Bylaws

Council on Blindness Bylaws

Article I. Authority

The Council on Blindness (hereinafter “Council”) is a governmental body established by statute, in § 15.197 (2), Wis. Stats.

Article II. Purpose

Section 47.03 (9), Wis. Stats., directs the Council to make recommendations to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (hereinafter “Department”) and to any other state agency, concerning procedures, policies, services, activities, programs, investigations, and research that may have a significant impact on individuals who are blind or visually impaired. The Department must consult with the Council concerning its programs that affect individual s who are blind or visually impaired. The Council may also initiate consultations with the Department. Upon request, the Department must provide information to the Council relating to matters concerning individuals who are blind or visually impaired , but only information of a summary or statistical nature, in order to preserve the autonomy of the council.

Article II. Membership

II.1. Appointments

The Council consists of 9 members (hereinafter “Members”) appointed by the Department Secretary to serve staggered, 3-year terms. At least 7 of the persons appointed to the council shall be individuals who are blind or visually impaired, as defined in § 47.01 (1) or (5), Wis. Stats., and shall reflect a broad representation of individuals who are blind or visually impaired. All council members shall have a recognized interest in and demonstrated knowledge of the priority issues impacting individuals  who are blind or visually impaired. Council members may be persons receiving services from the department.

Note: Information about applying for appointment to the Council may be obtained by contacting the Department’s Director for the Office for the Blind and Visually Impaired at:
1 W Wilson Street
PO Box 2659
Madison, WI 53701-2659
Phone: 888-879-0017

II.2. Recommendations to Department Secretary

Upon motion, duly passed, the Council may recommend new appointments, renewals, or terminations of existing membership to the Department Secretary.  Recommendations shall be in writing, shall state the basis for the recommendation and include a copy of the minutes of the meeting at which the motion was introduced and passed.    

Article III. Meetings

III. 1. General

All meetings of the Council shall comply with Wisconsin’s Open Meetings law and Department policy.

Note: For statutory requirements relating to Open Meetings of Governmental Bodies, see subch. V of ch. 19, Wis. Stats. 

III. 2. Frequency

The Council shall convene at least quarterly. Meeting dates and times shall be established by motion at a meeting of the Council.

III. 3. Notices and Agendas

(a)    Meeting notices (which include draft agendas) shall comply with Wisconsin’s Open Meetings law and Department policy.

(b)   Notices shall be distributed by the Department’s Director for the Office for the Blind and Visually Impaired, provided the notice is received by email within 14 days of the date of the meeting.

(c)    Council members may submit items for inclusion on the draft agenda by notifying the Secretary or Director for the Office for the Blind and Visually Impaired within 21 days of the date of the meeting.

(d)   The Director for the Office for the Blind and Visually Impaired may add time on the agenda for a Department representative to consult with the Council, as provided in s. 47.03 (9), Wis. Stats.

(e)   Draft agendas shall be approved or amended by motion at the beginning of a meeting of the Council.

III. 4. Quorum

Quorum shall be established when a majority of members with active appointments are present at a meeting.  The presence or absence of a quorum shall be documented in the meeting minutes.

III. 5. Decision-making

Any actions or decisions of the Council shall be preceded by motion introduced by any Member. A vote on a motion may only be held when quorum has been established and when the motion has been seconded by another member. A simple majority of votes in favor of a motion shall be sufficient for a motion to pass. A description of the motion, the identities of the members who introduced and seconded the motion, as well as the vote of each member constituting the quorum shall be documented in the meeting minutes.

Article IV. Officers

IV. 1. Elections

The Council shall appoint a Chair, a Vice-Chair, and a Secretary (hereinafter “Officers”) at the first meeting of the calendar year, or whenever an Officer vacancy occurs. An Officer’s term shall commence at the conclusion of the meeting in which the appointment was successfully voted upon by a quorum of the Council and, except as provided in IV. 2., shall expire at the conclusion of the first meeting of the next calendar year.  

IV. 2. Functions

The chairperson shall preside over Council meetings to ensure compliance with these Bylaws. The Vice-Chair shall be responsible for carrying out the duties of the Chair when the Chair is absent. The Secretary shall be responsible for drafting meeting notices and minutes and forwarding these for distribution to the Department’s Director for the Office for the Blind and Visually Impaired.  

IV. 2. Removal

The Council may vote to terminate the appointment of one or more Officers, prior to the conclusion of the Officer’s term indicated in IV. 1., by following the procedures described in III. 5.