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By-Laws of the Wisconsin Rehabilitation Council

Relating to Individuals with Disabilities Rehabilitation Program, Pursuant to Executive Order #196

Article I

The name of this organization shall be the Wisconsin Rehabilitation Council herein after called WRC.

Article II - Purpose

Pursuant to Executive Order #196, issued July 1,1992 by the Governor of the Wisconsin, signed into law the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended through the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998 ("the Act") as part of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998.

FURTHERMORE, Title I, Section 105 of the Act required the Governor of the State of Wisconsin to establish a state rehabilitation advisory Council with responsibility to review, analyze, and advise the designated State Agency which administers the public rehabilitation program on its performance and

FURTHERMORE, that the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development is the designated State Unit and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation is the designated State Agency.

Article III - The Council

The duties of this Council are to:

  1. Establish the Wisconsin Rehabilitation Council for the State of Wisconsin consisting of twenty four members each appointed (not including the Division Administrator), for a maximum of two consecutive full terms of THREE (3) years as required by Executive Order #196 of the Governor.
  2. The Council shall elect Officers from among its members.
  3. The Council shall be composed of:
    1. At least one representative of the Statewide Independent Living Council (chairperson or other designee of SILC.)
    2. At least one representative of a parent training and information center established under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
    3. At least one representative of the Client Assistance Program.
    4. At least one qualified vocational rehabilitation counselor with knowledge of and experience with vocational programs (who shall serve as an ex officio non-voting member of the State Council if the counselor is an employee of the designated State Agency).
    5. At least one representative of community rehabilitation program service providers.
    6. Four representatives of business, industry, and labor.
    7. Representatives of disability advocacy groups representing a cross section of:
      1. Individuals with physical, cognitive, sensory and mental disabilities; and,
      2. Individuals' representatives of individuals with disabilities who have difficulty in representing themselves or unable, due to their disabilities, to represent themselves.
    8. Current or former applicants for, or recipients of, vocational rehabilitation services.
    9. Current or former applicants for, or recipients of, vocational rehabilitation services.
    10. At least one representative of Department of Public Instruction.
    11. At least one representative of the State Workforce Investment Board.
    12. Ex Officio Member: The Administrator of the Designated State Agency shall be an ex officio, non-voting member of the Council.
  4. Appointment
    Members of the Council shall be appointed by the Governor. The Council will forward recommendations to the Governor after soliciting recommendations from the representatives of organizations representing the broad range of individuals with disabilities. In selecting members, the Governor shall consider, to the greatest extent practicable, the extent to which minority populations are represented on the Council. (See Addendum 1)
  5. Qualifications
    A majority of Council members shall be persons who are:
    1. Individuals with disabilities; and,
    2. Not employed by the designated State Unit or Agency.
  6. Terms of Appointments
    1. Each member of the Council shall be appointed for a term of no more than THREE (3) years and may serve for no more than two consecutive full terms.
    2. A member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the end of the term for which a predecessor was appointed shall be appointed for the remainder of the predecessor's term.
  7. Vacancies
    Any vacancy occurring in the membership of the Council shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. No vacancy shall affect the power of the remaining members to execute the duties of the Council.
  8. Functions of Council
    The Council shall, after consulting with the State Workforce Investment Board:
    1. Review, analyze, and advise the designated State Unit regarding the performance of the responsibilities of the Unit under this title, particularly responsibilities relating to:
      1. Eligibility (including order of selection);
      2. The extent, scope, and effectiveness of services provided; and,
      3. Functions performed by State agencies that affect or that potentially affect the ability of individuals with disabilities in achieving employment outcomes under this title.
    2. In partnership with the designated State Unit:
      1. Develop, agree to and review State goals and priorities in accordance with section 101(a)(15)(C); and,
      2. Evaluate the effectiveness of the vocational rehabilitation program and submit reports of progress to the Commissioner in accordance with section 101(a)(15)(E).
    3. Advise the designated State Agency and the designated State Unit regarding activities authorized to be carried out under this title, and assist in the preparation of the State plan and amendments to the plan, applications, reports, needs assessments and evaluations required by this title.
    4. To the extent feasible, conduct a review and analysis of the effectiveness of, and consumer satisfaction with:
      1. The functions performed by the designated State Agency;
      2. Vocational rehabilitation services provided by State agencies and other public or private entities responsible for providing vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities under this Act; and,
      3. Employment outcomes achieved by eligible individuals receiving services under this title, including the availability of health and other employment benefits in connection with such other employment outcomes.
    5. Prepare and submit an annual report to the Governor and the Commissioner on the status of vocational rehabilitation programs operated within the State and make the report available to the public.
    6. Coordinate activities with the activities of other Councils within the State, including the Statewide Independent Living Council, the advisory panel of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the State Developmental Disabilities Council described in the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, the State Mental Health Planning Council established under the Public Health Service Act, and the State Workforce Investment Board.
    7. Provide for coordination and the establishment of working relationships between the State Agency and the Statewide Independent Living Council and centers for independent living within the State.
    8. Perform such other functions, consistent with the purpose of this title, as the Wisconsin Rehabilitation Council determines to be appropriate, that are comparable to the other functions performed by the Council.
    9. Review, revise and direct the designated State Agency in its selection, operation and procedure of the Impartial Hearing Officer program.
  9. Resources
    1. Plan: The Council shall prepare, in conjunction with the Designated State Unit, a plan for the provision of such resources, including such staff and other personnel, as may be necessary to carry out the functions of the Council under this section.
    2. Supervision and Evaluation: The Council shall, consistent with law, supervise and evaluate such staff and other personnel as may be necessary to carry out its functions under this section.
  10. Conflict of Interest
    No Member of the Council shall cast a vote on any matter that would provide direct financial benefit to the member or otherwise give the appearance of a conflict of interest under State Iaw.
  11. Meetings
    The Council shall convene at least 4 meetings a year in such places as it determines to be necessary to conduct Council business and conduct such forums or hearings as the Council considers appropriate. The meetings, hearings, and forums shall be publicly announced. The meetings shall be open and accessible to the general public unless there is a valid reason for an executive session.
  12. Compensation and Expenses
    The Council may use funds appropriated under this title to reimburse members of the Council for reasonable and necessary expenses of attending Council meetings and performing Council duties (including child care and personal assistance services), and to pay compensation to a member of the Council, if such member is not employed or must forfeit wages from other employment, for each day the member is engaged in performing the duties of the Council (See Addendum 2).

