Convention Record of the 47th annual Convention of the American Council of the Blind

Convention Record of the 47th annual Convention of the American Council of the Blind

The Opening Session of the 47th annual Convention of the American Council of the blind was called to order at 7:08 pm on July 6, 2008 at the Galt House Hotel, Louisville, Kentucky. The colors were presented by Clay Florence, a member of Boy Scout Troop 1, whose parents are graduates of the Kentucky School for the Blind. Oral Miller lead the convention in the Pledge of Allegiance. Bradley Mann sang the Star Spangled Banner and My Old Kentucky Home. Melissa Mershon welcomed ACB to Louisville on behalf of Mayor Jerry Abramson and Greater Metropolitan Louisville. She presented President Pomerantz with a mini Louisville Slugger bat and a proclamation from the mayor that the week of July 6 through 13th be proclaimed as American Council of the Blind Week.

The Convention was next greeted by the Chair of the local Host Committee, Darrell Buford.

Monica Harden, Miss Kentucky 2001, delivered a talk called "The Power of One." She reminded us that within each one of us, is the power of one, and one person can make a difference.

President Pomerantz next gave the President's Report. He told the Convention that since last August, ACB has received four bequests in excess of six figures, and Board reserves are now over 1 million dollars. He introduced Dena Wilson, ACB's new Director of Development. ACB receives just over $37,000 per year from the MMS Program. President Pomerantz urged those who have not signed up for this Program to do so.

The currency case has generated large amounts of positive publicity for ACB worldwide. Jeffrey Whitt, a consultant for the Treasury Department, will be conducting focus groups throughout Convention Week to gather our ideas on design of accessible currency.

ACB has achieved an initial victory in its legal action to require the Social Security Administration to communicate in accessible formats. The hard work of Lainey Feingold and Linda Dardarian was acknowledged. Since last July, ACB has signed agreements with 711 to install over 5,000 accessible point of sale machines; with Right Aide to make its web site accessible and install accessible points of sale machines; with the three major credit reporting agencies to make credit reports available online, as well as in accessible formats.

Pomerantz discussed HR 6320, and thanked Sargent Major Jesse Acosta, who testified on behalf of this bill.

ACB gave testimony concerning the effect that quiet cars are beginning to have on the safety and independence of blind people. ACB has drafted a resolution for the world blind union regarding this matter which will be presented in Geneva. Debbie Grubb has agreed to update ACB's Pedestrian Safety Handbook.

Pomerantz stated that another area in which ACB must exert its influence centers on the Congressional effort to drastically alter the Randolph Shepherd program. S3112 will introduce sweeping changes to the statute, some of which would be catastrophic. ACB is working closely with RSVA and the Blind Entrepreneurs Alliance to remove those harmful provisions and advocate on behalf of those proposals which will guarantee the viability of the Randolph Shepherd Act for decades to come.

ACB will be relocating its office space in Washington and Minneapolis. In August, the Minneapolis office will move into the suburbs of Minneapolis; in December, the Washington office will move to Arlington Virginia.

Pomerantz was happy to announce that the Braille Forum, ACB’s official publication, is now published 12 times per year. It is available electronically as well as in hard copy.

The House Appropriations Sub Committee on the Legislative Branch has voted to allocate $34.5 million for the National Library Service Digital Talking Book Program. If the Senate supports this and the amount remains, the transition to digital talking books will likely take three years, not six. Pomerantz stated this funding level was due in no small part to ACB’s advocacy.

Pomerantz announced that the House of representatives unexpectedly passed the ADA Restoration Act. While the Restoration Act includes some language ACB recommended addressing low vision aids, web accessibility language we proposed was not considered. It is not clear if the Senate will take up its version of the bill during this congressional session.

ACB will have a new telephone system in place by the end of the summer, and we will finally be able to offer the Washington Connection in Spanish as well as English.

Pomerantz announced that the 2009 mid year Board Meeting, President's Meeting and legislative Seminar will occur on February 20-24 at the Holiday Inn National Airport. Room rates are $119.

A limited stipend policy was approved for the Board of Directors and Board of Publications to help defray expenses incurred while attending face-to-face Board and BOP meetings.

In January, after a routine inquiry by the Board of Directors, Damar Travel notified ACB that it was terminating its contract. Subsequently, we gathered names of travel agencies around the country and issued a letter requesting proposals regarding becoming ACB’s travel agent. None of the organizations responding were able to offer the level of service ACB members have come to expect. Thus, this year we will not be offering cruises, but will continue looking for a travel agent. Dimensions in Travel, however, have offered its services to ACB members. They will donate to ACB $25 for travel booked in excess of $1,500 and where the person booking indicates their affiliation with ACB.

He thanked members for their support over the past year, and reminded us that we are only as strong as our affiliates, and as each individual in each affiliate. He committed to foster the democratic legacy left to us by our founders. He stated that it is up to every one of us to strengthen and grow ACB in order to nurture this legacy. His vision for ACB’s future is based on our history and heritage which upholds the twin ideals of true democracy and an abiding belief in the individual abilities and capabilities of blind people. Pomerantz concluded by saying, “The American Council of the Blind stands poised on the threshold of real greatness as the preeminent consumer voice of all blind and visually impaired persons, not just of a fortunate elite. I trust that you will all agree that this is a vision worthy of ACb and that you will help promote this vision where ever and when ever possible to everyone you know.”

The DKM First TIMERS awards were presented to Mary Montgomery from Alaska and Nia Green from South Carolina.

Next, twenty-two life memberships were presented. President Pomerantz reminded the body that in 2005, the Board voted that from 2005, the next 50 subsequent life membership donations would be applied to the ACB Scholarship Fund. We are $5,000 away from the goal of $50,000.

Motion: adoption of the standing rules for convention; carried.

Jerry Annunzio next presented the first Credentials Committee Report. Two affiliates’ vote counts required adjustment downward primarily due to lateness of submission of materials or dues. Maine was allotted two votes, and were reduced to one. AAVIA’s votes were reduced from 3 to 2.5.

Motion: adoption of the 2008 Convention program; carried.

Call of the Roll: Marlaina Lieberg, ACB Secretary, Burien, WA. All affiliates except Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Montana and Wyoming responded. The session recessed at 10:05 pm.

The Second General Session of the 47th Annual Convention of the American Council of the blind was called to order on Monday, July 7, 2008 at 8:37 a.m. The Pledge of Allegiance was lead by John Fleming and all veterans present.

Adam Ruschival, President of the KENTUCKY Council of the blind, officially welcomed the Convention.

The second Credentials Committee Report was given; there were no appeals.

Motion: approval of the roll call of affiliates, conducted by the Secretary Sunday evening that identified the voting delegates and their affiliates, together with the life members the members at large and subsequent registrations be the official voting body of the ACB 2008 Convention; carried.

