Individuals with Disabilities: Enabling Advocacy Link
A Nonprofit Association of Employees of AT&T With and Without Disabilities, Who Are Concerned With Employees of AT&T Who Have Disabilities
- December 15, 1993
- Amended April 6, 1994
- Updated February 1995
- Updated and Amended February, 1999
- Updated October 2006
Note Regarding the Format of These Bylaws. Main headings are preceded by three equal signs (===) to indicate the main headings for visually impaired individuals who are listening to these Bylaws by means of a voice synthesizer. Some other possibly nonstandard techniques are also used to facilitate transmission via electronic mail and listening by means of a voice synthesizer. Recommendations are welcomed for making these Bylaws more accessible in electronic, voice synthesizer, paper, or any other format.
===ARTICLE 1. NAME
The name of this association shall be, IDEAL - Individuals with Disabilities: Enabling Advocacy Link.
===ARTICLE 2. PURPOSE
IDEAL is a nonprofit association of employees of AT&T with and without disabilities, who are concerned with employees of AT&T who have disabilities. IDEAL encourages that chapters of IDEAL be formed at AT&T locations.
===ARTICLE 3. GOALS
The goal of IDEAL is to work with AT&T management to make the right choice in implementing AT&T’s Our Common Bond in a balanced manner for the mutual good of all shareowners, customers, and employees, with and without disabilities. Thus we can best serve and set an example for the peoples of the United States and the world, not just with technology, but even more importantly, with living Our Common Bond.
IDEAL’s goals include, but are not limited to, those listed here.
3A. Advance the educational, professional, career, cultural, and economic opportunities and development of employees of AT&T who have disabilities. Share information and encourage communication among IDEAL members. Educate the membership of IDEAL on issues related to persons with disabilities. Develop a support network and personal friendships. Promote professional growth. Increase representation of employees with disabilities in AT&T management by mentoring, and encouraging a drive for excellence and success. Recognize the achievements of employees with disabilities and those who support them.
3C. Champion the rights and interests of employees with disabilities. Partner with AT&T in raising sensitivity and awareness. Assist in the removal of barriers that impede the full development and productivity of employees with disabilities. Help to sustain AT&T as a world class company, with a professional environment that embraces diversity and that strives for quality and excellence by supporting all employees in the realization of their full potential. We share an ideal where all AT&T employees treat each other with respect and dignity, valuing individual, cultural, and other differences.
3D. Champion for AT&T to include people with disabilities in advertisements in the internal (to AT&T) and external media, telling what employees of AT&T who have disabilities have achieved and can achieve. These advertisements could inform people that it was Alexander Graham Bell’s concern for persons with disabilities (the hearing impaired) that led to the invention of the telephone and the existence of AT&T. In the Brand Program Messages sheet from AT&T Public Relations, it says, “AT&T promotes opportunity for all people, and works diligently to make sure that its workforce at all levels include women and members of diverse ethnic groups.” This statement and all statements on fairness should include employees with disabilities.
3E.Champion for AT&T to provide telecommuting facilities, especially for employees with disabilities. AT&T should provide equipment for employees with disabilities to work at home when possible, and transportation to work and meetings in exceptional circumstances. By gaining experience in telecommuting and setting an example to other companies, AT&T will help its employees with disabilities, present a good image to the public, and help to increase the market for its equipment and services for telecommunicating.
3F. Champion for AT&T to provide the same assistance for people with disabilities as it already does for other minority groups. This includes, but is not limited to recruiting at colleges, universities, and technical schools for persons with disabilities. Making a concerted effort to ensure that candidates and employees with disabilities have an opportunity to build skills and develop into managers. Extending to high school students with disabilities the Summer Science Program that provides employment and training at AT&T facilities. Extending to undergraduate engineering students with disabilities the Engineering Scholarship Program that provides tuition, books, fees, room and board, and a summer job for four years. Extending to Ph.D. candidates with disabilities the Cooperative Research Fellowship Program that provides tuition, fees, books, and an annual stipend. Working with organizations concerned with people with disabilities. Contributing, via the AT&T Foundation, to civic and charitable organizations that are concerned with people with disabilities.
