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Constitution

NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND OF WEST VIRGINIA

ARTICLE 1. NAME

The name of this organization shall be the National Federation of the Blind of West Virginia, Inc.

ARTICLE II. PURPOSE

The purpose of the National Federation of the Blind of West Virginia shall be to advance the general welfare of the blind of West Virginia and the nation; to function as an integral part of the National Federation of the Blind; to serve as a vehicle for collective action by the blind of West Virginia; to operate as a mechanism through which the blind and interested sighted persons can come together in local chapters and state meetings to plan and carry out programs to improve the quality of life of the blind; to provide a means of collective action for parents of blind children; to forward the interests of blind students and provide them with a means of joint action and expression; to promote the vocational, cultural, and social advancement of the blind; to achieve the integration of the blind into society on a basis of equality with the sighted; and to take any other action which will improve the overall condition and standard of living of the blind.

ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP

Section One--Active Members

At least a majority of the active members of this organization must be legally blind, as defined by federal law. All active members of local chapters and divisions shall automatically become active members of this organization, with the right to vote, serve on committees, speak on the floor, and hold office.

Section Two--Associate Members

Any person may become an associate member of this organization through procedures established by the Convention or the Board of Directors. Associate members shall have all the rights and privileges of active members, except that they may not vote, hold office or serve on the Board of Directors.

Section Three--Disciplinary Actions

Any member may be expelled; and any chapter or division may be expelled, suspended, or reorganized for violation of this constitution or for conduct unbecoming to a member, chapter, or division of the Federation by a majority vote of the active members present and voting at any regular business session of this organization, or by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors. The state convention of this organization may reinstate any person who has been expelled unless such expulsion has been confirmed by the National Convention or by the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind, in which event the person may not be reinstated except by the National Board. Any person who feels that he/she has been unjustly disciplined or expelled from this organization, or any chapter or division that feels it has been unjustly disciplined, reorganized, or expelled may appeal to the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind, which may (in its discretion) consider the matter and make a binding decision; but until or unless the action of discipline, reorganization or expulsion is reversed by the National Board it shall continue in effect.

ARTICLE IV. LOCAL CHAPTERS

Any organized group desiring to become a local chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of West Virginia shall apply for affiliation by submitting to the president of the National Federation of the Blind of West Virginia a copy of its Constitution and list of the names and addresses of its members and elected officers. When the National Federation of the Blind of West Virginia either in convention assembled or by action of its Board of Directors, shall have approved the application, it shall issue to the chapter a Certificate of Acceptance.

Annually, on or before January 1, each chapter shall provide to the Treasurer of the National Federation of the Blind of West Virginia a current listing of its members, their names and addresses, and their state dues. Upon request, a local chapter shall also provide the state President with a list of the names and addresses of the chapter members and with a detailed financial report of the chapter for the past year. The fiscal year of this organization shall be the calendar year. As new members enter local chapters, their names, addresses, and state dues shall be sent without delay to the Treasurer of the state organization. No group shall be accepted as a chapter and no group shall remain a chapter unless a majority of its voting members are legally blind. The President, the Vice President (or Vice Presidents), and at least a majority of the Executive Committee or Board of Directors of the local chapter must be legally blind. The President of the National Federation of the Blind of West Virginia shall be ex officio a member of each local chapter. In the event of the dissolution of a local chapter, or if (for whatever reason) the local chapter ceases to be a part of this organization, its assets shall become the property of the National Federation of the Blind of West Virginia; and it shall forthwith cease to use the name of the National Federation of the Blind, or any variant thereof.

ARTICLE V. DIVISIONS

The Board of Directors shall establish procedures for admission of divisions and shall determine the structure of divisions. The divisions shall, with the approval of the Board, adopt constitutions and shall determine their membership policies.

ARTICLE VI. OFFICERS AND THEIR DUTIES

There shall be elected at the regular annual convention during each even numbered year, a President, a First Vice President, a Second Vice President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. The terms of these officers shall begin at the close of the convention at which they are elected and qualified. Officers shall be elected by a majority vote of the active members who are present and voting. There shall be no proxy voting. If no nominee receives a majority vote on the first ballot, the name of the person receiving the fewest votes shall be dropped from the list of nominees, and a second ballot shall be taken. This procedure shall continue until one of the nominees has received a majority vote from the active members present and voting. The duties of each officer shall be those ordinarily associated with that office and shall be further defined in an “Index of Organizational Policies and Procedures.” A majority of these officers, including the President and Vice Presidents, must be legally blind.

ARTICLE VII. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The Board of Directors of this organization shall consist of the five (5) constitutional officers and one (1) additional member representing each chapter and division. Prior to the annual state convention in odd numbered years, each chapter and division shall elect one of its active members to represent the chapter or division on the Board of Directors. At the same time, each chapter and division must also elect an alternate representative to serve in the absence of its duly elected Board Member. The terms of chapter and division representatives on the Board of Directors shall be two years in length and shall begin at the close of the state convention in odd numbered years. A majority of the Board must be legally blind.

The Board shall meet at the call of the President or on written call signed by any four (4) of the Board Members. The Board must advise the President and shall have charge of the affairs of the organization between conventions. At least two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the Board must be present at any meeting to constitute a quorum to transact business. The Board may be polled by telephone, mail, or electronic mail ballot on any questions.

