JULY 8 - JULY 15, 2006, GENERAL SESSION RECORD, 45th ANNUAL CONVENTION, JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
GENERAL SESSION RECORD
45th ANNUAL CONVENTION
HYATT REGENCY
RIVERFRONT HOTEL
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA
JULY 8 – JULY 15, 2006

Sunday, July 9, 2006

The first session of the 45th annual American Council of the Blind Convention was gaveled to order by President Chris Gray at 7:10pm.

Rev. Carmen Jones gave the invocation.

The Colors were presented with Mr. Michael Taylor singing the National Anthem.

On behalf of the Mayor of Jacksonville, Mr. Jack Gillrup presented a Proclamation to ACB and President Gray.

Mr. Paul Edwards, Immediate Past President of the Florida Council of the Blind welcomed the members of ACB to Florida on behalf of Ms. Debbie Grubb, Florida Council of the Blind President.

Ms. Marsha Schoolman from DAMAR Travel spoke about upcoming cruises on behalf of ACB. She listed cruises scheduled for 2007.

President Gray delivered his report to the ACB membership. He stated one company that makes ATM machines is now producing every ATM that is accessible for blind and visually impaired clients. Wal-Mart and Trader Joe’s have agreed to install accessible point of sale terminals in all their stores.

ACB has entered into litigation with the Social Security Administration because that Federal agency refuses to send notices to blind and visually impaired clients in accessible formats. We are also working to make the Department of Treasury to print paper currency that is accessible. There are over 150 other countries that have accessible paper money and the United States is the only country that does not.

Mr. Mike Hingson, who now lives in California, was working in Tower One of the World Trade Center until September 11, 2001. He gave a narrative of his experience of that terrible day. He and his guide dog, Roselle, walked down from the 78th floor to the street where they encountered dust, debris and disorientation. Mr. Hingson credits his ability to survive to Roselle.

Mr. Carl Augusto and Mr. Brian Charlson presented Ms. Carol McCarl with the prestigious Migel Medal, the highest honor the American Foundation for the Blind bestows on a recipient.

The Membership Committee represented by President Gray presented a charter of affiliation to the Montana Blind and Low Vision Council. Mr. Allen Petersen of North Dakota made it his pet project to form an affiliate in Montana and on behalf of the new affiliate accepted the charter.

Miss Jessie Rayl accepted a charter for the newly reformed Human Service Professionals.

Life memberships were presented by Ms. Melanie Brunson to eight ACB members.

To present the Durward K. McDaniel Fund First Timers to ACB, Ms. Carol Ann Ewing announced their names. Mr. Daren Hatch from Kentucky and Miss Anita Calkins of New Mexico were this year’s honorees.

Mr. Jerry Annunzio gave the first credentials report. This year only one affiliate presented a problem and they were assessed one-half vote.

Roll Call of the affiliates was conducted by Secretary Donna Seliger. Sixty-Six affiliates answered the roll.

President Gray recessed the opening convention session at 10:45pm

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Second convention session was opened at 8:35am by President Gray followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Mr. Jerry Annunzio gave the final credentials report. The one affiliate did not challenge the Credentials Committee’s decision.

Motion 1: It was moved to accept the credentials report. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Mr. Don Stevens, ACB’s parliamentarian, read the Convention Standing Rules to the attendees. Mr. Stevens stated he would be willing to answer any questions from any member.

Motion 2: It was moved to adopt the standing rules for the convention. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Mr. Ray Campbell, chair of the Constitution and By-Laws Committee, began by reading the first amendment of 2006.

Amendment 2006-01 submitted by Mr. Jay Baiter – Amend Article IV, Section A, B and C by doing the following: 1. Striking out the last sentence of Section A and inserting the following two sentences. “The officers shall be elected in each odd numbered year at the annual convention. No more than two (2) officers shall be elected from any one state.

2. Strike out sub-section 2 of Section B as this leaves only one sub-section of text, the number one (1) is also eliminated at the beginning of Section B.

3. Add the following language to the beginning of Section C including numbering the current text of Section C as sub-section 3.

