Whereas, The Arc Maryland is a statewide grassroots non-profit organization that provides advocacy and resources for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, and Whereas, it is the mission of The Arc Maryland to work to create a world where children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities have and enjoy equal rights and opportunities.
Whereas, the bylaws of The Arc Maryland require representation of 2 members from People on the Go and no fewer than 51% members of the board be self advocates, defined as someone with intellectual, or developmental disabilities, or family members and Whereas, a non-profit organization is strongest and most effective when the members of its Board of Directors regularly attend meetings of the Board (and other certain functions) and actively participate, and
Whereas, it is our intent to achieve full inclusion (self advocates are encouraged to participate at every level of the Board or Committees including holding an Officer or Chair position).
Whereas, it is our goal to remove barriers to meaningful participation for all Board members
Therefore, BE IT RESOLVED that the following be amended into the policy of The Arc Maryland:
Self Advocates on the Board of Directors shall be offered support in and above what may otherwise be offered other Board members in order to ensure attendance and active and meaningful participation at Board and Committee meetings. The following will guide such support:
1. Accessible Meeting Location: The Arc Maryland will hold meetings of the Board and Committees in accessible meeting locations. This means the following will be available: accessible parking, accessible route to the building entrance, drop-off areas and other accessible elements (e.g., route from a bus stop) within the site, accessible building entrance, and accessible meeting room.
2. Accessible Materials and Meeting Content: The Arc Maryland will strive to ensure that the meeting content is made accessible. Requests for accessible content accommodations should be made in advance of any meeting. This may include, for example, qualified sign language and oral interpreters, accessible printed materials (including large print or electronic versions that can be used with readers), or that notetakers are provided. The aids and services needed at any one event will depend both on the participants and the meeting’s format, content, and handouts.
3. Financial Support:
a. Current practice is that all Board Members pay their own cost of attending Board and/or Committee meetings.
b. Travel Support. Members who require financial assistance (do not have other resources in order to participate) for attendance at Board or Committee meetings may
i. Work with the Mentor to arrange car-pool
ii. Attend the Board Meeting via phone, if necessary
iii. Request a travel subsidy. A travel subsidy provides for a financial subsidy to pay for travel to and from board-related meetings (for example, the subsidy may or may not be full reimbursement for door-to-door travel; it may include costs of using public transportation or reimbursement at the standard reimbursement rate($.505/mile).) The total of all subsidies shall not exceed the budget.
c. Phone Support. Members who require financial assistance for participating in Conference Calls related to Board or Committee meetings may request a phone subsidy.
d. All requests for financial support should be provided to the Board Vice President to submit to the Executive Committee for financial approval.
e. Annually the Executive Committee shall recommend a Board Support budget to the Board for ratification along with the operational budget. The budget shall be managed by The Arc Maryland with oversight by the Treasurer and Executive Committee.
4. Mentoring: Self Advocates shall be offered a mentor. A mentor will be another board member (not a member of the Executive Committee) who volunteers or is appointed to commit themselves to assisting the self advocate in the following.
Knowing when and where the next board meeting will be held.
Making sure travel arrangements have been made.
Assisting with understanding written materials sent to board members in advance of the meeting and/or items on which a vote will be taken.
Participating during meeting itself, if requested and/or necessary.
5. Personal Attendant: If a self-advocate needs a personal attendant in order to attend a board meeting or committee meeting and no other publicly-funded program provides funding for the attendant, then The Arc MD shall financially support the travel of the personal attendant, in the event the that there are no other resources available . The personal attendant may sit-in any and all meetings to support the individual who IS a Board Member (for example, help with understanding what is being presented or discussed, help the individual formulate their own comments or questions, etc) Note that the presence of the support staff in the Board meeting does not grant board membership to the staff person. Therefore the support staff is not eligible to vote or to influence the Board on Board outcomes.
6. Timeliness of Materials: Any handouts or other materials shall be sent in a timely manner so that all participants have sufficient time to review them.
Resolved by the Board of Directors of The Arc Maryland, this 10th day of May, 2013
Carol Fried, President
Aileen O’Hare, Secretary