Members Present: Barbara McDonald, Daniel Martinez, Sharon Booker, Ted Chittenden, Robin Paraskevas, Thom Booker, Carlos Paraskevas, Marlene Decker
Members Absent: Jeff Bishop
Guests: Gail Wilt, Bob Williams
Barbara started the meeting at 9:05. After a moment of silence, introductions were made and a quorum was present. With two minor revisions, the minutes for Juneís meeting were approved unanimously.
Treasurerís Report: Robin said that because of issues involving the transition, she could not give a report for this month, but that she will have a report for Septemberís meeting. Robin stated that the transition problems were mainly caused by Wells Fargo, Vanguard, and PayPal not being willing to release information about the accounts to her for security reasons. Dan expressed frustration at the transition process, saying that it should take place within one day. He suggested that the matter should be turned over to the Budget Committee to come up with an easier transition process. Barbara said that she didnít mind giving the matter to the Budget Committee, but that committee didnít yet have a chair. Robin stated that after getting the locks changed with new keys, she, Carlos, her mother, Dan, and Barbara cleaned the AZCB offices on the weekend of August 3.
Presidentís Report: Barbara discussed attending the ACB national convention in Columbus, Ohio. She noted that a few states didnít have delegates to the Nominating Committee. She said that the Membership committee discussed possible ways for attracting new members as well as ways for retaining current ones. †This was Mitch Pomerantzís last year as ACB president with Massachusettsí Kim Charlson becoming the ACBís first-ever female president during that convention.
White Cane Day: At Danís request, the Board changed the agenda so that Gail could discuss White Cane events. Gail said that SAAVI was planning some sort of White Cane Day event at the state Capitol again this year in light of the state cuts to Independent Living Services programs for the elderly blind. She said that SAAVI director Amy Murillo wanted ACBís involvement in planning the event. Ted moved, and Dan seconded, that the AZCB work with SAAVI in planning this event. Barbara said she would follow up with Amy on this. Barbara asked if the SAAVI event would conflict with any planned celebrations by the Blinded Veterans Association (BVA). Dan said that he had not heard from Tom Hicks on the BVAís plans yet, and Ted speculated that because Mr. Hicks was now a member of the Governorís Council on Blindness and Visual Impairment (GCBVI), it was possible that Amy had already contacted him about this subject as well.
Committees: Barbara said that she had not found chairs for all of the committees yet. Ted agreed to continue serving as the Resolutions, Constitution and Bylaws Committee chairperson, while Dan agreed to serve as the Budget Committee chair with Robin, Ted, and Bob agreeing to serve on that committee. Dan also agreed to continue to serve as the chairperson of the Membership Committee.
Membership Dues: Barbara indicated that she wanted a simplified process for collecting membership dues. Dan said that the Membership Committee would look into the matter.
Fall Meeting Conference: Barbara raised the idea of the AZCB having a fall conference or social event with exhibitors. Ted pointed out that at the May and June Board meetings, part of the idea of sponsoring the Vrate conference included not holding a separate fall conference. As chairperson of the Membership Committee, Dan argued that the motion in June for sponsoring the VRate event did not preclude having a separate fall conference. Sharon raised concerns about the expenses involved of having members travel to two AZCB conferences plus VRate. Barbara requested that Dan look into the idea of having a fall conference.
Carls Jr. Coupon Books: Barbara said that she had managed to sell 13 of the coupon books, and that there were 60 still available that nobody had volunteered to sell. Barbara requested that AZCB members contact her directly about selling the 60 remaining books. Ted said that he had sold 11 thus far but that he still needed to mail in the check. Barbara said that the AZCB should have a plan to sell items before agreeing to purchase them in the future.
