Constitution and By-Laws of the American Council of the Blind of Maine


Constitution of the American Council of the Blind of Maine


As amended: October 2013


Article 1. -Name


Section I. This organization shall be known as the “American Council of the Blind of Maine”


Article II. -Objectives


Section 1. The purpose of the American Council of the Blind of Maine is to serve for the betterment of our total community:


  • A). Operating exclusively under Internal Revenue Service Code 501 {C}{3} for tax exempt purposes.


  • B). Through representatives of the state, not primarily a blind person.


  • C). By providing a forum for the views of blind persons from all corners of the state and from all walks of life.


  • D). By elevating the educational, social, economic, and cultural levels of blind persons.


  • E). By improving recreational and rehabilitation facilities.


  • F). By promoting independence for blind and visually impaired individuals, encouraging the use of Braille, adaptive technology, and networking.


  • G). By broadening recreational opportunities.


  • H). By encouraging to assisting blind persons, especially the newly blind person, to develop their potentials and abilities.


  • I). By cooperating with the public and private institutions and agencies of and for blind persons.


  • J). By providing for the free exchange of ideas, opinions, and information relative to matters of concern to blind persons through the newsletter and other publications.


  • K). By conducting a program of public education aimed toward improving the understanding of the problems of blindness and the capabilities of people who are blind.


ARTICLE III. -Membership, Voting, and Dues


Section 1. Any person, or organization of blind persons, residing in a state of Maine (with exception of paragraph A-2, below) is eligible to become a member of this organization upon complying with the provisions hereinafter contained.


  1. A) The membership of this organization shall be of: voting memberships, non-voting memberships, life membership and associate memberships:


  • a-1) Voting members of this organization shall be legally blind and shall be at least 18 years of age


  • a-2) non-voting member shall be associate. Need not be residents of Maine.


  • a-3) Youth members shall be non-voting members and under 18 years of age.


  • a-4) Life Membership- may be awarded and or purchase.


  1. B) Affiliation: Any organization having at least ten (10) members may apply for affiliation with this organization. Such application must be approved by a majority of the board of directors. In order to be approved, this application shall include written and adopted by-laws. To remain in good standing, an affiliate must comply with these requirements at all times.

b-1) In order to promote the organization of satellite chapters, it may be necessary to provide start-up funds to those chapters. The amount of this stipend shall be set at three hundred ($300. 00) dollars per new chapter.

  1. C) Voting: Each voting member attending a state convention shall be entitled to one (1) vote.
  2. D) Dues: Membership dues will be prescribed in the by-laws of this constitution. Dues shall be due October 1st of each year and shall provide membership for the following calendar year.


  1. E) Suspension/Expulsion: Any affiliate or member may be expelled or suspended by a two-thirds vote of the annual convention after a hearing as prescribed and Roberts Rules of Order, Revised. In the proceedings to suspend or expel, the affiliate or member charged shall have the right to vote.


Article IV. Officers


Section 1. The officers of this organization shall consist of the President, Vice-President (both of whom shall be legally blind), Secretary and Treasurer. These officers shall be elected at the annual convention and shall serve a one-year term. In addition to the above officers, the executive committee of the American Council of the blind of Maine shall consist of a six-member Board of Directors. The term of office of the Board of Directors shall be for three (3) years. Among the six board members shall be of at least one representative from each satellite chapter. These six elected directors will elect one of themselves to act as Chairperson so that this Chairperson can conduct business meetings in the absence of the President and Vice-President. The Chairperson shall be elected to a one-year term at the first board meeting following the annual convention.


  1. A) No member of the Board of Directors of this organization shall receive compensation for services to the American Council of the Blind of Maine. Board members may be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred in the exercise of their duties.


  1. B) Officers and directors shall be elected by the majority of the votes cast at the annual convention.




Powers and duties of the convention, officers, Board of Directors, and committees:


Section 1. Any voting member of this organization may make, and second motions, propose nominations and, and serve on committees. The convention shall determine the time and place of the annual convention.


Section 2. Officers of this organization shall perform the usual functions of their officers has prescribed by the Roberts’ Rules of Order, Revised, unless these functions are otherwise provided for in the by-laws of this constitution.


Section 3. The Board of Directors shall be the governing body of this organization between conventions, providing that it shall make no policies, decisions, or take any official action in conflict with existing decisions or actions of the convention.




Section 1. A meeting of this organization shall be held each fall and is to be known as the annual convention. The members present shall constitute a quorum to do business.




Section 1. This constitution may be amended at any regular or special meeting of this organization by a two-thirds vote of the members present, provided that the voting members have been notified in writing of the proposed changes seven (7) days prior to the meeting.


Section 2. By-laws may be amended by a simple majority vote of those present and voting at the annual convention.