“1. A candidate for the position of officer or director shall be considered to be from the state in which the candidate maintains legal residence at the time the election is conducted and, if elected, shall be considered to be a resident of that state until the end of that particular term.”

“2. For purposes of Sections A and B ‘state’ shall be defined as the fifty (50) United States and other political sub-divisions of the United States including, but not limited to, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and other United States territories.”

Proposed wording: “A. The officers of this organization shall consist of a President, a First Vice President, A Second Vice President, a Secretary and a Treasurer and their terms of office shall be two (2) years or until a successor has assumed the duties of the position. The officers shall be elected in each odd numbered year at the annual convention. No more than two (2) officers shall be elected from any one state. B. In addition to the officers, this organization shall have ten (10) Directors to be elected by the convention for terms of four (4) years or until a successor has assumed the duties of the position. Five (5) Directors shall be elected in each even numbered year. No more than one Director shall be elected from any one state. C. 1) A candidate for the position of Officer or Director shall be considered to be from the state in which the candidate maintains legal residence at the time the election is conducted, and if elected, shall be considered to be a resident of that state until the end of that particular term. 2) For purposes of Sections A and B state shall be defined as the fifty (50) United States and other political sub-divisions of the United States including, but not limited to, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and other United States territories. 3. Officers and Directors elected under Sections A and B respectively shall assume their duties at the close of the convention at which they are elected.”

The convention attendees were honored with a visit from United States Congresswoman Ms. Corrine Brown of the Third District in Florida. She centered her remarks on a theory of “reverse Robin Hood”. Ms. Brown maintains the Federal government is taking programs from the poor and disabled to fund those who are at the top 5% of the pay scale.

President Gray introduced the officer of the day, First Vice President, M. J. Schmitt, who introduced the first speaker.

Ms. Nola McKinney, chair of the Awards Committee, presented the Special Achievement Award to the Friends of the Hadley School for the Blind.

The George Card Award was presented to Mr. Charlie Hodge, a long time member and advocate of ACB.

The Robert S. Bray Award was accepted by Mr. Oral Miller for Mr. Adrian DeBlaey who left this world in early January, 2006.

Ms. McKinley next presented the James Olsen Distinguished Service Award to Ms. Rachel Ames.

The Membership Growth Award was presented to Blind Information Technology Specialists (BITS) for the largest increase in membership.

The final award, Membership Outreach Ms. McKinney presented to Ms. Donna Rose and accepting for her was Mr. George Illinigworth.

Mr. Mike Duke, chair of the Board of Publications presented two awards.

The Ned E. Freeman Writing Award was presented to Ms. Katy Sakka and accepted by Mr. Brian Charlson on her behalf.

The second award, the Vernon Henley Media Award, was presented to Mr. Michael Miller, the author of “Louis Braille, A Touch of Genius”.

Coming to us from the Centers for Disease Control is Ms. Ruth Martin, Chief Management Officer for Environmental Health and Injury Prevention. Ms. Martin announced the CDC will be hiring twenty-five (25) disabled employees and she hopes all of them will be ACB members. Ms. Martin volunteered to lead the new team of employees.

A representative from the Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders, Ms. Marilyn Parker, spoke about Part D of Medicare, which is the drug coverage. Her initial message was that consumers have choices of plans and there are basically three main options.

Mr. Jim Gibbons, President of the National Industries for the Blind and a frequent guest of ACB updated us on NIB activities. By 2010 all NIB agencies plan to increase the number of employees substantially.

Following Mr. Gibbon’s presentation, the chair of the Monthly Monetary Support Committee made a few remarks about the program. Dr. Ron Milliman encouraged ACB members to sign up for the MMS program.

The final presenter, Mr. Oral Miller, reminded attendees of the Recreation Zone where there will be exercises, games and fun every afternoon of convention week.

Ms. Schmitt recessed the second convention session at 12:10pm.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

President Gray brought the third general convention session to order at 8:30am.