3G. Assist AT&T to be the best provider of products and services for people with disabilities, and for all individuals in the domestic and global marketplace. There are over forty million individuals with disabilities in the United States and hundreds more millions globally. IDEAL can help AT&T better to understand the needs and wants of these individuals, thus helping AT&T to design and promote its products and services for optimum use and satisfaction by individuals with disabilities and all individuals. By using individuals with disabilities in advertisements and telling of its concern for individuals with disabilities, AT&T can help to increase its market share of individuals with disabilities and all individuals.
3H. Promote the Common Bond Values. Engage in mutual support with employee organizations that emphasize the appreciation of diversity. Cooperate with management so that we all may live up to the AT&T our Common Bond values: Respect for Individuals, Dedication to Helping Customers, Highest Standards of Integrity, Innovation, and Teamwork. “By living these values, AT&T aspires to set a standard of excellence worldwide that will reward our shareowners, our customers, and all AT&T people.”
===ARTICLE 4. MEMBERSHIP AND CHAPTERS
4A. ELIGIBILITY FOR MEMBERSHIP
Membership in IDEAL is open to individuals with and without disabilities who support the goals of IDEAL and who are:
- Active or retired employees of AT&T or its subsidiaries, including those working part-time or on leave of absence
* A contractor is ineligible for IDEAL membership, unless he/she is an AT&T retiree.
* Anyone working for a competitor of AT&T is ineligible for IDEAL membership.
Nonmembers shall be welcome to participate in the work of IDEAL, but may not make motions, vote, or hold office.
4C. MAILING AND MEMBERSHIP LISTS
- General Mailing List. A mailing list shall be established of both members and nonmembers, which does not indicate membership status. This list may be disclosed on a need-to-know basis by a majority vote of all the members of IDEAL CORE.
- General Membership List. A list of members of IDEAL shall be established that does not indicate who has a disability. This list may be a subset of the General Mailing List. This list may be disclosed on a need-to-know basis by a two-thirds vote of all the members of IDEAL CORE. Chapters shall not be required to maintain a written list of members or to report such a list to IDEAL.
- Detailed Membership List. A list of members of IDEAL may be established that indicates who has a disability, and that may also indicate the nature of a member’s disability if a member so wishes. This list is for use in networking between members. Inclusion on this list, and the information on it for a given member, shall be optional at the discretion of individual members. Individual names and other information on it shall be disclosed only on a need-to-know basis by the President and/or Past President of IDEAL. Caution: A reasonable effort shall be made to keep this list confidential. However, members must realize that its confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. Therefore, members who do not wish to reveal that they have a disability and/or what their disability is should not put that information on this list.
- Privacy. Members shall respect the privacy of other members in their written and spoken communications with others, both within and outside IDEAL. They shall seek to maintain confidentiality concerning membership, who has a disability, and the nature of an individual’s disability. Inquiries about an individual’s membership in IDEAL and their disability shall preferably be referred to the individual, or to the President of IDEAL, unless the individual’s permission has been given.
In order to form a chapter, the organizers at an AT&T location shall:
- Draft Bylaws. A chapter may adapt the Bylaws of IDEAL to meet their local needs and interests. Their Bylaws shall not conflict in a material way with the Bylaws of IDEAL.
- Adopt Name. Adopt a name that must include ‘IDEAL” in the Chapter name.
- Contact IDEAL CORE. Inform IDEAL CORE that they (people at an AT&T location) want to form a local chapter, and request assistance as needed. A majority vote of all the members of IDEAL CORE shall admit the organization as a chapter.
- Membership in IDEAL. All members of local chapters must be members of IDEAL at the national level.
- A portion of the dues of local chapters shall be given to IDEAL. IDEAL CORE may negotiate the amount on a chapter basis. Chapters may collect both local and national dues, forwarding on to the national organization that portion which constitutes national dues. Chapters may choose, and so designate in their bylaws, whether or not to handle dues in this manner.
- Contributions to Chapters. IDEAL CORE may contribute funds to the organizers of a chapter to help it get started.
