American Council of the Blind
Board of Publications
Meeting Minutes for February 8, 2016
Chair Denise Colley called the meeting to order at 9:01 PM EST.
Board members present:
Denise Colley Chair, Ron Brooks, Doug Powell, Judy Wilkinson. Tom Mitchell was absent.
ACB staff/contractors present:
Sharon Lovering, Annette Carter, Larry Turnbull.
Ex Officio members present:
Kim Charlson President, Carla Ruschival ACB Social Networking Team, and Bob Hachey Internet Oversight Committee. Kim will be appointing a new PR Chair as Nolan Crabb has resigned for health reasons.
Guests: Sue Ammeter, Michael Malver, Ralph Smitherman, Ken Stewart
Ron moved and Doug seconded adoption of the agenda. The motion Passed.
Judy moved and Doug seconded adoption of the minutes of the meeting of January 4, 2016. The motion Passed.
Guest Michael Malver, member of the Social Media Team for Twitter, proposed creating a link from the main web page about posting relevant time-sensitive petitions. He hoped for PSA’s on ACB Radio for such petitions.
Doug and Ron expressed concern that this is not a BOP matter. Ron proposed some kind of community bulletin board. We need a clear statement that these are not necessarily endorsed by the organization; somewhat like “Here And There.” Annette added that she posts what comes from Eric, Kelly or Kim. Larry reminded us that ACB Radio is precluded from having “call to action” statements. We can have an “if you are interested” type statement which is not a call to action.
Kim urged taking this suggestion to the ACB Radio management team. Also in the current consulting about redesigning of our website we could incorporate this kind of needed community interactivity. In the meantime we should continue with our current protocol of having information come through Eric, Kelly, Kim and also Tony Stephens for social media. Doug suggested having such a community feature on the ACB Link App.
Sharon said she received a request to publish the ACB Radio schedule in the ACB Braille Forum, which, because of its length, would not be feasible since it would take an entire Forum!
* [Link to Sharon's Nutshell Report for May 2016 is at the end of these Minutes.]
Other Committee Updates:
Bob Hachey reported a recent flurry of comments about using accessible handicapped parking. He went on to report that the Chat list is being used more in the way that Michael Malver had hoped.
Larry Turnbull said a lot is going on at ACB Radio. He has moved ACB Radio to a different server because the current one will be down for a time. The new automation system is in place, eliminating unnecessary silences.
The new show Affiliates In Action has begun which will have a podcast feed.
Proposed new programs for later in the spring include a Handyman Program which Larry will host, alternating with Laura Legendary’s jewelry repair, decorating, etc. Sagebrush and Midyear will be streamed. He is still working with Audio Now and some software updates. They are using mono streams for the phone with the new server. The phone only uses the left channel so we need a way to even things out so people hear everything. Larry mentioned that things had not been progressing as rapidly due to some personal illness and family issues. However, he’s back full tilt now. Listener accounts should be coming in a couple of days.
Doug asked about reasons for the delays in the podcast feed for ACB Reports. Larry responded that there have been content delays as well as some production delays, But with the new server everything is back up-to-date.
Carla reported that Twitter followers are at 1,258 and FaceBook at 1,781. A post from Kelly last Thursday (Feb. 4) about Pixar’s app to sync audio description has had 4,205 people reached as of this evening.
Annette has been given the go ahead by the Goal 1 Committee to update the website including the responsive theme and a more 3-dimensional appearance. Kim clarified that the site is no longer “new”, and the color scheme will be more in line with that being used by ACB Radio, for better use with ACB Link.
Policy Manual Update
Judy began this discussion with several issues/recommendations.
Section 1.2 - She recommended adding Social Media to the list of ex officio members. All agreed.
Section 1.3 - The issue around the timing for putting the ACB Board meeting Summary in the ACB Braille Forum was revisited. Judy asked which issues of the ACB Braille Forum would contain the BOP Board Representative report. The real concern is clarification of whether the Board must approve the minutes first.
Doug stated that his understanding is that the report should be written for the ACB Braille Forum regardless of when the Board approves the minutes.
Ron thought the section reads clearly, and suggested there is no need to list roll call votes; it is sufficient to tell what actions were taken as a collective. Doug stated that the part about the roll call may be in the Constitution and would not be within our pervue to change. The bottom line is the representative is required to submit a report within 30 days of the Board meeting.
Carla recollected discussion at the fall board meeting about this: the minutes would be posted within 30 days and then approved via email. That being so; this timeline is not accurate.
Kim agreed that such discussion took place to put the process on a firmer footing; for instance board meetings of Dec. 3 and 10 dealing with budget will be approved at the Midyear board meeting.
Judy still requested clarification: asking whether the representative’s report is not contingent upon board approval of the minutes. Denise said that has changed with the board’s agreement to post minutes within 30 days.
Ron said words like “tentative” aren’t solid so he reiterated we don’t need to change anything. We just need a summary report on the board actions taken. Doug agreed given there was some discomfort with motions being reported before final approval of minutes. It was agreed to leave the section as is.
