ARTICLE I

NAME

Section 1.

The name of this Association pursuant to Public Law 85 769, 85th Congress, U.S. Code, Title 36, 851 868 (72 Stat. 922 927), August 27, 1958, shall be BLINDED VETERANS ASSOCIATION.

Section 2.

The principal office of the Association shall be located in Washington, District of Columbia, or in such other place as may be determined by the National Board of Directors, and the activities of the Association can and may be conducted in any and all States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Possessions of the United States, or in such other places as the National Board of Directors may deem desirable from time to time.

Section 3.

The Association shall have in the District of Columbia at all times a designated agent authorized to accept service and process for the Association.

ARTICLE II

OBJECTS AND PURPOSES

The objects and purposes of the corporation shall be as follows:

a. To promote the welfare of blinded veterans so that, notwithstanding their disabilities, they may take their rightful place in the community and work with their fellow citizens toward the creation of a peaceful world;

b. To preserve and strengthen a spirit of fellowship among blinded veterans so that they may give mutual aid and assistance to one another;

c. To maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom and to encourage loyalty to the Constitution and laws of the United States and of the States in which they reside;

d. To be organized and operated as a corporation not-for-profit, no part of the income or assets of which shall inure to the benefit of any of its members, directors, or officers, nor be distributable thereto otherwise than upon dissolution or final liquidation; and such corporation is organized and shall be operated exclusively for charitable, educational, patriotic, and civic improvement purposes.

ARTICLE III

QUALIFICATIONS FOR MEMBERSHIP, ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP AND HONORARY MEMBERSHIP

 

Section 1.

Any person having been, or being, in the Armed Forces of the United States shall be eligible for Membership if he/she has sustained a substantial impairment of sight or vision, which is service-connected, and as such is hereby termed blind or legally blind and defined as follows:

Central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with corrective glasses, or central visual acuity of more than 20/200 if there is a field defect in which the peripheral field has contracted to such an extent that the widest diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than twenty degrees in the better eye.

Borderline cases shall be referred to the National Board of Directors for consideration.

Section 2.

There shall be no discrimination as to race or creed for Membership or Associate Membership in the Association, or for Members or Associate Members holding office or voting for office in the Association.

Section 3.

Proofs of eligibility for Membership which may be accepted are honorable discharge, retirement, or separation papers from the United States Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard, containing a notation indicating blindness of the applicant was incurred in the line of duty, or a certificate of the finding or determination by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) that the applicant has sustained service connected blindness as defined in Section 1 above.

Section 4.

a. Any person having been, or being, in the Armed Forces of the United States shall be eligible for Associate Membership if he/she has incurred blindness as defined in Section 1 of this Article but not incurred in the line of duty.

b. Any Member whose sight improves to such an extent that he/she is no longer eligible for Membership will be retained as an Associate Member if he/she so requests.

c. Associate Members shall have all the rights, privileges and responsibilities of Members. They may vote on National issues and hold and vote for National office and for the position of District Director. They may serve as a delegate or alternate from the regional group to the National Convention, and may vote for, and instruct, said delegate(s). They shall be eligible to hold any office in their regional group.

Section 5

a. Honorary Membership may be extended by unanimous vote of the National Board of Directors to individuals who through the office they hold, or the services they have rendered to blinded persons, may be deemed worthy of Honorary Membership.

b. Honorary Membership shall be for a period of one (1) year unless otherwise specified.

c. Such Honorary Members shall have no direct voice or vote of any kind in the affairs of the Association, but may submit suggestions or recommendations for the consideration of the Association and attend meetings.

Section 6

a. Any person believing himself/herself eligible for Membership or Associate Membership may apply to the Association. Upon verification of the applicant's eligibility and the payment of dues, he/she shall be considered a Member or Associate Member.

b. A Member or Associate Member shall automatically be considered a Member or Associate Member of the regional group in whose jurisdiction he/she resides. Members and Associate Members residing in areas where there are no regional groups shall be Members ¬at-large and Associate Members-at-large.

c. In the event any application is rejected, the applicant shall not be permitted to submit another application for a period of one (1) year. All applications for Membership and Associate Membership received by regional groups shall be forwarded to National Headquarters within thirty days after receipt.