JULY 3, JULY 10, 2004, GENERAL SESSION RECORD, 43rd ANNUAL CONVENTION, BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
GENERAL SESSION RECORD
43rd ANNUAL CONVENTION
BIRMINGHAM-JEFFERSON
CONVENTION CENTER
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA
JULY 3 – JULY 10, 2004

Sunday, July 4, 2004

The 43rd annual convention began at 7:40pm Central Daylight Time as President Chris Gray struck the gavel to calm the audience.

Following the presentation of colors, the Pledge of Allegiance and the Star Spangled Banner, everyone sang the ACB song.

Mr. David Trott, President of the Alabama Council of the Blind welcomed the ACB Convention attendees to Birmingham.

President Gray, in his report, spoke about four subjects. He first reflected on the history of ACB and responded to untruths and misunderstandings. The remaining three topics were: pride in our organization; how to improve and how it may be less likely to improve the American Council of the Blind and finally courage and the ideals of leadership. He ended his speech with a recorded message from John F. Kennedy’s book Profiles in Courage.

Ms. Melanie Brunson, Executive Director of ACB, gave her report to the membership. She discussed legislation, her duties as Executive Director as well as other items. She mentioned each staff member and their duties to keep the National Office running.

Mr. Carl Augusto, executive director of the American Foundation for the Blind gave the keynote address. He spoke about accessible technology including cell phones and websites.

Ms. Nola Webb-McKinney, Chair of the Awards Committee, presented the next six awards to outstanding individuals.

Ms. Dot Taylor of Tennessee was surprised with receipt of the Distinguished Service Award.

The second Distinguished Service Award was presented to Dr. Lee Robinson of the Utah School for the Blind and Deaf. As Mr. Robinson was not present, Ms. Vicki Flake accepted the award for him.

The George Card Award was presented to Mr. Warren Toyama of Honolulu, Hawaii, a long time ACB member.

The Durward K. McDaniel Ambassador Award went to Mr. Bashir Masoodi of Indiana.

The Growth in Membership Award was presented to the Vermont Council of the Blind President Tom Franks.

The Vernon Henley Media Award was presented by Mr. Charlie Hodge to Potomac Talking Book Services and Mr. Mark Ashby who accepted the award.

Next, Mr. Hodge presented the Ned E. Freeman Award to Ms. Rebecca Shields of Colorado for her writing of a Braille Forum article.

Ms. Sue Ammeter, chair of the Membership Committee, presented a charter to the newly formed Mountain State Council of the Blind. Ms. Jessie Rayl of West Virginia accepted the charter for the affiliate.

Mr. Jim Olsen, American Council of the Blind’s CFO who usually lovingly hands out Life Member Certificates was not able to be with us due to illness. In his stead, President Gray and First Vice President M. J. Schmitt presented the certificates. These fifteen people have donated $1,000 each to become a member for life in the American Council of the Blind.

Ms. Judi Cannon, Chair of the Credentials Committee, gave her first report. Of all the affiliates, only one received a reduction in its votes.

The final item on the program according to tradition was Roll call of affiliates. Due to Secretary Donna Seliger having difficulty with her voice, former secretary Cynthia Towers, called the roll.

President Gray recessed the first session of the convention at 11:15pm.

Monday, July 05, 2004

President Gray brought the second session of the convention to order at 8:35am.

President Gray introduced Mr. Steven Rothstein; President of the Perkins School for the Blind presented the Robert S. Bray Award to Ms. Kim Charlson, Librarian at the Perkins School for the Blind.

Ms. Connie David, President of Blind Friends of Lesbians and Gays announced that Birmingham’s Mayor had declared this day as BFLAG Day in Birmingham by proclamation.

Motion 1: Ms. Judi Cannon, Chair of the Credentials Committee moved to adopt the final credentials report. The motion carried on a voice vote.

The Parliamentarian for the convention was introduced. Mr. Don Stevens who has been a professional registered parliamentarian for several years will oversee the 43rd annual convention.

Motion 2: Mr. Vernon Dagle moved that In a run off election, the top two candidates must have a clear majority of votes. On a voice vote, the motion failed.

Motion 3: Mr. Ray Campbell moved that the membership adopt the rules for conducting debate as outlined by the President and that elections be dealt with separately. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Motion 4: President Gray suggested and Mr. David Zulli moved that if the top two candidates between them hold the majority votes that those two candidates will vie for the vote. If those top two do not constitute a majority, we will take candidates for the next election until we reach a majority. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Mr. Ray Campbell, chair of the Constitution and By-laws Committee Read Amendment 2004-04 submitted by Mr. Charlie Hodge. The first reading of Article IV, Section D as follows: (insert the following before the period at the end of the section) “…with the exception of roll call votes taken during executive sessions which shall not be included.”

Amendment 2004-05 submitted by Mr. Charlie Hodge. Article IV Section E reads as follows:

(insert the following before the period at the end of the section) “…and provided further that when the Board of Directors next comes back into open session, the first order of business shall be for the presiding officer to report whether or not action was taken.”

Amendment 2004-10 submitted by the Constitution and By-laws Committee. Article VIII. (Insert the following language into the Article after the second occurrence of the word day) “…following the day of the roll call session.”

Amendment 2004-11 submitted by the Constitution and By-laws Committee. By-law VI Section D, third sentence. (Insert the word “first” immediately before the first occurrence of the word day) “All proposed amendments to the constitution and/or by-laws must be submitted in writing to the Constitution and By-laws Committee on or before the end of the first day following the day of the roll call session of the convention.”

President Gray reported that today’s session would be sponsored by Cingular Wireless.

The officer of the day, Mr. Mitch Pomerantz, Second Vice President of Pasadena, California was introduced by President Gray.

A Transportation Panel moderated by Ms. Melanie Brunson with Ms. Donna Smith and Mr. Bill Hecker as panelists was the first program item of the day. Transportation issues are an ongoing struggle for those of us who do not drive and/or live in a rural setting where public transportation is non-existent. Advocating for better transportation, pedestrian signals and detective warnings was stressed by the panel members.

Following the panel, Ms. Janet Marlow and Mr. Lucas Frank discussed Accessible Design’s pedestrian signals and research which the company has completed.

Ms. Susan Crawford, Ms. Lynne Koral, Ms. Darian Hartman and Ms. Lorraine Phenix brought home the safety of disabled people and how vulnerable we all are to violence. We learned there are many different kinds of violence and that there is help for disabled people who have suffered abuse.

Ms. Joanne Wilson, Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration spoke to the ACB membership. The focus of her remarks was on how all of us as consumers could help shape the RSA.

Rounding out this morning’s session, Mr. Frank Kurt Cylke, Director of the National Library Service spoke to the membership. In addition Mr. John Hanson spoke about the music program NLS has for musicians. The digital recording program is on schedule and will begin in 2008. The digital talking book player will be under contract by October, 2004. By 2008 there should be approximately 20,000 titles available in digital format. There are more than 6,500 titles available for web Braille clients.

Mr. Pomerantz recessed session two at 12:30pm.

Tuesday, July 6, 2004

President Gray gaveled the third convention session to order by announcing that ACB secretary Donna Seliger was ill and wouldn’t be present today.

Ms. Cathie Skivers, Chair of the Nominating Committee reported to the membership its recommendations for the 2004 elections.

Second Vice President: Mr. Mitch Pomerantz

Board Positions: Dr. Ed Bradley, Mr. Oral Miller, Ms. Becky Floyd, Ms. Cynthia Towers and Mr. David Trott

Board of Publications: Ms. DeAnna Quietwater Noriega, Mr. Ken Stewart and Mr. Mike Duke

Motion 5: Ms. Skivers moved acceptance of the Nominations Committee Report. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

The Constitution and By-laws Committee Chair, Mr. Ray Campbell continued with the proposed amendments.

Amendment 2004-04 submitted by Mr. Charlie Hodge was read. Article IV, Section D as follows:

(insert the following before the period at the end of the section) “…with the exception of roll call votes taken during executive sessions which shall not be included.”

