American Association of the Deaf-Blind

A New Beginning

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AADB Bylaws, Mission and Value Statement

January 31, 2004

Mission Statement

The mission of the American Association of the Deaf-Blind is to enable deaf-blind persons to achieve their maximum potential through increased independence, productivity and integration into the community.

Value Statement

“We believe that deaf-blind people, inclusive of all people with both hearing and vision losses, have the right to achieve their maximum potential and can do so through increased independence, productivity, and integration into the community.”

The Bylaws

Article I – Name.

This organization shall be called the American Association of the Deaf-Blind (AADB).

Article II -- Purpose.

This organization shall be a non-profit, beneficial society of Deaf-Blind persons and other interested individuals, organized for the purpose of advancing the economic, educational, employment, social equality, and just rights and privileges as Deaf-Blind residents of the United States of America.

Article III -- Membership.

Section 1. AADB shall consist of five categories of membership, as follows:

 1) Active; 2) Associate; 3) Honorary; and 4) Organization; and 5) International.

  • 1.1. Active Membership
  • 1.1.1. Active membership shall be available to any Deaf-Blind persons who are permanent residents of the United States of America after their membership dues are paid.
  • 1.1.2. Active members shall be eligible to make motions and vote, to serve on committees, to hold office in AADB, and to subscribe to THE DEAF-BLIND AMERICAN (DBA) publication and all other mailings in the name of AADB.
  • 1.2. Associate Membership.
  • 1.2.1. Associate membership shall be available to any persons who are not Deaf-Blind and who are permanent residents of the United States of America after their membership dues are paid.
  • 1.2.2. Associate members shall not vote or hold office in AADB except for the positions of Secretary and Treasurer. They also shall be eligible to serve on committees.
  • 1.2.3. Associate members shall receive the DBA and all other mailings in the name of AADB.
  • 1.3. Honorary Membership.
  • 1.3.1. Honorary membership shall be awarded to individuals who have done outstanding work in the field of deaf-blindness.
  • 1.3.1.1 The Board shall award honorary memberships to deserving individuals by a vote of two-thirds (2/3).
  • 1.3.2. Deaf-Blind honorary members shall have voting privileges. They shall not hold any office in AADB.
  • 1.3.2.1 Honorary members who are not Deaf-Blind shall not have voting privileges. They shall not hold any office in AADB.
  • 1.3.3. Honorary members may serve on committees. They may subscribe to publications and mailings in the name of AADB at no charge.
  • 1.4. Organizational Membership.
  • 1.4.1. Upon application for membership, organizational membership shall be available to bona fide national, state, and local non-profit and for profit entities with a mission or interest promoting the betterment of the Deaf-Blind people.
  • 1.4.1.1. Organizational members shall not have voting privileges. They shall not hold any AADB office.
  • 1.4.1.2. Organizational members shall receive all publications and mailings in the name of AADB.
  • 1.5. International Membership.
  • 1.5.1. International membership shall be available to individuals who are not permanent residents of the USA upon payment of annual dues.
  • 1.5.2. International members shall not vote, hold office, or serve on committees.
  • 1.5.3. International members shall receive the DBA and other mailings.

Section 2. Non Discrimination.

No person, agency, or organization otherwise eligible shall be denied membership in the Association on the basis of age, sex, race, religion, national origin, or disability.

Section 3. Respect.

AADB reserves the right to take appropriate steps to remove disruptive or abusive member(s) from the national conferences, meetings and other AADB functions and remove membership privileges for one (1) year.

Article IV – Officers.

Section 1. Officers. The officers of AADB shall be a President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

  • 1.1. The President and Vice President must have been Active members for at least twelve consecutive months immediately preceding the date upon which ballots for their election are counted.
  • 1.1.1. The President and Vice President shall run as a team for election.
  • 1.1.2. The President and Vice President must be citizens of USA.
  • 1.2. The Secretary and Treasurer must have been either Active or Associate members for at least twelve consecutive months immediately preceding the date in which they were appointed.
  • 1.2.1. The Secretary and Treasurer must have adequate skills appropriate to the office.
  • 1.2.2. The Secretary and Treasurer shall be appointed by the President with the approval of the Board.

Section 2. Terms of Office.

  • 2.1. Officers. The President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer shall be eligible to serve no more than two (2) consecutive four-year terms.
  • 2.1.1. The election of President and Vice President as a team shall take place every four (4) years effective year 2001.
  • 2.2. Assumption of Office. Officers shall assume their respective duties effective July 1 of the year they were elected and/or appointed.

Article V -- Board of Directors.

Section 1. Board of Directors.

  • 1.1. The Board shall be comprised of the following: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and eight (8) other Board members.
  • 1.2. Board members other than Secretary and Treasurer must have been Active members for at least twelve consecutive months immediately preceding the date in which they were appointed.

Section 2. Terms of Board Members.

  • 2.1. Terms of Board Members. Eight (8) Board Members shall be eligible to serve no more than two (2) consecutive terms at a time.
  • 2.1.1. The election of eight (8) Board members shall take place every four (4) years effective year 2003.
  • 2.2. Assumption of Duties. Board members shall assume their duties effective July 1 of the year they were elected.

Section 3. Resignations.

Resignations must be submitted in writing to the President or to the Secretary.

Section 4. Removal from Office.

Officers or Board members may be removed for failure to carry out duties or for other good and sufficient reason by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Board.

Section 5. Vacancies.

The Board shall have the power to fill Board vacancies as they may occur between elections.

Article VI – Governance.

Section 1. Board of Directors.

  • 1.1. The Board of Directors shall have general control of the affairs of AADB between conferences
  • 1.2. The Board shall be responsible for carrying out the mandates of the membership.

