Article I - Name
The name of this organization is the West Virginia State Rehabilitation Council, Inc.
Article II - Purpose
In accordance with The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as Amended in 1992, 1993 and 1998, Title 1, Section 5, hereinafter referred to as The Act, the Division of Rehabilitation Services, hereinafter referred to as the Division, shall establish a State Rehabilitation Council, hereinafter referred to as the Council.
The Council shall:
- Review, analyze, and advise the Division regarding the performance of the responsibilities of the agency under Title I of the Act, particularly responsibilities relating to:
- Eligibility (including order of selection);
- The extent, scope, and effectiveness of services provided; and;
- The functions performed by state agencies that affect or that potentially affect the ability of individuals with disabilities in achieving employment outcomes under this title.
- In partnership with the Division:
- Develop, agree to and review State goals and priorities in accordance with Section 101 (a)(15)(C) of the Act;
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the vocational rehabilitation program and submit reports of progress to the Commissioner of Rehabilitation Services Administration in accordance with Section 101 (a)(15)(E) of the Act; and,
- Conduct a statewide needs assessment of individuals with disabilities living in the state every three years.
- Advise the Division and the Department of Education and the Arts regarding activities authorized to be carried out under Title I, and assist in the preparation of the State plan and amendments to the plan, applications, reports, needs assessments, and evaluations required by Title I.
- To the extent feasible conduct a review and analysis of the effectiveness of, and consumer satisfaction with;
- The functions performed by the Division;
- Vocational rehabilitation services provided by State agencies and other public and private entities responsible for providing vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities; and
- Employment outcomes achieved by eligible individuals receiving services under Title I, including the availability of health and other employment benefits in connection with such employment outcomes.
- Prepare and submit an annual report to the Governor and the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration on the status of vocational rehabilitation programs operated within the State, and make the report available to the public.
- Coordinate with other councils within the State, including:
- The West Virginia Statewide Independent Living Council established under Section 705 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended;
- The Advisory panel established under Section 612(a)(21) of the Individuals with Disabilities Act;
- The State planning council described in section 124 of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (42 USC 6024);
- The State mental health planning council established under section 1914(a) of the Public Health Service Act (42 USC 300x-4(a));
- The Statewide Workforce Investment Board; and, the West Virginia Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Fund Board established in June 1998.
- Provide for coordination and the establishment of working relationships between the Division and the Statewide Independent Living Council and centers for independent living within the State.
- Perform such other functions, consistent with the purpose of Title I of the Act, as the Council determines to be appropriate, that are comparable to the other functions performed by the Council.
- Work with the Division to develop a resource plan including the staff needed for the Council to carry out its mission.
- Continue the formal relationship outlined in the Cooperative Agreement between the West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services and the West Virginia State Rehabilitation Council and the West Virginia Statewide Independent Living Council.
- The Governor’s appointed members shall serve as the governing board of the non-profit corporation established December 28, 1999.
Article III - Membership
The Council shall be composed of at least 15 members, but no more than twenty-six (26) members, appointed by the Governor.
The Council shall be composed of:
- At least one representative of the Statewide Independent Living Council established under section 705, which representative may be the chairperson or other designee of the Council (this is a standing appointment);
- At least one representative of a parent training and information center established pursuant to section 682(a) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education (as added by section 101 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997; Public Law 105-17) (this is a standing appointment);
- At least one representative of the client assistance program established under Section 112;
- At least one vocational rehabilitation counselor, with knowledge of and experience with vocational rehabilitation programs, who shall serve as an ex officio, non-voting member of the council if the counselor is an employee of the designate State agency;
- At least one representative of community rehabilitation program service providers;
- Four representatives of business, industry, and labor;
- Representatives of disability advocacy groups representing a cross section of -
- individuals with physical, cognitive, sensory and mental disabilities; and,
- individuals’ representatives of individuals with disabilities who have difficulty in representing themselves or are unable due to their disability to represent themselves;
- At least one current or former applicant for, or recipient of vocational rehabilitation services;
- At least one representative of the State educational agency responsible for the public education of students with disabilities who are eligible to receive services under Title I of the Act and part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (this is a standing appointment);
- At least one representative of the State Workforce Investment Board and,
- One representative from a district office of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, per the agency director’s recommendation.