Motion 6: Mr. Campbell moved the adoption of Amendment 2004-04. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Amendment 2004-05 submitted by Mr. Charlie Hodge which covered Article IV, section E. (Insert the following before the period at the end of the section) “…and provided further that when the Board of Directors next comes back into open session, the first order of business shall be for the presiding officer to report whether or not action was taken.”

Motion 7: Mr. Campbell moved adoption of Amendment 2004-05. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Motion 8: Ms. Kathey Wheeler moved amending the amendment by striking out the words “…whether or not action was taken.” And inserting the words “…the text and result of all motions considered.” The motion failed on a voice vote.

Motion 9: Mr. Paul Edwards moved to add to the current language “…and describe in general what such actions were.” On a voice vote, the motion carried.

The following five amendments are being read for the first time.

Amendment 2004-18 submitted by motion of the Board of Directors. Add a new section M to the end of By-law 7. “ACB Employment Committee. Each year within sixty (60) days after the close of the annual convention, the President shall appoint a Chair and at least eight (8) additional members to an Employment Committee. This committee shall serve as the organization’s primary information dissemination and advocacy resource regarding employment related issues on behalf of blind and visually impaired persons. Such activities will be promulgated through various mechanisms including, but not limited to, conducting annual training seminars, distributing relevant materials, overseeing employment and career opportunities provided through the ACB website in offering training and technical assistance to public and private employers. Committee members may also serve as a resource to ACB members as well as other organizations involved in the employment process.”

Amendment 2004-19 was submitted by the Constitution and By-laws Committee. This adds a new section M to the end of By-law VI. “Within sixty (60) days after the close of the annual convention, the President shall appoint a chair and three additional members to an Information Technology Resource Management Committee. This committee shall be composed of individuals who have relevant skills in such tasks as managing the development of hardware and software projects, programming, testing and documentation. This committee shall have the responsibility to manage the ACB servers.”

Amendment 2004-03 submitted by Mr. Joe Harcz. Article II, adding a new Section J to the end of the Article. “By advocating for the enactment, implementation and enforcement of Civil Rights protection for people who are blind.”

Amendment 2004-06 submitted by Mr. Joe Harcz. Article II, Section H adding the following language before the period at the end of the section. “…and other forms of print or electronic media.”

Amendment 2004-02 submitted by Mr. Joe Harcz. By-law 4, Section B by striking all of the text in the first sentence between the word “affiliate” and the period at the end of the sentence and insert the following. “…without request and to any member who requests them complete draft minutes including all official actions taken at the convention or meetings of the Board of Directors. The secretary shall be assisted in dissemination of these draft minutes by the National Office. All affiliates and requesting members shall receive these minutes in the format of their choice upon advising either the National Office or the secretary of the precise requested format within thirty (30) days after either the conclusion of the convention or meeting or receipt of a request. This consideration shall be made at no cost to the affiliate or requesting member but it is urged that those who can do so, accept e-mail as a cost consideration for the national organization. In addition, upon approval of all official minutes, the secretary shall make them available to the ACB Webmaster in electronic form within three (3) working days after the approval. The ACB Webmaster shall in turn post these minutes to the ACB Website and to ACB sponsored listservs within seven (7) working days.”

President Gray announced that today’s convention session was being sponsored by America Online. He went on to introduce the officer of the day, Ms. M. J. Schmitt, ACB’s First Vice President.

Ms. Schmitt introduced Mr. Richard Scribner, President and CEO of Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic as the first item on the program. RFB&D provides educational books on cassette tapes and on DAISY format for blind and visually impaired persons.

The next program item is a panel discussion on the focus of the deaf-blind moderated by Dr. Terry Graham, Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind. The first panelist is Ms. Brenda Uptain, an English and Psychology teacher as well as drama coach. Ms. Uptain spoke about her experiences of teaching in a public school environment. The second speaker is Mr. Steve Shivers, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services.

One of the highlights of every ACB Convention is the presentation of scholarships to college students. Ms. Patty Slaby, Chair of the Scholarship Committee introduced each recipient giving a bit of background about each of the twenty-one winners.

Mr. Jim Gibbons, President and CEO of National Industries for the Blind made a few remarks. He updated the membership on the Business Leadership Training Program NIB initiated in 2003. Trainees go through a two-year program and at the end of that time they should be eligible for a management level job.

The final speaker of the day comes to us from the Hadley School for the Blind. Mr. George Abbott, Dean of Education spoke about the opportunities Hadley offers for acquiring education through materials provided by Hadley and its interaction with students.

Ms. Schmitt recessed the convention session.

Wednesday, July 7, 2004

The meeting began at 8:35am with President Gray introducing Mr. Ralph Sanders, chair of the Public Relations Committee. He reported that since a guide horse named Confetti was present, the convention had gotten very good media coverage.

Mr. Ray Campbell, Constitution and By-Law Committee chair brought four amendments to be read and voted on.

Amendment 2004-10 submitted by the Constitution and By-Laws Committee. Article 8: (Insert the following language into the article after the second occurrence of the word day.) “…following the day of the roll call session.” The proposed wording: Article 8 amendment “This constitution and By-Law may be amended at any regular convention of this organization. Constitutional amendments by a two-thirds vote and amendments by a simple majority vote of those present and voting according to voting procedures contained herein provided that both the original language and the proposed amending language to the Constitution and/or By-Laws shall be read from the floor of the convention not later than 5:00pm of the day prior to the time of final action and provided further that such proposed amendment to the Constitution and/or By-Laws shall be presented in writing to the Constitution and By-Laws Committee on or before the first day following the day of the roll call session of the annual convention.”

Motion 10: Mr. Campbell moved the adoption of Article 8 as amended. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Amendment 04-11 submitted by the Constitution and By-Laws Committee. By-Law 6, Section D, third sentence. (Insert the word “first” immediately before the first occurrence of the word day.) “All proposed amendments to the Constitution and/or By-Laws must be submitted in writing to the Constitution and By-Laws Committee on or before the end of the first day following the day of the roll call session of the convention.”

Motion 11: Mr. Campbell moved the adoption of by-law 6, Section D, third sentence. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Amendment 2004-18 submitted by motion of the Board of Directors. Add a new section M to end of by-law 6. “ACB Employment Committee: Each year within sixty (60) days after the close of the annual convention, the President shall appoint a chair and at least eight (8) additional members to an Employment Committee. This committee shall serve as the organization’s primary information, dissemination and advocacy resource regarding employment related issues on behalf of blind and visually impaired persons. Such activities will be promulgated through various mechanisms including, but not limited to, conducting annual training seminars, distributing relevant materials, overseeing employment and career opportunities provided through the ACB website and offering training and technical assistance to public and private employers. Committee members may also may serve as a resource to ACB members as well as other organizations involved in the employment process.”

Motion 12: Mr. Campbell moved the adoption of By-Law 6, Section M. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Next the first reading of amendment 2004-16 submitted by Ms. Connie David. By-law 7, section a, second sentence: (Strike all of the text between the word “appoint” and the end of the sentence and insert the following new language.) “One additional member of the Board and the membership by a majority vote in accordance with the voting procedures contained in the Constitution or in the By-Laws shall elect one member who shall serve as Board Secretary and every even-numbered year the annual convention shall elect by a majority vote the three remaining members of the Board provided, however, that no Board member shall serve more than three (3) consecutive terms and no more than one Board member shall be either appointed or elected to the Board of Publications from any one state. The Board of Publications shall meet immediately following the close of the annual convention to elect its chair by a majority vote. The chair shall not be the duly elected Board Secretary. The chair shall serve for a term of one (1) year. All meetings of the Board shall be open to all ACB members. Any and all ACB media shall be used to convey to members the date, time and either location of the meeting or teleconference dial-in instructions. The Board Secretary shall take minutes of all meetings and shall distribute them in draft form to each Board member within thirty (30) days. Each Board member shall have ten (10) days to notify the Secretary of any needed additions or corrections. At the end of these ten (10) days the minutes shall stand approved and be made available via ACB website and ACB listservs within seven (7) days. A summary of each meeting shall be prepared by the Secretary for publication in the Braille Forum within thirty (30) days of each meeting. Upon adoption of this amendment the currently appointed members’ terms shall expire. The President shall appoint one member to serve for a term of one (1) year and the convention shall elect a Secretary for a term of one (1) year.