Ms. Judi Cannon, chair of the Nominations Committee, reported out the candidates that were chosen by that committee. This year five Director Positions are up for election. The candidates are: Mr. Jeff Thom, Mr. Ray Campbell, Ms. Brenda Dillon, Ms. Carla Ruschival and Mr. Patrick Sheehan. A two-year position has vacated and Ms. Billie Jean Keith has been chosen to run for that seat.

For the Board of Publications positions the nominating committee chose the following three persons: Ms. Deanna Noriega, Ms. Cindy Van Winkle and Ms. Terri Lynne Pomeroy.

Mr. Joel Snider of NCI announced the audio described movie that will appear tonight. Since the DVD does not have audio description, Mr. Snider will describe it for ACB members attending.

Ms. Crissie Cochrane and Ms. Marlaina Lieberg of ACB Radio announced all the new streaming for the radio.

Mr. Ray Campbell, chair of the Constitution and By-laws Committee, gave the first reading of amendments.

Amendment 2006-02 submitted by Ms. Sheila Styron – Add the following sentence to the end of Article III, Section B, sub-section 1: “Neither currently affiliated organizations nor those seeking affiliation with this organization shall exclude members based solely on their membership in another consumer organization of the blind.”

Amendment 2006-04 submitted by Ms. Karyn Campbell - Article IV, Section I. Add the following sentence to the end of the section. “No former employee of ACB or individual contracted to provide services to ACB shall be eligible for election to the Board of Directors or be either elected or appointed to the Board of Publications prior to one year after the date of termination of employment or contractual arrangement with ACB regardless of how either employment or a contract was terminated.”

Amendment 2006-01 submitted by Mr. Jay Baiter – Article IV, Sections A, B and C. (Refer to first reading above)

Motion 3: Mr. Campbell moved adoption of Amendment 2006-01, Article IV, sections A, B and C. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Mr. Campbell reluctantly stated he noticed that two ACB officers were seated on the Nominating Committee. When asked, he felt the Constitution didn’t cover the issue, however, he was in error as Article VI does state that neither officers or anyone else seeking to be elected is allowed on the Nominating Committee.

Motion 4: Richard Villa moved to discard the current nominating report and reconvene the nominating committee. On a voice vote, the motion failed.

Since more than twenty-five (25) members stood in favor of a roll call vote, President Gray determined it would take place. The results of the roll call vote are as follows: On a roll call vote, 55.32 percent was in the affirmative and 44.56 percent opposed.

Motion 5: Mr. Edwards moved to defer the roll call vote until after the break. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Today’s presiding officer is Mr. Mitch Pomerantz, ACB’s second vice president.

Chair of the Scholarship Committee, Ms. Patty Slaby presented scholarship certificates to sixteen young men and women who came to the convention. An additional six scholarship winners were not able to attend the convention.

Ms. Judy Jackson, chair of the Resolutions Committee, delivered the first resolution of the convention.

Resolution 2006-10 submitted by Mr. Frank Welte - Expanding the Definition of Legal Blindness. “…resolved that this organization seek modifications to ADA Regulations so that driving shall expressly constitute a major life activity under the ADA.”

Motion 6: Ms. Jackson moved adoption of Resolution 2006-10.

Motion 7: Mr. Mike Byington moved to send the resolution back to the committee for reconsideration and report back to the 2007 convention. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Resolution 2006-04 submitted by the California Council of the Blind - Free 411 Appreciation. “…resolved that this organization commend Cingular, Sprint PCS, T-Mobile and Verizon for their efforts in making available free 411 service to its customers who are blind or visually impaired.”

Motion 8: Ms. Jackson moved the adoption of Resolution 2006-04. The motion failed on a voice vote.

Motion 9: Ms. Cindy Van Winkle moved to dispense with the boiler plate language in resolutions in order to save time. On a voice vote, the motion failed.

Resolution 2006-11 submitted by Mr. Frank Welte - Para Transit. “…resolved that this organization seek regulatory or legislative remedies designed to enable people who are blind or visually impaired to receive full access to Para Transit services.”

Motion 10: Ms. Jackson moved to adopt Resolution 2006-11.