Section 3. By-laws may be amended by a simple majority vote of those present at special convention called for the purpose of by-law changes, provided that the all voting members have been notified in writing of the proposed changes seven (7) days prior to the convention.




Section 1. The Board of Directors shall have general charge and management of all business affairs of this organization, consistent with other sections of this constitution. The Board of Directors is authorized to take full control of the funds of this organization with power to sell, assign, transfer, and deliver from time to time any of the securities. Each assignment is to be executed by at least four (4) members of the Board of Directors. They shall invests and reinvest the proceeds of sales and any other available funds in securities which the Board of Directors deems suitable for the organization and which will comply with the laws of Maine.




Section 1. The death benefit of this organization is the bereavement gift-not an insurance, and is giving to the estate of the voting member of this organization prior to October 1, 1987 and has been suspended for all new members after this date. The death benefit of this organization is set at TWO HUNDRED-FIFTY DOLLARS ($250. 00), with of right and privilege of the members on a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting at any annual convention, to increase or decrease said amount.



Section 1. In the event this organization should dissolve, all remaining assets of the organization, after all commitments are met, remaining monies will be placed in a trust fund, within the state of Maine with trustees selected by the outgoing board, that the American Council of the Blind shall attempt to reorganize a state wide affiliate, in the state of Maine.












BY-LAWS of the American Council of the Blind of Maine


As Amended October, 2013


  1. Dues


  • I-A) Annual dues will be assessed at TEN DOLLARS ($10. 00) per year.


  • I-B) Members who are delinquent for two (2) years will be dropped from the membership.




  • II-A) President: Duties will be to preside over the annual convention, the executive committee meetings, and all other duties as outlined in Roberts’ Rules of Order, Revised.


  • II-B) Vice-President: Duties shall be to conduct the business of this organization in the absence of the President.


  • II-C) Chairperson of the board: Duties shall be to conduct the business of this organization in the absence of the President and Vice-President.


  • II-D) Secretary: The duties of the secretary of this organization, in addition to the usual duties of such an office, shall be to furnish any member on request a summary of all official actions taken at conventions or meetings of the board of directors. Also to respond in writing to pertinent inquiries that have been received by this organization and authorized by the board of directors. Duties also include making written contact with individuals or organizations.



II-E) Treasurer: The duties of the treasurer of this organization will be to carry out all of the usual duties of this office, which include presenting a financial report at the annual convention or a current financial report to the executive committee on request.




The President, Vice President, and Board of Directors are empowered to conduct the ongoing business of this organization between the annual conventions

as long as this does not conflict with actions taken at the annual convention.


  • III-A) Four (4) voting members of the board shall constitute a quorum and these members may elect a chair person to preside at that meeting.


  • III-B) Any executive committee member who fails to attend three (3) consecutive regular board meetings without authorization by the president or chair person of the board shall be notified by the president or chairperson of the board that absent of the member at the next board meeting shall be deemed an indication of the absence members wish or necessity to resign from the executive committee. If the member fails to attend the next board meeting, that member will be deemed conclusively to have resigned and the president shall appoint a member to fill that position until the next annual convention.




Upon the recommendation of the Board of Directors, the President will appoint a chairperson of any committee, who in turn will recommend one or more members to serve on such a committee. The President is ex-offio member of all committees.


  • IV-A) The committee shall report to the annual convention, and to the Board of Directors upon request.


  • IV-B) In the event that satellite chapters are established in this state, the by laws and constitution of this organization may be amended in accordance with the American Council of the Blind.


  1. Official stipends:


Stipends for in the secretary and treasurer shall be set at ONE HUNDRED-FIFTY ($150.00) dollars per annum. This stipend is subject to change by action

of the board of directors at the annual convention. Shall be issued on annually


  1. DRAFTS on the TREASURY:


Drafts on the Treasury must be authorized by two (2) out of the five (5) following officers:


  • VI-A) President


  • VI-B) Vice- President


  • VI-C.) Secretary


  • VI-D) Treasurer


  • VI-B) Chairperson of the Board




The purpose of the endowment investment policy is to provide long term direction to the Board of Directors. The ACB of Maine’s endowment is used to provide an income for ACB of Maine to use for general purposes. The endowment is not to be spent. The investment policy contains provisions to insure that the value of the endowment grows at the rate designed to maintain the endowment’s relative value over the long term, as well as provisions for continued income. A copy of the ACB of Maine’s investment policy is maintained with the organization’s secretary.



The Officers and Board of Directors will authorize the disbursement of five hundred dollars ($500.00) each year to the National American Council of the Blind Scholarship Committee to be awarded to a legally blind resident of the state of Maine. In the event no scholarship is awarded in any particular year, the funds accused shall be used for scholarships in subsequent years.