July 6, 2002, Post-Convention Board Meeting Minutes

American Council of the Blind
Post-Convention Board Meeting
July 6, 2002

The meeting was called to order by President Chris Gray at 1:50pm in the Adams Mark Hotel, Houston, Texas.

The secretary was asked to take roll call. All officers and Directors were present except Mr. Alan Beatty and Ms. Dawn Christensen. Ms. Melanie Brunson, Mr. Charlie Crawford and Ms. Penny Reeder. Several guests were also present.

President Gray reviewed his agenda with the Board:

1. Executive Director’s report and staff

2. Convention report

3. Executive session

4. Employment issues task force report

5. ACBES report

6. Board of Publications report

7. Treasurer’s report

8. Membership report

9. Logo Committee report

10. Executive committee report

Motion 1: Mr. Jerry Annunzio moved to adopt the agenda. The motion carried.

Item 1 – Executive Director’s report, Mr. Charlie Crawford. In general, he described the activities at the National Office. As of July 5, the telephone system has been updated and is working well. Mr. Crawford described the duties of each employee. The newest employee is Crystal Monk.

Motion 2: Mr. Edwards moved to accept the Executive Director’s report. The motion carried.

Next, Ms. Melanie Brunson, Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs spoke to the group. Airport security screening is improving for the disabled community.

All 2001 priority one resolutions have been addressed. Progress has been made toward implementing the remaining resolutions.

The federal funding for older blind was increased from $19 million to $25. ACB is asking to increase the amount to $30.

Three resolutions were passed in 2001 dealing with election reform. President Gray appointed an accessible voting task force that has prepare a comprehensive manual on voting.

ACB is working hard with other blindness organizations as well as congressional staffers to get the text book bill passed.

Motion 3: Mr. Brian Charlson moved to accept the report given by Ms. Brunson. The motion carried.

Ms. Penny Reeder, Braille Forum Editor presented a report. Eight press releases went out over the past year. Ms. Reeder summarized the attached written report.

Motion 4: Mr. Edwards moved to accept Ms. Reeder’s report. The motion carried.

Ms. Ardis Bazyn gave the report on prioritization of the 2002 resolutions.

1. Applying the disability law to the Federal Court - #3

2. Compliance with Section 508 by the Executive Branch - #2

3. AARP accessible format - #2

4. Segway - #1

5. Commending Lifetime and other programmers for making descriptive video lists available - #2

6. National Council on Independent Living - #1

7. Glucose testing equipment - #2

8. Funding for Amtrak - #1

11. Funding for Title VII - #2

12. Convene a meeting with auto manufacturers about noise level - #3

13. Legislation to apply Section 508 to Congress - #2

14. Letter to George Fogherty - #1

15. RFB&D - #2

16. Disclose the diagnostic findings to participants of the study - #3

17. RSVA active participation - #1

19. Oklahoma State Agency - #1

20. Support for Wayfinding - #3

21. Ask publishers to make their file more readily available and commending Bookshare.org - #2 2

2. Emergency evacuation - #2

23. Separation of sidewalks and bike trails - #1

24. Audible signals - #1

25. Training under blindfolds - #2

26. Justin Dart commendation - #1

27. Reichert - #1

28. Real Player - #3

29. IRS - #2

30, 31 and 32 Commendations to hotel - #1

Motion 5: Mr. Pomerantz moved to change resolution 2002-17 from a number one priority to a number two priority. The motion carried.

Motion 6: Ms. Winifred Downing moved to change resolution 2002-15 from a number two priority to a number one priority. The motion failed.

Motion 7: Mr. Brian Charlson moved to change resolution 2002-23 from a priority one status to a priority two status. The motion carried.

Motion 8: Mr. Edwards moved to have resolution 2002-28 moved from a priority three status to a priority two status. The motion carried.

Motion 9: Mr. Charlson moved to accept the amended report. The motion carried.

Item 8 – Membership Report, Ms. Pam Shaw. A new affiliate of ACB is being formed with members who work for NIB and other industrial facilities. The affiliate will be called Associated Blind for Industrial Development and Equality (ABIDE).