Motion 11: Mr. Casey Dutner moved to refer resolution 2006-11 back to the committee. The motion passed on a voice vote.

Ms. Kathy Martinez from the United Nations Treaty on Rights and Disabilities spoke for a very few minutes. She thanked ACB for its interest in the international disabled.

The panel on Emergency Preparedness presented an abbreviated version of their remarks as time was of the essence. On the panel was Ms. Day Al-Mohamed, as moderator from ACB, Ms. Mary Watkins from WGBH Media Access Group and Ms. Victoria Melvin, American Red Cross. A full panel discussion was scheduled to be held during the lunch hour.

Mr. Pomerantz recessed the session at 12:15pm.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The fourth general convention session began at 8:45am with the children from the Youth Activity Center leading the audience in the pledge of Allegiance.

Mr. David Trott, member of the Board of Directors and President of the Alabama affiliate led the membership in prayer.

The nominating Committee chaired by Ms. Judi Cannon, reported the following slate of nominees: Mr. Jeff Thom, Mr. Ray Campbell, Ms. Brenda Dillon, Ms. Billie Jean Keith and Ms. Carla Ruschival and Ms. Carol Ann Ewing was chosen to run for the two-year position.

Those chosen to serve on the Board of Publications are: Ms. Deanna Noriega, Ms. Cindy Van Winkle and Mr. Ken Stewart.

Mr. Campbell, chair of the Constitution and By-Laws Committee read more amendments.

Amendment 2006-03 submitted by Mr. Jim Jirak – Amend Article III, Section C Voting. Modify the seventh (7) sentence of this section by replacing twenty-five (25) with fifty (50). Proposed wording: “C. Voting. Each voting member attending an annual convention shall be entitled to one vote. In addition, official delegates from affiliates shall cast the number of votes to which their organization is entitled as provided in the By-Laws. Voting on all issues at annual conventions shall be conducted in one of two manners: voice vote by which the presiding officer calls for the oral ayes and then for the oral nays. For record vote. A record vote shall be composed of two distinct components; a standing vote by which the individual votes of certified voting members are taken and a roll call of affiliates by which the official affiliate delegate shall announce the votes of their respective organization. Elections where there are contests of officers, directors and members of the Board of Publications must be conducted by record vote. If a voice vote on any issue in the opinion of the presiding officer is too close to determine the result, the presiding officer shall have the discretion to order a record vote on the issue. A record vote on any issue shall also be ordered by the presiding officer if any fifty (50) certified voting members and/or members at large identify themselves from the floor of the convention and request a record vote.”

Amendment 2006-08 submitted by Mr. Ken Stewart – Amend Article IV, Section K by striking out all of the current text in the section and inserting the following: “It shall be the affirmative obligation of every candidate for any elective office to disclose all associations, whether volunteer, employment or contractual with any outside organization serving or representing people who are blind. Any conflict of interest or appearance of conflict of interest shall be sufficient to require a disclosure. Disclosures shall be announced along with the candidate’s state of residence to the convention by the person making the nomination either on behalf of the Nominating Committee or from the floor.”

Amendment 2006-05 submitted by Mr. Charlie Hodge – Amend Article V, Section C, second sentence by striking out the word ‘chair’ and replacing it with the word ‘chairperson’. Proposed wording: “The Board of Directors is hereby authorized to establish an Executive Committee consisting of five (5) members selected and constituted in the following manner; two members shall be elected by and from among the ten (10) directors, two members shall be elected by and from among the five (5) officers and the immediate past president. The president shall serve as chairperson.”

(Proviso: If the above amendment is adopted, the secretary in consultation with the chairperson of the Constitution and By-Laws Committee and Executive Director is hereby authorized to insert the word ‘chairperson’ in place of the word ‘chair’ wherever the latter word is found to occur throughout the Constitution and By-Laws and to correct article and section designations, punctuation and cross references and to make such other technical and conforming changes as may be necessary to reflect the intent of the members in convention assembled in relation to achieving uniformity of consistency in the usage of and conformity in terminology utilized throughout the ACB Constitution and By-Laws while at the same time not altering the substantive meaning of or the intent underlying the numerous provisions envisioned to be altered throughout the ACB Constitution and By-Laws pursuant to the insertion and alteration authority granted herein to the secretary

Amendment 2006-02 submitted by Ms. Sheila Styron – Add the following sentence to the end of Article III, Section B, sub-section 1: “Neither currently affiliated organizations nor those seeking affiliation with this organization shall exclude members based solely on their membership in another consumer organization of the blind.”

