing calendar year. Once a budget has been adopted by the Board of Directors it cannot be altered except by a two-thirds vote by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors may be polled by mail or e-mail.
- All elected members of the Board of Directors, including officers, shall have as a duty regular attendance at all Board meetings. Any member who fails to attend more than three (3) consecutive meetings without good cause, as determined by the Board, shall cease to be a member, and the unexpired term shall be filled as set forth in Article IV, Section E. of the Constitution.”
5: Standing Committees
- The president shall appoint a state membership chair.
- The president, within sixty days after the close of each state convention, shall appoint a chair and not less than four additional members as a resolutions committee. This committee shall receive and prepare resolutions to be considered at its opening meeting in conjunction with the ensuing state convention. All resolutions submitted to the committee shall be reported upon with or without committee recommendations.
- An auditing committee of three individual American Council of the Blind of Indiana members shall be elected annually by the board of directors. Members of this committee shall not be members of the board of directors and shall serve until their successors have been elected.
6: Special Groups
The Board of Directors, by majority vote, may appoint persons to serve as members of a volunteer liaison panel not to exceed nine in number and with no more than one per organization with which liaison is desired. Each appointment shall be subject to endorsement by the organization with which the appointee is identified. Appointments shall be annual, and for no more than five consecutive terms. Appointees need not be American Council of the Blind of Indiana members. Members of the liaison panel shall be invited to attend all regularly scheduled meetings of the Board of Directors and shall be eligible to participate in Board discussions without voting rights.
7: Fiscal Year
Each fiscal year of this organization shall begin on January 1 of the calendar year and end on December 31 of the same calendar year.
8: Code of Conduct
The American Council of the Blind of Indiana (hereinafter referred to as ACBI) is committed to maintaining the integrity of its events by creating a welcoming, professional, safe, and respectful environment for all who attend and/or participate in its events. The term “events” shall include conferences, meetings, functions, whether in person or virtual, or any other gatherings sponsored or convened by ACBI. All participants at ACBI events are required to adhere to this Code of Conduct policy as drafted and adopted by the ACBI membership in convention. This policy defines prohibited conduct as including, but not limited to:
- Unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical conduct on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, disability, genetic information, gender identification, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law, or
- disrespectful, offensive and/or threatening conduct, verbal abuse, stalking, bullying, violence, or intimidation. Any person who believes that he or she has experienced or witnessed behavior prohibited by this policy should report the conduct to the ACBI officers (president, vice-president, secretary, or treasurer).
Upon receipt of an allegation reported under this policy, ACBI will investigate, and the ACBI officers will thereafter determine what action, if any, will be taken based on the circumstances. Such action may include banning the individual from the event where the conduct is determined to have occurred, and any future events. Nothing in this policy shall limit or preclude the free exchange of ideas and/or opinions so long as such exchange does not involve threats or other prohibited behavior as defined in this policy
- Founded: 1971
- Adopted: 1972
- Amended:1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1986, 1987, 1991, 1992,1993, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2021