DRC Constitution

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Disability Rights Coalition

“Where disability rights are human rights”

Preamble

To establish a community of students with and without disabilities that will bridge a common understanding of advocacy, pride, and inclusion by addressing disability rights as human rights and therefore, promoting social justice. We aim to do this through education, advocacy and collaboration. Specifically, we will be doing so by:

  • Creating a community of students with and without disabilities, including all diverse groups on campus.
  • Creating partnerships and coalitions with other AU clubs, AU Student Government, DC non-profits, and individual students under the common cause of inclusion.
  • Holding events and campaigns throughout the year that will spread awareness and establish positive change for issues pertaining to disability and human rights.
  • Increasing students and faculty knowledge around disability, with the intent of sharing what they learn with others in the AU community, i.e. academic and social accommodations.
  • Increasing opportunities for students to engage in advocacy, education, and support with other members of the University community and beyond.
  • Securing that disability accommodations are provided by all parts of American University’s community.
  1. Name

Disability Rights Coalition (DRC)

  1. Local, national or international affiliation, if any

No local, national or international affiliation

  1. Non-Discrimination Clause

DRC is open to all students and will not discriminate in their membership selection on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, personal appearance, disability, marital status, family responsibility, political affiliation, source of income, or other rights secured by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

  1. Adherence to University policies as well as local and federal laws

DRC and its members will adhere to all applicable University policies, as well as local and federal laws. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action or expulsion as determined by the club officers under the guidance of the advisor.

  1. Membership

All students enrolled at American University shall be allowed membership status regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, or any other biases under federal or local laws.

  1. Officers/Club Leadership Positions

Section 1. Eligibility for Executive Board

A. The executive board of the organization will be comprised of: Co-Directors, Deputy Director of Communications, Deputy Director of Events, and Deputy Director of Intersectionality and Cultural Inclusion. Depending on the amount of qualified applicants, there may be appropriate positions for Co-Deputy Directors of Communications, Events, and/or Intersectionality and Cultural Inclusion. The outgoing/current executive board will determine the feasibility of adding more or less leaders to the board.

B. All active student members shall be eligible to hold office.

C. The term of office for DRC members shall be from fall semester of the regular                            academic year to the spring semester of the following year.

D. There is no limit on the number of terms, however, members must run every term and be elected by voting members.

E. No one member can hold more than one position on the board.

Section 2. Executive Board and descriptions

A. Co-Directors of Disability Rights Coalition shall

1. Coordinates Disability Rights Coalition’s efforts ensuring that the club’s

endeavors correspond to and fulfill its mission.

2. Orient the executive board as to the DRC’s history and role, and ensure that

the membership understands and complies with its constitution.

3. Ensure that the executive board is aware of the policies and procedures of

Student Activities as it pertains to all members of the club.

4. Lead a minimum of two executive board meetings a month where the board is instructed of event programming and necessary duties. Each Co-Director should alternate leading meetings.

5. Communicates with the Program Advisor and faculty/staff advisor about DRC’s activities and goals through emails and monthly meetings.

6. Attend Mandatory Student Activities 101 and Student Activities Financial training workshops

7. Track the voting memberships and maintain an accurate roster of current voting members.

8. Send weekly emails to all of the Disability Rights Coalition Executive Board members informing of appropriate information.

9. Meet monthly with individual executive board members to ensure that they are feeling success and growth with their DRC initiatives and with the whole organization.  These individual meetings should be split between each director and that director should continue meeting with the same person throughout each semester.

B. The Director of Communications shall:

1. Responsible for the DRC’s public relations

2. Communicate with all available advertising outlets on campus to promote                                      DRC and its events, including electronic mailing lists.

3. Ensure the creation and distribution of advertising while obtaining the

knowledge of AU’s posting policy. They are also in charge of doing a sweep of campus to make sure flyers have been posted in visible places.

4.   Maintain the DRC Facebook page, twitter and word press.

  1. Attend all Executive Board meetings.
  1. Send bi-weekly emails to all of the Disability Rights Coalition general body informing appropriate information.
  1. Manage DRC Email account

C. The Director of Events shall:

1. Handles logistics for all DRC events and meetings. It is their responsibility to contact the appropriate offices to reserve locations and ensure that room setup has been scheduled in a timely manner.

2. Coordinate and ensure that Disability Rights Coalition is inclusive to all

disabilities, invisible and visible. This includes but is not limited to: learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, mental health disabilities, chronic illnesses, physical disabilities and sensory disabilities.

2. Coordinate the annual “Indivisible” event on the Main Quad, celebrating all invisible disabilities through education, awareness, music, and other activities. This event will happen early in the fall semester.

3. Coordinate and lead in the planning of 2 other events that follow the mission of DRC. Each event should work towards community development within and outside the organization.