Website: Jeffrey Bishop was unable to attend the meeting, but he did send an email to the Board members indicating the steps in the website updating process. In his absence, Barbara updated the Board on website progress. She said that Tom Belsin and Jeff had come to an agreement about transferring the website to a new domain. She said that while progress was being made, there were complications and things were moving more slowly than had been planned. Barbara suggested that if any of the officers and Board members wanted individual email accounts from the new website, they should contact Jeff. Ted moved (with a second from Robin) that email accounts with the generic names of firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Secretary@azcb.com, and Treasurer@azcb.com be created so that newly elected persons to these offices will more quickly have access to the day-to-day information they need to fulfill their responsibilities. The motion passed 6-1 with Dan casting the dissenting vote.
S1356: Barbara and Ted discussed the Workforce Reinvestment Act and its affects on blind people. Barbara stated that she attended an AZDAC meeting where support for this bill was almost unanimous. She said that the billís supporters were adamant that the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation wasnít doing enough to help them find jobs. She also said that the AZDAC members believed that the proposed legislation would have no effect on the current rehabilitation process for blind people, but that it would put the disabled community in a more equal partnership with Vocational Rehabilitation. Ted said that this was not true and that support within ABIL was not unanimous, noting that David Carey had sent a notice about why he opposed the proposed legislation to various lists at the end of July. . Ted stated that according to the information he had on the bill, the services performed by the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation would be removed from the Department of Education and divided up with independent living services going to the Department of Health and Human Services and vocational rehabilitation services going to the Department of Labor. Ted stated that this division was not very good, because 1) the independent living centers (CILs) who would be responsible for the training under this proposal had no knowledge of blindness issues; and 2) the Department of Labor would have no knowledge about what was required for blind people to find gainful employment. Gail stated that because the CILs did not have the staff or equipment specializing in blindness training, it was likely that should this bill pass, organizations such as SAAVI and the FBC would contract with the CILs instead of with the state vocational rehabilitation agencies. Dan said that 1) the purpose of vocational rehabilitation was to train people in how to find jobs, not find jobs for them; and 2) rehabilitation was an act of education which was why vocational rehabilitation services were placed in the Department of Education in the first place. Sharon said that nearly everybody was having trouble finding work, and that was making it harder for blind people to find jobs as well, not the rehabilitation system itself. Ted moved (with Dan seconding) that the AZCB contact Senators McCain and Flake to let them know that we oppose the portion of S1356 pertaining to vocational rehabilitation due to the adverse consequences it would have on the rehabilitation of blind people. The motion passed unanimously, and Barbara asked Ted to send a message to the AZCB chat list about the Boardís position on this matter.
Phoenix Chapter: Barbara stated that the reason the planned social get-together for Phoenix chapter members this month was not scheduled was because she was expecting a grandchild very soon and that she felt that she should not schedule anything until after the baby had arrived. Barbara said that she was in contact with Tim about holding a Phoenix social get-together at the California Pizza Kitchen on another date where proceeds from the purchases of food would go to the AZCB had been arranged.
Maricopa Club: Barbara stated that she and Dan held a meeting at the Arizona Center for the Blind about interest in continuing the Maricopa Club that went well.
SAZCB: Sharon stated that the chapter was having an ice cream social on August 10.
GDUA: Nobody was present from this AZCB chapter.
GCBVI: Ted said that he participated in two GCBVI events of note: 1) a forum with vocational rehabilitation staff to discuss how the GCBVI and its member groups worked; and 2) as the GCBVI representative on a committee interviewing people for a high-ranking vocational rehabilitation services position. Ted also stated that the next full GCBVI meeting would take place on September 27.
RAES Vocational Rehabilitation Clients Introduction Meeting: Barbara stated that the events introducing new clients to Vocational Rehabilitation Services would be held during the week of August 11-15. After seeking volunteers and finding none, Barbara said that she would represent the AZCB on the date set aside for consumer organization introductions.
Adjournment: Barbara adjourned the meeting at 11:15 AM. The next AZCB Board meeting will be held on Saturday, September 14, 2013, from 9:00 to 11:00AM.