Amendment 04-14 Submitted by Mr. Joe Harcz. By-law 7, Section A: (Add the following new language to the end of the section.) “Each meeting including conference call meetings of the Board of Publications shall be considered an open meeting. The chair of the BOP shall use every ACB media possible to inform the membership of the date, time and location of each meeting or in the case of a conference call meeting to inform the membership of the date, time and method by which they can attend via conventional telecommunication. In order to maintain the highest of professional standards in the activities of the Board of Publications and to be within compliance of laws governing such activities, minutes of each meeting shall be taken, kept and disseminated. As in past tradition, the Editor or Acting Editor of the Braille Forum shall be delegated to take, keep and maintain these minutes. The Editor shall be advised of this responsibility as part of his or her job description. Minutes will be completed in draft form and in electronic media that is readily reproducible in a variety of alternate formats within thirty (30) days of the end of each BOP meeting. At that time, they will be sent to each BOP member in his or her preferred media. Additionally, these minutes will be submitted to the entire Board of Directors at that same time and will be included as part of the required BOP report to that Board. Upon request, any member of this organization shall receive a copy of these minutes in his or her preferred media. Any time after that thirty (30) day period.” Proposed wording: “The Board shall meet at least once each year and more often if necessary upon the call of the chairperson or upon the request of not less than three (3) members of the Board of Publications. Each meeting, including conference call meetings of the Board of Publications shall be considered an open meeting. The chair of the BOP shall use every ACB media possible to inform the membership of the date, time and location of each meeting, or in the case of a conference call meeting, to inform the membership of the date, time and method by which they can attend via conventional telecommunications. In order to maintain the highest of professional standards in the activities of the Board of Publications, and to be in compliance with laws governing such activities, the minutes of each meeting shall be taken, kept and disseminated. As in past tradition and practice, the Editor or Acting Editor of the Braille Forum shall be delegated to take, keep and maintain these minutes. The Editor shall be advised of this responsibility as part of his or her job description. Minutes will be completed in draft form and in electronic media that is readily reproducible in a variety of alternate formats within thirty (30) days of the end of each BOP meeting. At that time, they will be sent to each BOP member in his or her preferred media. Additionally, these minutes will be submitted to the entire Board of Directors at that same time and will be included as part of a required BOP report to that Board. Upon request, any member of this organization shall receive a copy of these minutes in his or her preferred media anytime after that thirty (30) day period.

Amendment 2004-17 submitted by the current Ad Hoc Internet Committee. By-Law 6 add a new Section N to the end of the By-Law. Proposed wording: “M. Internet Oversight Committee. Each year within sixty (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 chair 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 chair 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 a primary purpose of such rules 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 to the ACB Board of Publications concerning ACB’s organizational presence on the internet.

Amendment 2004-13 submitted by Mr. Joe Harcz. By-Law 7, Section A, third sentence: (Insert a comma followed by the words “ACB listservs” after the word “website”.) Current wording: “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 communications formats including, but not limited to periodicals, the ACB convention program, ACB brochures, the ACB website and ACB radio.

Proposed wording: “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, the ACB convention program, the ACB brochures, the ACB website, ACB listservs and ACB radio.

Mr. Paul Edwards, chair of ACBES and Mr. Michael Keoghn, CEO, were introduced. They indicated the thrift stores are on track and profit is up slightly.

Mr. Mark Richert, Executive Director of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind and Visually Impaired spoke to the membership. He told the audience that AER is much like ACB in that it advocates for the blind and visually impaired as well.

President Gray introduced this year’s international guest, Mr. Dan Frye from New Zealand who spoke about life as a blind person in his country.

The meeting adjourned at 12:25pm.

Thursday, July 8, 2004

The meeting began at 8:30am with President Gray announcing that today would be sponsored by Freedom Scientific.

The President of the Canadian Council of the Blind was introduced and spoke for a few minutes. He said the CCB would soon be sixty years old.

The Report from the Convention Coordinator was given by Ms. Cynthia Towers. There were approximately 1,100 persons registered and there were 81 booths in the exhibit hall.

Ms. Towers announced that the 2005 convention which will be held at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Room rates will be $77 single and double. The dates are July 2 through 9. The rate will be in effect from June 24 to July 13. ACB members will be housed in the Monte Carlo and the Monaco Towers.

Ms. Carol Ewing, Nevada Council of the Blind President, invited everyone to next year’s convention. She announced the toll free phone number for reservations, 800-634-6753 at the Riviera Hotel.

Motion 13: President Gray entertained a motion to accept the report of the Convention Coordinator. The motion carried on a voice vote.

The program portion of today’s session is moderated by Ms. Ardis Bazyn, ACB treasurer from Burbank, California.

The first program item brought Mr. Glen Gordon, Chief Technology Officer from Freedom Scientific. Mr. Gordon spoke about the Braille and Speak and then he found JAWS for his computer. He went on to identify the Pack Mate and other PDA’s for blind and visually impaired users.

The next two presenters were Mr. Jonathan Mosen, International BrailleNote Product Manager and Mr. Mike Gibson, Blindness Product Specialist. Both of these gentlemen are from Pulse Data International. They gave an overview of the portable products that are available for use by the blindness community.

Mr. Joel Snider, Director of National Captioning Institute brought some exciting news to ACB members. Mr. Snider announced that he has already begun working on audio description for activities in Las Vegas at the 2005 convention. He does the description for “Sesame Street”. On Saturday, July 17, “The Miracle Worker” will be aired on ABC-TV with audio description. For comments you can use the following address to contact ABC netaudr@abc.com.

Mr. Campbell read Amendment 2004-19 – Committee on internet listservs. (This adds a new section M to the end of By-law VI.) “Within sixty (60) days after the close of the annual convention, the President shall appoint a chair and three additional members to an Information Technology Resource Management Committee. This Committee shall be composed of individuals who have relevant skills in such tasks as managing the development of hardware and software projects, programming, testing and documentation. This committee shall have the responsibility to manage the ACB servers.”

Motion 14: Mr. Charlie Hodge moved to change the number of members of the committee from three to four. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Motion 15: Mr. Hank Pierce moved that “all members of the committee should be ACB members.” On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Motion 16: Mr. Randy Howard moved to change servers to “IT infrastructure.” On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Motion 17: Ms. Vicky Flake moved to change from the president appoint to “the board of directors shall appoint.” The motion failed on a voice vote.

Motion 18: Mr. Campbell moved adoption of amendment 2004-19 as amended. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Because of the nature of the next two resolutions, President Gray relinquished the podium to First Vice President Ms. M. J. Schmitt.

Mr. Jeff Thom, chair of the resolutions committee took the microphone to discuss additional resolutions.

Resolution 2004-04 – Recall resolution: “…Resolved that this organization affirms its lack of confidence in the presidency of Christopher Gray; and be it further resolved that this organization urges the American Council of the Blind Board of Directors to remove Christopher Gray as president.”

Motion 19: Mr. Thom entertained a motion to adopt resolution 2004-04. On a voice vote, the motion failed, however a roll call vote was requested. The motion failed on a 77 per cent no vote and a 23 percent yes vote. There were 228.75 yes votes cast and 772.25 no votes defeating the resolution.