4. Form and direct planning committees for each event to ensure work delegation.

5. Attend all executive board meetings.

D. The Director of Intersectionality and Cultural Inclusion shall:

1. Ensure that the Disability Rights Coalition, its members and activities,

continuously emphasize the importance of intersectionality, specifically in disability, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender expression, religion, socioeconomic backgrounds, etc.

2. Build partnerships and communication with cultural groups on campus by attending at least on of each organization’s meetings. These relationships will build collaboration with the AU community to enhance common efforts of civil rights advocacy. Through the voice of the Director, the intersectionality of disability within all areas of diversity will be ensured.

3. Coordinate all tabling activities in relation to any applicable topics of intersectionality and national awareness days and months, such as Women’s History Month, Black History Month, Latino Heritage Month.

4.  Coordinate DRC’s participation in campus-wide events produced by Student                    Activities or other student organizations. This is specific to co-sponsorships

within each area of American University campus life. This includes the participation and support within the following areas at AU: Student Government, Multi-Cultural groups, Greek life, Political groups, and Religious groups.

5. Coordinate the Disability Etiquette and Diversity Training with the Center for Diversity and Inclusion and Disability Support Services. This must include but is not limited to the information regarding accessibility, etiquette, ableism, and intersectionality.

Every month, each executive member will take turns to:

1. Coordinate the financial transactions of the organization and attend the                 mandatory Student Activities financial training.

2. Prepare a budget proposal at the beginning of each year and shall coordinate the club’s efforts during the budget process.

3. Ensure that all American University Club Council (AUCC) restrictions and            regulations are met throughout budget and any possible fundraising processes.

4. Order and distribute supplies for the organization.

Section 3. Resignation of Officers

  1. Should an officer need to leave before the end of their term, elections must occur a week after the announcement of the resignation.

B.   After the close of nominations the normal election and voting procedures are

followed.

C. The newly elected candidate will carry out the remainder of the term.

Section 4. Removal of an Officer

A. Should the executive board seek the removal of an officer, they must first have

consulted their advisors.

B. The board must designate an executive to present a letter of complaint to the

general body that cites evidence of dereliction of duty by that officer.

C. The officer must be given the opportunity to refute the statements or submit their

resignation.

D. Should the officer refute the allegations, the matter goes up for vote to the voting

membership. At this time all relevant documentations must be presented to the voting membership and a mandatory question and answer period must occur as outlined by the Rules of Debate, detailed in Roberts Rules of Order.

E. If the officer is removed for office by a majority vote of fifty percent plus one

then at that time nominations for the vacancy are officially open.

Section 5. Role of Advisor(s)

A. After elections the new executive board selects the Faculty/Staff Advisor for the

following year. The advisor must present sign and agree to the Student Activities Advisor Agreement.

B. The Faculty/Staff Advisor must be a member of the University’s faculty and/or Staff.

C. The advisors must be involved in some of Disability Rights Coalition’s activities, and

must show interest in helping the growth of the organization. If he/she were to not

participate, then another nomination will be presented and another advisor may be selected.

D. The advisor chosen should have knowledge of the organization’s goals, University

offices and regulations, and campus and student issues.

8. Organizational structure (committees, executive councils, etc.)

There will be committees formed depending on the different interests of the members

pertaining to disability topics, i.e. national legislation, accessibility, education, international issues, beauty, employment. At times, the President may also form ad-hoc committees depending on the nature of events the organization is coordinating. These committees would include public relations, advertising, event coordination, etc.

9. Meetings

1. The Executive Board shall conduct a minimum of two general body meetings per month

for all members.

2. General body meetings discuss DRC’s role on campus and in the broader community,

whether it is current campaigns, events, etc. Meetings also provide voting members with the opportunity to address concerns to the executive board or conduct organizational     business.

3. The Executive Board shall have a minimum of two executive board meetings a month.

All board meetings are open to voting members unless the board deems it closed. Closing an executive board meeting is at the discretion of the board, but does not imply executive            session.

10. Election procedures and timeline

Two weeks prior to the end of April, a sign up sheet will be sent into the community for individuals to sign up to apply for an Executive Board position. In the last week of April a general meeting will be required to elect the Executive Board. The President will call the meeting to order and announce the nominees. After, there will be a short speech by each nominee. After that, the members will be allowed to vote. In order for an individual to be elected into a position they must win a majority vote of fifty percent plus one from members who are present.

11. Ratification and amendment processes

            1. All members can submit proposals for amendments to the board at any time of the year.

2. Amendments are to be voted on at designated meetings at the opening and closing of

the academic year. Sixty percent of the voting membership must be present. A majority vote of fifty percent plus one from members who are present and all the signatures of the executive board are required to fully adopt the amendment.

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CRPD ACTION DAY!

