[Cinci-NFB] FW: Please read: Registering for the 2021 National Convention

info at onhconsulting.com info at onhconsulting.com
Sat May 8 18:53:34 UTC 2021

If you are planning on registering for National Convention, especially if
you need my assistance, please read the below message from Suzanne Turner.
As President Gloria Robinson mentioned during our last chapter meeting, the
National organization is taking the Code of Conduct very seriously. All
members who register for National Convention must acknowledge they have read
the Code of Conduct by activating a checkbox at the beginning of the
Convention Registration form-either while completing the form online or the
fillable PDF.


This email contains the text of the Code of Conduct and links to relevant
pages on the National Web site. If you have any questions about the code or
the registration process, please reach out to President Gloria Robinson or
me directly.


Very Best Regards,


Christopher Sabine


National Federation of the Blind of Ohio

Cincinnati Chapter



From: Suzanne Turner <smturner.234 at gmail.com> 
Sent: Saturday, May 8, 2021 1:28 PM
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Cc: smturner.234 at gmail.com
Subject: Please read: Registering for the 2021 National Convention


Ohio, Members and Friends,


On May 31, 2021, registration for the National Federation of the Blind 2021
National Convention. Please register for the best event of 2021.


Be advised that there is a check box to indicate that you have read the code
of conduct prior to registering for the convention. As a curtesy, I have
inserted the code of conduct below. Please read and review it. Share this
document with those who do not have email to ensure that this policy has
been provided to them as well 


I obtained this document on the NFB.ORG website.


If you have any questions, please reach out to your Affiliate President,
Richard Payne or myself.




Code of Conduct 

Please note: While the Code of Conduct suggests that reports be made within
a year of an incident with the exception of special circumstances, President
Riccobono clarified on the February presidential release
that all current reports submitted will be reviewed, regardless of when the
incident occurred, until at least August 1, 2021. This is part of our
ongoing commitment to transformative change and accountability and we want
those who have been harmed to have an opportunity to be heard. If you have
feedback or concerns, please reach out to the Survivor Task Force at
survivors at nfb.org <mailto:survivors at nfb.org> .

Our code of conduct outlines the policies and standards that all National
Federation of the Blind members, especially our leaders, are expected to
adopt and follow. To report a potential violation of this code, please
consult section IX below. Reports can be filed using the code of conduct
ct-complaint-report-form>  form or by calling our dedicated voicemail box at
410-659-9314, extension 2475. 

For additional information, please review the Code of Conduct Frequently
Asked Questions
requently-asked-questions> .

Responsible leaders of the Federation should also consult the guidance on
obligations of elected leaders document
ations-elected-leaders-share-critical>  which provides information about how
to share anonymous information into the code of conduct process.

I. Introduction

The National Federation of the Blind is a community of members and friends
who believe in the hopes and dreams of the nation's blind. The Federation
knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your
future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low
expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can
live the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back. To help carry
out the Federation's vital mission, this Code of Conduct sets forth policies
and standards that all members, employees, and contractors are expected to
adopt and follow.

II. Diversity Policy

The National Federation of the Blind celebrates and embraces diversity and
full participation as core values in its mission to achieve equality,
opportunity, and security for the blind. We are committed to building and
maintaining a nationwide organization with state affiliates and local
chapters that is unified in its priorities and programs and is directed by
the membership. We respect differences of opinion, beliefs, identities, and
other characteristics that demonstrate that blind people are a diverse cross
section of society. Furthermore, the organization is dedicated to continuing
to establish new methods of membership and leadership development that
reflect the diversity of the entire blind community. In promoting a diverse
and growing organization, we expect integrity and honesty in our
relationships with each other and openness to learning about and
experiencing cultural diversity. We believe that these qualities are crucial
to fostering social and intellectual maturity. Intellectual maturity also
requires individual struggle with unfamiliar ideas. We recognize that our
views and convictions will be challenged, and we expect this challenge to
take place in a climate of tolerance and mutual respect in order to maintain
a united organization. While we encourage the exchange of differing ideas
and experiences, we do not condone the use of demeaning, derogatory, or
discriminatory language, action, or any other form of expression intended to
marginalize an individual or group. The National Federation of the Blind
does not tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color,
religion, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national
origin, citizenship, marital status, age, genetic information, disability,
or any other characteristic or intersectionality of characteristics.

III. Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy

The National Federation of the Blind will not tolerate discrimination on the
basis of race, creed, color, religion, background, gender identity and
expression, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, marital
status, age, genetic information, disability, or any other characteristic or
intersectionality of characteristics. Harassment on the basis of any of
these characteristics similarly will not be tolerated. Although this Code of
Conduct establishes a minimum standard prohibiting discrimination and
harassment, nothing in this Code should be interpreted to limit in any way a
person's right to report abuse or harassment to law enforcement when

Sexual harassment is prohibited by state and federal law and also will not
be tolerated by the National Federation of the Blind. Complaints of
harassment may be lodged by any person against any other person regardless
of gender identity. Sexual harassment is defined as "unwelcome sexual
advances, request for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical contact, or
other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature." The
following conduct is either considered conduct that by itself is sexual
harassment, or that has the potential risk of causing sexual harassment to
occur, and this conduct is therefore prohibited:

*	unwelcome inappropriate physical contact or touching;
*	repeating of sexually suggestive jokes/references/innuendoes and
comments about an individual's body/sexual prowess/physical
*	the use of sexually derogatory language/pictures/videos toward/about
another person;
*	the use of inappropriate sexual gestures;
*	sexually suggestive propositions; and
*	explicit or implicit threats that failure to submit will have
negative consequences.