Mr. Campbell gave the first reading of Amendment 04-07 submitted by Mr. Joe Harcz. (Add a new By-law 11 to the end of the By-laws.) “By-law 11 prohibits retaliation of an ACB member engaging in the free expression of ideas, opinions or other constitutional protected activities. In accordance with the provision of Article II, Section H as well as other citation contained in the Constitution and/or By-laws. No member, regardless of status, shall be sanctioned, disciplined or retaliated against by any means or method including any discipline resulting in the suspension of any rights or privileges enjoyed by all members , by any Officers or delegated authority acting in an official capacity of this organization for any lawful, verbal or written communication including generally exercising rights of freedom of speech or expression as granted in a lawful manner to all citizens of the United States of America under the First Amendment to the US Constitution requesting any records or documents pertaining to the official activities of ACB including requests for those documents or records in accessible format making any inquiries about official activities of this organization supporting or opposing any candidate for office, supporting or opposing any policy or action of the Board of Directors, Officers, Board of Publications or any committee expressing any grievance, petition or engaging in any peaceful assembly for the purposes of submitting or disseminating such grievances or petitions, whistle blowing or levying any truthful charge of malfeasance, no feasance, abuse, corruption of any official or delegated authority in the exercise of his or her duties, constitutional responsibility, or fiduciary obligations. This prohibition against such retaliation extends to all media employed or sponsored by ACB and goes to official correspondences as well as private expressions of those categories listed above from members to elected or delegated officials. Further, it extends to a prohibition against retaliation for engaging in free expressions, rights in any media or forum outside the jurisdiction of ACB proper. As members themselves these rights are fully extended as well to all officers or individuals acting in official capacity of ACB.

The First reading of amendment 04-08 came next adding a new Article X to the Constitution submitted by Mr. Joe Harcz. (If this Article is adopted by the convention, it will put in place a method by which members could vote to recall Officers, Directors or elected members of the Board of Publications.) “A. Finding and Purpose The membership of the American Council of the Blind as the supreme organizational authority has the right to recall any Officer, member of the Board of Directors or elected member of the Board of Publications. Recall, as a democratic measure of the expression of member dissatisfaction with elected officials and, hence this measure is not applicable to appointed members of committees, the Board of Publications or any ad hoc position that is not elected under the rules guiding convention by this organization.

B. Authority and Procedure Upon receipt by the Executive Director of a petition for recall of any ACB Officer, Director or elected member of the Board of Publications submitted by either five (5) percent of the ACB certified membership or ten (10) percent of all certified affiliates, the following process shall be undertaken within fourteen (14) calendar days by the Chair of the Constitution and By-laws Committee or its successor. The petitions may not be uniform in their content or representation of disapproval; however each petition must contain the name of the elected official subject to recall and must have at a minimum the name and affiliation of the undersigned members or affiliates which can be verified and which can be cross-checked by the Credentials Committee to avoid any duplication. Signatories to affiliate petitions may be duplicated on individual petitions only once. No other duplication will be honored in this process. 1) The Chair of the Constitution and By-Laws Committee shall prepare a ballot to affirm or deny the recall of the person or persons contained within the petition. 2) The Executive Director shall receive the ballot from the Chair of the Constitution and By-laws Committee and mail it within ten (10) calendar days to all certified members of the American Council of the Blind for their vote. 3) Persons designated by an agreement between the Executive Director and the Chair of the Constitution and By-laws Committee whose names and contact information shall be contained within the ballot shall receive the vote and certify the count to the Chair of the Constitution and By-laws Committee within thirty (30) calendar days of the mailing from the National Office of the last ballot. The votes may be counted from returned ballots, verified telephone voting or verified electronic mail messages. 4) The Chair of the Constitution and By-laws Committee shall turn over all records of the voting to the National Office which shall keep these documents for a minimum of five (5) calendar years. 5) The Chair of the Constitution and By-laws Committee shall notify the subject or subjects of the recall of the results and turn those results over to the Executive Director and Editor of the Braille Forum for the National Office records and announcement in the next publication of the Braille Forum.

C. Effect of Passage: 1) In the event that the recall petition prevails by a majority vote of those members and affiliates casting a vote within the prescribed manner and time frame then the elected official in question shall immediately relinquish office and rules of succession outlined in Article IV, Sections L – O shall govern succession of recalled Officers, Directors or elected members of the Board of Publications. 2) In the event that the President is recalled, the impact upon the position of the Immediate Past President shall remain consistent with Article IV, Section Q of the Constitution. 3) All notice and process documents and minutes relative to the execution of the above requirements shall be provided to the National Office for storage in the official papers of the organization maintained by the National Office.

D. Limitation on Affect of Recall shall be considered a vote of no confidence by the membership. It shall be only a tool for the purpose of removal from elected office of any elected official of this organization as an expression of the will of the membership. No elected official who is duly recalled shall be further sanctioned by either expulsion or impeachment. Any recalled elected Officer shall continue to be considered a member in good standing within the organization. No recall shall be considered to be a prohibition of the recalled elected officials from running for any office in this organization including the one that he or she was recalled from at such future dates for which the constitution of this organization provides. Nor shall any recalled elected official be barred at any time from serving on any committee or be barred from any rights or privileges of membership.”

First reading of Amendment 04-09 submitted by Mr. Joe Harcz. Article 4, Section P, (first sentence insert at the beginning of the sentence the following language :) “Accept as provided for within the recall provisions of Article X or through other constitutional means…”

The First reading of amendment 04-15, submitted by Mr. Joe Harcz. By-law V, Section B: (Insert the following new language at the end of the section :) “…at the point of making contractual arrangements for this audit, the Board shall ensure that the Certified Public Accountant and/or the firm which employs him or her is apprised of their obligation under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) to produce this audit in accessible formats in addition to the print audit and at no additional cost or surcharge to ACB for this consideration. At a minimum, the accountant and/or firm shall be required to produce an electronic version of the audit that is readily convertible to Braille and large print. This electronic version will be submitted to the National Office in keeping with other vital records and within thirty (30) days of receipt will be posted on the ACB website.”

Resolution 2004-01 – Helen Keller Quarter, Alabama submitted by Mr. Charlie Hodge: “…Resolved that this organization commend both the US Mint and Department of Treasury and responsible officers within the Government of the State of Alabama for honoring a famous deaf-blind American, Helen Keller, through issuance of the Alabama Commemorative State Quarter; And, be it further resolved that this organization also commend the US Mint its laudable efforts to seek relevant input from representatives from both the blind and visually impaired and deaf and hard of hearing communities during the research and design phases that led up to the issuance of this quarter; And, be it further resolved that the staff of this organization be directed to convey the substance of this congratulatory resolution to responsible officials of both the US Mint and Department of the Treasury and to the Governor of the State of Alabama and other responsible officials within the Alabama State Government.

Motion 20: Mr. Thom moved the adoption of resolution 2004-01. The motion carried on a voice vote.

First reading of Amendment 2004-12 a new Article 10 submitted by Mr. Joe Harcz. “Establishment of Basic Human Rights and Prohibition against unlawful discrimination

A. The American Council of the Blind, its committees, Board of Directors, Board of Publications or other officials shall establish no policy or directive that will abridge any lawful expression of speech, freedom of media or the right of any member or affiliate to peaceably assemble or redress grievances with any ACB governing body.

B. The American Council of the Blind or any committee, subdivision or other formal or ad hoc authority acting in official capacity shall not enact any policy that would restrict the rights of members solely on the basis of said members’ religious belief or religious affiliation or lack thereof. Nor shall ACB pass any measure or establish any official policy that would discriminate against any member or class of members solely on the basis of disability, race, color, national origin, gender or sexual orientation.

C. The enumeration in the Constitution and By-laws of this organization of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the members or the affiliates.

D. The organization shall not deny any member through any policy, rule or directive of any authority or committee any rights or privileges without having a mechanism for due process in appeal of any decision. Nor shall it or any authority including all constitutionally prescribed committees or ad hoc committees apply any rule or authority or establish any policy or directive in an unequal manner. Nor shall ACB or any subdivision, committee or authority enact or apply any rule or directive that is ex-post facto or retroactive in its application.

Resolution 2004-13 submitted by Mr. Joe Harcz. “…Resolved that the President is censured for the extra constitutional breaches in this matter during the last convention and for his resulting of uses of power and authority and the centre compliments a vote of no confidence; And, be it further resolved that acb-l is placed immediately under the authority of the BOP and that this Board develop an Internet Committee to remedy past grievances and to develop sound principles guaranteeing freedom of expression; And, be it further resolved that the current Internet Committee be dissolved as the unconstitutional derived as its current rules were the fruit of a poisonous tree that they are rescinded and all sanctions against any member under those constructions are hereby rescinded immediately.