Article IV - Offices

The principal office of this Council in the State of Wisconsin shall be located in the City of Madison, County of Dane. The Council shall have such other offices within or without the County of Dane as the Council may require from time to time.

  1. Annual Meeting
    The annual meeting of the Council shall be held in the second quarter of each year, beginning with the year 1993, for the purpose of electing Officers and transacting other business that may come before the Council. At every second annual meeting, beginning with the year 2001, an election of Officers shall be held. If the election of the Officers shall not be held at the annual meeting, or at any adjourned meeting hereof, the Executive Board shall cause the election to be held at any meeting of the Council as soon thereafter as convenient.
  2. Special Meetings
    Special meetings of the Council may be called by the chair, by the Executive Committee, or by not less than 51% of all of the Council members of WRC.
  3. Place of Meetings
    The Council may designate any physical place within the State of Wisconsin as a place of meeting for any annual meeting or for any special meeting called by the Council. If no designation is made, the meeting shall be held in Madison, Wisconsin.
  4. Notice of Meetings
    Written, printed, taped or electronic notice in accessible format of any meetings shall be delivered to each member not less than ten days, nor more than forty days, before the date of such meeting. The notice shall state the place, day, and hour and the purpose of the meeting. If mailed, such notices shall be deemed to be delivered when deposited in the United States mail addressed to the Council member at the address that appears on its records with postage there prepaid.
  5. Lists
    The Officer or Agent having charge of the minutes and records of the Council shall make, at least ten days before each meeting of the Council members, a complete list of the Council members entitled to vote at such meeting, arranged in alphabetical order, with the address of said Council member. Furthermore, the minutes of the prior meeting shall be contained therein. All minutes of all other prior meetings from the date of the inception of this Council shall be subject to inspection by any Council member during the whole time of the meeting. The original ledger of Council members, or duplicate thereof, shall be prima facie evidence as to who are the Council members of the WRC and who are entitled to vote. The public may examine such lists or such ledger to any meeting of the Council.
  6. Quorum
    A majority of the Council Members, excluding ex officio members, represented in person shall constitute a quorum at any meeting of WRC, provided, that if less than a majority of the Council members are represented at any said meeting, a majority of the Council members represented may adjourn the meeting from time to time with notice. If a quorum is present, the affirmative vote of the majority of the Council members represented at the meeting shall be the act of all the Council members.
  7. Proxies
    At all meetings of WRC, a Council member MAY NOT vote by proxy.
  8. Voting by Executive Committee
    Subject to the provisions of this Article, each member of the Executive Committee shall be entitled to one vote upon each matter submitted to vote at a meeting of the Executive Committee except ex officio members may not vote.
  9. Inspectors
    At any meeting of the Council, the chair of the meeting may, or upon the request of any Council member, shall appoint one or more persons as inspectors for such meeting. Such inspectors shall ascertain and report the number of Council members represented at the meeting. The inspectors shall count all votes and report the results, and do such other acts as are proper to conduct the election and voting with impartiality and fairness to all the Council members. Each report of an inspector shall be in writing and signed by him/her or by a majority of them if there be more than one inspector acting at such meeting. If there is more than one inspector, the report of a majority shall be the report of the inspectors. The report of the inspector or inspectors on the number of the Council members represented at the meeting and the results of the voting shall be prima facie evidence thereof.
  10. Voting by Ballot
    Voting on any question or in any election may be by voice unless the presiding officer shall order, or any Council member shall demand, that voting be by ballot.
  11. Attendance Requirement
    Council members shall attend all Council meetings on a regular basis. Any member missing two consecutive meetings without due cause shall be contacted by the Executive Committee to determine his/her continued interest in serving on the Council. The missing of THREE (3) consecutive meetings without due cause will result in the Executive Committee forwarding a recommendation for removal to the Governor.
  12. Committees