Under this policy, harassment can be verbal, written, or physical conduct
that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because
of their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or
expression, national origin, age, disability, marital status, citizenship,
genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law; or that
of their relatives, friends, or associates, and that a) has the purpose or
effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment; b)
has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's
performance or involvement in the organization; or c) otherwise adversely
affects an individual's opportunities for participation/advancement in the

Harassing conduct includes epithets, slurs, or negative stereotyping;
threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts including bullying; denigrating
jokes; and written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or
aversion toward an individual or group that is placed on walls or elsewhere
on the organization's premises or circulated by email, phone (including
voice messages), text messages, social networking sites, or other means.

IV. Social Media and Web Policy

All members, employees, and contractors of the Federation should follow
these recommended guidelines when making comments online, posting to a blog,
using Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn/YouTube/Pinterest/Instagram/similar tools,
and/or using other platforms that fall under the definition of social media:

*	Promote the mission and branding message of the organization in
*	Recognize that you are morally and legally responsible for
comments/pictures posted online.
*	Be aware that the audience includes members and nonmembers of the
NFB, both youth and adults, representing diverse cultures and backgrounds.
*	Refrain from using profanity/derogatory/offensive language or making
political endorsements that might reasonably be attributed to the
*	Post/respond with integrity. Though you may disagree with a post, be
respectful and factual. Do not fight or air personal grievances online.
*	Do not post materials that are inappropriate for children/minors to

V. Conflict of Interest Policy

NFB officers, national board members, state affiliate presidents and their
boards, division presidents and their boards, and local chapter presidents
and their boards, employees, and contractors with independent
decision-making authority on behalf of the organization (hereafter
Federation leaders) are expected to avoid all conflicts of interest. A
conflict of interest arises when a person's personal or professional
interests interfere, or even just appear to interfere, with the interests of
the Federation. A conflict may arise if a Federation leader takes action or
has personal interests that make it difficult for the Federation leader to
effectively perform their duties to the Federation. The common factor in all
conflict of interest situations is the division of loyalty or the perception
of a division of loyalty, between the leader in performing their duties as a
Federation leader of the organization and their personal and other
interests. In specific, Federation leaders are expected to take appropriate
responsibility to protect the Federation from misappropriation or
mismanagement of Federation funds (including funds of an affiliate, chapter,
or division in which Federation leaders assume leadership roles).

Federation leaders are expected to disclose the existence of any potentially
conflicting personal financial interest or relationship to the full National
Federation of the Blind Board of Directors and seek its review and approval,
as specified below. For example:

*	A Federation leader must seek board review and approval of their
receipt of salary or compensation of any kind from the Federation (including
an affiliate, chapter, or division).
*	A Federation leader must seek board review and approval of receipt
by their spouse, parent, child, sibling, or other close relative of salary
or compensation of any kind from the Federation (including an affiliate,
chapter, or division).
*	A Federation leader must seek board review and approval of any
ownership interest exceeding 5 percent in or of any salary, compensation,
commission, or significant tangible gift from any commercial venture doing
business or seeking to do business with the Federation (including an
affiliate, chapter, or division). This process will also apply to the review
of such interests involving spouses, parents, children, siblings, or other
close relatives such as aunts, uncles, and cousins.
*	In reviewing matters brought pursuant to this section, the officer
or national board member seeking national board review and approval will
refrain from voting.
*	Federation leaders shall take appropriate steps to avoid
unauthorized or inaccurate appearances or official endorsement by the
Federation (including an affiliate, chapter, or division) of any product,
service, or activity that has not been so endorsed. For example, because the
Federation never endorses political parties or candidates for elected
office, any Federation leader participating in the political process must
take care to avoid creating an appearance of official Federation
endorsement. With respect to this Section, it is assumed that it is not a
conflict of interest for an employee or contractor under the ultimate
supervision of the national President to receive a salary and other
compensation performed for the Federation. Nothing in this Code prohibits an
employee or contractor from holding office in any state affiliate, local
chapter, or division of the Federation.

VI. Policy While Interacting with Minors

For purposes of this Code of Conduct and consistent with most legal
standards, a minor is any individual under the age of eighteen. Any adult
member, employee, or contractor of the Federation while interacting with a
minor must recognize that a minor cannot legally give consent for any
purpose even if said minor is verbally or otherwise expressing consent. For
example, a minor may say that they consent to physical interaction. However,
such consent is not valid or legal and should not be accepted. A parent or
guardian must be informed and consulted about any action requiring consent
from the minor. Federation leaders, members, employees, and contractors
shall report any inappropriate interactions between adults and minors to the
minor's parents and law enforcement when appropriate.