4E. TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP OF AN INDIVIDUAL
An individual’s membership in IDEAL shall be terminated if:
- Member’s employment with AT&T or its subsidiary is terminated, except for retirement.
- Member fails to renew membership and pay dues.
- Member resigns.
- A two-thirds majority of the members of IDEAL CORE vote to terminate an individual’s membership for good cause. The member shall be given sufficient notice to prepare a defense. If the member does not respond within a reasonable time, his or her membership shall be terminated.
4F. TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP OF A CHAPTER
A chapter’s membership in IDEAL shall be terminated if:
- Chapter resigns.
- A two-thirds majority of the members of IDEAL CORE vote to terminate a chapter’s membership for good cause. The chapter shall be given sufficient notice to prepare a defense. If the chapter does not respond within a reasonable time, its membership shall be terminated.
===ARTICLE 5. IDEAL CORE, AND OFFICERS
5A. IDEAL CORE
- Definition. A subset of the membership of IDEAL, called IDEAL CORE, shall constitute the Executive Committee of IDEAL. IDEAL CORE shall be constituted of the Officers of IDEAL plus representation from each IDEAL Chapter – a minimum of eleven members.
- Election. Members of IDEAL CORE shall be proposed by their respective Chapters and approved by the IDEAL Officer Team to serve a two-year term. Appointments may be necessary outside the normal cycle to round out the minimum number stated above. All officers of IDEAL automatically become members of IDEAL CORE.
- Eligibility. Members of IDEAL CORE shall be members of IDEAL. At least two-thirds of the members of IDEAL CORE shall be AT&T employees with a disability.
- Skills and Experience. An effort shall be made to include on IDEAL CORE persons with skills and experience of value to IDEAL, including but not limited to management, public relations, organization, education, mentoring, and accounting. Also, an Advisory Board may be established with persons who have such skills and experience (see Article 5H).
- Relationship With AT&T Management. IDEAL CORE shall consult and coordinate with AT&T management on issues brought up by members of IDEAL CORE and IDEAL.
- Networking With Other AT&T Employee Organizations. IDEAL CORE shall seek to network with the leaders of other AT&T employee organizations that champion diversity, for the mutual good of all concerned. IDEAL newsletters may be sent to the leaders of these organizations, and we should seek to be on their mailing lists.
- Authority. Officers have authority as given to them by these Bylaws or by IDEAL CORE. Members of IDEAL do not have the authority to officially represent IDEAL without the express approval of a member of IDEAL CORE and notification of and IDEAL Officer.
- Officers. The officers of IDEAL shall be President, four Vice Presidents, Secretary, and Treasurer. Any member of IDEAL may be elected to office provided that they meet the eligibility requirements for membership in IDEAL CORE as specified in Article 5A-3. A member may hold just one office at a time.
- Term. The term of an officer shall be two years provided, however, that an officer shall continue to hold office until a successor has been elected and assumed office. Under special circumstances appointments may be made by the Officer Team to fill out an unexpired term or fulfill a specific purpose.
- Responsibilities. Officers shall exercise the responsibilities normally associated with their offices, including but not limited to, the responsibilities listed here.
- Serves as chairperson of IDEAL CORE.
- Serves as the official representative of IDEAL.
- Provides leadership and direction to IDEAL.
- Presides over meetings of IDEAL CORE and IDEAL.
- Appoints special committees.
- May share with the Vice Presidents any of the responsibilities of the President.
5D. FOUR VICE PRESIDENTS
The First and Second Vice Presidents determine their responsibilities:
- Perform the responsibilities of the President in the absence of the President.
- The First Vice President becomes President for the unexpired term of the President; in the event the President vacates that office.
- The Second Vice President becomes President for the unexpired term of the President in the event that the President and First Vice President both vacate the office.
- Serve as ex-officio members of all standing and special committees except for the Nominations and Elections Committee.
- Perform responsibilities as shared with them by the President.
5E. VICE PRESIDENT FOR COMMUNICATIONS
The Vice President for Communications serves as an ex officio member of all committees having to do with communications and performs other functions as designated or assumed having to do with communication.
5F. VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS
The Vice President of Operations performs those duties and responsibilities designated by the Officers of IDEAL and assumed by him/herself.
