I. NAME & PURPOSE  II. ORGANIZATION  III. FUNCTIONS & RESPONSIBILITIES  IV. MEETINGS  V. LEGAL AUTHORITY OF BY-LAWS

I. NAME AND PURPOSE

 

  • The name of the organization shall be the Missouri Assistive Technology Council.
  • The Council is established pursuant to RSMO 191850-191863.
  • It shall be the mission of the council to increase consumers' access to assistive technology devices and services by enhancing local and statewide capacities in Missouri, articulated in the following values:
    • Consumer responsiveness, including respect for consumer choices.
    • Comprehensiveness, specifically that the project addresses and includes:
      • All geographic areas of the state,
      • All disabilities and all ages,
      • A full spectrum of assistive technology devices and services, and
      • All settings; e.g., living, learning, working, and playing.
    • Interagency coordination of both public and private sector providers.
    • Independence of persons with disabilities.
    • Productivity of persons with disabilities
    • Inclusion of persons with disabilities.
    • Meaningful consumer involvement at all levels of the project.

     

  • Definitions:

    • COUNCIL means the Missouri Assistive Technology Council.
    • DIRECTOR means the Director of Missouri Assistive Technology.
    • STATE means the State of Missouri.
    • YEAR means the twelve-month period beginning October 1 and ending September 30.

II. ORGANIZATION

 

  • The voting membership of the Council shall be composed of:
    • Consumer Representatives, twelve (12); to be composed of a variety of types of disabilities across the age span from all geographic areas of the state; and including
      • A minimum of six (6) individuals with disabilities, and
      • A minimum of two (2) parents, spouses, or guardians of individuals with disabilities.
    • Agency Representatives, nine (9); to be composed of:
      • Representatives of the principle state, local, and non-governmental agencies and groups responsible for policy implementation and funding of assistive technology, at least one member of the following shall be represented:
        • Division of vocational rehabilitation,
        • Division of special education,
        • Department of insurance,
        • Rehabilitation services for the blind,
        • Division of medical services,
        • Department of health, and
        • Department of mental health.
      • Representatives of other agencies or organizations responsible for service, delivery, policy implementation, and funding of assistive technology.
      • The appointment of individuals representing state agencies shall be conditioned on their continued employment with their respective agencies.
    • One (1) member who is a member of the house of representatives shall be appointed by the speaker of the house and one (1) member who is a member of the senate shall be appointed by the president pro tempore of the senate.
    • A representative of the Workforce Investment Board or Missouri Training and Employment Council shall be invited to participate in Council meetings in conformance with Council membership requirements of the Assistive Technology Act (PL 108-364) as a non-voting member.
  • The voting membership of the Council shall be composed of twenty-three (23) members appointed by the governor to serve no more than three (3) consecutive, three-year (3) terms and until his/her successor is appointed by the governor. The Executive Board shall solicit and recommend possible appointees for the governors approval.
  •  