    The Council shall have five standing committees. They shall be: the Executive Committee, the Pre-Employment Transition Services Committee, the Section 511 Committee, the State Plan/Performance Measures Committee, and the Services to Business Committee. The Pre-Employment Transition Services Committee shall develop youth outreach strategies and strategies for increasing capacity to provide the services to youth required under WIOA. The Section 511 Committee shall, in conjunction with the State Unit, develop a plan to implement the requirements of WIOA Section 511 regarding outreach to individuals in a sub-minimum wage environment and providing services to youth prior to youth entering a sheltered workshop. The State Plan/Performance Measures Committee shall devise methods for ensuring the State Unit's delivery of services and data collection are compliant with WIOA and federal reporting standards. The Services to Business Committee shall focus on ensuring the State Unit's services to business are delivered in a way that assists job seekers with disabilities to connect to employment.

Article V - Executive Committee

  1. General Powers
    The business and affairs of the Council shall be managed by its Executive Committee.
  2. Number, Tenure and Qualifications
    Members of the Executive Committee shall hold office until the next election at every second annual meeting of the Council or until his successor shall have been elected and qualified. Members of the Executive Committee must be residents of the State of Wisconsin. The members of the Executive Committee shall be the Officers of the Council and chair or other representative of each standing committee.
  3. Regular Meetings
    Regular meetings of the Executive Committee shall be held.
  4. Special Meetings
    Special meetings of the Executive Committee may be called by or at the request of the Chair or by at least 50% of the Executive Committee members. The person authorized to call special meetings of the Executive Committee may fix any place, either within or without Dane County or a designated virtual site, as the place for holding any special meeting called by the Executive Committee.
  5. Notice
    Notice of any special meeting shall be given at least ten days previous thereto by written notice delivered personally, mailed, electronically or by facsimile to each member of the Executive Committee at his/her business address. If mailed, such notice shall be deemed to be delivered when deposited in the United States mail so addressed, with postage thereon prepaid. Any members of the Executive Committee may waive notice of any meeting. The attendance of any Executive Member at any meeting shall constitute waiver of notice of such meeting, except where an Executive member attends a meeting for the express purpose of objecting to the transaction of any business because the meeting is not lawfully called or convened. Neither the business to be transacted at, nor the purpose of, any regular or special meeting of the Executive Committee need be specified in the notice or waiver of notice of such meeting.
  6. Quorum
    A majority of the members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum for transaction of business at any meeting of the Executive Committee, provided that if less than a majority of such number of the Executive Committee are present at said meeting, a majority of the members present may adjourn the meeting from time to time without further notice.
  7. Manner of Acting
    The act of the majority of the Executive Committee present at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall be the act of the Executive Committee.
  8. Compensation Expense
    The Executive Committee may use funds appropriated under this title to reimburse members of the Executive Committee for reasonable and necessary expenses of attending Executive Committee meetings and performing Executive Committee duties (including child care and personal assistance services), and to pay compensation to a member of the Executive Committee, if such member is not employed or must forfeit wages from other employment, for each day the member is engaged in performing the duties of the Executive Committee (see Addendum 2).
  9. Presumption of Assent
    An Executive Committee member of the Council who is present at any meeting of the Executive Committee, at which action on any Council matter is taken shall be conclusively presumed to have assented to the action taken unless his/her dissent shall be entered in the minutes of the meeting or unless he/she shall file his written dissent to such action with the person acting as secretary of the meeting before the adjournment thereof or shall forward such dissent by registered mail to the secretary of the Council immediately after the adjournment of the meeting. Such right to dissent shall not apply to any Executive Committee member who voted in favor of such action.
  10. Attendance Requirements
    Members shall be expected to attend Executive Committee meetings on a regular basis. Any member missing two consecutive meetings shall be contacted by the Chair to determine his/her continued interest in serving on the Executive Committee. The missing of THREE (3) consecutive meetings without due cause shall be construed as a de facto resignation.