Section 2. Finances:

  • 2.1. Regular expenditures of AADB shall be made in accordance with a budget prepared by the Finance Committee and approved by the Board.
  • 2.2. Non budget expenditures must be approved by the Board.

Section 4. Executive Director.

  • 4.1. The Board of Directors shall be empowered to hire an Executive Director to serve as the chief administrative officer of the Association. The Executive Director shall report to the President of the Association and shall serve as a non-voting ex-officio member of the Board.

Article VII: Election.

Section 1. Election Committee.

  • 1.1. The Election Committee shall be appointed by the President with the approval of the Board.
  • 1.2. The Election Committee shall be comprised of an Active member; an Associate member; and a representative of an outside agency. The Election Committee members shall not run for any office or position in the name of AADB.

Section 2. Eligibility Criteria.

  • 2.1. Board members must have been Active members for at least twelve consecutive months immediately preceding the date upon which ballots for their election are counted.
  • 2.2. The President and Vice President must be citizens of USA. All other members of the Board of Directors must be either citizens or permanent residents of USA.
  • 2.3. Candidates must submit in writing to the Home Office their intention to run for an office or a position as a board member before or on December 31 in the year prior to the election.
  • 2.3.1. If a candidate’s letter is postmarked AFTER December 31 then he or she shall NOT be eligible to run.

Section 3. Voting.

  • 3.1. Ballots with candidates’ resumes shall be mailed out by March 1st only to Active members in good standing.
  • 3.2. Returned ballots should be postmarked on or before May 1st to the Home Office in order to be officially counted.
  • 3.3. The Election Committee shall tally the ballots and report ballots to the President.
  • 3.4. The President shall announce the winners by June 1st.

Article VIII. Meetings.

Section 1. Conferences.

  • 1.1. National conferences shall take place every two years, depending on feasibility.
  • 1.2. The President with the approval of the Board shall announce the date and location of national conferences in the DEAF-BLIND AMERICAN magazine and/or by mail.
  • 1.3. Dates and places for AADB Business Meetings shall be announced by the President at the opening ceremony at the national conference.
  • 1.3.1. Dates and places for AADB Business Meetings shall be published in the national conference program book

Section 2. Board Meetings.

  • 2.1. Board members shall meet as often as needed during the national conferences.
  • 2.2. Board members shall meet a minimum of two times to a maximum of four times a year.
  • 2.3. The President may conduct official electronic board meetings at any time if all board members agree to it and have access to computers.
  • 2.3.1. Electronic voting process shall be followed as outlined in the policy manual.

Section 3. Regional Meetings.

  • 3.1. Regional meetings may take place any time between national conferences.
  • 3.2. Regions shall be responsible for their own program and meeting agenda.
  • 3.2.1. Regions shall be responsible for meeting expenses.

Section 4. Quorum.

  • 4.1. A quorum at AADB Business Meetings shall be at least fifty (50) Active members attending the conference.
  • 4.2. A quorum at the Board shall be at least eight (8) members.

Section 5. Roberts’ Rules of Order.

“ROBERTS’ RULES OF ORDER, REVISED” shall be the basis for settling all questions not accounted for in this Bylaws.

Article IX. Committees.

Section 1. Standing Committees.

  • 1.1. The standing committees of AADB shall be the Executive Committee, the Finance Committee, the Law Committee, the Policy Committee, the Support Service Provider Committee, the Home Office Committee, and the Multimedia Committee.
  • 1.2. The President shall appoint the chair of each standing committee with the approval of the Board.
  • 1.2.1. The chair of each standing committee shall select members to serve on the standing committee.
  • 1.2.2. Each standing committee shall have one or more board members and one or more non-board members to serve on the committee.

Article X. Amendments.

Section 1. The current Bylaws may be amended with the two third vote of the general Active membership.

Section 2. At national conferences, proposed amendments must be submitted in writing to the Law Committee for review to determine whether the proposed amendments are legitimate before the two third vote can take place at the AADB Business Meeting.

  • 2.1. The Law Committee shall review all proposed amendments, determine which of them are legitimate, and then send all legitimate proposed amendments to the Board of Directors for approval.
  • 2.2. Proposed amendments, all of which are approved by the Board of Directors, shall be brought to the general membership at any business Meeting for final approval.

Section 3. Between national conferences, proposed amendments must be submitted in writing to the Law Committee at least one hundred (100) days before the ballots are to be counted.

  • 3.1. The Law committee shall review all proposed amendments, determine which of them are legitimate, and then send all legitimate ones to the Board of Directors within twenty (20) days from the date such an amendment is submitted.
  • 3.2. The Board of Directors shall review and vote on all proposed amendments before putting them on ballots within thirty (30) days from the date such amendments are brought to the board by the Law Committee.
  • 3.3. The Home Office shall mail ballots with proposed amendments only to Active members within ten (10) days from the date such amendments are approved by the Board of Directors.
  • 3.3.1. All Active members shall be duly notified of the proposed amendments and a copy of AADB's current Bylaws shall be distributed upon request for perusal within forty (40) days from the date the Ballots are mailed out.
  • 3.4. Ballots shall be returned to the AADB Home Office within forty (40) days from the date the ballots are mailed out.
  • 3.5. The Law Committee shall tally the ballots and report results to the President.
  • 3.6. The President shall announce the results of the ballots in the DBA publication.

Article XI: Dissolution.

Section 1. AADB may be dissolved by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the current voting members.

Section 2. In the event of dissolution, all liabilities of AADB will be paid and any residual assets of AADB will be exclusively conveyed to one or more organizations which are exempt from Federal tax under the provisions of Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, to be determined by the board.


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