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Constitution
International Council on English Braille (ICEB)

Adopted May 31, 1991
Revised May 7, 2012
Last revised May 23, 2016

Quick links: ICEB home, ICEB Bylaws, Contact Us

Article 1: Name

The name of this organization is International Council on English Braille (ICEB).

Article 2: Location

ICEB is headquartered at CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Article 3: Purpose

The purpose of ICEB is to provide a medium for international cooperation among national standard setting bodies on English language braille, and to collaborate as appropriate with other organizations which have an interest in the standardization, teaching, promotion or dissemination of braille. ICEB shall work toward:

3.1 the creation and development of national standard setting bodies in countries in which English is a major language and/or in which there is a substantial use of English language braille;

3.2 the development and adoption of internationally recognized minimum standards for the production and teaching of braille;

3.3 the provision for, and the encouragement of, an exchange of information, experiences, and braille materials among national standard setting bodies;

3.4 the encouragement and conducting of research related to the production, teaching and use of braille throughout the world;

3.5 the standardization of all English language braille codes;

3.6 the encouragement and support of the World Blind Union in operating the World Braille Council, with a view to participating actively in the work of the Council as appropriate; and

3.7 the development, in collaboration with other organizations as appropriate, of worldwide braille standards for signage and the labelling of manufactured products, and including the availability in braille of leaflets associated with such products.

Article 4: Membership

4.1 Criteria

4.1.1 Full Membership

(a) Full Membership in ICEB is open to all nations in which English is a major language and/or in which there is a substantial use of English language braille, and which have a national standard-setting body for braille.

(b) When a group of nations is represented by a single standard-setting body, the group of nations may collectively seek membership in ICEB.

(c) Requests for Full Membership should be made on the Membership Form which is on the ICEB website at www.iceb.org.

4.1.2 Associate Membership

(a) Associate Membership is open to all nations which do not meet the criteria for Full Membership, as well as to organizations and individuals.

(b) Associate members do not have voting rights in ICEB.

(c) Requests for Full Membership should be made on the Membership Form which is on the ICEB website at www.iceb.org.

4.2 Rights and Responsibilities

4.2.1 Full Members have the right to:

(a) send a delegation to the General Assembly;

(b) submit papers to the General Assembly;

(c) propose resolutions at the General Assembly;

(d) vote on any issue put to the General Assembly; and

(e) recommend to the Executive Committee candidates for committee membership; and

(f) be represented on the Executive Committee.

4.2.2 Full Members have the responsibility to:

(a) pay the required annual membership fee by the due date;

(b) submit the names of their delegations to the General Assembly to the President by the due date; and

(c) pay all costs of their delegates to participate in the General Assembly.

4.2.3 Associate Members have the right to:

(a) attend all meetings of the General Assembly as observers; and

(b) be placed on the official ICEB mailing list to receive materials distributed to Full Members.

4.2.4 Associate Members have the responsibility to:

(a) pay the required annual membership fee by the due date;

(b) submit the names of Associate Member observers to the General Assembly to the Secretary by the due date.

(c) pay all costs to participate in the General Assembly.

See also Article 5.4 Observers' Rights and Responsibilities)

Article 5: General Assembly

5.1 Authority

(a) The General Assembly is the final governing body of the organization.

(b) This body shall meet once every four years at a time and place specified by the Executive Committee.

(c) At least 50% of the Full Members must have recognized delegations present at the General Assembly for the General Assembly to be valid.

5.2 Certification of Delegates

(a) Each Full Member may certify up to four delegates to each meeting of the General Assembly.

(b) No fewer than half of the Full Members' delegates must be blind and also touch readers of braille.

(c) Full Members unable to send more than one delegate as provided for in (b) above for reasons of serious financial hardship may have this provision waived at the discretion of the Executive Committee.

(d) Each delegate should be regarded by his/her standard setting body as knowledgeable of English-language braille.

(e) Full Members should give serious consideration to selecting delegates who can represent the interests of blind consumers.

(f) Each Full Member shall forward a list of its delegates to the Secretary of ICEB at least sixty (60) days prior to each General Assembly.

5.3 Voting

(a) Each full member shall have one vote.

(b) Unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, all matters shall be decided by simple majority vote.

5.4 Observers' Rights and Responsibilities

(a) Meetings of the General Assembly shall be open to interested individuals or organizational representatives. Such interested parties shall have observer status.

(b) Reasonable provisions shall be made to accommodate observers including provisions for observer questions and answers during meetings of the General Assembly.

(c) Observers shall not have a vote or otherwise be afforded privileges associated with membership.

(d) Observers shall pay all their costs to attend the General Assembly.