Motion 12: Mr. Campbell moved the adoption of Amendment 2006-02. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Mr. Mike Godino, ACB treasurer, presided over the program portion of the session.

A panel discussion on the Help America Vote Act moderated by Ms. Day Al-Mohamed with Mr. Paul Edwards, Ms. Ardis Bazyn, Mr. Patrick Sheehan and Mr. Mike Godino as panelists. Each of the panelists described the accessibility of voting their respective states.

Mr. Frank Kurt Cylke, director of the National Library Service, Ms. Judy Dixon, Consumer Relations Officer, Ms. Alice Baker, Digital Contract Coordinator and other NLS staff members reported to the ACB membership about the ongoing digital book project.

Mr. Michael Mellor who wrote the biography of Louis Braille entertained the audience for approximately a half hour on the life of Braille.

Each year ACB invites a talking book narrator to discuss his experience reading to us. Mr. Jim Zeiger shared his love of books with the audience talking about the fragility of the Talking Book Program.

Mr. Godino recessed the convention session at 12:05pm

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The fourth convention session was opened with the Pledge of Allegiance led by Mr. Darren Hatch at 8:35am.

The invocation was given by Apostle C. D. Martin, the Church of the Living God and Unity.

President Gray announced the formation of the American Center on the Blind and Visually Impaired. He introduced Mr. Ralph Sanders, chair of the committee who gave a broad overview of the committee’s vision of the future.

Motion 13: Ms. Pam Shaw moved that the American Council of the Blind at its 45th annual convention in Jacksonville, Florida adopt the report of the Hall of Fame Committee including the change of name to the American Center on Blindness and Visual Impairment and that the convention accepts the goals and objectives of the American Center on Blindness and Visual Impairment as set forth in the Mission Statement and that the convention affirms its support for the development of this new center. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Motion 14: Mr. Brian Charlson moved to refer the ACBVI issue to the ACB Board of Directors to discuss and bring back to the convention in 2007. The motion failed on a voice vote.

The officer of the day, Secretary Donna Seliger, dedicated her portion of the program to her dearly departed friend, Pat Shreck of Vancouver, Washington.

Ms. Jennifer Simpson, Senior Director at American Association of People with Disabilities spoke on her expense of accessible equipment from a monetary and emotional standpoint.

Ms. Simpson went on to discuss video description and what might happen to it when TV goes to digital in 2009. Very soon Television will come to us through the computer. Her emphasis on all this is that all the new technology being introduced must be accessible to all disability groups.

Mr. Campbell presented the first reading of three By-Law amendments as chair of the Constitution and By-Laws Committee.

Amendment 2006-06 submitted by the Constitution and By-Laws Committee – Amend Article VIII by striking out all current text and replacing it with the following: “This Constitution and By-Laws may be amended at any regular convention of ACB provided that such proposed amendment has been presented in writing to the Constitution and By-Laws Committee before the end of the first day following the day of the roll call session of the convention. A two-thirds vote of those present and voting
is required to adopt a constitutional amendment and a majority vote of those present and voting is required to adopt a by-law amendment according to voting procedures contained herein. Both the original language and proposed language shall be read to the assembly during any business meeting of the convention provided the deadline for submission has been met and final action shall not take place until a second reading to the assembly has taken place on any subsequent business meeting day. The reading of any proposed amendment may be dispensed with on the day of final action by a unanimous vote of the assembly. Any such proposed amendment is not considered pending business until the amendment has been properly placed in the hands of the convention assembled.”

