NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND OF Utah CODE OF CONDUCT
The National Federation of the Blind of Utah 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 statewide organization with local chapters and divisions 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 of Utah 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.
The National Federation of the Blind of Utah will 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. 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 appropriate.
Sexual harassment is prohibited by state and federal law and also will not be tolerated by the National Federation of the Blind of Utah . Complaints of harassment may be lodged by a female against a male, by a female against a female, by a male against a male, or by a male against a female. 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:
repeating of sexually suggestive jokes/references/innuendoes and comments about an individual’s body/sexual prowess/physical attributes/dress;
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.
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.
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 language.
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 view/share/read.
V. Conflict of Interest Policy
Each Federation leader is expected to disclose the existence of any potentially conflicting personal financial interest or relationship to the full National Federation of the Blind of Utah Board of Directors and seek its review and approval, as specified below. For example:
A Federation leader must seek board review and approval of receipt by his or her 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.
In reviewing matters brought pursuant to this section, the officer or board member seeking state board review and approval will refrain from voting.
Each Federation leader 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.
VI. Policy While Interacting with Minors
Federation leaders shall foster a welcoming environment at NFB meetings, events, and conferences that is a cooperative and productive atmosphere for all members and nonmembers.
Federation leaders shall interact with NFB staff in a professional manner and follow proper channels of authority and communication.
Federation leaders shall positively promote the NFB through verbal and written communication.
Whenever possible, Federation leaders and members are strongly encouraged to handle conflicts or complaints involving other members privately, directly, and respectfully. Nothing in this standard is intended to limit a Federation leader’s or member’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.
Complaints shall be treated as confidential in order to protect the identity and reputation of the person about whom the complaint is filed and the person filing the complaint.
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.
Complaints that turn out to be false and used for the purpose of harassing, intimidating, or retaliating against someone will be subject to the same kind of disciplinary action enumerated above.
Any person dissatisfied with the resolution of a complaint may file an appeal with the National Federation of the Blind of Utah Board of Directors, which may, in its discretion, take such action as it deems necessary. If a person is still dissatisfied, such person may raise the matter to the national board of directors, which may, in its discretion, take whatever action it deems necessary. No national or state 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 completely unbiased, impartial, and fair while considering the matter.
X. Minimum Standard