The Director of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation shall be a standing, non-voting, ex officio member of the Council.
Qualifications – A majority of Council members shall be persons who are:
- Individuals with disabilities described in Section 7 (20)(A),
- Not employed by the designated State Unit: and,
- Immediate family members (parents, children, siblings, spouse, parents-in-law, children-in-law, grandparents, grandchildren, step-parents, step-siblings, stepchildren and individuals with a legal guardianship of any member of the Division of Rehabilitation Service’s management team or the SRC Executive Director or Council staff shall not serve on the Council.
The Governor shall appoint the Council members. The Council shall nominate new members and present the nominees to the Governor. Nominations shall be presented after soliciting recommendations from representatives of organizations representing a broad range of individuals with disabilities and organizations interested in individuals with disabilities. New terms begin on October 1st or the first meeting after appointment by the Governor.
Members may be appointed for a terms of three (3) years. If a new member is appointed to fulfill a Council vacancy, the appointment is only for the duration of that term.
No member of the Council may serve more than two (2) consecutive three (3) year terms. The two-term limit does not apply to the Client Assistant Program (CAP) representative, Parent Training & Information representative (PTI), Board of Education representative or Vocational Rehabilitation Director.
After serving two (2) full consecutive terms (6 years) in good standing, a member may apply to be considered for reappointment to the Council after a one (1) year hiatus.
Any person(s) appointed by the Governor to fulfill a member’s vacant unexpired appointment shall be considered eligible for appointment for two (2) full three (3) year terms.
Removal from the Council:
- A member may resign from the Council by submitting a resignation in writing to the Council Chairperson.
- Members of the Council may be removed from office for the following reasons:
- Unexcused failure to attend any three consecutive meetings in any twelve (12) month period during a term of office. The Chairperson shall contact the member after two (2) consecutive absences to question the person’s desire or willingness to remain on the Council:
- Change of residence outside of the State of West Virginia; or,
- In accordance with Article III, Section 4 above, pertaining to immediate family members.
- Any action or failure to act deemed by the Council to be unethical or detrimental to the Council or the Division.
For any member meeting any of the areas of this section, a letter will be sent to the Governor requesting the member’s removal from the Council.
Article IV - Election of Officers
At the first meeting on or after August 1st, the Council shall elect from among its members a Chairperson, a Vice Chairperson, a Secretary, and a Treasurer to serve one-year terms from October 1st through September 30th. The duties of said officers are those described in Robert’s Rules of Order, unless otherwise specified herein.
Nominees must have served as a Council member for one full year before being elected as an officer. Members returning to the Council after a hiatus may be eligible to serve as an officer.
Any officer who has served less than a full year prior to the first regular meeting in the new fiscal year shall be eligible to succeed himself/herself in the same office for two (2) consecutive terms.
Nominations for officers shall be made from the floor in addition to those presented by the Nominating Committee at the time of elections. The nominee shall give consent to serve prior to the election.
Election shall be by the voting Council members, using a ballot; however, in the instance of only one nominee, election of the nominee shall be by acclamation.
Vacancies in any office due to death, resignation or other reasons may be filled by election of a majority of the Council’s current roster.
Officers may be removed from office for any action or failure to act deemed by the Council to be unethical or detrimental to the Council. Removal proceedings may be initiated at any regular or specially called meeting of at least a majority of the Council’s members in attendance.
Article V - Committees
The Executive Committee shall be composed of the elected Council officers and the most immediate Past Chairperson currently serving on the Council.
If the position of Past Chairperson is not available, the Council may elect a member-at-large to serve on the Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee oversees all duties and operations of the State Rehabilitation Council business. This committee supervises the actions and directions of the Executive Director of the SRC.
