Resolution 2003-03

Concerning Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc.

 

 

WHEREAS, The philosophy of the National Federation of the Blind teaches, “with proper training and opportunity, blindness is only a physical nuisance”; and

 

WHEREAS, the Federation has been actively involved in advocating for excellence in Orientation and Mobility training services; and

 

WHEREAS, consumer input is an essential component in the effective provision of rehabilitation services; and

 

WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind has been represented by one member of the Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc. Graduate Council, and

 

WHEREAS,  members of the Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc. Board of Directors have allegedly engaged in and condoned unprofessional, unethical, malicious, and illegal behavior, such as dismissal of employees without cause, intimidation of staff and volunteers, and rescission of volunteer services without explanation; and

 

WHEREAS, such alleged maltreatment erodes the confidence of the consumer in the effective provision of training services; and

 

WHEREAS, the Graduate Council of Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc., in the best interest of the blind consumer,  has attempted to discuss their concerns about such maltreatment with the Board of Directors to no avail; and

 

WHEREAS, recent demonstrations by blind consumers have opened the door to such discussions; therefore

 

Be It Resolved by the National Federation of the Blind of Florida, in Convention assembled this twenty-sixth  day of May, 2003  in the City of St. Petersburg, Florida  that this Organization demands that the Graduate Council continue to serve in it’s current capacity and be officially organized through modification of the by-laws of Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc; and

Be It Further Resolved that the Federation requests the by-laws of Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc. be readily available to the Graduate Council and any other persons as provided in Florida Statute for their information in an effort to assist in their modification to provide adequate representation by blind consumers and improve public trust and accountability; and Be It Further Resolved that the Federation requests the by-laws of Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc. be modified to include the following provisions as they relate to the Constitution of the Board of Directors:

 

1.  At least 25% (twenty-five percent) of the members of Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc. Board of Directors shall be guide dog users;

2.  At least one (1) member of the Graduate Council, elected from this body,            shall represent the Council as a member of the Board of Directors;

3.  At least one (1) Board member shall be chosen by the National Federation of the Blind to represent blind consumers.  These members shall be appointed or elected as the Organization deems appropriate and shall be graduates of Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc.;

4.                  One (1) Board Member shall be

elected from among Area Coordinators to represent such volunteers

 

Be It Further Resolved that this organization suggests that the Board of Directors of Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc. establishes

criteria for the recruitment of and guidelines for the responsibilities and duties of the Board of Directors; and

 

Be It Further Resolved that this Organization demands that the by-laws of Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc. be modified to permit and encourage attendance, observation, and participation in the regularly scheduled meetings of the Board of Directors;