- Takes minutes at regular and special meetings of IDEAL CORE and IDEAL. Distributes the minutes to members of IDEAL CORE and IDEAL, respectively.
- Corresponds with individuals and organizations not part of IDEAL.
- Maintains a copy of mailing and membership lists, correspondence, documents, and other relevant information.
- Presides over regular and special meetings when the President and Vice Presidents are absent.
- Maintains a list of chapters.The list shall be a matter of public record.
- Shall become President for the unexpired term of the President, in the event that the President, the First Vice President, and the Second Vice President all vacate the office.
- Collects dues and other funds.
- Maintains a record of financial transactions.
- Forecasts, prepares, and negotiates budgets, and reports on budget status.
- Opens bank account(s) as authorized by IDEAL CORE, jointly with the President or other designated officer.
- Expends funds as authorized by IDEAL CORE.
- Presides over regular and special meetings when the President, Vice Presidents, and Secretary are not present
- Becomes President for the unexpired term of the President; in the event the President, the Vice Presidents, and the Secretary vacate that office.
5I. MANAGEMENT CHAMPIONS
- Advises IDEAL CORE in interactions with management and any other matters.
- Champion the cause of employees with disabilities with management.
- Must be members of IDEAL as defined in ARTICLE 4.
5J. ADVISORY BOARD
An Advisory Board may be established with persons who have skills and experience of value to IDEAL, including those listed in Article 5A-4.
5K. TERMINATION OF AN OFFICER
“Officer,” for the purpose of this Article, shall include officers of IDEAL, members of IDEAL CORE, Management Champions, and Advisory Board members. An officer’s position shall be terminated if:
- Officer resigns.
- Officer ceases to be a member of IDEAL, except that Advisory Board members need not be members of IDEAL
- Two-thirds of all the members of IDEAL CORE vote to remove an officer for good cause. The officer shall be given sufficient notice to prepare a defense. If the officer does not respond within a reasonable time, his or her office shall be terminated.
===ARTICLE 6. ELECTIONS
6A. NOMINATIONS AND VOTING FOR IDEAL OFFICERS
Note: All references to “Committee” in this Article refer to the Nominations and Elections Committee.
- IDEAL CORE shall appoint a Committee consisting of at least three members of IDEAL in an election year by the end of the second quarter.
- The Committee shall send a notice to the members of IDEAL asking for proposed nominations for IDEAL Officers.
- The Committee shall notify all the members of IDEAL of the nominated candidates for IDEAL Officers.
- Other members may, if supported by a petition signed by ten or more members in good standing, nominate themselves or someone else for an Officer of IDEAL by notifying the Committee. Write-in candidates shall not be accepted.
- The Committee shall call for a vote by all members of IDEAL, listing the candidates, information about them, and statements by them.
- Each member of IDEAL may vote for one person for each Office. Each member of IDEAL may also explicitly abstain from voting for any of the nominated candidates for an office. Members shall notify a member of the Committee of their votes, who shall tally the votes in confidence.
- A nominated individual is deemed elected to an office if he or she receives a majority vote of all the members of IDEAL.
- If no candidate receives a majority vote for an office, the Committee shall hold a runoff election of the two candidates receiving the most votes for that office. However, if a majority of the votes for an office are explicit abstentions, the Committee shall reopen the nomination process for that office.
- Officers shall assume office within thirty days of their election.
6B. VACANCIES IN OFFICES
In the event of the vacancy of an office, an election shall be held within 30 days or as soon as possible thereafter to select a replacement. An officer shall assume responsibility in the interim.
- President’s office vacated. First Vice President shall assume office of President. An election shall be held for a new Vice President.
- Vice President’s office vacated. Only if both the First and Second Vice Presidents’ offices are vacated at the same time shall the Secretary temporarily assume the office of Vice President. An election shall be held for a new Vice President.
- Secretary’s office vacated. Treasurer shall temporarily assume office of Secretary. An election shall be held for a new Secretary.
- Treasurer’s office vacated. Secretary shall temporarily assume office of the Treasurer. An election shall be held for a new Treasurer.