The Executive Committee shall be authorized to conduct emergency business on behalf of the full Council until the next regularly scheduled Council meeting. Such business shall include, but not be limited to, overseeing the daily activities of the SRC office, financial decisions, etc.
Standing committees shall include but are not limited to: Executive, Membership, Annual Report, Consumer Satisfaction Survey and State Plan Committees.
Section 6Ad Hoc Committees may be appointed at special times by the Chairperson to address specific issues of the Council, such as Bylaws, Nominating, etc.
Article VI - Meetings
There shall be a minimum of four (4) regular meetings of the Council annually at times and places in West Virginia established in advance of the meetings by the Council.
All scheduled Council meetings must be recorded with the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office by December 31st annually for the upcoming year noting dates, times, location and business agenda for compliance with West Virginia laws. Emergency meetings will be handled as promptly and conveniently as practical and noted with the Secretary of State’s office.
Notice of all regular and special meetings will be given through public information services. Members may be notified by mail, fax, e-mail and/or telephone. Notice shall be given at least ten days in advance.
The public notice of any Council meetings will include the time, date, location, and a statement of its purpose.
Special meetings may be held at such other times as may be necessary, such meetings to be held upon the call of the Council Chairperson with consent of the Executive Committee.
A quorum shall consist of at least six (6) voting members, one of which must be an officer.
The agenda will be disseminated to the membership and posted publicly prior to any scheduled meetings.
Council meetings are open to the public. Persons desiring to address the Council should make arrangements in advance with the Chair Person or Executive Director of the Council prior to the start of the scheduled Council meeting. Any speaker shall provide his/her name, mailing address, telephone number(s) and the subject to be addressed. Delegations are requested to use a spokesperson. Any presentations and/or handouts must be provided to the Council prior to the meeting and in alternative formats, as needed or requested. Time limits may be set for presentations.
The Council may conduct such hearings and forums, as determined necessary, to carry out the duties of the Council.
Article VII - Procedures
All meetings of the Council and its committees shall adhere to Robert’s Rules of Order, unless otherwise specified herein.
The Council may employ an Executive Director to carry out the day to day functions of the office and to work closely with the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) Director and their staff. The Executive Director may assist and participate in any agency functions as requested by the DRS Director and approved by the Council.
The Council will prepare a budget for inclusion with the DRS Grant Agreement which is signed on or before October 1st each year.
- Grant Expenditure Reports will be submitted to the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation at the end of each quarter.
- Should a discrepancy occur regarding the budget necessary to carry out the Council functions as set forth in the Act, the matter may require intervention by the Secretary of Education and the Arts or the Governor’s designee.
While carrying out the duties and responsibilities of the Council, the West Virginia State Rehabilitation Council staff shall not be assigned duties by the Division or any other agency or office of the State that could create a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Members of the Council are required to sign a Conflict of Interest statement annually. Furthermore, members shall not participate in the discussion of or voting on any matters that may result in real or perceived conflict of interest or any matter that would provide direct financial benefit to the member or otherwise give the appearance of conflict of interest under West Virginia State law. Such abstentions shall be noted in the minutes of the Council meeting.
The Council may use funds appropriated under Title I of the Act to reimburse members of the Council for reasonable and necessary expenses for attending Council meetings and performing Council duties in accordance to the State of West Virginia’s current Travel Policy.
Article VIII - Amendments
Amendments to the By-Laws may be adopted by two-thirds (2/3) of the voting membership present and voting at a regularly scheduled meeting. Recommendations of amendments shall be presented to Council members thirty (30) days prior to the meeting.
The By-Laws shall be reviewed annually or as needed.
Adopted October 5, 2000
Amended August 2, 2001
Reviewed August 7, 2002
Reviewed April 3, 2003
Amended April 8, 2004
Reviewed June 2, 2005
Reviewed August 3, 2006
Reviewed June 7, 2007
Amended September 4, 2008
Amended September 2, 2010
Amended December 5, 2013
Amended October 22, 2014