Amendment 2006-07 submitted by Constitution and By-Laws Committee - Create a new Article V of the Constitution and re-number all subsequent articles. “Article V Publications Board A. There is hereby created a Board of Publications consisting of five (5) members whose term of office shall be two (2) years. The board shall be selected and constituted in the following manner: Every odd-numbered year the president at the close of the annual convention shall appoint a chairperson and one additional member of the board and every even-numbered year the annual convention shall elect by a majority vote in accordance with voting procedures contained in the Constitution or in the By-Laws the three remaining members of the board provided however; that no board member shall serve more than three consecutive terms and no more than one board member shall be either appointed or elected to the Board of Publications from any one state. B. 1) A candidate for or an appointee to the position of member of the Board of Publications shall be considered to be from the state in which the candidate or appointee maintains legal residence at the time of such election or appointment and shall be considered to be a resident of that state until the end of the term for which the candidate or appointee is either elected or appointed. 2) For purposes of Section A states shall be defined as the fifty (50) United States and other sub-divisions of the United States including, but not limited to, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and other United States territories. C. 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 programs and ACB brochures, the ACB website and ACB radio. D. The Executive Director shall have the authority to dismiss the Editor of the Braille Forum but only with the concurrence of the Board of Publications after a hearing on the matter. E. A majority of the Board of Publications may agree to include an editor/producer of any nationally distributed Board of Publications project as an ex-officio member of the Board. F. 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.”

Amendment 2006-09 submitted by Constitution and By-Laws Committee - Strike out By-Law seven (7). “By-Law 7: Publications Board. There is hereby created a Board of Publications consisting of five members whose term of office shall be two (2) years. The Board shall be selected and constituted in the following manner: Every odd-numbered year the president at the close of the annual convention shall appoint a chairperson and one additional member of the Board and every even-numbered year the annual convention shall elect by a majority vote in accordance with voting procedures maintained in the Constitution or in the By-Laws the three (3) 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. 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 programs, ACB brochures, the ACB website and ACB radio. The executive Director shall have the authority to dismiss the Editor of the Braille Forum but only with the concurrence of the Board of Publications after a hearing on the matter. A majority of the Board of Publications may agree to include editor/producer of any nationally distributed Board of Publications project of the American Council of the Blind as an ex-officio member of the Board. 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. B. A member of the Board of Publications is considered to be from the state in which he or she maintains legal residency. A candidate for or an appointee to the position of member of the Board of Publications shall be considered from the state in which he/she maintains legal residency at the time of such election or appointment.”

The Executive Director’s report was presented by Ms. Melanie Brunson. She talked about the summer interns who work in the Washington, DC office.

Ms. Brunson thanked staff members from both the DC and Minneapolis offices for their hard work over the past year and announced Ms. Terry Pacheco will leave the ACB staff at the end of July for personal reasons.

Mr. Dave Morgan from the Perkins School for the Blind was introduced. The Perkins School has expressed interest in partnering with ACB. Perkins has sold over 325,000 machines to 170 countries. All Perkins Bailers sold to ACB members will sell at a 10 percent discount.

Ms. Brunson continued with her report by reporting that ACB is a member of a group including the Randolph-Sheppard Vendors, National Industries for the Blind, the National Federation, Blind Merchants and others. This group is working together to ensure the Randolph-Sheppard program continues as it was meant for blind men and women vendors.

ACB Treasurer, Mr. Mike Godino, reported to the membership. Although ACB received revenues in 2005, they weren’t enough to cover the expenses, leaving a deficit balance. The Board of Directors voted to withdraw enough funds from the reserves to close the books with a small surplus.

Motion 15: It was moved and seconded to accept the treasurer’s report. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

The fifth convention session concluded at 12:15pm.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The final session of the 45th annual ACB convention was brought to order by President Chris Gray at 8:10am.

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by ACB secretary Donna Seliger.

Mr. Jerry Annunzio of Missouri led the membership in prayer.

Ms. Judi Jackson read Resolution 2006-18 submitted by Illinois Council of the Blind – Congratulations to the Chicago Lighthouse “…resolved that this organization extend its congratulations to the Chicago Lighthouse for people who are blind or visually impaired on its one hundredth (100) birthday, and;
Be it further resolved that this organization wishes the Lighthouse future success as they continue to grow and flourish to meet the needs of all people who are blind or visually impaired, and;
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution to Mr. James M. Kesteloot, President and Executive Director of the Chicago Lighthouse for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired.”