Article 6: Executive Committee

6.1 Membership

6.1.1 The Executive Committee consists of officers, members-at-large and additional members.

6.1.2 President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Code Maintenance Officer, Public Relations Officer, and Immediate Past President are the officers.

6.1.3 The number of members-at-large shall be sufficient to provide for one individual from each Full Member not already represented by the officers - not counting the President and the Code Maintenance Officer.

6.1.4 The Executive Committee at its sole discretion may appoint up to two additional members to attend its meetings.

6.2 Term of Office

(a) The term of office is from the conclusion of a regular meeting of the General Assembly until the completion of the next regular meeting.

(b) Executive Committee members (other than the Immediate Past President) may be re-elected to the same office for a successive term and shall serve no more than two successive terms in the same office.

(c) The Immediate Past President shall not serve a second term.

(d) An appointment to fill an unexpired term does not constitute a term of office.

6.3 Nominations and Elections

6.3.1 Executive Committee members (other than the Immediate Past President), are elected during a normal meeting of the General Assembly in accordance with the procedures as determined by the General Assembly.

6.3.2

(a) The President, in consultation with the Executive Committee, shall appoint a Chair and at least two members to the Nominations Committee at least six months prior to a meeting of the General Assembly.

(b) Members of the Nominations Committee must belong to different Full Members.

(c) The Nominations Committee Chair shall circulate the proposed slate of Executive Committee members to be elected to all Full Members at least three months prior to a meeting of the General Assembly.

(d) Any recognized Full Member may nominate individuals to serve as elected members of the Executive Committee at the General Assembly.

(e) Executive Committee members (other than the President) may be succeeded by a member from the same nation.

6.3.3

(a) The General Assembly shall elect the Executive Committee members, except for the Immediate Past President.

(b) When there are two or more candidates for an elected executive member position, the vote shall be by secret ballot.

(c) Elections shall be by a simple majority vote.

6.4 Quorum

At any meeting of the Executive Committee a majority of its members constitutes a quorum for the purpose of conducting business.

6.5 Powers and Duties

6.5.1 The Executive Committee has the power of decision and is directly responsible to the General Assembly for interpreting and carrying out the general policies established by the General Assembly for the administration, management and control of the property and affairs of ICEB.

6.5.2

(a) The President shall chair meetings of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee.

(b) The President shall not represent his or her country and therefore cannot be a delegate to the General Assembly.

6.5.3 In the absence of the President, the Vice President shall preside, and shall accept other duties as prescribed.

6.5.4 The Secretary shall maintain minutes of all meetings of the organization along with correspondence and other related records.

6.5.5 The Treasurer shall, under the direction of the Executive Committee, maintain all necessary accounts for ICEB.

6.5.6 The Public Relations Officer, under the direction of the Executive Committee, shall be responsible for publicizing the policies, decisions and activities of ICEB, inlcuding the promotion of Unified English Braille.

6.5.7 The Code Maintenance Officer, under the direction of the Executive Committee, shall chair and lead the work of the Unified English Braille Code Maintenance Committee.

6.6 Meetings

(a) A face-to-face meeting of the Executive Committee shall be held immediately prior to each General Assembly.

(b) Another face-to-face meeting of the Executive Committee shall be held immediately following each General Assembly.

(c) At least one further face-to-face meeting shall be held, at a time to be selected by the Executive Committee, between regular meetings of the General Assembly, this to be known as the Mid-Term Executive Meeting.

(d) The Executive Committee may decide to hold additional meetings by teleconference or electronically to conduct business between each General Assembly.

6.7 Voting

(a) All questions before the Executive Committee shall be decided by a simple majority vote, each member of the Executive (except the President) having one vote.

(b) When necessary, the President may call for a postal vote or an electronic vote submitted to all members of the Executive Committee.

(c) The President shall not cast a vote, except to break a tie.

6.8 Bylaws

The Executive Committee shall make, and keep under review, bylaws for the streamlined administration of ICEB. The bylaws, giving effect to the principles embodied in this Constitution and to any policies of the General Assembly, may deal with the following matters:

(a) procedures for the admission of new Members to ICEB;

(b) rights and responsibilities of Members not already specified in this Constitution, including the amounts of Membership Fees;

(c) meetings of the General Assembly;

(d) roles and duties of members of the Executive Committee;

(e) functions and responsibilities of committees; and

(f) any other matters as the Executive Committee thinks fit or the General Assembly directs.

Article 7: Committees

7.1 Permanent and Special Purpose Committees

The Executive Committee shall maintain permanent committees; and may establish and disband from time to time additional committees for special purposes.