Chris Gray next reported on the American Center on blindness and Visual Impairment. After a brief history of the Center's creation, he reported that the provisional Board created the structure for the Center, and since February, 2007, a full governing Board has been established. A set of bylaws is in its final review stage and when these become final, the American Center can begin to create a voice for all the blind, along with an atmosphere of cooperation and accomplishment.

Dr. Otis Stephens presented the Constitution and Bylaws Committee report. A reading of two proposed changes to the Constitution was next conducted. These are as follows:

Article II, the preparatory sentence. Original Language: The purpose of the American Council of the Blind is to strive for the betterment of our total community.

Proposed language: In addition to purposes stated by the Articles of Incorporation, the American Council of the Blind will strive to improve the well-being of all blind and visually impaired people.

Section F Article II.

Original language: . . . by encouraging and assisting the blind, especially the newly blind, to develop their abilities and potentialities and to assume their responsible place in the community.

Proposed language: . . . by encouraging and assisting all blind people to maximize their abilities so that they might assume their rightful places in the community.

Article IV Section g.

Original language: No Officer of this organization shall be elected for more than three consecutive terms to the same office and no Director shall be elected for more than two consecutive terms. However, if an individual is initially elected as an officer or director to a term which is half or less of its assigned duration, such individual shall still be eligible for election to three additional consecutive terms as an Officer, or two additional consecutive full terms as a Director. All members of the Board of Directors shall be legally blind.

Proposed language: Officers who serve three consecutive full two-year terms in the same office, and Directors who serve two consecutive full four-year terms on the Board of Directors shall not be eligible to serve in the next subsequent term for the same position just served. Any Officer or Director who serves more than half of the assigned duration of the term shall have the term counted as a full term served. All members of the Board of Directors shall be legally blind.,

Dr. Stephens noted that a vote on these proposed changes will occur later in Convention week.

Brenda Dillon reported on this year’s ACB Convention Sponsorships.

Ruby, $10,000: AT&T: cost of volunteer services.

Opal $6,000: The Mississippi Council of the Blind: all activities of the YAC.

Onyx $5,000: Freedom Scientific: the Brailling of the Convention Program, and ten copies of SF Reader for the auction at another $799.50 value.

HumanWare: half the cost of the production of the pre-registration forms, a BrailleNote M-Power and 4 victor Reader Streams for the auction, all of which is valued at $5,771.

Regal Entertainment: the entire operation of the new Kids Club for children age three to five, and 25 movie passes for an additional value of $237.50.

Topaz, $2,500: Guide Dogs for the Blind: three issues of the Convention newspaper.

GW Micro: the Exhibit Area Enhanced guide, and a copy of Window-eyes Professional 6.1 valued at $895.00.

The Louisville Downtown Lions: the purchase of additional assistive listening devices and other a/v expenses.

Maxi-Aids: three days of the Convention newspaper, and 4 items for the auction valued at another $400.00.

Thompson West: the Information Desk.

Pearl, $1,000: Linda Dardarian and Lainey Feingold: the Information Access Workshop.

Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation: one day at the ACB Café.

Maxi-Aids: one day at the ACB Café.

Motorola: the Career Workshop at a level of $1,500.

RSVA: the Scholarship Dinner and the NABS luncheon. We had $53,500 in cash sponsorships.

Vehicle Donation Processing Center: President’s meeting.

Wells Fargo Business Bank: expenses of one scholarship winner.

Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind: related auction expenses.

This year, ACB received a total of $53,500 in cash and much more in in-kind services.

Nola McKinney and Janet Dickleman next presented awards. New Mexico received the affiliate growth award. The James R. Olsen Distinguished Service Award was presented to Jim Kutch, President of the Seeing Eye.

Paul Edwards, Chair of the Board of Publications, presented the Ned E. Freeman award to Alicia Wells of North Carolina for her Braille Forum article “Tainted Crowns Mixed Feelings Mixed Messages” which appeared in the July-August 2007 edition.

Edwards presented the first annual Hollis Liggett award to The Blind Californian, which was accepted by Bernice Kandarian, Chair of the BC Editorial Board.

Ron Milliman next reported from the Public Relations Committee. The Committee has developed a press release handbook, and Milliman urged conventioneers to pick up copies in alternative formats from the Information desk.

Pomerantz then turned the gavel over to Kim Charlson, First Vice President, Watertown, MA to present the day's Convention program. The following presentations were heard:

Louisville -- Ali, Bats, Chicken and More: Steve Wiser, author, architect, 3-time President of the Louisville Historical League, Louisville, KY

Our Organizational Colleagues to the North: John Rae, First Vice President, Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians, Toronto, Canada

An American Living and Working in India: Jean Parker, Independent Radio Journalist, Pune, India

Update on Structured Negotiations: Lainey Feingold, Attorney At Law, Berkeley, CA

An IRS Employment Initiative and Useful Tax Rebate Information: Richard Keeling, Senior Tax Analyst, IRS Office of Stakeholder Partnerships, Education and Communication, Atlanta, GA; and Lee Giurlanda, Chief Accessibility Coordinator, IRS, Richmond, VA

ACB Recreation Zone, Oral Miller, Washington, DC

The Convention recessed at noon.

The third General Session convened on Tuesday, July 8, 2008 at 8:34 a.m. The Pledge of Allegiance was lead by the YAC participants, with the guidance of Patty Cox, Louisville, KY.

Brenda Dillon announced more sponsorships, including platinum, gold and silver sponsors.

MJ Schmidt gave the Nominating Committee Report. The slate of candidates reported out was as follows: David Trott, Billie Jean Keith, Michael Garrett, Berl Colley, and Marcia Farrow for the five Board positions. For the Board of Publications, Judy Jackson, Charlie Hodge and Ken Stuart.

Richard Via, President of BITS, presented the John Mattioli Award to Larry Skutchan.

Judy Jackson, Chair of the Resolutions Committee, presented two resolutions.

Motion: to adopt R-08-11, regarding access to airport kiosks, carried.

Motion: to adopt R-08-05, development of Presidential Candidates Questionnaire, carried.

Pomerantz next turned the proceedings over to Brenda Dillon, ACB Second Vice President, Hermitage, TN. The following presentations were heard:

One Giant Step Toward Accessible Currency -- ACB's Victory in Appellate Court: Jeffrey A. Lovitky, Attorney At Law, Washington, DC

Mr. Jeff Witt, Consultant to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, briefly spoke to request input from the Convention concerning tactile currency.

2008 American Council of the Blind Scholarship Presentations: Patty Slaby, Chair, ACB Scholarship Committee, Prior Lake, MN. After scholarships were presented, ACB of Indiana presented a check for $200 to the James R Olson Scholarship. The Georgia Council of the Blind presented a check for $500 to the scholarship fund.

