143B-158. Commission for the Blind.

(a) The Commission for the Blind of the Department of Health and Human Services shall consist of 19 members as follows:

(1) One representative of the Statewide Independent Living Council.

(2) One representative of a parent training and information center established pursuant to section 631(c) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 1431(c).

(3) One representative of the State's Client Assistance Program.

(4) One vocational rehabilitation counselor who has knowledge of and experience in vocational rehabilitation services for the blind. A vocational rehabilitation counselor appointed pursuant to this subdivision shall serve as a nonvoting member of the Commission if the counselor is an employee of the Department of Health and Human Services.

(5) One representative of community rehabilitation program services providers.

(6) One current or former applicant for, or recipient of, vocational rehabilitation services.

(7) One representative of a disability advocacy group representing individuals who are blind.

(8) One parent, family member, guardian, advocate, or authorized representative of an individual who is blind, has multiple disabilities, and either has difficulty representing himself or herself or who is unable, due to disabilities, to represent himself or herself.

(9) One representative of business, industry, and labor.

(10) One representative of the directors of projects carried out under section 121 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 741, as amended, if there are any of these projects in the State.

(11) One representative of the Department of Public Instruction.

(12) One representative of the NCWorks Commission.

(12a) Two licensed physicians nominated by the North Carolina Medical Society whose practice is limited to ophthalmology.

(12b) Two optometrists nominated by the North Carolina State Optometric Society.

(12c) Two opticians nominated by the North Carolina Opticians Association.

(13) The Director of the Division of Services for the Blind shall serve as an ex officio, nonvoting member.

(b) The members of the Commission for the Blind shall be appointed by the Governor. The Governor shall appoint members after soliciting recommendations from representatives of organizations representing a broad range of individuals who have disabilities and organizations interested in those individuals. In making appointments to the Commission, the Governor shall consider, to the greatest extent practicable, the extent to which minority populations are represented on the Commission.

(c) Except for individuals appointed to the Commission under subdivisions (12a), (12b), and (12c) of subsection (a) of this section, a majority of Commission members shall be persons who are blind, as defined in G.S. 111-11 and who are not employed by the Division of Services for the Blind.

(d) The Commission for the Blind shall select a Chairperson from among its members.

(e) The term of office of members of the Commission is three years. The term of members appointed under subdivisions (1), (2), (3), (4), and (12a) of subsection (a) of this section shall expire on June 30 of years evenly divisible by three. The term of members appointed under subdivisions (5), (6), (7), (8), and (12b) of subsection (a) of this section shall expire on June 30 of years that follow by one year those years that are evenly divisible by three. The term of members appointed under subdivisions (9), (10), (11), (12), and (12c) of subsection (a) of this section shall expire on June 30 of years that precede by one year those years that are evenly divisible by three.

(f) No individual may be appointed to more than two consecutive three-year terms. Upon the expiration of a term, a member shall continue to serve until a successor is appointed, as provided by G.S. 128-7. An appointment to fill a vacancy shall be for the unexpired balance of the term.

(g) A member of the Commission shall not vote on any issue before the Commission that would have a significant and predictable effect on the member's financial interest. The Governor shall have the power to remove any member of the Commission from office for misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance in accordance with the provisions of G.S. 143B-13 of the Executive Organization Act of 1973.

(h) The members of the Commission shall receive per diem and necessary travel and subsistence expenses in accordance with the provisions of G.S. 138-5.

(i) A majority of the Commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

(j) All clerical and other services required by the Commission shall be supplied by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. (1973, c. 476, s. 140; 1977, c. 581; 1993, c. 561, s. 89(b); 1997-443, s. 11A.118(a); 2000-121, s. 31; 2013-360, s. 12A.14(b); 2015-241, s. 15.11(f).)