The mission of VCDR is to advance the human and civil rights of people with disabilities to ensure full and equal participation in all aspects of community life and the political process.

 

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Vcdr Bylaws

 

ARTICLE I - PURPOSE

SECTION 1

Name:  The name of the organization shall be the Vermont Coalition for Disability Rights, Inc.

SECTION 2      

Purpose:  The purpose of the Coalition shall be to work with member organizations to:

  1. Increase participation of persons with disabilities in the mainstream of society - in neighborhoods, schools, jobs, community events, governmental decisions - as full and equal citizens of Vermont.
  2. Advocate for the shared belief that all people with disabilities should have the civil rights non-disabled persons are entitled to, including, but not limited to:  self-determination;  consumer control and choice of services;  full and equal participation in all aspects of community life and the political process; and the right to accept and refuse treatment.
  3. Actively involve people with disabilities in decisions that affect them.
  4. Actively involve representatives of persons with disabilities in the decisions that affect them.
  5. Actively involve people with disabilities and their representatives through access, participation and control of the organizational structure and decision making of the Coalition.
  6. Strengthen the skills of persons with disabilities or their representatives in individual and systems advocacy.
  7. Educate the general public and public agencies on issues affecting the Rights and lives of Vermonters with disabilities - including their need for support, access, integration and acceptance.
  8. Assure that appropriate services and/or programs are available to assist those individuals with disabilities who need support to participate and live in the community.
  9. Achieve the goals above by influencing public policy at the administrative, legislative and federal level.

SECTION 3

Fiscal Year:  The fiscal year of the Coalition shall be from October 1 to September 30 of each consecutive year.

 

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ARTICLE II - MEMBERSHIP

SECTION 1  

Any non-profit organization, of or for persons with disabilities, established in the State of Vermont, which supports the purposes of the Coalition and wants to join, may do so upon application to the Board of Governors and upon receiving approval of that body by a three-fourths (3/4) majority vote of present members, provided that written notice of such proposed membership shall have been contained in the notice of the meeting.

SECTION 2   

  1. Member organizations shall provide services and hold meetings that are accessible.
  2. If a member organization maintains an office it shall be accessible or a statement will be prepared describing how the organization will meet this goal.
  3. Members shall sign a Memorandum of Understanding regarding commitment to VCDR's mission and purposes. 
  4. At the time of annual membership renewal, member organizations shall submit a new copy of the signed and dated Memorandum of Understanding, to certify that the organization continues to subscribe to VCDR's mission and purposes.

SECTION 3

Member organizations in the Coalition shall be entitled to two (2) voting representatives to the Coalition Board of Governors meetings.

SECTION 4  

Member organizations agree not to advocate publically against platform positions adopted by the Board of Governors.

SECTION 5

Dues shall be assessed annually at a rate to be determined by the Board of Governors with recommendation of the Steering Committee. Dues structure shall reflect organizations’ ability to pay as determined either by size (number of employees) or annual budget. Member organizations may request a waiver in writing from the Steering Committee and may pay an amount lesser than that set by the Board of Governors with the minimum amount to be $100.00.

SECTION 6

Individuals or groups associated with governmental agencies may act as resource persons and enjoy membership as “consulting members” without voting rights.

SECTION 7

Individuals who have an interest in supporting the mission of VCDR may join the Coalition without voting rights upon application to the Coalition.  An individual membership fee will be assessed annually at a rate to be determined by the Board of Governors, with recommendation of the Steering Committee.

SECTION 8

Organizations which are not exclusively involved in disability issues but which wish to support the Coalition's activities may join the Coalition without voting rights upon application to the Board of Governors and upon receiving approval of that body by a 3/4 majority vote.  An associate membership fee will be assessed annually at a rate to be determined by the Steering Committee.

SECTION 9

An organization of VCDR may be removed from membership by a 2/3 majority vote of the Board of Governors at a duly notified meeting on a motion of the Steering Committee. The basis of such action must be a determination by the Steering Committee that the organization has demonstrated a lack of    support of the purposes of the Coalition, including public and consistent opposition to VCDR's mission and purposes.  Other such demonstration may include, but not be limited to, failure to pay dues, lack of participation in Coalition meetings or activities.

 

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ARTICLE III - BOARD OF GOVERNORS

SECTION 1

Directors:  The affairs of the Coalition shall be managed by a Board of Governors consisting of two representatives from each member organization and the officers of the Coalition.

SECTION 2

Compensation to Members of the Board of Governors: No compensation shall be paid to any member of the Board for any services rendered on the Board.

SECTION 3

Election and Term of Board Members:

  1. Board members shall be appointed by their member organizations for one year to begin at the annual meeting of the Coalition.
  2. Vacancies on the Board shall be filled by that representative's member organization for the remainder of the term.
  3. Members may serve as many terms as their member organization continues to appoint them, and as long as the member organization remains as a member in good standing.

SECTION 4

Election of Officers:  The officers of the Coalition shall be a President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer.  Officers may be elected from the Board of Governors, but this is not a requirement.  All officers must be affiliated with a voting member organization.

SECTION 5

Terms of Officers:  Officers of the Coalition shall be elected biennially by the Board of Governors at the Annual Meeting.  Their term shall be for two years.

SECTION 6

Removal of Officers:

  1. Members of the Board of Governors shall sit at the pleasure of their organization.
  2. Officers, once elected, shall serve through the expiration of their term, except by 2/3 vote of the Board of Governors.