7.2 Term of Office

The term of office for chairs and members shall be from the close of one regular meeting of the General Assembly to the close of the next regular meeting.

7.3 Methods of Carrying on Business

7.3.1 Each committee shall be governed by directions and guidelines (also known as charges) developed by the Executive Committee.

7.3.2 Committee chairs are required to submit regular written reports prior to each meeting of the Executive Committee.

7.4 Permanent Committees

7.4.1 The following committees shall be deisgnated as permanent:
Finance, to be chaired by the Treasurer with members appointed by the President in consultation with the Executive Committee;
Bylaws, with the Chair and members appointed by the President in consultation with the Executive Committee;
Unified English Braille Code Maintenance, to be chaired by the Code Maintenance Officer, with members appointed by the President in consultation with the Executive Committee; and
Nominations, with the Chair and members appointed by the President in consultation with the Executive Committee.

7.4.2

(a) The Bylaws Committee shall undertake revisions of the Constitution and Bylaws on charges from the Executive Committee, approved motions of the General Assembly, and accepted resolutions of the General Assembly.

(b) The Bylaws shall take effect upon approval unless otherwise indicated.

(c) The President shall be assigned the interpretation of the Constitution and the Bylaws.

7.5 Special Purpose Committees

7.5.1 Types of Special Purpose Committees

(a) The Executive Committee may establish and disband from time to time as necessary and desirable additional committees for special purposes.

(b) Special purposes include:
to develop or review proposed changes and improvements in specific braille codes, formats, and techniques of producing and teaching braille;
to conduct research and field tests; and
to promote the production, teaching and use of braille.

(c) Examples of special purpose committees include but are not limited to music braille, braille technology, certification, signage, and the General Assembly Papers committee.

7.5.2 Membership of Special Purpose Committees

(a) Members of Special Purpose Committees need not be individuals belonging to ICEB Full Members or their participating standard-setting bodies.

(b) They shall be selected on the basis of background and experience relevant to the subject matter assigned to the committee.

(c) Recommendations for appointments to Special Purpose committees shall be made to the Secretary.

Article 8: Finances

8.1 Fiscal year

The fiscal year of ICEB coincides with the calendar year.

8.2 Membership Fees

8.2.1 The payment of an annual fee set in US dollars by the Executive Committee is required for Full and Associate Members.

8.2.2 The Executive Committee, under special circumstances, has the right to subsidize the annual membership fee of a Full Member, provided that the request for any such subsidy has been received in writing from the Full Member requesting the subsidy.

8.2.3 Membership fees are payable on the first day of January each year.

8.2.4 The Treasurer shall invoice each Full and Associate Member for its membership fee at least sixty (60) days prior to the beginning of the fiscal year. A second invoice shall be sent as soon as practicable to each member nation whose membership fee has not been received within ninety (90) days following the beginning of the fiscal year.

8.2.5 Full and Associate Members whose membership fees have not been received within six months following the beginning of the fiscal year may be deemed by the Executive Committee to have forfeited their membership.

8.3 Review of Accounts

8.3.1 The ICEB accounts must be reviewed each year by a certified accountant. The Executive Committee may call for an audit with a view to ensuring the financial integrity of ICEB.

8.3.2 A statement of the financial position and prior year's performance of ICEB, certified by the reviewing accountant, shall be sent to each Full and Associate Member within six months after the close of the preceding fiscal year.

8.4 Fundraising

8.4.1 The Executive Committee may raise funds to support ICEB activities.

8.4.2 The Executive Committee may appoint a Fundraising Committee to carry out the desired fundraising activities.

8.4.3 Fundraising shall be carried out only in those countries where ICEB Full Members have given their consent for the fundraising activities.

8.5 Expenses

The Executive Committee shall develop a policy for the reimbursement of reasonable expenses for Executive Committee members to attend official meetings.

Article 9: Amendments

(a) This Constitution may be amended at any meeting of the General Assembly.

(b) Amendments must be proposed as recommendations from the Bylaws Committee and approved for debate by the Executive Committee or in writing and signed by two or more delegates, representing no fewer than two Full Members eligible to vote thereon.

(c) A proposed amendment to be considered at a meeting of the General Assembly must be distributed to Full Members no less than sixty (60) days prior to the scheduled opening date of the meeting.

(d) No fewer than two thirds of the voting members present must favor the amendment for it to be adopted.

(e) The changes shall be effective at the conclusion of the General Assembly unless otherwise stipulated.

Article 10: Dissolution

In the event of the dissolution of ICEB, all assets shall be distributed in accordance with the wishes of the General Assembly provided these are compatible with the laws of the country in which ICEB is headquartered. A two thirds majority vote of full members is required for the dissolution of ICEB.


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