VII. Alcohol and Drug Policy

Although alcoholic beverages are served at some Federation social functions,
members, employees, and contractors may not participate in any such
functions in a condition that prevents them from participating safely and
from conducting Federation business effectively or that might cause
embarrassment to or damage the reputation of the Federation. The Federation
prohibits the possession, sale, purchase, delivery, dispensing, use, or
transfer of illegal substances on Federation property or at Federation

VIII. Other General Principles

In addition to the other policies and standards set forth herein, all
members, employees, and contractors shall adhere to the following standards:

*	Members, employees, and contractors shall practice accountability
and transparency in all activities and transactions.
*	Members, employees, and contractors shall foster a welcoming
environment at NFB meetings, events, and conferences to create a cooperative
and productive atmosphere for all members and nonmembers alike.
*	Members, employees, and contractors shall interact with one another
in a professional manner and follow proper channels of authority and
*	Members, employees, and contractors shall positively promote the NFB
through verbal and written communication.
*	Whenever possible, members, employees, and contractors are
encouraged first to handle conflicts or complaints involving other members,
employees, or contractors privately, directly, and respectfully. However,
nothing in this standard is intended to limit a member's, employee's, or
contractor's right to pursue organizational change through appropriate
methods or to limit anyone's right to file a complaint for violation of this
Code when necessary

IX. Violations and Complaint Procedure

Violations of this Code of Conduct, after first being established through
the process set forth below, are subject to disciplinary action by the
Federation. Such disciplinary actions may include but are not limited to
counseling, verbal and/or written reprimand, probation, suspension, or
termination of officer/leadership duties, and/or suspension or expulsion
from the Federation.

*	Any complaint for a violation of this Code of Conduct shall be filed
with the Office of the President. Complaints may alternatively be filed with
the chairperson of the National Federation of the Blind Board of Directors
or an executive officer of the Federation: vice president, treasurer, or
secretary. Before implementing the procedure below, the President may
attempt to determine whether a given complaint can be resolved in an
informal or alternative manner without appointing a committee under this
Section. For example, a complaint filed under this Code may be best mediated
by an affiliate board with guidance from the President and national board.
However, if a complaining party is not willing to engage in a less formal
procedure after discussion with the President, the President shall appoint a
committee to investigate the complaint pursuant to the procedure outlined
herein. When informal resolution is not successful or is not pursued, then
the President shall appoint a committee of no more than four persons to
investigate the complaint and provide a recommendation for action or lack
thereof. The committee shall be comprised of persons not directly involved
in the matters being raised and who can be unbiased, impartial, and fair
about the individuals and issues addressed in the complaint. Every effort
shall be made to appoint a committee reflecting the broad diversity of
individuals in the Federation. If the alleged complaint involves the Office
of the President or if there is a conflict of interest involving the
President wherein the President cannot act impartially and fairly, a vice
president or the chairperson of the board shall be designated to handle the
investigation process as outlined herein.
*	Complaints and supporting documentation filed pursuant to this
Section shall be treated as confidential to the fullest extent possible.  
*	All complaints shall be filed as promptly as possible. Except under
extreme circumstances, no complaint shall be accepted or investigated after
a year from the time of the alleged violation of this Code.
*	Anyone filing a complaint concerning a violation or suspected
violation of this Code must be acting in good faith and have reasonable
grounds for believing the information disclosed indicates a violation. Any
allegations that prove not to be substantiated and which prove to have been
made maliciously or knowingly to be false will be viewed as a serious
disciplinary offense and can be investigated pursuant to the provisions of
this Section. 
*	Any person dissatisfied with the resolution of a complaint may file
an appeal with the National Federation of the Blind Board of Directors,
which may, in its discretion, take such action as it deems necessary. No
national board member shall participate in the consideration of an appeal
under this Code if such board member is the subject of the complaint or if
such board member cannot be unbiased, impartial, and fair while considering
the matter.
*	The President shall appoint a Code of Conduct committee that will
review data and procedures regarding complaints filed under this Code. The
committee will monitor actions under this Code and make recommendations to
the national board from time to time. 

X. Minimum Standard

This Code of Conduct is intended to outline a minimum set of standards
expected of Federation members, employees, and contractors. It sets forth
the spirit that the Federation expects of all of its participants toward
each other and toward those who work with the Federation at all of its
levels. It is intended to be interpreted broadly to instill a respectful,
cooperative, and welcoming spirit within members, employees, and contractors
and in the activities of the Federation.

Note: The Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind
unanimously adopted this revised Code of Conduct on December 5, 2020. In
adopting this Code, the Board expressed its clear intent that this Code
shall be reviewed annually or at any other time as necessary.

This Code was first adopted on January 26, 2018.

(Revised December 5, 2020)

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