    • A majority of the membership shall be individuals with disabilities and parents, spouses, or family members of individuals with disabilities.
    • Members shall serve for no more than three consecutive, three-year terms and until his/her successor is appointed by the governor.
    • In the event of a resignation or other vacancy on the Council, a new member shall be appointed by the governor; the Executive Board shall solicit and recommend possible appointees for the governor's approval to complete the term of office for the vacant position.
    • A member of the Council may be removed upon recommendation of the Executive Board if:
      • He or she no longer qualifies, for some reason, to be a member of the Council; or
      • The member misses two (2) meetings, within one (1) year, without good cause.
      • He or she fails to adhere to member responsibilities described in section 5 below.
    • It shall be the responsibility of the members to:
      • Attend and participate in the meetings of the Council,
      • Be knowledgeable of the assistive technology positions, programs and services of the Council and effectively and appropriately represent the Council to the public,
      • Participate as requested on one or more subcommittees, and
      • Provide oversight and direction for all assistive technology programs and services and actively contribute to the formation, synthesis, and production of specified recommendations and reports.
      • Act or refrain from acting in any capacity that would be in violation of ...
        • any federal or Missouri statute as they relate to a regulation regarding a conflict of interest between their public duty and their private interest or
        • accepted standards of professional conduct when engaged in business on behalf of the council or in activities sponsored by the council.
      • Submit required financial disclosure reports to the Missouri Ethics Commission.
    • Officers
      • The chairperson of the Council shall ascend from the position of chairperson-elect, having been elected and having served as chairperson-elect the previous year. The duties of the chairperson shall be to:
        • Chair all meetings of the Council,
        • Chair all meetings of the Executive Board,
        • Appoint members of all subcommittees, with the advice and consent of the Executive Board,
        • Orient new members and encourage their full participation in Council activities,
        • Promote effective communication between the Council and other community, consumer and government groups,
        • Recommend action to the Legislature and Governor as needed and directed by the Council, and
        • Nominate individuals for the position of chairperson-elect.
        • Complete an annual performance evaluation for the Director.
      • The chairperson-elect of the Council shall be elected from among the Council membership for a term of two years, one year as chairperson-elect and one year as chairperson. An election shall be conducted by secret ballot prior to the first meeting of the year. The duties of the chairperson-elect shall be to:
        • Chair all meetings of the Council and the Executive Board, in the absence of the chairperson, and
        • Assist the chairperson in all his/her other administrative duties.
      • An Executive Board shall be elected from the Council membership. Elections shall be held prior to the first meeting of the year to fill these Board members whose seats have expired. Nominations may be made by any and all Council members. The Executive Board shall consist of:
        • Two (2) consumer representatives, e.g., individuals with disabilities or parents, spouses, or guardians of individuals with disabilities,
        • Two (2) representatives of state, local, or non-governmental agencies or groups concerned with assistive technology,
        • The Council Chairperson,
        • The Council Chairperson-elect, and
        • The Council past-Chairperson.
      • The terms of office for Executive Board members shall be two (2) years. Board members shall be elected during the Council meeting immediately preceding the expiration of a Board member's term.
      • Should a vacancy occur on the Executive Board for any reason including inability to serve or resignation, the Executive Board shall appoint an individual to fill the remainder of the term of the vacated office.
    • The Director shall designate technical assistance staff to aid the Council in performing its work. The technical assistance staff may attend all meetings and participate in all Council activities, with the exception of presenting motions and voting.
    • Committees
      • The Council shall be aided in its operation, when necessary, by committees. Members of these committees shall consist of at least one (1) Council member and other appropriate persons as appointed by the Chairperson, with the advice and consent of the Executive Board.
      • Committees shall perform all tasks as assigned by the Council, and shall report all results to the Council.

III. FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

 

  • Programs and Services:
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    • Programmatic issues shall be under the sole discretion of the Missouri Assistive Technology Council so long as the actions of the Council do not violate any Federal or State law. Programmatic issues are defined as all plans, policies, procedures or implementing actions related to the assistive technology programs and services established pursuant to the Assistive Technology Act of 2004, or any amendments thereto or successor federal law, RSMo. 191.850 - 191.867 and 209.251-209.259, and any other assistive technology programs and services for which the Council is responsible.
    • The Council shall:
      • Advocate for assistive technology policies, regulations and programs and shall establish a consumer-responsive, comprehensive assistive technology service delivery system;
      • Promote awareness of the needs of individuals with disabilities for assistive technology devices and services and the efficacy of providing such devices and services to allow persons with disabilities to be productive and independent;
      • Gain an understanding of current policies, practices, and procedures that facilitate or impede the availability or provision of assistive technology;
      • Research and study data from the major public and private providers of assistive technology regarding numbers and types of devices and services delivered;
      • Establish interagency coordination mechanisms among State agencies and public and private entities that provide assistive technology devices and services;
      • Foster the capacity of public and private entities to provide assistive technology devices and services so that individuals with disabilities of all ages will, to the extent appropriate, be able to secure and maintain possession of assistive technology as needed to function independently and productively; and
      • Recommend and implement specific methods and programs to increase availability of and funding for assistive technology devices and assistive technology services for individuals with disabilities.
  • Fiscal and Administrative Management:
    • The Council shall accept, administer and disburse federal moneys as the lead agency for the Assistive Technology Act of 2004, and any amendments or successors thereto, as well as moneys from the Assistive Technology Trust Fund established pursuant to RSMo. 191.861, and any other moneys appropriated, granted or given for the purpose of implementing assistive technology programs and services.
    • All Council expenditures will conform to accounting policies and procedures of the agency to which the Council is administratively assigned and shall be subject to annual appropriations through the legislative process.
    • The Council shall have the authority to enter into grants or contracts with public or private agencies, schools, or qualified individuals or organizations to deliver federally-required or otherwise necessary assistive technology programs and services with or without utilizing the procurement procedures of the Office of Administration. Such programs and services include but are not limited to assistive technology –
      • device demonstration programs,
      • device recycling programs,
      • device loan programs,
      • financial loan programs, and
      • assessments, installation and usage training for individuals with disabilities.
    • The Council shall report annually in January to the governor and the general assembly on council programs and services and provide recommendations to increase access to assistive technology.
  • Personnel:
    • The Council shall employ staff necessary to implement assistive technology programs and services assigned to the Council. All Council employees shall be exempt from the state merit system.
    • The Council adopts and utilizes the Office of Administration personnel policies and procedures as applicable to non-merit state employees.
    • The Director is supervised and evaluated by the Council chairperson. All other Council staff are hired, supervised and evaluated by the Director in accordance with personnel policies and procedures of the agency to which the Council is administratively assigned.
  • Conflict of Interest:
    • A conflict of interest shall be presumed when a Council member could expect financial gain or loss from a particular Council decision.
    • Any Council member in a position to make decisions about Council programs and resources, such as promulgation of rules that obligate expenditures and approval of contracts for service, who also stands to benefit from that decision has a duty to disclose that conflict as soon as it arises or becomes apparent.
    • When the Council is to decide upon an issue about which a member has a conflict of interest, that member shall recuse and physically remove herself or himself without comment from not only the vote, but also from the deliberation, unless directly requested by the Chairperson to provide factual information or answer factual questions regarding the issue. In no case shall that member vote on such matter or attempt to exert personal influence in connection therewith.
    • Disclosure and abstention shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting(s) at which the issue is discussed and decided.
    • Any Council member who is formally considering employment with Missouri Assistive Technology must resign from the Council before making application for such employment. The resignation must be in writing and becomes effective immediately upon receipt by the Council chairperson or Director.
    • In any situation not specifically covered by this section, Council members shall consider carefully any potential conflict of their personal interests with the interests of the Council and refrain from any action which might be perceived as an actual or perceived conflict of interest.