What's New at Bookshare.org: John Glass, Customer Support Manager, Bookshare.org, Saratoga, CA

The Availability of Accessible Recreation Equipment: Darren Burton, National Program Associate, Technology, American Foundation for the Blind, Huntington, WV. Paul Schroeder, Vice President of Programs and Policy, American Foundation for the Blind, presented for Burton, who had to leave unexpectedly.

The Honorable Ben Chandler, US House of Representatives, 6th District, Lexington, KY

The Convention recessed at noon.

The fourth General session of the 47th Annual Convention of the American Council of the Blind convened on Wednesday, July 9, at 8:34 A.M. The pledge of Allegiance was lead by Paul Edwards, Chair, Board of Publications, Miami, FL.

Dr. Otis Stephens gave the first reading of a proposed Constitutional revision as follows:

Article V. Section C. Current Language: It shall be the duty of the Board of Publications to approve or disapprove employment by the Executive Director of the Editor of the Braille Forum, and to establish editorial standards and policies applicable to all American Council of the Blind communication formats including but not limited to periodicals, ACB Convention programs, ACB Brochures, ACB website, and ACB Radio.

Proposed language to add to existing: For purposes of managing ACB’s general discussion online listserves, the Board may appoint an individual to serve as list moderator who shall see that these listserves operate in accordance with established policies.

If the above proposed change is adopted, it has been recommended that Bylaw 6, Section O. be deleted. Bylaw 6, Section O. reads as follows: Internet Oversight Committee. Each year within 60 days after the close of the annual convention an internet oversight committee shall be appointed composed of seven members. One member must be a member of the ACB Board of Directors chosen by that Board and one member must be a member of the Board of Publications chosen by that board. The President shall appoint the remaining members. The chairperson of the committee will be the moderator of one of the ACB online lists and cannot be the president or the member chosen by either the Board of Directors or the Board of Publications. The chairperson of the Committee shall serve as an ex officio member of the Board of Publications. The Internet Oversight Committee shall: 1. formulate and promulgate rules by which ACB’s online lists are managed with the primary purpose of such rules being to promote the free exchange of information and to present the American Council of the Blind in a positive manner.

2. Advise and assist ACB’s list moderators with carrying out the policies set forth by such rules.

3. Act as an oversight body making recommendations to the ACB Board of Directors and the ACB Board of Publications, concerning ACB’s organizational presence on the internet.

Pomerantz indicated that voting on all proposed Constitutional changes would occur on Thursday.

Pomerantz then turned the proceedings over to Marlaina Lieberg, ACB Secretary, Burien, WA. The following presentations were heard:

The New NAPVI/AFB Family Website: Susan Laventure, Executive Director, National Association of Parents of Children with Visual Impairments, Watertown, MA

Observations on the Status of the Americans with Disabilities Act: Chris Kucyznski, Assistant Legal Counsel, ADA Policy Division, US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Washington DC

Building the Dream -- Collection Development at Your National Library: Frank Kurt Cylke, Director, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress, Washington, DC; and Dr. Edmund O'Reilly, Collection Development Section Head, Materials Development division, Library of congress, Washington, DC

An Encore Performance: Mitzi Friedlander, Talking Book Narrator, American Printing House for the Blind, Louisville, KY

The Marlaina Donahugh Show: H.R.6320, an interview with top news makers. Marlaina Lieberg, ACB Secretary, Burien, WA; Mark Richert, Arlington, VA; Eric Bridges, Arlington, VA, in place of The Digital TV Converter Box Program: Kathie Klass, Ombudsman, Television Converter Coupon Program, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, US Department of Commerce, Washington, DC

Accessibilityisaright.org -- What's It All About: Mike Calvo, CEO, Serotek Corporation, Orlando, FL

The Convention recessed at noon.

The Fifth General Session of the 47th Annual Convention of the American Council of the Blind was called to order on Thursday, July 10 at 8:35 a.m. Mary Montgomery, Anchorage, AK, lead the pledge of allegiance.

The LUA delegate, Barry LaVine, asked that the record reflect that Peggy Garrett should be that affiliate’s alternate. The record was so corrected by the Secretary.

Jeff Thom, Sacramento, CA gave a report regarding the Voting Taskforce. He stressed that voting is one of the greatest underpinnings of this organization, and therefore the goal of the Taskforce to provide the body with as much information as possible. The Taskforce looked only at secret balloting, which might one day substitute for the standing vote. He indicated that if possible during the Convention, a mock secret ballot vote might be taken. Four calls were held to solicit input from the membership on this issue of secret ballot voting. He reported on low tech methods such as tarring corners off paper, poking holes in paper, etc. High tech solutions might include each badge having a computer chip which could be read by a scanner. One down side of secret ballot is the increased chance for fraud. Some felt a secret a ballot is not important. The lack of a standing vote can make it more difficult for affiliates to cast their affiliate vote. Some felt secret balloting would take more time than a standing vote due to collection and tabulation. The work of the Taskforce will continue.

Dr. Otis Stephens conducted a second reading of original and proposed language to Article II as described in Monday’s General Session.

Motion: adoption of amendments, carried.

Next, Article IV Section G, a proposal to substitute the current language as described in Monday’s General Session was read a second time.

Motion: Adoption of amendment, carried.

Dr. Stephens next gave the second reading of original language and proposed changes for Article V. Section C, as described in Wednesday’s General Session, as well as removal of Section O. of Bylaw 6.

Motion: to add new language to Article V Section C, required a record vote and did not carry as it failed to receive a 2/3 majority, after a motion to refer this amendment to the Internet Oversight Committee and Board of Publications for joint review also failed. During this record vote, South Carolina identified its presence and delegate.

Motion: In the preparation of the Constitution and Bylaws for publication and distribution, the Secretary shall be authorized under the supervision of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee, to correct technical errors in punctuation and spelling, so long as such corrections do not alter the substantive meaning of any provision of the Constitution and Bylaws, carried.

The Hawaii delegation next offered ACB a check for $200.

Pomerantz next turned the proceedings over to Mike Godino, ACB Treasurer, Malverne, New York. Godino introduced Melanie Brunson, ACB’s Executive Director, who presented the Nelson Malbone Award, presented to individuals who serve people who are blind. The Award was presented to Ron Heppler.

The following presentations were heard:

Distance Learning/Online Training: Panel -- Brian Charlson, Vice President, Computer Training Services, The Carroll Center, Watertown, MA; Charles E. Young, President, Hadley School for the Blind, Winnetka, IL; Dr. William Penrod, Director, University of Louisville Teacher Preparation Program for Visual Impairments and Orientation and Mobility, Louisville, KY

Stem Cell Research and How It Is Used to Cure Eye Diseases: Dr. Douglas C. Dean, Professor of Ocular Molecular Oncology, Robert and Gretchen Rounsavall Foundation, Louisville, KY

Mike Godino next gave the Treasurer’s Report. Highlights of that report include:

2007 expenses: budgeted $1,027,194; actual amount spent $922,949.