The human service professionals met during the convention to discuss possible affiliation. When an application is presented to the Board, it will be asked to treat the application as a new one.

Some of the foreign guests have expressed an interest in becoming a part of ACB. Ms. Shaw asked permission from the Board to proceed in this direction.

Motion 10: Mr. Edwards moved that this Board authorize Mr. Oral Miller, representing this Board, and Ms. Pam Shaw and others on developing an appropriate means of relating such individuals to our organization with folks from here. The motion carried.

Ms. Shaw reported that the First Timers Workshop were successful. Those attending ranged from age 17 to 89.

The Membership Seminar produced concerns about the ability to attract and maintain members. Ms. Shaw challenged the members of the Board to bring in ten new members per member. An aggressive list of membership issues will be presented to the Board at the fall board meeting.

The membership committee dinners were very successful and several asked to have them repeated in 2003.

Mr. Charlie Hodge suggested perhaps the Durward K. McDaniel fund could help with sending affiliate delegates to convention.

Motion 11: Mr. Charlson moved to accept the membership committee report. The motion passed unanimously.

Item 2 – Convention Report, Ms. Cynthia Towers. The Youth Activity Center would like to have passes issued to the children in the future. The YAC is not meant to be a baby sitting service so only children of parents who are attending the banquet should attend during that time.

A suggestion was made to have the exhibit hall open at a specific time for the Board and convention workers.

The Convention Committee is giving consideration to combining the convention office and information desk and call it Information Services. Two phones would be available.

Motion 12: Ms. Carla Ruschival moved to close general session and go into an executive session. The motion passed unanimously.

The general meeting resumed and the secretary was asked to read a motion made during the executive session.

Motion from Executive Session: Mr. Edwards moved that the President appoint an ad hoc committee including members of the convention committee, a mental health clinician, an attorney from the Board and such others as the president deems appropriate who will have the responsibility of reviewing and updating our current reasonable accommodations guidelines and who shall report back to the Board with a document for approval at the September board meeting. The motion carried.

Item 9 – Logo Committee Report.

Motion 13: Mr. Jerry Annunzio moved to have a letter sent from the Board thanking the designer of the new ACB logo expressing appreciation and thanks. The motion carried. (The secretary agreed to write the letter)

Mr. Annunzio said he was asked by President Gray to chair a committee titled Major Donor Campaign. Mr. Annunzio is working to understand what is being done, find donors and use the Combined Federal Campaign as a source of funding.

Motion 14: Mr. Edwards moved that this board of directors instruct the executive director to prepare a report and implementation plan that will enable ACB to be fully recognized as a nationally designated program in the United Way Campaign. A report is to be received by mid-year. A roll call vote was taken. Those in the affirmative: Ms. Bazyn, Mr. Charlson, Mr. Edwards, Mr. Miller, Mr. Pomerantz, Ms. Schmitt and Mr. Sheehan. Those opposed: Mr. Annunzio, Dr. Bradley, Ms. Keith, Ms. Ruschival and Mr. Speicher. Ms. Seliger abstained and two members were absent. The final vote, seven yes, five no and one abstained. The motion carried.

President Gray stated that a member of the Board, as mandated by the by-laws, must be elected to sit on the Public Relations Committee.

Mr. Miller nominated Ms. Billie Jean Keith.

Motion 15: Mr. Pomerantz moved that nominations be closed and that Ms. Keith be elected by acclimation to sit on the Public Relations Committee. The motion passed unanimously.

Item 10 – Report from executive committee meeting. President Gray reported that we are not yet ready to consider a final contract with Smart Media. The executive committee recommends that ACB proceed with exploration of a contract and come to a final version of the contract and present it to the Board.

Motion 16: Mr. Edwards moved that elections for the executive committee be postponed until the September meeting in order to allow the current one to continue its work. The motion carried.

Item 4 – Employment Issues Task Force Report. Mr. Pomerantz reported that the committee put together a four-hour program on Sunday, June 30. He would like to keep the task force in tact.