TAKE 3 MINUTES TODAY TO CONTACT YOUR SENATORS FOR THE CRPD!

Inclusion, Dignity, Equality. Ratify CRPD. Vote Yes!

Monday October 29th is our Action Day for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities!

The opposition has stated that the disability community is uninformed and does not really support the disability rights treaty. We are being significantly outnumbered by the opposition on calls and contacts via social media. We need every U.S. Senate member to be contacted and to know that the disability community is leading the movement for U.S. ratification of this international disability treaty and our voice matters! Get your friends, family, and work colleagues to make calls, Tweet and Twitpic, email and Facebook today to show support!

CONTACTS: You can find phone and email contact information for your senator here and Twitter IDs for your senators here (Tweet using #CRPD #UNCRPD)

Tell your Senators:

  • I support the CRPD treaty and I want to see he/she vote in support of the treaty this year!
  • The CRPD will not cost the Federal Government any additional funds.
  • The CRPD has been reviewed by both Republican and Democratic Attorneys General and by past Counsel to Presidents. They confirm that it does not threaten the sovereignty of the U.S. nor does it require any new legislation to comply with the treaty. 
  • This treaty is good for American business and for the world. It will allow us to bring our knowledge of making a society accessible to the whole world.

MOST IMPORTANTLY - This treaty is very important to the U.S. disability community! Following U.S. ratification of the treaty, U.S. leadership will help raise accessibility around the world, directly helping Americans with disabilities who live, work, or travel abroad.

Sample Tweet : @(SenatorID) Support the #CRPD #UNCRPD in 2012This is a #disability issue and we say vote YES!

Sample Twitpic: https://twitter.com/USICD/status/259376999901044736/photo/1

Want more information about the treaty? CLICK HERE

Interested in why the CRPD is important to parents of children with disabilities? LISTEN HERE

Add your organization to a list of over 265 U.S. disability organizations that support the CRPD CLICK HERE

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DC Disability Mentoring Day 2012

Most of you are probably aware that October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. During the month of October is a national program called Disability Mentoring Day, which aims to connect students and job-seekers with disabilities to mentors and career opportunities in the private and public sectors.

The Disability Mentoring Days are open to high school, college, and graduate students with disabilities. Disability Mentoring Days enable students with disabilities to spend part of a day visiting a District Government agency or a District company that matches their interests and have one-on-one time with volunteer mentors. It provides an opportunity to underscore the connection between school and work, evaluate personal goals, learn about career opportunities in the District, develop mentoring relationship with government and business leaders, and learn the skills you need to succeed. History of the program illustrates that students’ participation in Disability Mentoring Day can result in an internship opportunity with the host employer, function as a first interview on the way to a part-time or full-time employment offers.

If you would like to participate please complete the application below. Applications are due TOMORROW, October 3rd by 5pm. While this is short notice, the application is simple and the potential rewards are great! Please consider applying to participate in Disability Mentoring Day 2012 to take advantage of this opportunity to connect with potential employers in the public and private sectors.

Find the application here: Student_Mentee_Application_2012[1]

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INDIVISIBLE Connections

Members of DRC, HEARD, and ASAN signing “I love you” in ASL.

Indivisible was a great success yesterday, thank you to everyone who came out, and a big thank you to all the organizations who participated and shared information with attendees! If you missed the event or want to stay connected, check out the list of organizations we partnered with below.

Don’t forget! Disability Rights Coalition’s next general meeting!

Monday 10/1 at 8:15pm in Ward 104.

ADAPT

American Association of People with Disabilities

Autistic Self Advocacy Network

DC Council of the Blind

HEARD

Hearing Loss Association of America

National Federation of the Blind

Not Dead Yet

The Arc

Groups from American University:

Academic Support Center

Black Student Alliance

Counseling Center

Center for Diversity and Inclusion

Disability Rights Coalition

Disability Support Services

Student Government

Women’s Initiative

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How to Be an Ally

Listen to the experiences and words of people with disabilities.

Understand that disabilities are a part of human diversity.

Ask questions respectfully.

Challenge preconceived notions of disability.

Use people first language.

Create spaces that are accessible and inclusive and welcoming.

Educate yourself. Read about the Disability Rights Movement.

Promote the social model understanding of disability.

Confront disability stereotypes and the systems of oppression.

Realize the intersectionality of disability.

Download the document: How to be an Ally

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Join us next week!

Indivisible – Adjective: Unable to be separated or divided.
Join us in celebrating the diversity of the disability community…
Wednesday, September 26th
2-5pm
AU Quad
For questions contact thedrc.au@gmail.com

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Join INDIVISIBLE on Facebook!

Mark your calendars and get excited! Indivisible is only a week and a half away! Connect with us and others attending the event here!

We hope to see you out on the quad!

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