2007 revenue: budgeted $1,055,200; actuals received $2,090,291. Godino ran through various categories of expenditures and receipts, and concluded by announcing that ACB’s assets are currently at $2,137,467. Pomerantz indicated that this report will be filed for audit. The Convention recessed at noon.

The sixth General Session of the 47th Annual Convention of the American Council of the Blind was called to order on Friday, July 11 at 8:35 a.m. Eric Frye of Louisville, KY led the pledge of allegiance.

Pomerantz announced that 24 persons have newly subscribed to the MMS program, and 16 subscribers have increased their contributions.

Michael Garrett, Chair of ACB Enterprises and Services, next reported. He explained that ACBES is a wholly own subsidiary of ACB which operates seven stores specializing in the sale of previously owned merchandise. Stores are being upgraded in appearance and equipment. Two stores have closed, and one new store has opened in Detroit. Garrett concluded by stating that the goal of ACBES is to continue to be a major contributor to the resources and financial stability of ACB.

Brenda Dillon, TN announced the estimated total from the 2008 ACB Auction which was $24,525.

Melanie Brunson, Executive Director of ACB, next gave her report. She stated that at the end of July, Sharon Lovering will have been a part of ACB’s staff for fifteen years. In August, Brunson will observe her tenth anniversary as a member of the ACB staff. In the fall, Patricia Castillo will celebrate ten years of employment with ACB. She shared that the DC Court of Appeals found in favor of ACB in the currency suit. ACB has had financial victories as well. Thus far this year, ACB received $50,000 in grant funding. Dena Wilson, ACB’s Development Director, has updated ACB’s profile on charitable giving websites. She is also updating our profile with the Better Business Bureau. In response to a resolution past last year, ACB now has a seat on the FCC Consumer Advisory Committee; Eric Bridges holds that seat. She announced that the mid year Board of Directors, President’s and Legislative Seminar meetings will be held from February 20 through February 24, at the Holiday Inn National Airport in Arlington, VA.

Carla Ruschival gave the Convention Committee report. She stated all numbers are up this year. Our banquet figures are higher than they have been since 2003. The merging of the volunteer, information and registration desks seemed to work out well and make it easier for all conventioneers. Twenty-four thousand registration forms were delivered to the Post Office, and ACB was billed third class bulk rate non profit. Somehow, the Post Office set aside a major portion of these packets, and until ACB took active steps to get them to locate these packets, many were not mailed. Carla thanked everyone involved in the Convention, from tour volunteers to the ACB webmaster. The Committee is looking at eliminating the paper form at onsite registration. The dates for the 2009 ACB Convention in Orlando are July 4 through 11, 2009 at the Rosen Center Hotel.

Elections were held for three positions on the Board of Publications. The Nominating Committee reported the name of Ken Stuart, New York. Three calls were made for other nominations from the floor.

Motion: close nominations and elect Ken Stuart by acclamation, carried.

The National Association of Blind Teachers informed the Secretary that henceforth, their delegate would be Ninetta Garner, West Virginia, and the record was so corrected.

The Nominating Committee put forth the name of Judy Jackson, Lubbock, TX for position number two. Three calls for other nominations from the floor were made.

Motion: close nominations and elect Judy Jackson by acclamation, carried.

The Nominating Committee put forth the name of Charles Hodge for position number three. After one call for additional nominations, Marcia Dresser, Massachusetts, was nominated from the floor. Two additional calls for nominations were made.

Motion: move to close nominations, carried.

While votes were being counted, the Convention considered Resolution 08-04 regarding the website accessibilities of airlines such as Jet Blue Airways.

Motion: to adopt R-08-04, carried.

Resolution 08-07, worldwide reading materials, was next considered by the Convention.

Motion: to adopt R-08-07, carried.

Judy Jackson, Resolutions Chair, next explained that three resolutions were withdrawn by their makers. R-08-08, dealt with receiving Lifeline bills in Braille from AT&T and Bell South. Eric Bridges will work with the South Carolina member who submitted this resolution to clarify the issue. R-08-15, dealing with website accessibility, was withdrawn because it is covered in an upcoming resolution.

After all votes in the election between Hodge and Dresser were counted, Dresser was voted to serve on the Board of Publications.

The next set of elections was held, these being for the five open ACB Board of Directors positions. The Nominating Committee offered the name of Michael Garrett, TX. Three calls for other nominations were made.

Motion: close nominations and elect Michael Garrett by acclamation, carried.

The Nominating Committee offered the name of Berl Colley, WA. Three calls for other nominations were made.

Motion: close nominations and elect Berl Colley by acclamation, carried.

The Nominating Committee offered the name of Billie Jean Keith, VA. Three calls for other nominations were made.

Motion: nominations close and Billie Jean Keith be elected by acclamation, carried.

Josephine Doffini, New York, offered a $100 contribution to the Braille Forum in memory of Bud Keith.

The nominating Committee offered the name of David Trott, Alabama. Three calls for other nominations were made.

Motion: close nominations and elect David Trott by acclamation, carried.

The Nominating Committee offered the name of Marsha Farrow, Georgia. Three calls for other nominations were made.

Motion: close nominations and elect Marsha Farrow by acclamation, carried.

The Convention next considered R-08-02 dealing with the ADA and issues of access regarding the blind and visually impaired.

Motion: adopt R-08-02, carried.

The next resolution considered was R-08-06, dealing with when and what to announce on bus routes.

Motion: to refer R-08-06 to the Transportation Taskforce and Environmental Access Committee with direction that these two entities work together and develop a recommendation to be placed before the ACB Board no later than ninety days after the end of the 2008 ACB Convention, carried.

Resolution 08-12 dealing with H.R.6320 was next considered. During discussion, it was suggested that the phrase “people with deaf-blindness” be changed to “people who are deaf-blind” and the Chair agreed to change the wording. A motion to refer this back to the Resolutions Committee was defeated. A motion to change the word “retard” to “delay” was defeated.

Motion: adopt R-08-12 carried.

Resolution 08-13 dealing with Quiet Cars and HR5734.

Motion: adopt R-08-13 carried.

Motion: adopt 08-14 carried.

Motion: adopt the thank you resolutions to: our volunteers, the host committees and the hotel carried.

Motion: adopt R-08-16 urging BANA to make a thorough study of NUBS and provide a report in 2009 to the Convention carried.

Motion: adopt r-08-17 carried.

Motion: adopt R-08-18 carried.

Old Business: None.

New Business: Request that the BOP, PR Committee and staff create a document outlining ACB's achievements over the past 20 years.