Article VI - Officers

  1. As a Group
    1. It is the responsibility of the Officers to ensure that WRC functions fully to accomplish its vision and mission.
    2. They should stimulate, facilitate and request the active participation of each Council member.
    3. They should communicate extensively with DVR management and staff about all issues of mutual concern whenever they arise and keep the Council aware of the status of those issues.
    4. Working with the Executive Committee, the Officers monitor the overall effectiveness of the Council, assuring that policies, procedures and practices implement the Council’s goals.
    5. Provide a bridge between the committees of the Council.
  2. Number
    The Officers of the Council shall be Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary/Treasurer. Any two or more offices may not be held by the same person. An ex officio member may not be an officer of the Council.
  3. Election and Term of Office
    The Officers of the Council shall be elected bi-annually at the second annual meeting thereof. If the election of the Officers is not held at such meeting, such election shall be held as soon thereafter as conveniently may be. Each officer shall hold office until such time his/her successor shall have been duly elected and shall be qualified or until his death or until he/she shall resign or shall have been removed in the manner hereinafter provided. Member with one year remaining in their appointment shall not be excluded from being elected to office. In the event that as office is vacated due to the expiration of an officer’s appointment term, a special election will be held for the purpose of filling the office for one year. Election or appointment of an officer or agent shall not of itself create contract rights.
  4. Removal
    Any officer or Council member, elected or appointed, may be removed by the Governor.
  5. Vacancies
    Any vacancy in any office because of death, resignation, removal, disqualification or otherwise, may be filled by the Council as a whole for the unexpired portion of the term.
  6. Chair
    1. Functions as the principal executive officer and has general supervision and control of all business and affairs of the Council.
    2. Needs to keep current on important disability issues in Wisconsin regarding clients and DVR.
    3. Assures that important issues come before the Council in an expeditious manner and that minor issues do not disproportionately occupy the Council's limited meeting time.
      1. Working with the Executive Committee, sets an agenda for each meeting.
      2. Presides over general sessions of the Council, assuring that the agenda is accomplished, leading the group through the decision-making process.
    4. Presides at meetings of the Executive Committee of the Council and at meeting with DVR staff.
    5. Represents the Council in official matters to other organizations and persons. Or, may designate the Vice Chair or an alternate to do so.
    6. Signs documents authorized by the Council or required by law.
    7. Develops and signs correspondence on behalf of the Council as appropriate.
    8. Performs other duties incidental to the office or prescribed by the Council or by the Governor.
  7. Vice-Chair
    1. In the absence of the Chair, or in the event of the chair's inability or refusal to act, the Vice Chair shall perform the duties of the Chair; and when doing so, shall have all the powers of and be subject to the restrictions upon the Chair.
    2. May assist the Chair in the performance of the Chair's duties, as requested by the Chair; and perform other projects and assignments as requested by the Chair or the Council. (This will aid in keeping the Vice Chair actively involved in the Council's affairs and abreast of leading issues of concern to the Council).
    3. Acts as parliamentarian for the Council by becoming familiar with Robert's Rules of Order.
  8. Secretary/Treasurer
    1. Keeps the minutes of the meetings of the Council or the Executive Committee.
    2. Assures that all notices are duly given in accordance with the provisions of these by-laws or as required by law.
    3. Is custodian of the Council records.
    4. Keeps a register of the post office address of each Council member which shall be furnished to the Secretary by the Council members.
    5. Mails to the members of the Council, within two weeks of a meeting, the minutes of the previous meeting.
    6. At least two weeks prior to any regular meeting of the Council, mails an agenda and all relevant materials to all members.
    7. Contacts major media sources concerning the upcoming meeting providing a copy of the agenda.
    8. Perform all duties incident to the office of Secretary and such other duties as from time to time may be assigned by the Chair, Governor, or by the Council.
    9. Prepares an annual budget and reports on its status at each meeting of the council.
      1. Presides over the budget development process.
      2. Works with DVR support staff to track the budget.
      3. Works with committee chairs on budget issues.
    10. Performs duties incidental to the office of Treasurer or as may from time to time be assigned by the Chair or the Council.