Item 5 – American Council of the Blind Enterprises and Services. Mr. Paul Edwards reported to the group Mr. Michael Keoghan began work for ACBES in February. In April and May a great many changes were made in several stores. Although sales are down, it is hoped that will change over the next few months. ACBES held a two-hour board meeting and they believe steps have been taken that will substantially alter the situation. A thrift store has opened in a new location in West Alice, Wisconsin and will celebrate its grand opening the week following convention. ACBES is moving into an area of selling returned merchandise from department stores. Also, they are exploring a range of alternative sources for stocking the thrift stores.

Motion 17: Mr. Pomerantz moved to accept the ACBES report. The motion carried.

Item 7 – Treasurer’s Report. Ms. Ardis Bazyn gave a very brief report. Total revenue $463,133, total expenses, $458,010 and excess of expense over revenue, $5,123.

Motion 18: Motion tabled from mid-year meeting. Ask that the Budget Committee consider the first three months’ operating expenses to bring those forward at the September board meeting instead of waiting for the whole budget process at the mid-year meeting. The motion carried.

Motion 19: Second motion tabled from mid-year meeting and brought forth by Ms. Bazyn. When contracts over $25,000 are being negotiated, they should first be submitted to the Budget Committee for review initially, then sent to the Board and every three years be re-evaluated. Mr. Charlson moved adoption of the motion. The motion carried.

Motion 20: Mr. Charlson moved to amend the motion to remove the approval process with respect to the contract for hotel for the annual convention. The motion carried.

Motion 21: Mr. Charlson moved as a friendly amendment to motion 19 that any contract submitted to the Budget Committee for its consideration will be returned with a recommendation within two weeks of its. receipt. The motion passed.

Motion 22: Mr. Edwards moved acceptance of the Treasurer’s report. The motion carried.

Next the discussion turned to the fall board meeting. Motion 23: Ms. Ruschival and President Gray will confer and select a city (Minneapolis or St. Louis) by August 1 to hold the fall board meeting. Motion passed.

Motion 24: The weekend of September 21 was selected by the group. The motion passed.

Item 6 – Board of Publications report. Ms. Winifred Downing read her report to the Board. (Please see attached copy)

Motion 25: Ms. Bazyn moved to accept the report of the Board of Publications. The motion carried.

Motion 26: Mr. Edwards moved that consideration of the specific recommendations contained in this report be deferred to the September board meeting and that a copy of the recommendations be circulated to this Board by no later than August 1. The motion carried.

Constitution and By-laws Committee report. Mr. Ray Campbell reported that after reviewing the proposed dues cap the committee feels that a study should be made regarding the dues cap in regard to the voting cap. The committee felt that by increasing the amount from $1,875 to $3,125 will encompass the $5 dues charge beginning in 2003.

Motion 27: Mr. Edwards moved to accept the Constitution and By-Laws Committee report. The motion passed.

Mr. Olsen asked Mr. Campbell to have the Constitution and By-Laws committee research whether the official name should be American Council of the blind, Inc. or simply American Council of the Blind.

Mr. Edwards stated that it seemed to him that the convention passed a motion that would authorize the Constitution and By-Laws Committee, should it determine that it is an error and that it is a punctuation or editorial problem, to make the change. He would urge after research that the Constitution and By-Laws Committee follow the authority that the convention gave them to that end.

Mr. Jonathan Mosen discussed the problems he had in getting to the computer in the ballroom. Although he was in the hotel on Friday, he wasn’t allowed into the ballroom until Sunday and finished getting ready to stream the opening session 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the session.

President Gray gave a short update on the Maxi-Aids situation. The ACB executive committee met and did not take any action. The full Board met later and chose not to change the original action of the Board, therefore, Maxi-Aids was absent from the convention.

Mr. Charlson reported that the Perkins School is filing a lawsuit against Maxi-Aids.

Motion 28: Mr. Miller moved to adjourn the meeting. The motion carried.

Respectfully Submitted,
Donna Seliger, Secretary