Request to commend NLS for its prompt posting of the steroids report in major league baseball President Pomerantz will draft a letter to NLS to this effect.

The convention adjourned at 3:34 pm

Marlaina Lieberg
Secretary

Attachment: Compendium of 2008 Resolutions

2008 Resolutions

r0802 Americans With Disabilities Act Blindness and Visual Impairment

Submitted by: Paul Edwards and Alan Peterson

SUMMARY:

1. This organization instructs the officers, directors and staff to convey to the disability community, the Department of Justice and Congress our deep-seated dissatisfaction with the current state of the ADA.

2. This resolution further instructs its leaders to, at a minimum, withhold support from, or if appropriate, oppose future ADA legislation or proposed regulations unless such revision contains a clear and unequivocal recognition of the rights of people who are blind and visually impaired by specifically addressing issues of concern to our community.

3. This resolution further resolves that examples of such appropriate extensions of the coverage of the ADA or its implementing regulations should be included. (See resolve clause for specific examples.)

4. Finally, this resolution resolves that the officers, directors, and staff are directed to broadly disseminate the sense of this resolution to the disability community and to selected members of Congress.

WHEREAS, The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, is a civil rights law designed to provide equal access for people with a broad range of disabilities; and

WHEREAS, considerable detail of what such access requires is written into both the law itself and its implementing regulations as they relate to people with mobility impairments and to people who are deaf and hard of hearing; and

WHEREAS, by contrast, there are very few provisions of the ADA and its implementing regulations that provide specific protections for people who are blind and visually impaired; and

WHEREAS, neither the disability community, the Department of Justice, nor the Congress have taken seriously repeated demands by individuals who are blind or visually impaired, and organizations who represent them that the ADA be appropriately amended or applied so that the right of protection under the act for people who are blind and visually impaired, is recognized through the development of specific statutory provisions or regulations comparable to those which protect people with mobility impairments and people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel, in Louisville, Kentucky, on this the 11th day of July 2008, that this organization instructs the officers, directors and staff to convey to the disability community, the Department of Justice and Congress our deep-seated dissatisfaction with the current state of the ADA; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this organization hereby instructs its leaders to, at a minimum, withhold support, from, or if appropriate oppose future ADA legislation or proposed regulations unless such revision contains a clear and unequivocal recognition of the rights of people who are blind and visually impaired by specifically addressing issues of concern to our community; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that examples of such appropriate extensions of the coverage of the ADA or its implementing regulations include, among others, the recognition of web-only internet sites as places of public accommodation; access to home appliances and other electronic information; equipment and devices provided by state or local governments or places of public accommodation; parity in paratransit eligibility criteria; the inclusion of specific elements concerning the needs of blind and visually impaired people when regulating access to places of public entertainment including stadia; and clearly requiring the provision of information in alternate formats by all places of public accommodation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that officers, directors, and staff of this organization are directed to broadly disseminate the sense of this resolution throughout the disability community and to selected members of Congress.

adopted 7-11-08

r0803 Online Distribution of RFB&D User Authentication Key

Submitted By: Information Access Committee

SUMMARY:

1. This organization, through its Information Access Committee, engage in discussion with RFB&D to immediately institute changes in the User Authetication Key purchasing policies so that members can download and install the UAK at time of purchase.

2. The Information Access Committee strongly urge RFB&D in writing that the policy changes regarding the UAK be implemented within 90 days of the close of the 2008 ACB National Convention. ACB will offer RFB&D through the Braille Forum, ACB Radio and its list serves, assistance in publizing the proposed change in the new UAK purchase policy.

WHEREAS, Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D) requires that its members obtain and install a User Authentication Key (UAK) before Daisy formatted digital materials produced by RFB&D can be played on the Victor Reader Stream, Book Port, PlexTalk and other such daisy-capable devices; and

WHEREAS, individuals wishing to purchase the UAK are required to wait for a CD to be mailed to them rather than given online access to download such keys and install the UAK at time of purchase; and

WHEREAS, the CD that RFB&D provides, directs the user to go online and download the UAK for installation into the daisy-capable device; and

WHEREAS, many of RFB&D's readers are students whose need for books is urgent; and

WHEREAS, having to wait for a CD from RFB&D causes an unnecessary delay for individuals who have purchased the UAK to access RFB&D materials for their daisy-capable devices.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel, on this the 9th day of July, 2008, that this organization, through its Information Access Committee, engage in discussion with RFB&D to immediately institute changes in the UAK purchasing policies such that members can download and install the UAK at the time of purchase; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Information Access Committee strongly urge in writing that RFB&D have these UAK policy changes implemented within ninety (90) days of the close of the 2008 ACB National Convention, and further offer to RFB&D that ACB will, through the Braille Forum, ACB Radio and its listserves, assist RFB&D by publicizing the proposed change in the new UAK purchase policy.

adopted- 7-09-08

R0804 JetBlue Airways

Submitted by: California Council of the Blind

SUMMARY:

1. This organization calls upon airlines that have thus far failed to ensure full website access, and who have failed to provide telephonic alternatives to disabled customers so that they may receive Internet pricing and offers, and make reservations online, to promptly put such accommodations into effect.

WHEREAS, people who are blind or visually impaired have a right to equal access to services provided on the Internet; and

WHEREAS, a number of airlines, including Continental and Southwest, have either improved their websites so as to make them accessible to and useable by persons who are blind or visually impaired or established a toll-free telephone number whereby people who are blind and visually impaired can obtain Internet fares without additional charge; and

WHEREAS, other airlines such as JetBlue Airways, have neither made their website accessible to or useable by people who are blind and visually impaired nor established a toll-free telephone number to provide equity and availability of pricing offers or online reservations.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel, Louisville, Kentucky, on this 11th day of July, 2008, that this organization calls upon airlines that have thus far failed to ensure full website access, and who have failed to provide telephonic alternatives to disabled customers so that they may receive Internet pricing and offers, and make reservations online, to promptly put such accommodations in to effect.

adopted 7/11/2008

r0805 Presidential Candidates Questionnaire

Submitted by: Larry Johnson

SUMMARY:

1. The National Office of ACB be directed to prepare a Presidential Candidates Questionnaire to be sent to Senators Barack Obama and John McCain requesting their positions on certain issues. (See detailed list of issues in resolve clause.)

2. The responses to this questionnaire be made known to the membership of ACB no later than October 1st, 2008.

WHEREAS, American voters who are blind or visually impaired have both the need and the right to know where the two presumptive presidential nominees from the major parties stand on issues of specific concern to persons who are blind or visually impaired in order to make informed decisions when going to the polls this November.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel, Louisville, Kentucky, on this the 8th day of July, 2008, that the National Office of ACB be directed to prepare a Presidential Candidates Questionnaire to be sent to Senators Barack Obama and John McCain requesting these candidates positions on issues such as: Identifiable paper currency, the potential development of Federal regulations regarding hybrid and "quiet" vehicles, accessibility of commercial websites, telecommunications and video programming accessibility, Medicare coverage for low vision devices and other durable medical equipment, GPS and other mobility devices, computer access technology products and software used by people who are blind or visually impaired and any other issues deemed relevant; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the responses to this questionnaire be made known to the membership of ACB no later than October 1, 2008.

adopted 7-8-08

r0806 What Should be Announced in a Fixed Route Stop Announcement Program.