Mr. Thom stated the committee recommends a do not pass.

Motion 21: Mr. David Zulli moved to pass Resolution 2004-13. On a voice vote, the motion failed.

Ms. Schmitt recessed the convention session five at 12:50pm.

Friday, July 9, 2004

President Gray began at 8:35am with a few words of thanks to those who voted to keep him in office.

Mr. Campbell of the constitution and by-laws committee began by presenting amendments provided to the committee.

Amendment 04-03 submitted by Mr. Joe Harcz. Article II, new Section J. “By advocating for the enactment, implementation and enforcement of Civil Rights Protection for people who are blind.”

Motion 22: Mr. Campbell moved the adoption of Section J of Article II. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Mr. Thom began by presenting resolution 2004-07 – voting submitted by Mr. Joe Harcz. “…Resolved that within thirty (30) days of the close of this convention the President of this organization be directed to appoint a task force made up of at least seven members which shall do all of the following:

A. Examine the various means and methods of providing for secret ballot at ACB conventions.

B. Examine any constitutional barriers to and provide suggested remedies that would allow the casing of secret ballots.

C. Examine various methods of expanding voting to members who cannot attend national conventions and any constitutional barriers to achieving this goal.

D. Develop a comprehensive report with findings and recommendations that shall be presented at the 2005 Mid-Year Board Meeting of this organization.

Motion 23: A motion was made from the floor to adopt resolution 2004-07. On a voice vote, the motion failed.

Amendment 04-06, Article II, Section H submitted by Mr. Joe Harcz. (Add the following language before the period at the end of the section.) “…and other forms of print or electronic media.”

Motion 24: Mr. Campbell moved to adopt Article II, Section H. The motion carried on a voice vote.

A panel discussion on Medicare discount drug cards was led by Mr. Phil Strong, ACB’s Advocacy Specialist and Ms. Tara Shaver-Jarmon, State Director, Ship/MediSmart, Montgomery, Alabama. Ms. Jarmon discussed the new drug program through Medicare giving contact information so that ACB members could follow-up by getting the drug information from their own states.

Amendment 04-02 – Minutes submitted by Mr. Joe Harcz. By-law 4, Section B: (Strike out all text in the first sentence between the word “affiliate” and the period at the end of the sentence and insert the following new language :) “…without request and to any member who requests them, complete draft minutes including all official actions taken at the convention or meetings of the Board of Directors. The secretary shall be assisted in dissemination of these draft minutes by the National Office. All affiliates and requesting members shall receive these minutes in the format of their choice upon advising either the National Office or the secretary of the precise requested format within thirty (30) days after either the conclusion of the convention or meetings or receipt of a request. This consideration shall be made at no cost to the affiliate or requesting member but it is urged that those who can do so, accept e-mail as a cost consideration for the National Organization. In addition, upon approval of all official minutes, the secretary will make them available to the ACB Webmaster in electronic form within three (3) working days after the approval. The ACB Webmaster will in turn, post these minutes to the ACB website and to ACB sponsored listservs within seven (7) working days.”

Mr. Campbell reported the committee recommends a do not pass.

Resolution 2004-28, cost of living adjustment for the fiscal year submitted by Mr. Barry Levine. “…Resolved that this organization requests the ACB Board of Directors to provide employed staff of the American Council of the Blind with an immediate cost of living adjustment of 3.1 percent retroactive to the beginning of the current fiscal year.”

Motion 25: Mr. Thom moved that Resolution 2004-28 be adopted. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Amendment 04-16, By-law 7, Section A submitted by Ms. Connie David. (In the second sentence strike out all of the text between the word “appoint” and the end of the sentence and insert the following new language:) “…one additional member of the Board and the membership by a majority vote in accordance with voting procedures contained in the Constitution or in the By-laws shall elect one member who shall serve as Board Secretary and every even numbered year the annual convention shall elect by a majority vote the three remaining members of the Board provided however that no Board member shall serve no more than three (3) consecutive terms and no more than one Board member shall be either appointed or elected to the Board of Publications from any one state. The Board of Publications shall meet immediately following the close of the annual convention to elect its Chair by a majority vote. The Chair shall not be the duly elected Board Secretary. The Chair shall serve for a term of one year. All meetings of the Board shall be open to all ACB members. Any and all ACB media shall be used to convey to members the date, time and either location of the meeting or teleconference dial-in instructions. The Board Secretary shall take minutes of all meetings and shall distribute them in draft form to each Board member within thirty (30) days. Each Board member shall have ten (10) days to notify the Secretary of any needed additions or corrections. At the end of these ten (10) days, the minutes shall stand approved and be made available via the ACB website and ACB listserv within seven (7) days. A summary of each meeting shall be prepared by the Secretary for publication in the Braille Forum within thirty (30) days of each meeting. Upon adoption of this amendment, the currently appointed members’ terms shall expire. The President shall appoint one (1) member to serve for a tern of one (1) year and the convention shall elect a Secretary for a term of one (1) year.”

Motion 29: Mr. Brian Charlson moved to divide the question following the sentence that indicates that the Chair shall serve a one (1) year term and prior to the language that begins to discuss the maintenance of minutes. On a voice vote, the motion carried. A roll call vote was called for. The results were 48.5 percent in favor and 51.5 percent opposed. The motion failed on the roll call vote.

Motion 30: Mr. Charlie Hodge moved to amend that the first section say that the odd numbered years the President appoint two members, one to serve as Chairman and the second appointed member to serve as Secretary to the Board. Then at the end, I would strike the sentences that say that the Board shall meet and elect its own Chairman, that the Chairman will only serve for only one year and that the Chairman cannot be elected Secretary. The motion failed on a voice vote.

Motion 31: Mr. Jerry Annunzio moved to refer all pending amendments and questions back to the Constitution and By-laws Committee. The motion failed on a voice vote.

Ms. Ardis Bazyn, ACB Treasurer, delivered her report to the membership. As of December 31, 2003, the total revenue was $1,227,093. The total expenditures were $1,229,423 leaving a negative balance of $2,330. Thus far this year, revenues are above expenditures.

Resolution 2004-02, Identify Theft submitted by Mr. Ray Campbell. “…Resolved that this organization directs that the current policy of requiring acb-l and acb-chat subscribers to provide identifying information over and above their name and e-mail address be rescinded immediately; And be it further resolved that new acb-l and acb-chat lists guidelines be published on these listservs within fifteen (15) business days of the adoption of this resolution that will reflect this policy change.”

Motion 32: Mr. Thom moved to adopt resolution 2004-02. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Secretary, Donna Seliger, delivered her annual report. The ACB Board of Directors held twelve meetings beginning with the post-convention board meeting following the 2003 convention. The total number of print pages were 49 and total characters were 54,546.

Motion 33: A motion was made from the floor to accept the secretary’s report. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Motion 34: Mr. Paul Edwards moved to accept the treasurer’s report. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Motion 35: Mr. Gabe Griffith moved to eliminate the boiler plate wording for the remainder of the resolutions. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Resolution 2004-03, LSAT submitted by the California Council of the Blind. “…Resolved that this organization instructs the American Council of the Blind’s Executive Director to write to the LSAT expressing ACB’s outrage regarding the unlawful treatment of LSAT examinees who are blind or visually impaired; And be it further resolved that the Officers, Directors and staff of this organization in conjunction with its Special Interest Affiliate, The American Association of Visually Impaired Attorneys, make these concerns known to the monitoring authority, the Disability Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice.”

Motion 36: Mr. Thom moved the adoption of resolution 2004-03. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Resolution 2004-30, Currency submitted by the Resolutions Committee. “…Resolved that this organization reiterate its continued support for the design and implementation of a system that will allow people who are blind or visually impaired to identify their paper money; And be it further resolved that this convention heartily endorses the efforts being undertaken by the Officers, Directors and staff of this organization to make currency identification a priority of the American Council of the Blind’s advocacy activities and expresses its whole-hearted support of the litigation currently being undertaken by this organization to assure that the United States of America will join many other countries and design and produce currency that can be readily identified by people who are blind and visually impaired.