===ARTICLE 7. FINANCES
IDEAL shall be funded by membership dues, AT&T contributions, and special fees that may be assessed of members.
7B. DUES AND FEES
- Dues. IDEAL CORE shall set the amount for annual membership dues. Dues shall cover the period from January 1 to December 31 of each year. IDEAL Officers may waive dues for a member.
- Fees. IDEAL CORE shall set the amount for fees for nonmembers and organizations to attend functions (such as conventions) of IDEAL. IDEAL CORE may waive fees when it decides that it is in the best interests of IDEAL to do so
7C. MONETARY TRANSACTIONS AND REPORTS
- Monetary Transactions. All money received (including checks) shall be given to the Treasurer within three days after receipt or as soon as possible thereafter. The person giving the money to the Treasurer shall be given a receipt. Whenever possible, checks shall be used.
- Reports. The Treasurer shall keep a record of all transactions and be prepared to present a report to IDEAL CORE and IDEAL at all meetings.
===ARTICLE 8. MEETINGS
8A. GENERAL INFORMATION
- Notices, Meetings, Petitions, Votes, Etc. Whenever these Bylaws call for a notice to be given, a meeting to be held, a petition that can be made, a vote to be taken, etc., it may be done in person or by proxy; by telephone, signing, paper, or email (electronic mail); or in any other way to accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities. Members may participate and vote at an email meeting at a time convenient for them; that is, they do not necessarily all have to do so at the same time.
- Authority. Robert’s Rules of Order (most recently revised edition) shall be the parliamentary authority at meetings.
- Quorum. Official business of IDEAL CORE and/or IDEAL shall be transacted at a meeting only if a quorum of members is present. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the members as of the date of the meeting.
- Proxy Voting. Proxy voting shall be allowed at meetings. A proxy may be by any of the means defined in Article 8A-1, identifying the parties and scope of the proxy. Any proxy to be recognized must be submitted to the chairperson before or at the commencement of any meeting. The chairperson shall announce proxies at the start of the meeting, but shall not tell how they voted.
8B. MEETINGS OF IDEAL CORE
- Regular Meetings. Regular meetings shall be called by the President as deemed necessary, monthly if possible, with a minimum of ten meetings per year.
- Special Meetings. Special meetings shall be called by the President as deemed necessary or at the written request of any two members of IDEAL CORE. If requested by members, the President shall schedule the meeting as soon as possible but within two weeks if possible. Members shall be notified of the reason for the special meeting, and no business other than the reason for the special meeting may be transacted.
8C. MEETINGS OF IDEAL
- Regular Meetings. IDEAL shall hold regular meetings at least twice a year. IDEAL shall seek to hold meetings on a consistent (work) day of the month, time, and place. IDEAL CORE shall determine the meeting dates and times for the entire year. Input from the members of IDEAL shall be requested. Meeting information shall be provided to members as soon as possible.
- Special Meetings. Special meetings shall be called by the President as deemed necessary or at the written request of any five members. If requested by such members, the President shall schedule the meeting as soon as possible but within two weeks if possible. Members shall be notified of the reason for the special meeting, and no business other than the reason for the special meeting may be transacted.
===ARTICLE 9. COMMITTEES AND PROGRAMS
IDEAL CORE shall establish committees to develop programs including, but not limited to, those listed here.
9A. NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS COMMITTEE
This committee shall nominate members for Officer positions and supervise elections.
9B. MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE
This committee shall seek to interest employees with and without disabilities in joining IDEAL. In particular, the committee shall seek to interest individuals with a diverse set of disabilities in joining, so that IDEAL may represent as many of the community of employees with disabilities as possible.
9C. ENABLING RESOURCES COMMITTEE
This committee shall, upon request, evaluate AT&T products and services for accessibility, and vendor products, if appropriate. It shall include the ETAP (Employee Technical Advisory Panel), Accommodations, and Assistive Technologies Subcommittees.
9D. CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
This committee shall host a yearly conference with seminars and workshops addressing the needs of employees with disabilities their friends, families, and colleagues.