Submitted by: California Council of the Blind

SUMMARY: Resolution has been jointly referred to the Environmental Access Committee and the Transportation Access Task Force. (See end of resolution for details.)

WHEREAS, the Americans with Disabilities Act, (ADA) regulations, 49 CFRIEND Part 37, Section 37-167(b) requires “that on fixed route systems, the entity shall announce stops as follows: (1) The entity shall announce at least at transfer points with other fixed routes, other major intersections and destination points, and intervals along a route sufficient to permit individuals with visual impairments or other disabilities to be oriented to their location. (2) The entity shall announce any stop on request of an individual with a disability"; and

WHEREAS, fixed route system operators have been challenged by the lack of guidance by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) as to what are "other major intersections" and what is meant by "intervals" in Section 37-167(b1); and

WHEREAS, organizations such as the American Public Transit Association (APTA), and the transit agencies it represents have independently attempted to develop their own standards/recommended practices for calling out stop announcements; and

WHEREAS, as a consequence of these separate attempts, there is still no uniformity in stop announcements made among fixed route systems. The lack of uniformity fails to provide the necessary predictability for passengers who rely on these announcements to become oriented to their locations; and

WHEREAS, the transit industry is beginning to recognize the necessity to include persons with disabilities in the process of developing the standards and recommended practices that can bring about uniform stop announcements on a national level.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel, in Louisville, Kentucky, on this 11th day of July, 2008, that this organization urge all public and private entities that operate fixed route bus and/or passenger rail systems for public use to include in their fixed route stop announcement program all of the following requirements:

(1) The fixed route stop announcement program must be an integral part of an overall customer service program to provide safe, reliable and accessible services to all passengers;

(2) The stops that are announced must be consistent whether it is made manually by the vehicle operator or through an automated voice annunciation system (AVAS);

(3) All stops must be announced, regardless of the time of day or day of the week.

(4) When not technically feasible to announce all stops, use the following minimum criteria:

A. Stops which serve as transfer points between transit agency’s routes (bus or rail.)

B. In order to comply with the ADA requirement to announce stops at major intersections and destinations:

1. Announce stops which serve major attractions, which includes shopping centers, medical social service centers, major educational facilities, government offices, recreational facilities areas, etc.

2. Announce stops where the intersection or mid-block crosswalk location is signalized/controlled (light, stop sign, yield sign, school crossing, etc.)

C. In order to comply with the ADA requirement to announce stops at sufficient intervals to permit individuals with visual impairments or other disabilities to be oriented to their location:

1. Make an announcement after the first stop after a route makes a turn from one street to another.

2. Make an announcement after the first stop after no stops have been announced for more than 1/4 mile.

3. Make an announcement at any stop which a rider requests the vehicle operator to announce; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, when developing guidelines for a Stop Announcement Program that consideration be given to:

(1) Announcing a second street name when intersecting roadways have different names on each side of the intersection;

(2) Not announcing the starting point of a line;

(3) Using a landmark (e.g., convention center, museum, etc.) as the stop when there is no cross street at that location;

(4) Adding informational nomenclature to street name when appropriate, (e.g., 16th Streets Memorial Auditorium);

(5) Combining major destination points in announcement when appropriate (e.g., Old Towns Central Plaza);

(6) Vehicle operators announcing each required stop just after the vehicle departs the prior stop.

Recommendation: resolutions committee recommends that this resolution be jointly referred to the environmental access committee and the transportation access task force with direction that those entities consult with each other and prepare recommendations within ninety days after the end of this convention to the ACB board of directors.

referred 7-11-08

r0807 Worldwide Reading Materials

Submitted By: Iowa Council of the United Blind

SUMMARY:

1. The officers, directors, and staff of this organization are hereby directed to work collaboratively with the World Blind Union to seek creative ways to increase the flow of books in accessible formats throughout the world.

2. A report of the steps taken by this organization over the next year outlining the objectives of this resolution be presented at the 2009 convention.

WHEREAS, books can now be made available in a broad range of formats because of the existence of technological options which allow such books to be recorded, stored and distributed utilizing computers and the world wide web; and

WHEREAS, for many blind people throughout the world, reading material in alternate formats is still difficult to obtain and limited in quantity because of restrictions that prohibit the free flow of accessible books from country to country.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, on this the 11th day of July, 2008, that the officers, directors and staff of this organization are hereby directed to work collaboratively with the World Blind Union to seek creative ways to increase the flow of books in accessible formats throughout the world; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a report of the steps taken by this organization over the next year to forward the objectives of this resolution be presented at the 2009 convention of the American Council of the Blind to be held in Orlando, Florida in July.

adopted 7-11-08

r0810 Stadia Accessibility

Submitted by: Bay State Council of the Blind and Florida Council of the Blind

SUMMARY:

1. The President of this organization in consultation with the Chair of the Environmental Access Committee, shall appoint a task force to develop, within 90 days, a list of appropriate accommodations constituting a model policy that would make the experience of attending stadia events as accessible to blind and visually impaired people as they are for people with other disabilities whose accommodations are typically recognized and included in the design and operation of stadia.

2. The officers, directors and staff of ACB are instructed to collaborate with other blindness related organizations to advance the process of getting these model policies adopted at all stadia.

WHEREAS, the Americans with Disabilities Act is designed to assure that all people with disabilities have equal access to all events held at stadia; and

WHEREAS, there are specific needs that blind and visually impaired people have with regard to access to events held in stadia which are currently not addressed in detail in the law; and

WHEREAS, there is currently no specific mechanism for developing accommodations that would make attending stadia events more equitable and appropriate for people who are blind or visually impaired; and

WHEREAS, in the absence of regulatory detail, all decisions concerning seating and other auxiliary aids and services are made by the operators of facilities which results in procedures that differ markedly from stadium to stadium.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, on this the 9th day of July, 2008, that the President of this organization, in consultation with the Chair of the Environmental Access Committee, shall appoint a task force to develop, within ninety days, a list of appropriate accommodations constituting a model policy that would make the experience of attending stadia events as accessible to blind and visually impaired people as they are for people with other disabilities whose accommodations are typically recognized and included in the design and operation of stadia; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the officers, directors and staff of the American Council of the Blind are hereby instructed to collaborate with other organizations of and for the blind to advance the process of getting these model policies adopted at all stadia.

adopted 7-09-08

R0811 Airport Kiosks

Submitted by: Resolutions Committee

SUMMARY:

1. This organization strongly urges airlines to make Kiosks at airports accessible to and useable by people who are blind or visually impaired.

