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Pennsylvania ACDHH Bylaws
Adopted March 11, 2011

ARTICLE I - NAME

Act 1997-37 establishes the name of this council as the “Advisory Council for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing” (hereinafter referred to as the Council).

ARTICLE II - PURPOSE OF COUNCIL

SECTION 1. MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the Advisory Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is to make recommendations and advocate to improve public and private services and obtain equal access for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

SECTION 2. VISION STATEMENT

The Advisory Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing will set a standard of excellence in all we do and foster a climate of continuous improvement so we can accomplish the most for deaf and hard of hearing people in Pennsylvania. We will focus on our role as a goal-driven organization, working in parallel with public and private entities and our state legislature to ensure that the highest quality service is provided to deaf and hard of hearing people.

ARTICLE III - LEGAL BASE AND POWERS AND DUTIES OF COUNCIL

SECTION 1. LEGAL BASE - ACT 1997-37

SECTION 2. POWERS AND DUTIES OF COUNCIL

Council shall have the following powers and duties as defined in Section 6 of Act 1997-37:

  1. “Make recommendations in accordance with such policy and practice to the several executive and administrative departments, boards and commissions of the Commonwealth and to any public or private agencies therein which may be in any way concerned with work with or for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing.”

  2. “Advocate services affecting hard of hearing individuals in the areas of public services, job training and placement, health care and educational opportunity.”

  3. “Act as a bureau of information to for the deaf and hard of hearing to State agencies and public institutions providing services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and to local agencies and programs.”

ARTICLE IV - MEMBERSHIP OF COUNCIL

SECTION 1. COMPOSITION

Section 5 of Act 1997-37 provides that the Council shall consist of the following 17 members.

The Governor or his/her designee
The Secretary of Public Welfare or his/her designee
The Secretary of Health or his/her designee
The Secretary of Education or his/her designee
The Secretary of Labor and Industry or his/her designee
The Secretary of Aging or his/her designee
A member of the Senate, appointed by the President Pro Tempore
A member of the House of Representatives, appointed by the Speaker
Nine (9) public members to be appointed by the Governor, who “shall be individuals selected from schools, organizations and non-State agencies which render services to or represent persons who are hard of hearing”; at least four (4) of which “shall be deaf or hard of hearing.”

SECTION 2.

  1. Governor and Department Secretaries or their designees serve during their terms in office and shall remain on the Council until such time as a replacement is named and qualified. Legislative members serve two (2) years and may be re-appointed.

  2. Public members will serve four (4) year terms. Public members whose terms are expiring may be asked to serve until another public member can be appointed by the Governor.

SECTION 3. VACANCIES

Vacancies occurring other than by expiration of a term of office shall be filled by the appropriate appointing authority for the unexpired term of office.

SECTION 4. AUTHORITY OF INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS

No member of the Council shall at any time act or proport to act on behalf of or in the name of the Council without prior authority from the Council.

SECTION 5. COMPENSATION AND EXPENSES

“Members of the Council shall serve without compensation but shall be entitled to receive necessary traveling and other expenses actually incurred in the performance of their duties.”

ARTICLE V – ORGANIZATION

SECTION 1. OFFICERS OF COUNCIL

The Officers of the Council shall be a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Secretary.

SECTION 2. SELECTION OF OFFICERS

  1. Council shall biennially elect, from its own members, a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Secretary.

  2. Elections shall be held in even numbered years at the last scheduled meeting of the fiscal year. (The fiscal year runs from July 1st to June 30th.) Elected officers shall take office immediately.

  3. In the absence of the Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson, the secretary shall preside at Council meetings until a Chairperson pro tem is elected and shall perform such other duties as may be imposed by action of the Council or as set forth in other sections of these By-Laws.

SECTION 3. COMMITTEES

  1. The standing committee of the Council shall be the Membership Committee. Program Committee deleted.

  2. Special committees or work groups shall he appointed by the Chairperson whenever they are deemed necessary by Council. A special committee shall be restricted to its assigned task. It shall report its recommendations to Council, and shall dissolve when its report is complete.

