Constitution and Bylaws

Constitution of the Oklahoma Council of the Blind (as amended 9-25-2016)

Article I

Section 1. Name: The name of the organization shall be THE OKLAHOMA COUNCIL OF THE BLIND, and shall hereinafter be referred to as the Council.

Section 2. The Council shall be incorporated under the laws of the State of Oklahoma.

Section 3. The purposes of this Council shall be to promote the general welfare of visually impaired persons; to represent the interests of its members, individually and collectively, in order to assist them in the obtaining of maximum security, benefits, and protection; to cooperate with and encourage public and private agencies and instrumentalities in their programs of economic, rehabilitation, assistance, education, and social adjustment; to do all other acts necessary and incidental to the achievement of these purposes; and to do all other lawful things. No profit accruing to this corporation shall inure to any individual.

Article II

Section 1. The primary authority of the Council shall rest in the membership in convention assembled

Section 2. Membership in the Council shall be open to legally blind residents of Oklahoma and to their sighted friends who are interested in the purposes and programs of this organization. Members who move out of the state but wish to continue membership in the Council may do so, at the discretion of the Executive Board, by notifying the Secretary of their wishes.

Section 3. Beginning January 1, 2004, those members who have been listed on the affiliate list of the American Council of the Blind as having an “invalid address” for two consecutive years shall be removed from the membership list of the Council. They may be reinstated for membership in the Council upon request and by providing current contact information to the secretary.

Section 4. A blind person, or sighted husband, wife, parent, or child at least sixteen (16) years of age, and any person who has demonstrated interest in the Council and its purposes by frequent attendance and active participation in Council and/or chapter/local unit meetings shall file an oral or written request according to procedures established by the Executive Board, stating a desire to become a voting member. The Executive Board shall be charged with the determination of eligibility. At least fifty-one (51) percent of the voting membership shall at all times be comprised of blind persons and their immediate family members as described in this section. Any member wishing to withdraw his application may do so by oral or written request to the secretary.

Section 5. Registration shall be at each annual or special convention. All registered members shall be entitled to vote at an annual or special convention.

Section 6. Any local or special-interest unit shall not be prohibited from making its own regulations regarding its membership.

Article III

Section 1. The Council shall hold regular annual conventions and may hold special conventions as hereinafter provided.

Section 2. The time and place of regular annual conventions and special conventions shall be fixed by the Executive Board

Section 3. The Board of Directors of the Council shall meet at least quarterly.

Section 4. Notices in large print, Braille, and/or electronic medium shall be given to each member, in good standing, not less than thirty (30) days prior to the convention.

Section 5. Notice of the time and place of each special convention shall be sent in large print, Braille, and/or electronic mail to each member, in good standing, not less than fifteen (15) days prior to the convention.

Section 6. A special convention may be called by the Executive Board or fifty (50) percent of the members, provided that fifty (50) percent of the members individually petition the Secretary in writing.

Section 7. Twenty-five (25) percent of the members registered at a convention shall constitute a quorum.

Section 8. This constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote at any regular annual convention and at no other time. The proposed amendment(s) to the constitution shall be read to the convention before 9:00 p.m. the preceding day of their presentation.

Section 9. ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER shall govern each convention except as otherwise herein or provided specially by the convention.

Article IV

Section 1. The Council shall have the following officers: President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Director of Public Information. These officers shall be elected at each annual convention by majority vote and no person shall be elected to the same office for more than four (4) consecutive terms, except that persons serving in the offices of Treasurer and Secretary may serve for six (6) consecutive terms.

Section 2. The Council shall have an Executive Board composed of the six (6) elected officers and three (3) Members-At-Large who shall be elected at each annual convention by majority vote. No person shall be elected as Board Member-At-Large for more than four (4) consecutive terms. Any absentee nominee for an officer or Board Member-At-Large position must make a written statement to the nominating committee of willingness to serve if elected.

The retiring President shall serve one (1) year as ex-officio member of the Board. Presidents of local and/or special-interest units are also ex-officio members of the Board. They shall not have the privilege of voting at Board meetings and may or may not be reimbursed for their expenses of attending Board meetings according to Board policies.

Section 3. The Executive Board shall be charged with the responsibility of:A. Carrying out the policies and programs adopted by the membership in convention assembled

B. Formulating policies and programs as need therefore shall arise between conventions.

C. The efficient functioning of all officers and committee chairpersons.

D. The planning of all regular conventions and all special conventions which may be called.

E. Managing all business affairs of the Council and making a yearly budget and executing the same.

Section 4. The Executive Board shall have the authority to perform any function which may be incidental to implementing the policies and programs of the convention.

Section 5. Any vacancy which may occur on the Board between conventions shall be filled by the Executive Board.

Section 6. The President and First Vice-President and a majority of the Board shall be blind.

Section 7. The President shall be the chief administrative officer of the Council and shall be charged with the responsibility of:

A. Carrying out the policies and programs of the Executive Board.

B. Presiding over conventions and meetings of the Executive Board.

C. Representing the Council as one of the official delegates to the American Council of the Blind conventions.

D. Making appointments of committees and other representatives to the Council.

E. Representing the Council whenever necessary or desirable.

Section 8. The First Vice-President shall act as President in the event of the absence of, or the disability of, the President and shall perform other duties prescribed by the convention and Executive Board.

Section 9. The Second Vice-President shall serve in the absence of, or the disability of, the First Vice-President and perform such other duties as may be prescribed.

Section 10. The Secretary shall keep a record of all convention proceedings and minutes of all Executive Board meetings and prepare organizational correspondence as needed.

Section 11. The Treasurer shall:

A. Be the custodian of all monies and commercial papers of the Council.

B. Be bonded at the expense of the Council to an amount which shall never be at any time less than the amount held by the Treasurer.

C. Keep an accurate written record of each financial transaction.

D. Make a complete financial report at each regular convention and to each special convention and to the Executive Board. All financial reports shall be open to any member in good standing.

E. Approve in advance in writing all financial transactions.

F. Supply the Secretary with a list of the registered members at each convention.

Section 12. Duties of Director of Public Information:

A. Shall be Vice-Chairman of the Education and Public Relations Committees.

B. Shall periodically issue statements pointing out that a blind person can be an asset to the community.

C. Shall correct misconceptions of the physical and mental capabilities of the blind.

D. Shall make better known the name and policies of the Council.

Article V

Section 1. Local and/or special-interest units of the Council may be set up to facilitate the work of the Council.

Section 2. These units shall be composed of five (5) or more Council members, in good standing, residing in the same general trade area or having a defined common purpose.

Such groups shall meet, elect officers, and petition in writing a Council convention for a charter.

A charter shall be granted upon the approval of the simple majority vote of the petitioned convention.

The provisions of this section shall apply to any unit requesting a charter after the adoption of this constitution.

Article VI

Section 1. In the event that the Oklahoma Council of the Blind should dissolve for any reason, the current Board of Directors shall act as executors of the corporation. If the acting Board of Directors cannot be assembled, the president and secretary or treasurer shall perform these duties.

Section 2. In case of dissolution, the books of the Oklahoma Council of the Blind shall be audited by a certified public accountant immediately.

Section 3. Assets of the corporation shall be used to pay off any existing liabilities of the corporation.

Section 4. All remaining assets including books and documents of the Oklahoma Council of the Blind shall be disbursed to the American Council of the Blind or organizations with similar purposes and goals of the Oklahoma Council of the Blind as determined by the Board of Directors.