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Consumer Involvement Council Overview and BylawsThe Michigan Commission for the Blind's Consumer Involvement Council (CIC) was originally established by the first MCB Board in 1980 to assist the organization in developing policies and to help identify issues which needed to be addressed.
The purpose of the Consumer Involvement Council is to provide consumer input into proposed policy or to create new proposals on agency policy.
Although Public Act 260, which created the Michigan Commission for the Blind, calls for at least three members of the five-member, Governor-appointed board to be persons who are blind, the CIC was created to help assure a greater level of consumer involvement in the organizational structure.
The Consumer Involvement Council was in operation for several years, but became inactive in the mid-1990s, then re-established in 1998, with revised by-laws. While the CIC is not statutorily mandated, it is an important component of the organization which helps to bring a consumer focus to issues being addressed by the Commission and serve as a useful resource for substantive input.
The Consumer Involvement Council consists of 12 members. Three persons are designated by each of the two major blind consumer organizations in the state, the Michigan Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired (MCBVI) and the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) of
THE CONSUMER INVOLVEMENT COUNCIL BYLAWS
The Consumer Involvement Council (CIC) was established in the early 1980's to provide formal consumer input to the Commission for the Blind Board. Representatives from organized consumers, other service providers and current agency clients comprised the original CIC.
The Council met quarterly until 1996 when there was approximately a two-year gap during which the CIC did not meet. In 1998, under the direction of the newly appointed director, Mr.
Both the Rehabilitation Act and the current "State Plan," which outlines the operation of the Commission, call for significant and formal consumer input.
The Consumer Involvement Council of the Michigan Commission for the Blind shall be made up of 12 members. This membership shall be comprised in the following manner and selected through the following methods.
A. Three positions will represent the membership of the Michigan Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired. Each position will serve a three-year term. During 1998, the organization will be asked to select an individual for a three-year term, another individual for a two-year term and the final selection for a one-year term. Subsequently, the organization will select an individual each year to replace the CIC member whose term expires during that year. This organization shall also select one alternate to attend the meetings if one of the organizational representatives cannot attend the regular CIC meeting.
B. Three positions will represent the membership of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan. Each position will serve a three-year term. During 1998, the organization will be asked to select an individual for a three-year term, another individual for a two-year term and the final selection for a one-year term. Subsequently, the organization will select an individual each year to replace the CIC member whose term expires during that year. This organization shall also select one alternate to attend the meetings if one of the organizational representatives cannot attend the regular CIC meeting.
C. The seventh seat on the Council shall be filled by an individual who represents the needs of the older blind in Michigan. This person shall serve a two-year term. This person will be appointed by the Commission Director.
D. The eighth seat on the council shall be filled by a representative appointed by MACIL. MACIL must provide a blind person for this spot on the council. This seat shall be a two-year position.
E. A current client of the Michigan Commission for the Blind shall fill the ninth seat on the Council for a two-year term.
NOTE 1: "Current" defined as a person currently receiving services or having received services in the past year. Preference shall be given to that person having completed successfully the rehabilitation process.
NOTE 2: This position will be filled by an individual whose name has been referred to the director and who the director appoints, taking into consideration such factors as: Completion of the rehabilitation process, ethnicity, geographic balance and gender balance representation.
F. Two parents of blind children shall serve on the Council. One each shall be chosen from the National Federation of the Blind Parents Division and the Michigan Association of Parents of the Visually Impaired. Each shall serve a two-year term. The Federation parent shall be chosen during the odd numbered year and the MAPVI Parent shall be chosen during the even numbered year, with terms for both beginning in January of the following year.
G. The twelfth seat on the Council shall be filled by a blind youth (a high school senior or college student), an individual who represents the needs of blind youth in Michigan. This person shall serve a two-year term. This person will be appointed by the Commission Director.
H. An appointee of the Director of the Michigan Commission for the Blind will attend all meetings and will act as the official liaison to the Consumer Involvement Council. This liaison will form the administrative link between the Michigan Commission for the Blind and the Consumer Involvement Council. This individual shall provide, at each meeting convened, a report concerning current activities and issues of the Commission for the Blind. This individual will also provide for the following areas:
1. Establishment of meeting place and the promulgation of meeting information to the interested public.
2. Work with the Chair to establish the agenda for each meeting.
3. The conveyance of information and/or responses of the Commission to the Consumer Involvement Council.
4. The conveyance of information and/or response back to the formal commission and/or appropriate MCB staff.
NOTE 1: This person shall have equal opportunity for input to the Council, but shall not have a voting privilege.
NOTE 2: This position will be an ongoing commitment by the Michigan Commission for the Blind to the Consumer Involvement Council.
NOTE 3: This position will be exempt from the chair or vice-chair of the Consumer Involvement Council.
GUIDELINES FOR SELECTION OF INDIVIDUALS BY THE ORGANIZATIONS OF AND FOR THE BLIND
So as to meet the federal mandates and so as to achieve proper geographical balance, the following guidelines are set forth for each consumer organization to follow in their selection of an individual for the Consumer Involvement Council.
1. Current Consumer: It is important that in the establishment of a Consumer Involvement Council, emphasis be placed upon those persons who are either currently consumers of Commission services, or who have received service in the past year.
2. Geographical Balance: It is important that representation come from all areas of the State of Michigan, but it is recognized that representation may be in accordance with population centers of the state.
3. Age Balance: It is important that a wide range of ages be included in this council. Many issues come before the council affecting a wide range of age population, thus requiring input from the entire age spectrum.
4. Ethnicity Balance: It is important to realize that in many cases, opportunities for minorities to speak out are limited. Therefore, we encourage representation upon this council of minorities so as to assure effective input.
5. Gender Balance Representation: It is important that in the discussion, or implementation of policy, women's rights should be considered and heard effectively.
Meetings shall be held no less than quarterly each year. Each new or continuing member shall start their term of service during January of each year. A majority of the members seated on the council, and present at a meeting shall determine a quorum. A chairperson will be selected to preside over its meetings. A member shall not be eligible to serve as chairperson during their first year on the council. The chairperson shall serve a two-year term and shall not succeed themselves. The Liaison shall not be eligible to be the Chairperson.
A vice-chairperson shall also be selected for a two-year term and this person may serve as vice-chairperson regardless of their time on the council.
Both Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson shall be elected during the January meeting of the CIC which occurs in the odd year.
Issues may be brought to the Council for discussion, development of a recommended policy and/or recommendation concerning an existing policy. According to the "Consumer Involvement Plan," as passed by the Commission for the Blind at their meeting of May 21, 1980, the Consumer Involvement Council may take one of the following actions:
A. Support as presented.
B. Support with comments.
C. Support with modifications.
D. Support in concept, but with many modifications.
E. Table for study, and
F. No support with comments.
The Chairperson shall appoint subcommittees as needed.
· Adopted by the Commission Board on: 1/18/2000 in its meeting in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
· Bylaws amended by Commission Board at its meeting on 12/13/04 .
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