Motion 37: Mr. Thom moved the adoption of resolution 2004-30. On a voice vote, the motion passed unanimously.

Resolution 2004-05, Free Matter submitted by Mr. Michael Malver. “…Resolved that this organization urges the United States Postmaster General to release a proclamation commemorating the passage of the Free Matter for the Blind Statutes as well as recognizing their function and proper use and the benefits derived through exercising this privilege; And, be it further resolved that the ACB staff be directed to work with the Postmaster General to accomplish the objectives set forth in this resolution.

Ms. Kim Charlson rose to question the following clause in the resolution: “Whereas, the public is often unaware of the Free Matter privilege that allows them to send specified items intended for the blind and visually impaired at no cost through the postal system.”

Motion 38: Mr. Thom moved the adoption of Resolution 2004-05 with the above clause removed. The motion carried on a voice vote.

By-law 7, section A, Part two. “All meetings of the Board shall be open to all ACB members. Any and all ACB media shall be used to convey to members the date, time and either location of the meeting or the teleconference dial-in instructions. The Board secretary shall take minutes of all meetings and shall distribute them in draft form to each Board member within thirty (30) days. Each Board member shall have ten (10) days to notify the secretary of any needed additions or corrections. At the end of these ten (10) days, the minutes shall stand approved and be made available via the ACB website and ACB listservs within seven (7) days. A summary of each meeting shall be prepared by the secretary for publication in the Braille Forum within thirty (30) days of each meeting.

Motion 39: Ms. Vicky Flake moved to amend the by-law by deleting the words “All meetings of the Board shall be open to all ACB members. Any and all ACB media shall be used to convey to members the date, time and either location of the meeting or the teleconference dial-in instructions.”

Mr. Ralph Sanders indicated he didn’t believe the amendment was functional since the first part had been defeated.

Motion 40: President Gray entertained a motion to postpone further debate on the second part of the amendment until after lunch while the parliamentarian researched the issue. The motion carried on a voice vote.

President Gray announced that after Mr. Stevens had some time to research the issue, By-law 7, Section A, Part two will be dispensed with entirely.

Resolution 2004-11, Accessible Voting submitted by the Resolutions Committee. “…Resolved that this organization reiterate its opposition to any delays in providing voting systems accessible to and usable by persons who are blind or visually impaired when such delays are based upon requirement for or consideration of the inclusion of a VVPD requirement for a DRE voting system; And, be it further resolved that this organization direct its Officers, Directors and staff and urges its state and local affiliates to take all reasonable actions necessary to bring about the most expeditious implementation of federal requirements that guarantee the right of persons who are blind or visually impaired to vote privately and independently.”

Motion 41: Mr. Thom moved adoption of resolution 2004-11. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Ms. Cathie Skivers, chair of the Nominating Committee, reported out the following names for election: Mr. Mitch Pomerantz Second Vice President; and for the Director Positions, Dr. Ed Bradley, Mr. Oral Miller, Ms. Becky Floyd, Ms. Cynthia Towers and Mr. David Trott. The Board of Publications nominees were: Ms. DeAnna Quietwater Noriega, Mr. Ken Stewart and Mike Duke.

The Election of Second Vice President – Mr. Mitch Pomerantz was elected by acclimation.

For Director Position 1, Dr. Ed Bradley from the Nominating Committee and Ms. Teddie-Joy Remhild who was nominated from the floor. Dr. Bradley received 78.3 percent and Ms. Remhild received 21.7 percent of the votes cast.

Resolution 2004-06, Civil Rights submitted by Mr. Charlie Hodge. “…Resolved that this organization on the milestone occasion of the 40th anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 confirms and rededicates itself for the principles of non-discrimination and fair treatment that have underpinned and guided this organization’s disability rights and civil rights advocacy and coalition efforts and activities over many years; And, be it further resolved that this organization calls upon and strongly urges its state and special interest affiliates to also rededicate themselves and their memberships to the goals and objectives of more comprehensive disability rights and civil rights protection under State and Federal Law; And, be it further resolved that this organization directs its Officers, Directors and staff to convey the substance of this resolution to our numerous partners in the many and varied disability rights and civil rights coalitions to which this organization proudly belongs.

Motion 42: Mr. Thom moved the adoption of resolution 2004-06. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Resolution 2004-14, Title VII, Chapter 2 submitted by the Iowa Council of the United Blind. “…Resolved that this organization instructs its Officers, Directors and staff to advocate for an increase in Federal funding for the Title VII, Chapter 2 Program; And, be it further resolved that such increase in Federal funding should be allocated based on the population of each state and indexed according to the cost of living so long as no state’s allocation is reduced below its current 2004 fiscal year level.”

Motion 43: Mr. Thom moved adoption of resolution 2004-14 with an added amendment. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Resolution 2004-12; Testing for Citizenship submitted by Ms. Penny Reeder and Others. “…Resolved that this organization directs the ACB staff to inform the USCIS about the specialized requirements of test-takers with visual impairments for appropriate alternate formats, alternative test administrative procedures and test questions that relate appropriately to the non-visual experiences of this population; And, be it further resolved that ACB collaborate with other blindness organizations as well as the USCIS to assure that the needs of the population of immigrants and refugees who are blind or visually impaired will be taken into consideration when the naturalization tests are revised and standardized so that these individuals have an equal opportunity to participate in the benefits of United States Citizenship.”

Motion 44: Mr. Thom moved the adoption of resolution 2004-12. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

The Nominating Committee chose Mr. Oral Miller for Director Position 2, who was elected by acclamation.

Ms. Cynthia Towers was named by the Nominating Committee for Director Position 3 with Ms. Arlene Cohen being nominated from the floor. Ms. Towers received 66.5 percent and Ms. Cohen received 33.5 percent of the votes.

Resolution 2004-15 Braille Codes submitted by the Braille Revival League. “…Resolved that this organization expresses its profound disappointment with the action taken by BANA and ICEB; And, be it further resolved that this organization urges BANA and ICEB to conduct research addressing the problems outlined in this resolution; And, be it further resolved that this organization strongly encourages BANA and ICEB to examine other codes before taking a final vote on this important matter.

Motion 45: Mr. Thom moved the adoption of resolution 2004-15. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Resolution 2004-16. Blindness Hall of Fame submitted by Mr. Ralph Sanders. “…Resolved that this organization creates and establishes a Blindness Hall of Fame; And, be it further resolved that this organization commits to extending an opportunity for induction in the Blindness Hall of Fame to all worthy persons regardless of their political affiliation, gender or religious, ethnic or racial heritage; And, be it further resolved that the Blindness Hall of Fame with the exception of initial start-up costs for telephone, printing, postage and limited travel expenses be funded by donations, grants and awards to the Blindness Hall of Fame Endowment Fund to be established and administered by the ACB Chief Financial Officer; And, be it further resolved that the financial development plan for the Blindness Hall of Fame be designed to attract funding that can, wherever practical, be used to compliment or supplement expenses of the ACB particularly for office and staff expense; And, be it further resolved that the Blindness Hall of Fame Governance Committee be established to plan for the blindness Hall of Fame, with this committee’s duties to include, but not be limited to identification of potential funding sources, initial space and staffing requirements, creation of categories of recognition and means of nomination and balloting to ensure selection is based on merit alone, the development of a permanent board of directors for the Blindness Hall of Fame and any other details related to the creation and operation of the Blindness Hall of Fame with the sole limitation that the Governance Committee submit, and gain approval of the Board of Directors of the American Council of the Blind for any budget or initial expenses that may be sought from ACB; And, be it further resolved that the governing board of the Blindness Hall of Fame be directly connected to the American Council of the Blind as an associated organization; And, be it further resolved that the process of nominating and selecting honorees for the Blindness Hall of Fame be developed and implemented by individuals representing all segments of the blindness community to ensure the integrity of the selection of the inductees; And, be it further resolved that the Governance Committee shall consist of seven (7) members to be appointed by the President within sixty (60) days of the adoption of this resolution including the Executive Director and a member from the leadership of the ACB and to the extent possible recognize recognized leaders representing the fields of rehabilitation, non-profit agencies, education and technology development. The President shall designate one member to serve as Chair.”

