DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES
STATUTORY COUNCIL ON BLINDNESS BYLAWS
Reviewed and Revised Dec 2015
Article I - Name
The name of this organization is: the Statutory Council on Blindness.
Article II - Legislative Authority
The Statutory Council on Blindness is authorized by Wisconsin Statutes 47.03(9) and 15.197(2).
Chapter 15.197(2): Council on Blindness. There is created in the Department of Health Services a Council on Blindness consisting of 9 members appointed by the Secretary of Health Services for staggered 3-year terms. At least 7 of the persons appointed to the council shall be blind or visually impaired, as defined in s. 47.01 (1) or (5), and shall reflect a broad representation of blind or visually impaired persons. All council members shall have a recognized interest in and demonstrated knowledge of the problems of the blind or visually impaired. Council members may be persons receiving services from the department. The Council has the functions specified in s. 47.03(9).
Chapter 47.03(9): The Council on Blindness shall make recommendations to the department and to any other state agency concerning procedures, policies, services, activities, programs, investigations and research that affect any problem of blind or visually impaired persons. The department shall consult with the council concerning its programs that affect blind or visually impaired persons; the council may initiate consultations with the department. Upon request the department shall provide information to the council relating to matters concerning blind or visually impaired persons, but only information of a summary or statistical nature.
Article III - Purpose
The purpose of the Statutory Council on Blindness is to make recommendations to the Department of Health Services and other state agencies on services, activities, programs, investigations, and research that affect persons of Wisconsin who are blind or visually impaired.
Article IV - Membership
4.1 The Statutory Council on Blindness, acting through its Executive Committee, shall submit to the Secretary of the Department of Health Services, for his or her consideration, a list of possible candidates for all vacancies. The Secretary may also consider for appointment persons whose names are not on this list. In each instance, the Secretary of the Department of Health Services shall make the appointments. The Secretary may confer with the Chair of the Council on Blindness prior to making appointments. All appointees shall be qualified under Wisconsin Statutes 15.197(2).
4.2 Membership shall consist of nine (9) persons with a minimum of seven (7) having a visual disability.
4.3 Membership terms shall be three (3) years beginning July 1. Members may serve three (3) consecutive terms for a total of nine (9) years. A minimum of one (1) year must elapse prior to reapplication. Terms are staggered so that not all members of the Statutory Council on Blindness are up for appointment or reappointment in any one year.
4.4 If a Council member moves out of the state, the Council shall notify the Department Secretary of this and recommend that the appointment be terminated. The Secretary, at his/her discretion, may terminate the appointment.
4.5 If a Council member is absent from three consecutive meetings and/or three meetings during a fiscal year, the Council shall notify the Secretary and recommend termination. The Secretary of DHS, at his/her discretion, may terminate the appointment.
4.6 When an untimely vacancy occurs, the Chair will submit a recommendation(s) to the Secretary of DHS. The Secretary may also consider for appointment qualified persons not recommended by the Council. The Secretary may confer with the Chair prior to the final appointment for the unexpired term.
4.7 Members shall demonstrate knowledge about blindness, organizations of the blind, and service delivery systems.
4.8 The Council may, by vote in a regular meeting, appoint up to two (2) ex-officio members. Each member may serve up to three consecutive one-year terms. This service will be in lieu of the required one-year hiatus required in Section 4.3. They may assist the council, provide direction, participate in discussion and debate, and serve on committees. Ex-officio members may not vote on matters coming before the Council, nor serve as an elected officer.
4.9 In the event there are no qualified candidates for the Council, a member(s) whose term will expire should serve as an ex-officio member(s) until such time as a qualified candidate is appointed by the Secretary of DHS.
Article V - Meetings
5.1 The Statutory Council on Blindness shall convene at least quarterly to conduct business. Additional meetings shall be convened when required. All meetings shall be open to the public and shall be held in facilities that conform to the Wisconsin Rehabilitation Association accessibility standards.
5.2 The Statutory Council on Blindness reserves the right to meet in Executive Session. Only Statutory Council on Blindness members and Council invited DHS personnel are permitted in Executive Sessions.
5.3 A written agenda of meetings shall be sent to all members.
5.4 A majority of members shall constitute a quorum. Decisions shall be passed by a majority vote of Statutory Council on Blindness members present. There shall be no proxy, alternate, or absentee vote.
5.5 Procedures of the meetings not covered by these Bylaws follow the current edition of Roberts' Rules of Order.
Article VI - Officers
6.1 The officers of the Statutory Council on Blindness shall be a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson, and a Secretary. They, along with a Member-At-Large, will comprise the Executive Committee.
6.2 Election of the officers and the Executive Committee shall be the last order of business at the first council meeting of the state fiscal year.
6.3 Terms of office shall be one (1) year and shall begin at the close of the meeting at which the election occurs.
The chairperson shall preside at all the Statutory Council on Blindness meetings and shall perform other duties as may be prescribed by the Statutory Council on Blindness. The Vice-chair shall serve, convene, and conduct meetings when the Chair is absent.
6.4 The Council Secretary shall record minutes of all regular meetings of the Statutory Council on Blindness as well as the Executive Committee meetings and shall provide such minutes to the Office for the Blind and Visually Impaired for transcription and distribution to interested parties.
6.5 The Executive Committee is a permanent committee of the Council. Other committees will be developed at the discretion of the chair.
Article VII - Amendments
7.1 The Bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Statutory Council on Blindness by an affirmative vote of two‑thirds (2/3) of the members.
7.2 Proposed amendments must be submitted to all Statutory Council on Blindness members at least thirty (30) days in advance of the meeting at which it will be read.
7.3 The Bylaws will be reviewed every odd numbered year by the Statutory Council on Blindness Executive Committee.
Section VI – Officers (6.2), Revision 09/17/09
Section IV – Membership (4.3), Revision 12/4/09
Section VII –Amendments (7.3), Addition 12/4/09
Section IV – Membership (4.8), Addition 6/22/10
Section IV – Membership (4.9), Addition 4/8/13
Section IV – Membership (4.3), Revision 12/09/15