National Federation of the Blind
Adopted June 10, 2021
The Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind supports and recommends the below policy for consideration and adoption by the 2021 national Convention.
WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind was established in 1940 as this nation’s civil rights membership organization of blind people; and
WHEREAS, our organization places a high value on welcoming in all blind people to membership and creating a safe space for the exchange of information and ideas in order to work collectively toward our common interests as blind people; and
WHEREAS, on January 26, 2018, the Board of Directors reviewed existing Federation policies and established a national integrated Code of Conduct to more clearly communicate consistent expectations for appropriate behavior throughout the membership and to detail processes for receiving, investigating, and addressing violations of those standards; and
WHEREAS, the organization’s board of directors has committed to at least annual review and updating of the code and the processes supporting the code including incorporating feedback from members to ensure the Federation community is as safe and supportive as possible; and
WHEREAS, the organization acknowledges the courage of survivors in bringing forward their stories and the pressures that may make it difficult for survivors to feel safe in utilizing the code of conduct process; and
WHEREAS, individuals who are harmed by those who violate the Federation’s Code of Conduct may require additional support in order to heal from those incidents and fully participate in the organized blind movement: Now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED that the organization establish the Survivor Assistance to Facilitate Empowerment (SAFE) fund in an initial amount of $250,000 as a dedicated financial resource for providing therapy support to survivors of incidents where the Federation’s Code of Conduct is known to have been violated; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the board of directors have responsibility for overseeing the fund including but not limited to reserving financial resources for the fund, maintaining adequacy of the fund, reporting the fund financial status to the convention, assuring confidentiality of individuals who receive support, establishing and communicating eligibility criteria, engaging stakeholders in the fund planning, selecting and overseeing a third party claims administrator who will maintain the confidentiality of eligible survivors, and taking such other actions as may be necessary to develop and advance the fund program over time; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, consistent with the organization’s Code of Conduct, all steps be taken in administering the fund to ensure that survivors are protected from retaliation based upon their use of the resources of the fund.