Motion 46: Mr. Thom moved adoption of resolution 2004-16 with a friendly amendment. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Motion 47: A motion was made from the floor to reconsider resolution 2004-16. The motion failed on a voice vote.

The Nominating Committee reported out the name of Mr. David Trott for Director Position 4. Also nominated from the floor were Ms. Arlene Cohen, and Ms. Naomi Soule. The results were Ms. Cohen 24.6 percent; Ms. Soule 30.1 percent and Mr. Trott 45.2 percent of the vote.

A run-off election between Ms. Soule and Mr. Trott resulted in Ms. Soule receiving 45.0 percent and Mr. Trott received 55.0 percent.

Resolution 2004-17, Greyhound Lines submitted by a person who is not attending the convention. “…Resolved that this organization calls upon Greyhound Lines, Inc., the Federal Government and other appropriate parties to work together to maintain over-the-road bus service to all communities currently served by that company; And, be it further resolved that this organization send copies of this resolution to Greyhound Lines, Inc., the Secretary of Transportation and the Chairs of the House and Senate Committees having jurisdiction over transportation legislation.”

Motion 48: Mr. Thom moved the adoption of resolution 2004-17. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Resolution 2004-18, Public Transportation submitted by Ms. Donna Smith. “…Resolved that this organization join with other stakeholders in advocating for the expansion of safe, accessible and affordable transportation for people who are blind or visually impaired.”

Motion 49: Mr. Thom moved the adoption of resolution 2004-18. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Resolution 2004-19, IDEA submitted by Ms. Penny Reeder. “…Resolved that when advocating for the reauthorization of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the American Council of the Blind will only endorse legislation that upholds each of the following basic core principles: 1) A free appropriate public education for each child with a disability. 2) Appropriate evaluation leading to appropriate placement. 3) An individualized education program including short-term and long-term goals derived from coloration among educators, assessment specialists, family members, care-givers and disabled children themselves. 4) The most appropriate setting to meet a child’s needs at any given time. 5) Parent and student participation in decision making. 6) Procedural safeguards including due process and 7) Equal access to all instructional materials; And, be it further resolved that this organization advocates strenuously against all House and Senate IDIA reauthorization provisions that would limit substantive and procedural safeguards for children with disabilities and their parents; And, be it further resolved that this organization urges other organizations and groups to join us in supporting the goals and principles of this resolution.”

Motion 50: Mr. Thom moved the adoption of resolution 2004-19. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Resolution 2004-20, Architectural Barriers Act submitted by Mr. Charlie Hodge. “…Resolved that this organization applaud the Access Board upon its promulgation of the long-awaited and anticipated final rule revising, updating and harmonizing the accessibility provisions of both the ADAAG and MGRAD under the ABA; And, be it further resolved that this organization calls upon the four Federal standard setting agencies, GSA, HUD, DOD and USPS to promptly commence regulatory proceedings to revise the UFAS by incorporating into UFAS the revised and modernized accessibility provisions contained in the Access Board’s ADAAG and ABA accessibility rules; And, be it further resolved that this organization calls upon DOJ and DOT to also promptly commence rule making proceedings to revise their respective ADA accessibility standards through adopting the newly promulgated Access Board’s final ADAAG and ABA accessibility standards rules; And, be it further resolved that this organization instructs its Officers, Directors and staff to promptly communicate the substance of this resolution to appropriate Federal Government Officials who have responsibilities for accessibility standards.”

Motion 51: Mr. Thom moved adoption of resolution 2004-20. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Resolution 2004-21; Radio Reading Service submitted by Mr. Mike Duke on behalf of IAAIS. “…Resolved that this organization supports the IAAIS in its call for substantial improvement in audio fidelity over that of existing analog sub-carrier transmissions; And, be it further resolved that the American Council of the Blind that the American Council of the Blind supports and promotes the preservation of the ability for all radio reading services to operate within the provisions of the current copyright laws, the making of enhanced information access services increasingly available to persons who are print-impaired, and the design and manufacture of fully accessible radios; And, be it further resolved that this organization directs its Officers, Directors, and staff to collaborate with IAAIS and any other organization, manufacturer or consumer advocacy group in order to ensure the future growth, accessibility, and availability of broadcast delivered information access services.

Motion 52: Mr. Thom moved the adoption of resolution 2004-21. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Resolution 2004-22; Inaccessible Appliances and Electronics submitted by the Information Access Committee. “…Resolved that this organization directs its staff to send a letter to trade associations of manufacturers of appliances and electronic devices, and to other appropriate organizations, educating them about the need to take into account the blind and visually impaired community in designing their products; And, be it further resolved that ACB, through its Information Access Committee, is ready and willing to assist such trade associations and their members to facilitate universal design; And, be it further resolved that the ACB Information Access Committee is directed to attempt to establish meetings with such trade associations and their members to implement the purposes of this resolution.

Motion 53: Mr. Thom moved the adoption of resolution 2004-22. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Resolution 2004-23, Hotel Shuttle Services submitted by Marlaina Lieberg. “… Resolved that this organization directs its officers, directors and staff to ensure that, when any convention hotel provides shuttle transportation for convention attendees, such transportation will be available to all convention attendees, including those who use wheelchairs; And, be it further resolved that, in accordance with ADA requirements, such transportation shall be provided at the same cost to all convention attendees; And , be it further resolved that the Convention Coordinating Committee is hereby directed to immediately amend the ACB convention guidelines to include the substance of this resolution; And, be it further resolved that future hotel convention contracts include provisions to fully implement the policy set forth in this resolution.

Motion 54: Mr. Thom moved adoption of resolution 2004-23. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Resolution 2004-24, Audio Description and XM Satellite Radio. “…Resolved that this organization collaborate with the Media Access Group at WGBH to actively promote the inclusion of audio-described movies in this fast-growing market; And, be it further resolved that this organization direct the ACB Executive Director to write a letter to the Media Access Group at WGBH to express both our appreciation for their effort on this matter and to request specific actions that this organization can take to assist in the promotion of the broadcast of audio described movies on satellite radio broadcast media.

Motion 55: Mr. Thom moved the adoption of resolution 2004-24. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Motion 56: Ms. Ruschival moved to meet at 7:30am on Saturday. On a voice vote, the motion failed.

President Gray recessed the meeting at 5:05pm.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

President Gray brought the final convention session to order at 8:10am.

Ms. Pat Shreck reported the ACB Store had sold over $12,000 in items during convention week.

The final Director Position election was held. The Nominating Committee chose Ms. Becky Floyd and the following were nominated from the floor: Ms. Marsha Farrow, Ms. Naomi Soule and Ms. Arlene Cohen. The election results were as follows: Ms. Soule 29 percent; Ms. Floyd 36.4 percent; Ms. Cohen 7.9 percent and Ms. Farrow 26.7 percent.

Since there was not a clear majority, the top two contenders, Ms. Floyd and Ms. Soule were subject to a run-off election. The results of that election were: Ms. Floyd received 42.5 percent and Ms. Soule received 57.5 percent.

Resolution 2004-25, Social Security submitted by Mr. Ralph Sanders. “… Resolved that this organization opposes any effort of the Social Security Administration or the Congress to seek changes to the definition of blindness as it is applied to eligibility for SSDI and SSI benefits; And, be it further resolved that the ACB commits itself to work proactively to educate and inform its members and the general public concerning the valid and legitimate reasons justifying and supporting Congress' enactment into law of the special provisions benefiting people who are blind contained in the Social Security Act.