IV. MEETINGS

 

  • Meeting Rules:
    • A quorum shall be constituted by a simple majority of the Council membership.
    • The Executive Board shall be responsible for handling emergency matters requiring immediate Council attention prior to the next scheduled meeting.
    • Any member unable to attend a scheduled meeting may designate a substitute in writing or otherwise notify the Director or Chairperson. Upon receipt of this notification, the substitute shall be recognized by the Chairperson as representing the absent member, but shall not be permitted voting privileges.
  • Meeting Schedule:
    • The Council shall meet at least four (4) times each year. Additional meetings may be scheduled, upon approval of a majority of the Council or called by the Director upon recommendation of the Executive Board, as deemed necessary to transact the business of the Council.
    • The meeting schedule shall be established as a matter of Council business at the first meeting held each year.
    • Council members shall indicate their ability to attend each scheduled meeting. In the event a quorum would not be present, the Chairperson and/or Director shall notify the Executive Board for purposes of canceling and rescheduling the meeting.
    • Beginning and ending hours of Council meetings shall be established in the same manner as the dates, and shall be adhered to by the Chairperson.
  • Meeting Procedures:
    • All meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order, Revised Edition.
    • The Council shall limit discussion and actions to items contained on the approved agenda.
      • Proposed agenda items shall be transmitted by Council members and technical assistance staff to the Director fifteen (15) days prior to a scheduled meeting. The Director and the Council chairperson shall then determine a proposed agenda.
      • Additional items may be placed on the agenda, if approved by a majority vote of the Council, during the acceptance of the proposed agenda at the beginning of each meeting.
    • Support materials for the agenda items shall be in written form (accessible formats) and mailed to Council members along with the agenda prior to the meeting whenever possible.
    • The agenda shall contain a public comment period, during which any person or organization desiring to address the Council may be heard. The Council may establish a specific length of time for such public comments.
    • All votes shall be either by roll call or voice vote. For roll call votes, the vote of each member of the Council shall be recorded and made part of the minutes of the meeting. Elections of officers shall be by secret ballot, with the ballots being tallied and complete results announced and recorded in the minutes of the meeting.
    • The minutes of each meeting shall be mailed to the members of the Council within fifteen (15) working days after the meeting. Copies of the minutes shall be made available to members of the public upon request.
    • All meeting sites used by the Council shall be free of all architectural and communication barriers and accessible for all individuals with disabilities. All materials made available to and from the Council shall be provided in alternative formats as requested.
  • Public Notice:
    • Public notice on the Missouri Assistive Technology web site shall be made for each meeting of the Council.

V. LEGAL AUTHORITY OF BY-LAWS

  • The provisions of state and federal law shall govern and control in the event there is a conflict between these By-Laws and the provisions of such law. In the event state or federal law is silent on an issue, the provisions of these By-Laws shall govern.
  • Changes to these by-laws may be made upon approval by a two-thirds vote of the members present at a Council meeting held at least fourteen days (14) after each Council member has received a copy of the proposed changes.

 

TRULY AGREED TO AND FINALLY PASSED, DECEMBER 12, 1992

  • REVISED, MARCH 12, 1993
  • REVISED, SEPTEMBER 10, 1993
  • REVISED, MARCH 11, 1994
  • REVISED, JUNE 7,2001
  • REVISED, SEPTEMBER 9, 2005
  • REVISED, SEPTEMBER 8, 2006
  • REVISED, DECEMBER 7, 2007
  • REVISED, SEPTEMBER 5, 2008