  3. Each committee shall elect a chairperson from among its members unless the Council Chairperson specifically appoints a committee chairperson.

  4. The Council Chairperson shall be an ex-officio member of all committees unless he or she indicates otherwise.

SECTION 4. FUNCTIONS OF STANDING COMMITTEE

The Membership Committee shall consist of a Chairperson and such other members of Council as designated to serve by the Chairperson of Council. The major functions and responsibilities of the Membership Committee are:

  1. To review applications and recommendations for membership from those applying to be public members.

  2. To recommend possible public-member appointments to Council as a whole for approval.

  3. To forward the name(s) of approved public-member candidate(s) to the Secretary of Labor and Industry and the Governor.

ARTICLE VI - MEETINGS OF COUNCIL

SECTION 1. REGULAR MEETINGS OF COUNCIL

  1. Council shall meet at the call of the Chairperson, but not less than four (4) times per year.

  2. The time and place of any regular meeting may be changed if notification is given at least fourteen (14) days prior to the meeting.

SECTION 2. SPECIAL MEETINGS

  1. Special meetings may be called by the Chairperson, upon the written request of any five (5) members of Council, or by the Director of ODHH with the approval of the Chairperson.

  2. Notice to all Council members stating the time, place and purpose of the special meeting shall be mailed as early as possible, but in no case less than seven (7) days prior to the meeting. Notice can also be delivered by hand or verbally at least two (2) days prior to the meeting.

SECTION 3. ATTENDANCE

  1. Council members or their designees are expected to attend all regular Council meetings. Consistent attendance will enable Council to fulfill its mission in a timely and efficient manner.
    1. After two (2) consecutive unexcused absences, a letter will be sent from Council reminding the member of his/her responsibilities as a member of the Council.

    2. Following the letter, if one (1) additional unexcused absence occurs, a second letter will be sent from Council encouraging the member to participate in future Council meetings or consider resigning from the Council.

SECTION 4. ODHH DIRECTOR

  1. The ODHH Director shall attend all Council meetings.

  2. The ODHH Director shall develop policies and procedures for the Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in accordance with the recommendations of Council, and with the approval of the Secretary of Labor and Industry.

SECTION 5. AGENDAS

  1. The agenda for all meetings of Council shall be prepared by the ACDHH Chairperson, in consultation with members of the ACDHH.

  2. Copies of the agenda shall be available at each meeting for members of the public.

SECTION 6. MEETINGS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

All regular and special meetings of Council shall be open to the public. Council may meet in executive session to consider matters as permitted by the Sunshine Act.

Public participation and comments are welcome and may be encouraged through a public time at the end of a formal meeting. Persons wishing to formally address Council will be asked to forward to the Chairperson an overview of the topic they will present by the deadline given for submitting proposed agenda items.

SECTION 7. QUORUM

A simple majority of Council members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. If all 17 positions are filled, a quorum shall consist of 9 or more members.

SECTION 8. VOTING

All actions taken by Council shall require a majority vote of Council members present.

SECTION 9. RECORDING OF MEETINGS

Typed minutes of each meeting as approved by Council shall be signed by the Secretary. The ODHH Director shall be responsible for the safekeeping of the minutes and other correspondence of Council.

SECTION 10. ADJOURNING MEETINGS 

Before a Council meeting is adjourned, the time, date and place of the continuation of the meeting or next meeting shall be determined and announced.

SECTION 11. PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE

 Robert’s Rules of Order shall prevail except as otherwise provided herein.

ARTICLE VII - AMENDMENT

These Bylaws, except those quoted from the enabling statute, may be amended at any meeting by a majority vote provided that the proposed amendment has been mailed to the membership in writing via mail or email at least thirty (30) days prior to being voted upon. An amendment shall become effective immediately upon its adoption.

The thirty (30) day notice provision for amending the Bylaws may be dispensed with by waiver in writing signed in agreement by ten (10) members or two-thirds (2/3) of the filled positions on Council.