2. The officers, directors and staff of this organization take steps to work with the airline industry to bring about this result.

3. This organization make available to the airline industry the assistance of the ACB Information Access Committee.

4. Should such advocacy efforts prove unsuccessful, the officers, directors and staff of this organization explore other courses of action to end this clear violation of the ADA.

WHEREAS, air travelers must possess a boarding pass prior to going through mandatory airport security; and

WHEREAS, many travelers use airline kiosks to obtain their boarding passes; and

WHEREAS, kiosks provide an effective and efficient method of accomplishing this task; and

WHEREAS, these kiosks are not designed in such a manner as to make them usable by persons who are blind or have low vision; and

WHEREAS, readily accessible technology exists to make these kiosks usable by persons who are blind or have low vision, and thus, such inaccessibility is a clear violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at Galt House Hotel, in Louisville, Kentucky, on this 8th day of July, 2008, that this organization strongly urge airlines to make kiosks at airports accessible to and useable by people who are blind or visually impaired; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the officers, directors, and staff of this organization take steps to work with the airline industry to bring about this result; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this organization make available to the airline industry the assistance of the ACB Information Access Committee; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that, should such advocacy efforts prove unsuccessful, the officers, directors, and staff of this organization explore other courses of action to end this clear violation of the ADA.

adopted 7-8-08

r0812 H.R. 6320

Submitted by: Resolutions Committee SUMMARY:

1. This organization is committed to the enactment of comprehensive federal telecommunications and video programming legislation, especially the unique needs of people who are blind or visually impaired.

2. To be truly comprehensive such federal legislation must, at a minimum, expressly address public policy objectives. (See objectives in resolve clause.)

3. This organization expects and demands of its coalition partners as a condition of ACB’s continued participation in such coalition, their unwavering commitment to the inclusion and retention of provisions described above.

WHEREAS, the transmission and receipt of text data with wireless and other telecommunications devices has become a primary, means of communication used in commerce, education, the workplace, and social interaction; and WHEREAS, failure to immediately address the need for audible and other access to such text data-related communication will irreparably retard, if not irreversibly restrict, the equal and full participation of people with vision loss in school, work and community; and WHEREAS, the very lives and well-being of people with vision loss are put at profound risk when emergency information is broadcast without an audible means whereby on-screen-displayed text and other information is made fully accessible; and WHEREAS, in addition, modest requirements for video description of television programming were struck down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, resulting in a dramatic diminution in currently available described programming; and WHEREAS, video programming devices, from televisions to digital video recorders to iPods, are increasingly incorporating inaccessible user interfaces which effectively lock out people with vision loss from the use and full enjoyment of such devices and the programming they offer; and WHEREAS, people who are deaf-blind may need expensive and often hard to find technology to enable them to engage in even the most basic communication; and WHEREAS, Representatives Edward Markey (D-MA) and Heather Wilson (R-NM) recently introduced H.R. 6320, the Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2008, landmark legislation intended to ensure that people with disabilities, especially those with visual and hearing disabilities, are not left behind as new Internet-related and other digital and video technologies proliferate; and WHEREAS, the American Council of the Blind has endorsed H.R. 6320 and is working shoulder to shoulder with our partners to pass the array of important provisions contained therein that significantly benefit the blindness, deafness, and other communities; and WHEREAS, some lone but influential voices from among ACB’s coalition partners are questioning, among other things, the inclusion, and therefore the comparability in importance of, text data communications access for people with vision loss as compared to voice-related communications access for people with deafness or hearing loss. NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel, in Louisville, Kentucky, on this 11th day of July, 2008, that this organization is committed to the enactment of comprehensive federal telecommunications and video programming legislation meeting the needs of people with disabilities, especially the unique needs of people who are blind or visually impaired; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that, to be truly comprehensive, such federal legislation must, at a minimum, expressly address the following public policy objectives:* Full accessibility of the user interfaces employed by telecommunications and video programming devices through navigable audible menu prompts and readily identifiable and manipulable user controls;* Accessibility of text messaging, e-mail, and Internet access services available through wireless and other telecommunications devices;* Restoration, and authority for dramatic expansion, of requirements for the description of video programming and access to emergency information; and* Wider availability of communications devices meeting the unique needs of people who are deaf-blind through equipment distribution made possible under the federal universal service fund; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this organization expects and demands of its coalition partners as a condition of ACB’s continued participation in such coalition, their unwavering commitment to the inclusion and retention of provisions accomplishing the objectives described above in any legislation, comprehensive or otherwise, that such coalition may propose or endorse.

adopted 7-11-08

r0813 Quiet Cars H.R. 5734

Submitted by: Resolutions Committee

SUMMARY:

1. This organization urges Congress and the President of the United States to promptly enact H.R. 5734 the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2008.

2. The officers, directors and staff of this organization are instructed to contact their representatives as a matter of priority so as to advance the passage of this crucial legislation.

3. The affiliates and members of ACB are strongly urged to add their efforts to this critical endeavor.

WHEREAS, the American Council of the Blind, (ACB), has long expressed, through resolutions and contacts with elected officials made by both its members and staff, extreme concern about the safety of blind, visually impaired, and other pedestrians in light of the increasing prevalence of hybrid, electric, and other environmentally friendly, quiet vehicles; and

WHEREAS, concerns about the environment, our Nation’s increasing dependence on foreign oil, and resulting escalation of prices, along with diminishing supplies of petroleum products make it clear that increased development and use of such quiet car technologies will and must continue to advance; and

WHEREAS, to insure that pedestrians, and particularly those who are blind and visually impaired, are aware of the presence of vehicles in the environment, such persons need to be able to detect the presence of traffic audibly, and need to be aware of these vehicles when they are both in moving and idling phases; and

WHEREAS, H.R. 5734, The Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act, has been introduced in the United States House of Representatives, and would work towards insuring the safety of pedestrians who, for various reasons, do not see a vehicle approaching and are placed at risk for injury or even death; and

WHEREAS, this legislation establishes a specific structure of timelines for research and action steps to address the serious pedestrian hazard created by quiet cars, and is based on proposals drafted by ACB.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled, at the Galt House Hotel, in Louisville, Kentucky, on this 11th day of July, 2008, that this organization urges Congress and the President of the United States to promptly enact H.R. 5734, the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2008; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the officers, directors and staff of this organization are hereby instructed to contact their representatives as a matter of priority so as to advance the passage of this crucial legislation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the affiliates and members of ACB are strongly urged to immediately add their efforts to this critical endeavor.

adopted 7-11-08

r0814 Honoring Louis Braille

Submitted by: Resolutions Committee

SUMMAARY:

1. The officers, directors and staff are instructed to work to develop and implement such activities as are likely to forward a better understanding and a wider use of Braille.