Article VII - Fiscal Year

The fiscal year of this Council shall begin on the first day of September in each year and end on the last day of August of each year.

Article VIII - Amendments

These by-laws may be altered, amended or repealed by new by-laws adopted at any meeting of the Council and by a majority vote of the members present.

Article IX

WRC has been organized pursuant to the Executive Order of the Governor of the State of Wisconsin and the Council shall be subject to by-laws herein (stating the laws of the State of Wisconsin) and Robert’s Rules of Order as revised.

Article X

The Council shall provide advisory and planning efforts to the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. It shall further file an Annual Report with the Governor of its findings as to the operations of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and its services to the consumers thereof. The Council shall further encourage and support the coordination and cooperation of any and all agencies that deal with or are concerned with the issues of education and vocational rehabilitation and shall perform a consumers’ satisfaction survey which shall be included in its Annual Report. Such report to be given to the Governor and to the Rehabilitation Services Administration of the Federal Government. The Council shall further seek wide input to insure compliance with the regulations of the United States government, Wisconsin Administrative Code, and foremost, the recipients of such services provided by such organization or organizations. The Council shall from time to time review the process of Order Of Selection and transition as provided by the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Department of Public Instruction of the State of Wisconsin. The Council is to instruct the Division to work with private agencies, public agencies, or any such agencies that can best benefit the provider of services of vocational rehabilitation to the citizens of the State of Wisconsin.

Article XI - Notice to the Public

The Council shall ensure that the public be made aware of the existence of this Council, the purpose of this Council, the intent of this Council, and the time and place of meetings of this Council. Such notices shall be given in writing, Braille, or tape, telephonically, or visually as the case may be such that the most number of citizens and consumers of vocational rehabilitation services in the of Wisconsin or the wards, parents, or guardians are made aware of same and such shall be in accordance with the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law as revised.

Article XII - Conduction of Meetings

Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order unless otherwise provided herein.

Conflict of Interest. No Council member shall vote on any matter which in any way could financially or personally give them gain or advancement.

Whenever Council member has cause to believe that a matter to be voted upon would involve him or her in a conflict of interest he or she shall announce same and refrain from voting on such matters.


Addendum 1

Wisconsin Rehabilitation Council Candidate Recruitment Time Line

Addendum 2

Uniform Travel Schedule Amounts (UTSA)

Current state reimbursement rates can be found here: https://dpm.wi.gov/Documents/BCER/Compensation/15-17%20Comp%20Plan%20Materials/Section%20F.pdf

Any changes in the rates or maximums are effective for both non-represented and represented employees, unless specifically superseded by the employees' collective bargaining agreement.

The following is based on Chapter 20 of the State Statutes, DER rules and DWD policies:

  1. Full and clear documentation of reimbursement claims will help ensure timely and uniform reimbursement. Documentation may include:
    • An actual receipt
    • A written explanation concerning specific cost
    • A copy of a letter or an agenda relating to such costs
    • Reimbursement claims that are unusual, infrequent or questionable will receive special notice.
  2. Travel vouchers should be prepared and submitted monthly.

By-laws approved November 2017.

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