ARTICLE VIII. MEETINGS

Section One--Annual Convention

This organization shall hold an annual convention, the time and place of which shall be fixed by the membership or (if the membership so decides) by the Board of Directors or the President. At least fifteen (15) active members must be present to constitute a quorum to transact business at any annual convention.

Section Two--Special 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 meetings at least fifteen (15) active members must be present to constitute a quorum to transact business and a written notice must have been sent to the President of each chapter and division and to the members of the Board of Directors at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of the meeting.

Section Three--Chaplaincy

At all annual conventions, special meetings and meetings of the Board of Directors, the President shall appoint a member of this organization to serve as chaplain. The appointed chaplain shall open the meeting with prayer or other appropriate religious or devotional exercises.

ARTICLE IX. COMMITTEES

The President shall appoint such committees as he/she or the organization deems necessary. The President shall be ex officio a member of all such committees. Standing committees of the organization shall include an agency partnership committee, budget and finance committee, judiciary committee, legislative committee, nominating committee, and resolutions committee. The Nominating Committee shall consist of those persons who have been duly elected to represent each chapter and division on the Board of Directors. No elected officer of the National Federation of the Blind of West Virginia shall serve on the Nominating Committee. The President shall select one of the chapter or division representatives to chair the Nominating Committee.

ARTICLE X. AFFILIATION

The National Federation of the Blind of West Virginia shall be an affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind and shall furnish to the President of the National Federation of the Blind annually, on or before January 1, a list of the names and addresses of its members and elected officers. A copy of the constitution of the National Federation of the Blind of West Virginia and of all amendments to the Constitution shall be sent to the President of the National Federation of the Blind without delay.

The National Federation of the Blind of West Virginia shall not merely be a social organization, but shall formulate programs and actively work to promote the economic and social betterment of the blind. This organization, its chapters and divisions, shall comply with the provisions of the constitution of the National Federation of the Blind. Policies and decisions of the National Federation of the Blind (whether made by the National Convention or the National Board of Directors) are binding on this organization, its chapters, divisions, and members; and this organization, its chapters, divisions, and members shall participate affirmatively in carrying out such POLICY decisions. As a CONDITION of affiliation, it is agreed by this organization that the National Federation of the Blind (whether by action of the National Convention or the National Board) has the power to expel or discipline an individual member and to expel or reorganize a state affiliate, local chapter, or division. In the event of reorganization, any assets of the affiliate and its local chapters and divisions belong to the reorganized affiliate and the former affiliate, its chapters and divisions shall dissolve and cease to exist. 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 this organization or any of its chapters or divisions that cease to be a part of the National Federation of the Blind (for whatever reason) shall forfeit the right to use the name National Federation of the Blind, Federation of the Blind, or any variant thereof. The President of the National Federation of the Blind shall ex officio be a member of this organization and each of its local chapters and divisions.

ARTICLE XI. DELEGATES TO THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND CONVENTION

Each year this organization shall elect one (1) delegate and the President of this organization shall appoint one (1) alternate delegate to attend the Convention of the National Federation of the Blind. No person shall be elected as a delegate or appointed as an alternate delegate unless he/she is an active member of this organization in good standing. To the extent of the resources of this organization, the expenses of the delegate and alternate delegate to the Convention of the National Federation of the Blind shall be paid.

ARTICLE XII. DUES

The dues of this organization shall be one dollar per year, payable in advance. In accordance with Article IV of the Constitution, individual chapters and divisions shall pay the state dues of their members. A lifetime membership may be secured for a fee of $100. No person may vote who is delinquent in the payment of his/her dues.

ARTICLE XIII. DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDS

The funds of this organization shall be deposited in a bank or banks to be selected by the Treasurer with the approval of the President; except that the Board of Directors may also authorize establishment of investment accounts with other financial institutions. The Treasurer shall be bonded. All financial obligations of this organization shall be discharged by check, issued on order of the President, and signed by the Treasurer or by an Assistant Treasurer approved by the membership or the Board of Directors. . All expenditures must be approved by the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE XIV. DISSOLUTION

In the event of the dissolution of this organization, or if (for whatever reason) it ceases to be an affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind, its assets shall be given to the National Federation of the Blind, to be held in trust for a reorganized affiliate in the state. In the event that no affiliate is organized in the state for a period of two (2) years from the date this organization ceases to be an affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind, the assets become the property of the National Federation of the Blind.

If the dissolution of this organization should occur and if at the time the National Federation of the Blind is no longer a tax-exempt organization under the provisions of the federal Internal Revenue Code or if the National Federation of the Blind has been dissolved, all assets of this organization must be given to an organization with similar purposes which has received tax-exempt certification from the federal Internal Revenue Service.

ARTICLE XV. RULES

All parliamentary matters not otherwise addressed by the Constitution must be governed by “Roberts’ Rules of Order, Revised.”

ARTICLE XVI. AMENDMENTS

This Constitution may be amended at the annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind of West Virginia by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the active members present and voting, provided the proposed amendment has been submitted in writing to the members of the Board of Directors at least sixty (60) days prior to the annual convention and provided it is in compliance with the provision of the Charter of Affiliation received from the National Federation of the Blind and with the policies of the National Federation of the Blind.

Adopted in Annual Convention August 10, 1996 Parkersburg, West Virginia

Amended in Annual Convention August 14, 2011 Bridgeport, West Virginia