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ARTICLE IV - POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS

SECTION 1

Powers of the Board:  The government of the Coalition shall be vested in the Board of Governors, which shall have charge of the affairs of the Coalition and of the administration of its funds    and properties.

SECTION 2

Responsibilities of the Board:  The Board shall carry out the legal responsibilities which apply to the Board of a non-profit corporation and carry out the corporate purposes of the Coalition including, but not limited to, establishing policies and priorities, managing the affairs of the Coalition, and being responsible for all Coalition fiscal matters.

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ARTICLE V - POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF OFFICERS

SECTION 1

President:  The President shall:

  1. Preside at and conduct the business of the meetings of the Board, the Steering Committee, and the Coalition.
  2. Confer regularly with Committee chairpersons.
  3. Appoint members of the Public Policy, special and ad hoc committees and their chairpersons.
  4. Serve Ex-officio on all committees except the Nominating Committee, should one be appointed.
  5. Insure that committees understand and carry out their responsibilities.
  6. Convene unscheduled meetings of the Steering Committee as needed.

SECTION 2

Vice-President:  The Vice-President shall assume the President's role and function in the absence or inability of the President to serve.

SECTION 3

Secretary:  The Secretary shall be responsible for the minutes of the meetings of the Board, of the Steering Committee and of the Coalition.

SECTION 4

Treasurer:  The Treasurer shall oversee the Coalition's financial operations including the annual audit.

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ARTICLE VI - COMMITTEES

SECTION 1

The Committees of the Coalition shall be:

  1. The Steering Committee
  2. The Public Policy Committee
  3. Any Special/Ad hoc Committees

SECTION 2

Selection of Membership of Committees:  The President of the Coalition shall, at her/his discretion, appoint the Chair and members of the Public Policy Committee and any Special/Ad hoc Committees as deemed necessary. Appointments shall be made either at the Annual Meeting or as soon thereafter as possible.  The Chairpersons thus designated shall serve until successors are appointed or until the Committee is dissolved.

The President may make appointments during the year as appropriate.  The Secretary shall record the appointments of membership of all Committees. The Board of Governors retains the right to determine the responsibility and authority of the Public Policy Committee and Special/Ad hoc Committees.

SECTION 3

Specific Responsibilities of Committees:

  1. The Steering Committee:
    1. Membership:  The Steering Committee shall be comprised of the President, the Vice-President, the Treasurer, the Secretary, six members at large, the chair or co-chairs of the Public Policy Committee, and the Immediate Past President.
    2. Terms:  "Elected" positions serve two years; "Appointed" positions will serve at the pleasure of the President, but for no longer than the two year terms of the elected officers.
    3. Duties:  The Steering Committee shall:
      1. Act for the Board upon matters of business between meetings of the Board of Governors and shall report such actions at the next meeting of the Board.
      2. Exercise management authority between meetings of the Board of Governors.
      3. The Steering Committee shall meet a minimum of four (4) times a year.
      4. The Steering Committee shall act as the appeals panel for positions taken by other committees.
  2. The Public Policy Committee:
    1. Membership:  The chair of the Public Policy Committee shall be appointed by the President.  Its members will be representative of consumers, parents, professionals, and some members who have had legislative experience. Consulting members are permitted to serve on this committee in a nonvoting capacity.
    2. Terms:  One year.
    3. Duties:  The Public Policy Committee shall review and recommend legislation for inclusion on the VCDR Platform, develop VCDR positions on legislation, solicit legislative initiatives from member organizations for consideration by the Board of Governors, and act on public policy for the Coalition between Board meetings. The committee will also develop VCDR positions on proposed State and Federal regulations and legislation, providing public comment when appropriate.

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ARTICLE VII - MEETINGS

SECTION 1

Meetings of the Board:

  1. Regular Meetings:  The Board of Governors shall meet at least two times each year, at a time and place to be determined by the President.  One of these meetings shall be the Annual Meeting which shall be held in June.
  2. Special Meetings of the Board may be called by the President or upon request of the Steering Committee or by petition of 1/3 of the membership of the Board of Governors.
  3. Notice: Notice shall be given to each Board Representative at least ten (10) days prior to each meeting.
  4. Quorum:  A quorum shall consist of people representing at least one third (1/3) of the member organizations.

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ARTICLE VIII - EXECUTION OF DOCUMENTS

SECTION 1

The Board of Governors shall authorize the opening of such bank accounts as are necessary for the financial operation of the Coalition.

SECTION 2

Execution of Instruments:  All instruments relating to the Coalition shall be executed on behalf of the Coalition by the President and Treasurer.

SECTION 3

Checks, Drafts and Orders for payment of monies: 

  1. From the Coalition accounts shall be signed by the Executive Director, or President, or Treasurer, or other designee.
  2. From special accounts, shall be signed by the Executive Director, or President, or the Treasurer, or other designees.

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ARTICLE IX - AMENDMENTS

SECTION 1

Amendments by Governors:  The Board of Governors at any regular or special meeting at which a quorum is present, may, by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Governors present, amend these by-laws provided that written notice of such proposed amendments shall have been contained in the notice of the meeting.

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ARTICLE X - PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

SECTION 1

Conduct of all meetings of Committees and Board of Governors shall be in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order, Revised, and where there is a conflict, these By-laws shall have precedence.

 

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Amended June 9, 1997 - Board of Governors
Amended March 23, 1999 - Board of Governors
Amended November 20, 2000 - Board of Governors
Amended June 10, 2002 - Board of Governors
Amended November 6, 2006 - Board of Governors