Motion 57: Mr. Thom moved the adoption of resolution 2004-25. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Resolution 2004-26, Randolph-Sheppard Act submitted by RSVA. “…Resolved that this organization supports and endorses the expressed intent of Congress in the Randolph-Sheppard Act, and the implementing expression in regulations of the Department of Education and in the Preamble to such regulations, regarding the independent status of each elected Committee of Blind Vendors; And, be it further resolved that this organization strongly urges the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education, to adopt a policy, as follows: (1) in accordance with the Randolph-Sheppard Act, and implementing regulations, to the extent that any state law is in conflict with the act and regulations, and to the extent that a state offers an assertion regarding the status of Committees of Blind Vendors in conflict with the clear meaning and intent of such act and regulations, such laws and expressions are null and void, and are preempted by federal law; (2) Committees of Blind Vendors are entities not subject to the control of any state authority, and are established for the purpose of representing the interests of all licensed blind vendors in a state; and (3) members of Committees of Blind Vendors are not state employees; And, be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration.

Motion 58: Mr. Thom moved the adoption of resolution 2004-26. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Amendment 2004-14, By-law 7, section A submitted by Mr. Joe Harcz. (Add the following new language to the end of the section.) “Each meeting, including conference call meetings of the Board of Publications shall be considered an open meeting. The Chair of the BOP shall use every ACB media possible to inform the membership of the date, time and location of each meeting; or in the case of a conference call meeting, to inform the membership of the date, time and method by which they can attend via conventional telecommunications. In order to maintain the highest of professional standards in the activities of the Board of Publications and to be in compliance with laws governing such activities, minutes of each meeting shall be taken, kept and disseminated. As in past tradition, the Editor or Acting Editor of the Braille Forum shall be delegated to take, keep and maintain these minutes. The Editor shall be advised of this responsibility as part of his or her job description. Minutes will be completed in draft form in an electronic media that is readily reproducible in a variety of alternate formats within thirty (30) days of the end of each BOP meeting. At that time, they will be sent to each BOP member in his or her preferred media. Additionally, these minutes will be submitted to the entire Board of Directors at the same time and will be included as part of the BOP reports to that Board. Upon request, any member of this organization shall receive a copy of these minutes in his or her preferred media anytime after that thirty (30) day period.”

The current wording of last sentence of By-law 7, Section A: “The Board shall meet at least once each year and more often if necessary upon the call of the Chairperson or upon the request of not less than three (3) members of the Board of Publications.”

Proposed wording: “The Board shall meet at least once each year and more often if necessary upon the call of the Chairperson or upon the request of not less than three (3) members of the Board of Publications. Each meeting, including conference call meetings, of the Board of Publications shall be considered an open meeting. The Chair of the BOP shall use every ACB media possible to inform the membership the date, time and location of each meeting; or in the case of a conference call meeting, to inform the membership of the date, time and method by which they can attend via conventional telecommunications. In order to maintain the highest of professional standards in the activities of the Board of Publications and to be in compliance with laws governing such activities, minutes of each meeting shall be taken, kept and disseminated. As in past tradition, the Editor or Acting Editor of the Braille Forum shall be delegated to take, keep and maintain these minutes. The Editor shall be advised of this responsibility as part of his or her job description. Minutes will be completed in draft form in an electronic media that is readily reproducible in a variety of alternate formats within thirty (30) days of the end of each BOP meeting. At that time, they will be sent to each BOP member in his or her preferred media. Additionally, these minutes will be submitted to the entire Board of Directors at that same time and will be included as part of the required BOP report to that Board. Upon request, any member of this organization shall receive a copy of these minutes in his or her preferred media anytime after that thirty (30) day period.”

Mr. Campbell stated the committee recommends a do not pass.

Motion 59: Mr. Brian Charlson moved adoption of the motion.

Motion 60: Mr. Brian Charlson moved to strike reference to any activity associated with conference call meetings. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Motion 61: Mr. Brian Charlson moved to strike the word “draft.” On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Motion 62: Ms. Carla Ruschival moved to insert the words “within thirty (30) days of the adoption of the official minutes.” The motion carried on a voice vote.

Motion 63: Ms. Pat Beattie moved to refer all pending motions and questions back to the Constitution and By-law Committee. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

The Board of Publications elections were held. The Nominating Committee had selected Mr. Mike Duke who was elected by acclimation

Mr. Ken Stewart was reported out from the Nominating Committee and Ms. Cindy Burgett was nominated from the floor. The election results were Ms. Burgett 51.3 percent and Mr. Stewart 48.7 percent.

Ms. DeAnna Noriega was nominated from the Nominating Committee to run against Mr. Ken Stewart nominated from the floor. The election results were Ms. Noriega 55.4 percent and Mr. Stewart 44.6 percent.

Mr. Campbell presented Amendment 2004-17, By-law 6 with a new Section O submitted by the current Internet Ad Hoc Committee. “Internet Oversight Committee. Each year within sixty (60) days after the close of the annual convention, an Internet Oversight Committee shall be appointed composed of seven (7) 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 Chair 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 Chair of the Committee shall serve as an ex-officio member of the Board of Publications. The Internet Oversight Committee shall 1) Formulate and promulgate by which ACB’s online lists are managed with a 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 their policies set forth by such rules. 3) Act as an oversight body making recommendations to the ACB Board of Directors and to the ACB Board of Publications concerning ACB’s organizational presence on the internet.

Motion 64: Mr. Campbell moved the adoption of By-law 6, Section O. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Amendment 2004-13 submitted by Mr. Joe Harcz. By-law 7, Section A, third sentence. Insert a (,) comma followed by the words “listservs’ after the word website.”

Current wording: “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, the ACB convention program and ACB brochures, ACB websites and ACB Radio.”

Proposed wording: “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, the ACB convention program and ACB brochures, ACB website, ACB listservs and ACB radio.

Mr. Campbell stated the committee recommends a do not pass.

Motion 65: Mr. Paul Edwards moved to pass the amendment. The motion failed on a voice vote.

Ms. Carla Ruschival asked for the standing vote count for the prior election to determine a quorum. Mr. Stevens, the Parliamentarian determined a quorum had been established at the beginning of the session.

Amendment 2004-07 submitted by Mr. Joe Harcz. Add new by-law 11 to the end of the by-laws. This new By-law prohibits retaliation against any ACB member engaging in a free expression of ideas, opinions or other constitutionally protected activities.

Proposed wording: “By-law 11 – Prohibition of Retaliation. In accordance with the provisions in Article II, Section H as well as other citations contained in the Constitution and/or By-laws, no member regardless of status shall be sanctioned, disciplined or retaliated against by any means or method including any discipline resulting in the suspension of any rights or privileges enjoyed by all members by any Officer or delegated authority acting in an official capacity of this organization for any lawful, verbal or written communication including generally exercised rights of freedom of speech or expression as granted in a lawful manner to all citizens of the United States of America under the First Amendment to the US Constitution requesting any records or documents pertaining to the official activities of ACB including requests for those documents or records in accessible format making any inquiry about official activities of this organization supporting or opposing any candidate for office, supporting or opposing any policy or action of the Board of Directors, Officers, Board of Publications or any committee expressing any grievance, petition or engaging in any peaceful assembly for the purposes of submitting or disseminating such grievances or petitions, whistle-blowing or levying any truthful charge of malfeasance, no feasance, abuse, corruption of any official or delegated authority in the exercise of his or her duties, constitutional responsibilities or fiduciary obligations. This prohibition against such retaliation extends to all media employed or sponsored by ACB and goes to official correspondences, as well as private expression of those categories listed above from members to elected or delegated officials. Further, it extends to prohibition against retaliation for engaging in free expression rights in any media or forum outside the jurisdiction of ACB proper. As members themselves these rights are fully extended as well to all Officers or individuals acting in an official capacity of ACB.”

The Constitution and By-laws Committee recommends a do not pass on Amendment 2004-07.

Motion 66: Mr. Don Thompson moved to adjourn sine dei. The motion carried and the 2004 ACB convention adjourned at 11:15am.

Respectfully submitted,
Donna Seliger