2. The Braille Revival League is encouraged to assume a leadership role in the design and implementation of the campaign that will be adopted by this organization.

WHEREAS, January 4th 2009 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille; and

WHEREAS, it is entirely fitting that the American Council of the Blind develop and implement a series of activities to honor this anniversary and to celebrate Braille which is so important to the success of people who are blind or visually impaired; and

WHEREAS, the Braille Revival League is the affiliate of the American Council of the Blind most directly involved in the promotion and well-being of the writing system which blind people all over the world utilize to read and to communicate independently.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel, in Louisville, Kentucky, on this the 11th of July, 2008, that the officers, directors and staff of this organization are hereby instructed to work to develop and implement such activities as are likely to forward a better understanding and a wider use of Braille; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Braille Revival League is hereby encouraged to assume a leadership role in the design and implementation of the campaign that will be adopted by this organization.

adopted 7-11-08

r0816 Nemeth Uniform Braille System

Submitted by: Winifred Downing

SUMMARY:

1. This organization strongly urges Braille Authority of North America (BANA) to make a through study of Nemeth Uniform Braille System (NUBS) and provide a report on this study to this organization in its 2009 convention.

WHEREAS, North American English Braille is composed of four separate codes: literary, computer, Nemeth Math, and Chemistry; and

WHEREAS, this proliferation of codes is difficult for persons needing to use all aspects of Braille, especially students from elementary school through college; and

WHEREAS, to address this problem, the Unified English Braille Code, (UEBC) has been developed; and

WHEREAS, although UEBC adequately renders literary material, the majority of blind persons and Braille transcribers knowledgeable of technical presentations have found it extremely difficult to convey technical material; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Abraham Nemeth has originated the Nemeth Uniform Braille System (NUBS), and Bob Stepp and Joyce Hall are developing the computer translation and the back translation programs for this code; and

WHEREAS, articles concerning NUBS have appeared in magazines read by blind persons and transcribers always accompanied with an invitation to readers to request free material with more detailed explanations, resulting in several hundred mailings; and

WHEREAS, the major elements of NUBS have been presented to consumers and transcribers at workshops held throughout the country over the last five years; and

WHEREAS, anyone interested can download in Braille or print with Simbraille material setting forth the major aspects of the code from www.braille2000.com; and

WHEREAS, it is our understanding that the full text of NUBS will be sent to the Braille Authority of North America (BANA), prior to the November meeting of that organization.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel, in Louisville, Kentucky, on this 11th day of July, 2008, that this organization strongly urge BANA to make a thorough study of NUBS and provide a report on this study to this organization at its 2009 convention.

adopted 7-11-2008

r0817 Returned American Free Matter Materials

Submitted By: Josette Kernaghan

SUMMARY:

1. The officers, directors and staff are instructed to immediately investigate this matter and are urged to take such action as seems appropriate to them.

WHEREAS, it has been reported that materials sent by blind persons in the United States to blind persons in Canada which qualify under the Free Matter for the Blind statute have been returned to the sender; and

WHEREAS, we are informed that this practice is based on a memorandum that has been circulated throughout the country by officials of the United States Postal Service.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, on this the 11th day of July, 2008, that the officers, directors and staff are hereby instructed to immediately investigate this matter and are urged to take such action as seems appropriate to them.

adopted 7-11-2008

r0818 Telecom parity in Cost of 255 Devices

Submitted by: Resolutions Committee

SUMMARY:

1. This organization instructs its officers, directors and staff to communicate to developers and manufacturers and providers of telecommunications equipment, and, as appropriate, to lawmakers and officers of relevant federal agencies that equality in telecommunications must include designing and building access features into equipment at the same price to consumers as is charges for equipment used by non-disabled people.

WHEREAS, Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act, at the readily achievable level of compliance, requires that features be built into telecommunications equipment so that it is accessible to, and useable by, persons who have disabilities, or so that, at the very least, the equipment is adaptable to, and may interface with, devices that provide accessibility features; and

WHEREAS, nothing in Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act, however, provides for parity of costs between accessible and non-accessible equipment; and

WHEREAS, even the comprehensive provisions in H.R. 6320 do not include provisions assuring cost parity; and

WHEREAS, equal access to goods, services and information in the telecommunications field will not be achieved as long as people who have disabilities to pay more than non-disabled people for the same level of telecommunications access.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the American Council of the Blind, in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, on this 11th day of July, 2008, that this organization instructs its officers, directors, and staff to communicate to developers and manufacturers and providers of telecommunications equipment, and, as appropriate, to lawmakers and officers of relevant federal agencies that equality in telecommunications must include designing and building access features into equipment at the same price to consumers as is charged for equipment used by non-disabled people.

adopted 7-11-08

r0819 Commendation of Convention Hotel

Submitted by: Resolutions Committee

WHEREAS, the Galt House Hotel, in Louisville, Kentucky has provided essential services and important accommodations to the members of the American Council of the Blind (ACB) attending its 2008 convention; and

WHEREAS, the staff of the Galt House has been friendly and helpful; and

WHEREAS, the success of a convention is dependent upon the quality of the services provided by the hotel.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on this 11th day of July, 2008, at the Galt House Hotel, in Louisville, Kentucky, that this organization express its thanks and appreciation for the services and accommodations provided to its members and its staff.

adopted 07-11-2008

r0820 Commending The Bluegrass Council of the Blind and the Kentucky Council of the Blind

Submitted by: Resolutions Committee

WHEREAS, the handling of local arrangements for an American Council of the Blind (ACB) National Convention is a mammoth undertaking; and

WHEREAS, the host committee and ACB members in the state of The Commonwealth of Kentucky have met every challenge in hosting the 2008 ACB National Convention in Louisville, Kentucky and have welcomed and assisted ACB members in a friendly, helpful, and grand fashion.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled this 11th day of July, 2008, at the Galt House Hotel, in Louisville, Kentucky that this organization wholeheartedly thanks and commends the host committee and Commonwealth of Kentucky for their fine work.

adopted 07-11-2008

r0821 Commending Volunteers

Submitted by: Resolutions Committee

WHEREAS, volunteers, under the most able stewardship of Volunteer Coordinator Margarine Beaman, have provided superb services in all ways to attendees of the 2008 American Council of the Blind (ACB) Convention.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on this 11th day of July, 2008, at the Galt House Hotel, in Louisville, Kentucky, that this organization warmly and most sincerely express its appreciation to all volunteers who worked to assist the attendees of the 2008 ACB convention; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this organization request yet one more accommodation from Ms. Beaman, that being to assist in communicating this resolution, or its sense, to all volunteers.

adopted 07-11-2008