9E. COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE
This committee shall publish and distribute a newsletter to members and others. It shall contain information on subjects including, but not limited to, those listed here. It shall focus on, but not necessarily be limited to, topics of interest to employees of AT&T who have a disability. The Committee shall manage other forms of written and electronic communications. The Committee shall:
- Provide information on disability-related issues.
- Recognize significant achievements and contributions by individuals with disabilities, and by individuals concerned with individuals who have disabilities.
- Provide a vehicle for the exchange of ideas and for networking.
===ARTICLE 10. LIMITATIONS AND DISSOLUTION
- Not for Profit. IDEAL is not organized for profit. No part of its income shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, its members, officers, IDEAL CORE, or any other private individuals.
- Reasonable Expenses and Compensation. IDEAL shall be authorized and empowered by a majority vote of the President, Secretary, and Treasurer, to reimburse individuals for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses and to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered on behalf of IDEAL, and to make reasonable payments and distributions in furtherance of its goals.
- Limitation. Affiliation of IDEAL with any other group shall require approval by a majority vote of all members of IDEAL CORE, and with approval of the AT&T Law and Government Affairs organization if deemed appropriate by IDEAL CORE, provided that notice of such proposed affiliation has been given at the previous meeting.
- No Political Action. IDEAL shall not carry on propaganda or otherwise attempt to influence legislation, and it shall not participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.
- No Unreasonable Amounts of Money. IDEAL shall not accumulate unreasonable amounts of money to carry out its goals.
Upon the dissolution of IDEAL and liquidation of its affairs, any money or other assets remaining after the payment of all obligations shall be distributed for one or more exempt charitable or educational purposes on behalf of people with disabilities as IDEAL CORE determines and directs.
===ARTICLE 11. AMENDMENTS TO THESE BYLAWS
These Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of all the members of IDEAL CORE, provided that notice of such proposed amendment has been given at the previous meeting. Amendments shall take effect at the close of the meeting at which they are adopted.
===ARTICLE 12. INITIAL MEMBERS OF IDEAL CORE AND OFFICERS, AND ADOPTION OF THESE BYLAWS
12A.INITIAL MEMBERS OF IDEAL CORE AND OFFICERS
Individuals who have been informally serving on IDEAL CORE as of December 15, 1993, shall continue to serve for the year 1994. Officers shall be those elected as of December 15, 1993.
12B. ADOPTION OF THESE BYLAWS
These Bylaws, having been reviewed and discussed before and during the IDEAL CORE meeting of December 1, 1993, and following that meeting reviewed and voted upon via electronic mail as agreed at that meeting, take effect on December 15, 1993.
AMENDMENTS APPROVED APRIL 6, 1994
The following amendments were unanimously approved at the IDEAL CORE meeting on April 6, 1994:
Amendment 1 - Throughout these Bylaws
To change the wording from “the disabled,” to “persons [or people, or individuals] with disabilities” or words of that nature.
Amendment 2 - Article 5A-3
To remove the age requirement and the self-identification requirement for members of IDEAL CORE.
AMENDMENTS APPROVED FEBRUARY 15, 1999
Amendments throughout the document to remove the references to LUCENT and NCR.
Amendments to ARTICLE 5 to broaden the scope of the IDEAL CORE, add the offices of Vice President for Communications and Vice President of Operations, and more clearly define the officer succession plan.
Amendment to ARTICLE 6 to establish a timeframe for holding elections.
Amendments to ARTICLE 8 to more clearly set forth the frequency of meetings for both IDEAL CORE and IDEAL.
Amendments to ARTICLE 9 to bring the committee structure into line with current operating procedure.
Throughout the document attempts have been made to clarify roles and responsibilities to bring them into line with current operating procedure.
AMENDMENTS APPROVED OCTOBER 2006
Document updated to align with the merger of legacy SBC and legacy AT&T.
Amendments to ARTICLE 4 to specify that contractors and competitors are ineligible for IDEAL membership.
Misspelled words cleaned up via spell-check.
“Jose Ortega y Gasset said: ‘Life is a series of collisions with the future; it is not a sum of what we have been … but what we yearn to be.’ We are now on a collision course with the future. Let us work hard to become what we yearn to be!” (Bob Allen, CEO, AT&T)