Section 6.1 - This section states we ask for bids for the ACB Braille Forum by September 15 and they are due by October 1. Judy wondered whether this is a realistic turnaround time. Ron agreed this is a tight timeline. Kim stated Denise had asked for a clarified timeline given all the BOP Chair must do during this process. Denise also wondered whether this is something the BOP does or the Executive Director. In discussions with Melanie it was agreed that this is for the executive director to do, but that the BOP Chair must have all relevant data submitted. Denise stated that it is understood once those bids come in they come back to the BOP for review.
Ron suggested a 4-week turnaround time, meaning bid requests be received in the national office by September 1. All agreed. Ron recommended changing the phrase “no later than” to “on or about”.
Section 9.5 - Vernon Henley Award
The award currently has no timeframe as the other two awards do. Judy wondered whether all three awards should have the April 1 through March 31 timeline. Others agreed that has been the assumption. However, both Denise and Judy wondered about establishing this timeline for the Henley award, given the type of award it is.
Ron suggested we need a timeframe because things lose relevance at some point; Doug agreed. Judy confirmed we currently say nothing at the beginning of Section 9 about the date for all three awards and suggested that we should formally put the same dates for all three. All agreed; unless, as Ron warned, we are violating anything in the original intent of the award which Sharon will check. [Sharon later confirmed nothing precludes our decision to set the same date for all three.]
Section 16.4 - Braille Letter A: In response to Doug’s question, when sending out the draft manual, as to specific language about braille materials being provided in UEB, it was confirmed that the language already exists to follow BANA guidelines so in fact, UEB it is.
Ron moved and Judy seconded adoption of the manual based on the understanding that it needs to be reviewed every two years.
Denise reminded us about Jeff Bishop’s concern about candidates who may want to announce candidacy at the Ccandidates’ Forum, should a vacancy occur if a current member is elected to another position; thus vacating a position. Doug suggested this may be a Goal 4 (Governance issues) matter: setting policy about elections.
Kim agreed that is where the matter should be dealt with. Denise will discuss the situation with that committee and, as Kim suggested, send them the current Candidates’ Forum section of the manual.
Section 1.3 - Denise expressed a concern that we do not in fact appoint the BOP board rep at the convention as currently stated. Doug reminded us this is part of the Constitution. Denise suggested this may be something to bring to the Constitution and Bylaws Committee.
Ron questioned which year’s date to use; Doug reminded us that we are supposed to do this in odd-numbered years; so we agreed to keep it 2015 (and try harder next time). The motion passed. Doug will send the final manual to the BOP list which should get it to everyone. Ron acknowledged all Doug’s work on the manual.
Sharon asked if this means we start using UEB in the May issue of the ACB Braille Forum. We agreed it does. Denise will add this topic to her Midyear report.
Candidates’ Page and Candidates’ Forum at Convention
Denise announced she is planning to run for a board position, meaning she can’t chair the candidates’ forum or help formulate questions. This puts a burden on Ron as this is the year the three elected positions are up for re-election. In consultation with Ron Denise was making the suggestion that they work together in formulating questions for the BOP candidates, and the three elected members would work with him to formulate questions for those running for board positions. Ron felt this gives us time though Denise reminded us that the deadline for articles is March 25 for the Forum for May. Ron can adapt the article with Denise’s input as this doesn’t give her an unfair advantage: just so she doesn’t have input about questions for the Board.
Denise will still make the awards presentation, as her name won’t be in nomination then, but as to the Editor’s Workshop, Denise felt she shouldn’t chair. Doug also shared he will be running for a board position so can’t be involved in formulating Board questions.
Doug said he’d been approached about increasing the word limit for candidate statements. BOP members strongly disagreed with this request. Sharon reminded us that when the limit was 500 words it was extremely difficult. There was overwhelming adamant agreement to keep to 300 words per question.
We need to start thinking about this, especially if we want to invite speakers. BOP members had talked about doing a joint session with PR on newsletters, but without a PR chair, this is doubtful.
Judy presented an idea about a workshop on conducting a bang-up interview or profile: involving lots of interactive activities. Doug thought we might still do something with PR. We agreed we need more time to brainstorm ideas. Denise reminded us (yet again) that we can continue this discussion on the BOP list. Ron reminded us to think about who would present.
In response to Ron’s question about how the workshop was received last year, Denise said she thought it went quite well. We had 9 registered attendees, but a few more came to the actual session. We got good questions and dialog.
Ron thought it would be cool if we could get a local journalist or radio person to talk to us; we know Prairie Home Companion doesn’t run in the summer; Judy suggested that Minnesota Public Radio is strong so perhaps one of their personalities could present.
Doug has a neighbor, Bob Fuss, who was a reporter in radio for 25 years. He has a physical disability and has just retired and written a book. We all agreed he might be fascinating. Carla reminded us that if a person can’t appear in person, we might use Skype or FaceTime. Larry reiterated that a number of affiliates are doing that these days. Several examples were given. We agreed to continue brainstorming.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:35 EST.
* Sharon's Nutshell Report for May 2016