Advisory Council By-Laws

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BYLAWS OF THE TOOLS FOR LIFE ADVISORY COUNCIL

ARTICLE I: NAME

Tools for Life Advisory Council

ARTICLE II: PURPOSE AND FUNCTIONS OF THE COUNCIL

Purpose:

To serve in an advisory capacity in assisting Tools for Life, Georgia’s Tech-Act Project, in accomplishing its goal and mission with measurable outcome.

Tools for Life:

Our Mission: We are committed to increasing access to appropriate Assistive Technology so Georgians with disabilities can live, learn, work and play independently in their own communities.

Our Vision: Tools for Life will be an exemplary model for putting Assistive Technology into the hands of people with disabilities, through innovative consumer driven public private partnerships.

Our Goal: To make Assistive Technology accessible, usable, timely and more affordable for Georgians with disabilities.

Council areas of support to the Tools for Life Program:

  • Advocacy
  • Provide Direction
  • Serve as Information Resource

Functions Areas:

Advocacy:

  • Council will serve as a statewide resource of information to TFL project.
  • Council will review and give input on programs & services.
  • Council will be a statewide voice for public awareness and advocacy on increased access to Assistive Technology.

Actions: (See Appendix 3. Membership Handbook)

Provide Direction:

  • Plans & priorities
  • Programs & services
  • Enhance visibility

Actions: (See Appendix 3. Membership Handbook)

Serve as Knowledge Resource:

  • Own unique perspectives
  • Trends & changes

Actions: (See Appendix 3. Membership Handbook)

ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP

A. The Council shall be composed of not less than 12 and not more than 24 members. The Vocational Rehabilitation Division Director shall approve members. The council shall be composed of a majority of consumers, parents, and advocates across disabilities.

B. Nominationsshallbebasedondisabilityarea,representvariousareasofthe state, skills and organization affiliation interested in the provision of Assistive Technology devices and services and diverse ethnic groups.

ARTICLE IV: TERMS OF OFFICE

A. The length of term on the Council shall be three years.

B. Considerationwillbegiventoreplacingmemberswhoarenotabletoattend two consecutive meetings.

C. Limitnumberoftermsonecanserveaspernominatingcommittee.Expected term limit of six years. Exceptions can be made by a recommendation of the nomination committee and a majority vote of Council Board Members.

ARTICLE V: OFFICERS

A. The Council shall designate one appointed member to serve as Chairperson and one member to serve a Vice-Chairperson of the council.

B. The Chairperson, with input from the Council and Tools for Life Staff, may appoint Committee/Task Group Chairpersons as deemed necessary.

C. Committee/Task Group Chairpersons include one or two members to serve in the following areas: Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Membership, Advocacy, and Lead Consortium Representative.

D. The Tools for life state office will provide a non-voting secretary.

ARTICLE VI: DUTIES OF OFFICERS

A. Chairperson:

  1. To confer with support staff in developing the agenda and notices for meetings.
  2. To preside at all Council meetings.
  3. Act in the capacity of timekeeper at Council meetings.
  4. To appoint, with the Council Members and Tools for Life Staff, Committee/Task Group Chairpersons.
  5. To provide input on agenda items for each quarterly meeting.

B. Vice-Chairperson:

  1. To maintain close contact with the Chairperson and be familiar with all Council transactions.
  2. To perform as Chairperson in the absence of the regular Chairperson.
  3. To accept and complete tasks as may be assigned by Chairperson.
  4. Advisory Council Meetings shall be governed by Roberts Rules of Order, Revised.

C. Nomination Chair:

  1. To provide TFL Advisory Council with annual list of potential new members.
  2. To work with the secretary to monitor committee member term limits and provide orientation to new member.

D. Lead Consortium Representative:

  1. Educate Legislators on Assistive Technology Resource Centers initiatives.
  2. Keep Board up-to-date on legislative updates.
  3. Advocate for state funds through the legislators.
  4. (Ex officio member).

E. Advocacy Chair/Co-Chair:

  1. To work with TFL Advisory Council to prioritize and choose Advocacy initiatives on an annual basis.
  2. To select committee members to participate in initiatives.
  3. To work with TFL state office to insure measurable outcome with initiatives.
  4. To work with ATRC Consortium on legislative issues.
  5. To provide support on local and national advocacy issues revolving around the Tech-Act.

ARTICLE VII: FUNCTIONS OF TOOLS FOR LIFE STAFF

A. Participate in Council meetings as requested.

B. TFL Director will help the chairperson facilitate advisory council meetings agenda line items.

C. Serve as catalysts for Committee/TaskGroup discussions.

D. With Chairperson, organize committee/task groups meetings at least once in between quarterly council meetings.

E. Assure clerical support for committee reports (minutes, mailing, meeting notices and agenda).

F. Serve as resource person (ex officio member).

G. Assure quarterly communication between council members and staff.

H. Assure TFL state office up-dates via email and phone on a quarterly time period.

I. To execute logistical meeting set-up and travel accommodations for advisory council meetings.

ARTICLE VIII: COMMITTEES

A. The Chairperson, Council Members and Tools for Life representative shall appoint a Committee/Task Group Chairperson.

B. Committees shall be developed in the areas of:

  • Membership/Nomination
  • Advocacy/Marketing

ARTICLE IX: MEETINGS

A. The Council shall meet at least bi-annually. B. The Chairperson or a simple majority of the total Council may call additional meetings as deemed necessary with appropriate notification. C. All meetings of the council shall be held in barrier-free meeting sites. Reasonable accommodations and alternative format shall be provided in means that are accessible to persons with disabilities. Location to be determined at end of each meeting. D. A quorum shall consist of a simple majority of the members in attendance.

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES

  1. LEGAL AUTHORITY: Federal Public Law 100-407, Section 201 (Technology-Related Assistance for individuals with disabilities Act of 2001), and Federal Public Law (State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program (34 CFR Part 361).
  2. ADDRESS AND STAFF CONTACT: GDOL/VR/TFL

Christopher Lee 1700 Century Circle, Suite 300 Atlanta, Georgia 30345 (404) 638-0384 christopherlee@mindspring.com www.gatfl.org

  1. LEAD AGENCY & DIVISION: Department of Labor/ Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
  2. ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT: Georgia Assistive Technology Project, Tools for Life
  3. NUMBER OF MEMBERS & MAKE UP: Not more then 24 or less than 12

51% consumer driven this number would include family members

  1. LENGTH OF TERM: Three years, six years being the most in consecutive terms
  2. APPOINTING AUTHORITY: Director, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
  3. MEETING FREQUENCY: Subject to Chair

Bi-annually Sub-committees set schedule as needed. ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES