Adopted June, 1977
Amended 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992
Amended 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2021, 2022
ARTICLE I, Name
The name of this organization shall be Florida Council of the Blind, Inc., referred to as FCB.
ARTICLE II, Purpose
The purpose of the FCB is to strive for the betterment of the total community by:
A. Conducting a program of public education which promotes understanding among blind people, employers, state and local officials and the community at large;
B. Providing a forum for the views of all blind people in the state;
C. Advocating for social, economic, and cultural opportunities for blind people;
D. Improving educational and rehabilitational facilities;
E. Broadening vocational opportunities;
F. Encouraging and assisting blind people, especially the newly blind, to develop their abilities and potentialities, and to assume their responsible place in the community;
G. Cooperating with the public and private institutions and agencies of and for blind people;
H. Providing for the free exchange of ideas, opinions and information relative to matters of concern to blind people through periodic publications.
ARTICLE III, Membership
A. Any person or organization of the blind may become a member of FCB upon complying with the provisions specified here and in Article I of the By-Laws.
B. Any person may apply to become a member-at-large, provided he/she meets the qualifications set forth in the By-Laws.
C. Any organization having at least five (5) members, the majority of whom are blind, may apply for affiliation.
D. Applications for chapter affiliation must be approved by the FCB Board of Directors. Applications for member-at-large must be approved by the FCB Membership Secretary.
ARTICLE IV, Voting
A. At the business meeting of FCB Annual Conventions, each certified delegate shall be entitled to a total number of votes as set forth in FCB By-Laws, Article II.
B. At the business meeting of FCB Annual Conventions, pursuant to FCB By-Laws Article II, each certified member-at-large in attendance, shall be entitled to one (1) vote.
C. At the business meeting of FCB annual conventions, each FCB officer, who is not a delegate, shall be entitled to one (1) vote.
D. Voting on all issues at any meeting shall be conducted via voice vote. For voice votes, “in person” attendees shall vote via the protocol provided (including, but not limited to, standing, hand-raising and/or roll call votes). “Virtual attendees” shall cast votes by the protocol provided for by the adopted remote meeting platform or client program. In addition, there shall be a roll call of affiliates by which official affiliate delegates shall announce the votes of their respective organizations.
ARTICLE V, Dues and Assessments
Dues and Assessments shall be paid on an annual basis as set forth in the By-Laws.
ARTICLE VI, Officers and Board of Directors
A. Officers shall be:
Immediate Past President
B. There shall be one (1) FCB Board Representative selected from the primary members of each chapter or affiliate.
C. Officers shall be elected at the Annual Convention in even numbered years for two-year terms. The President and Vice Presidents shall not serve in the same office for more than two (2) consecutive full terms. There shall be no limitation on the number of consecutive terms the Secretary, Treasurer, and Membership Secretary may serve.
D. The Board consists of the Officers, Immediate Past President, and one (1) representative from each chapter.
E. All members of the FCB Board of Directors shall be legally blind.
F. A simple majority of the Board present and voting constitutes a quorum.
G. The Board shall be the governing body of FCB 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.
H. Affairs of the FCB shall be managed by the Executive Committee between Board meetings subject to Provisions of Article VI, Section G.
I. Employees, contractors, and family members as FCB officers and members of the FCB Board of Directors:
1. No employee or contractor of FCB may serve as an officer or as a member of the Board of Directors of FCB.
2. Should an FCB officer or member of the FCB Board of Directors become an employee or contractor of FCB, that officer or Board member shall resign from their position immediately and their position shall be filled as determined by FCB governing documents.
3. Should an employee or contractor of FCB become an FCB officer or member of the FCB Board of Directors, that employee or contractor shall immediately terminate all participation in any employment or contract with FCB.
4. There is no restriction on family members concurrently serving as FCB officers or members of the FCB Board of Directors.
5. Members of the same family may serve as FCB officers or members of the FCB Board of Directors and concurrently be employees or contractors of FCB so long as all family members abide by FCB’s Conflict of Interest rules. FCB officers and members of the FCB Board of Directors whose family members are employees or contractors of FCB must recuse themselves from any discussion and vote affecting any family member’s employment or contract with FCB.
ARTICLE VII, Meetings
A. A regular meeting of FCB shall be held once a year and shall be known as the Annual Convention.
B. Provided that the FCB Executive Committee determines that extraordinary conditions warrant the option of remote attendance and that FCB can ensure the same level of access and the same level of privacy and security (especially with respect to voting) as that achieved at a shared physical location, the annual convention may be held remotely, i.e., wherein attendees may be counted as “present” by telephone, computer, apps, or any other technological means that maintain the requisite access, privacy, and security. In addition, the annual convention may consist of a hybrid of in-person and remote attendance.
C. A majority of all FCB Officers along with a majority of all certified delegates present (and duly noted during roll call) at the commencement of the business meeting shall constitute a quorum.
ARTICLE VIII, Committees
Standing Committees shall be:
Access, Archives, Awards, Budget and Finance, Constitution and By-Laws, Convention, Credentials, Education and Leadership, Employment, Executive, Fundraising, Governmental Affairs, Membership, Project Insight, Publications and Publicity, Resolutions, and Technology.
ARTICLE IX, Amendments
A. Proposed amendments to this Constitution shall be included in the Convention Call. Adoption requires a two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote of all qualified voters (certified delegates, certified members-at-large, and FCB Officers) present at the time of the vote.
B. To qualify for publication in the Convention Call, the proposed amendments to this Constitution must be approved by the Constitution and By-Laws Committee or by resolution of three (3) chapters.
C. By-Laws may be amended by a simple majority affirmative vote of all qualified voters (certified delegates, certified members-at-large, and FCB Officers) present at the time of the vote, provided the proposed amendment is presented to the Convention at least one (1) day prior to its consideration.
ARTICLE X, FCB and Chapter Properties
A. All chapter assets, real and personal, shall be held in both the name of the Florida Council of the Blind and the Chapter.
B. Upon dissolution of any chapter, all properties will revert to the FCB.
C. Upon dissolution of the FCB, all assets, after payment of financial obligations, may be transferred to the American Council of the Blind or another organization of or for the blind as designated.
ARTICLE XI, Procedures
A. In the absence of provisions in the Constitution, By-Laws, and Policy Manual, all procedures of FCB shall be Governed by the latest revision of ROBERTS RULES OF ORDER.
B. All officers, members of the Board of Directors, committee chairs, committee members, White Cane Bulletin Editor(s), employee(s), and independent contractor(s) of FCB must agree to and comply with the organization's Conflict of Interest Policy as stated in the Policy Manual.
C. All members, representatives, vendors, and guests of FCB must abide by the FCB Code of Conduct as set forth in the Policy Manual, as may be amended from time to time by the Board of Directors.