Motion 16: Ms. Jackson moved the adoption of Resolution 2006-19. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Resolution 2006-07 submitted by California Council of the Blind - Graduate Record Exams “Resolved that this organization direct its officers, directors and staff to contact officials at ETS to insist upon the use of Section 508 or W3C standards when designing the next generation of the GRE and its preparatory material, and;
Be it further resolved that should ETS disregard widely accepted internet accessibility standards, ACB consider all available remedies including working with other disability rights organizations, arbitration mediation and other legal avenues, and;
Be is further resolved that ETS disregard the need of blind and visually impaired students that all legal remedies be considered and pursued including working with other appropriate disability rights organizations.”

Motion 17: Ms. Jackson moved the adoption of Resolution 2006-07. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

The Convention Committee report was presented by Ms. Carla Ruschival, chair. She reported the 2007 convention will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota from June 30 through July 7. The room rates will be $81 for the Hyatt Regency and $84 for the Millennium. In 2008, ACB will meet at the Galt House in Louisville, Kentucky. The 2009 convention will be held in Orlando, Florida. Both the 2010 and 2011 slots are open and then we will be back to Louisville in 2012.

Dr. Ron Milliman announced that during the week of convention, the Monthly Monetary Support (MMS) Program increased by approximately 25 percent during convention week.

Resolution 2006-25 submitted by Mr. Ken Stewart and CCLVI – Vehicle Identification Numbers on Public Buses “… resolved that this organization demand that each transit entity providing multi-stop fixed route public transit be required to display in accessible format the vehicle identification number of that vehicle in its interior in a location near each of its exits.”

Motion 18: Ms. Jean Sanders moved to the word “…all major as well as requested stops…” On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Motion: 19: Ms. Jackson moved the adoption of Resolution 2006-25. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Resolution 2006-03 submitted by Visually Impaired Veterans of America – Adjustment into Sight Loss Intervention for Veterans Living in a State Veterans Facility “…resolved that this organization strongly urge the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to adopt policies that either provide for a sufficient per diem to permit a state to purchase adjustment to sight loss services or that allow the VIS program to purchase these services.”

Motion 20: Ms. Jackson moved adoption of Resolution 2006-03. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

The 2006 election of Board of Directors and Board of Publications candidates was held.

The election of Board of Director four-year positions was held. Mr. Thom, Mr. Campbell and Ms. Dillon were elected by acclamation.

Position 1: Mr. Jeff Thom
Position 2: Mr. Ray Campbell
Position 3: Ms. Brenda Dillon
Position 4: Mr. Patrick Sheehan
Position 5: Ms. Carla Ruschival

Motion 21: Mr. Patrick Sheehan was nominated from the floor to run against Ms. Billie Jean Keith. The results of the election were Keith 370.5 votes and 41.33 percent. Sheehan 526 votes with a percentage of 58.67.

Motion 22: Ms. Keith was nominated from the floor once again. The election results were as follows: Keith 275.5 at 30.8 percent and Ruschival 619 votes with 69.2 percent.
Ms. Carol Ann Ewing was chosen by the Nominations Committee to fill the one two-year term on the Board of Directors.

Motion 23: Ms. Keith was nominated from the floor to fill the two-year position on the Board of Directors. The results of the election were: Ewing 356.5 votes with 40.21 percent and Keith 530 with 59.79 percent to win the election.

Ms. Crissie Cochrane of ACB Radio reported on activities. In addition to Ms. Cochrane, Ms. Marlaina Lieberg and Mr. Geoff Shang are employees of ACB Radio. All of the streams have been updated and the sound quality is near CD quality.

Motion 23: Mr. Campbell moved to accept the ACB Radio report from Ms. Cochrane. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Mr. Michael Garrett, president of the ACBES reported currently there are nine thrift stores operating throughout the country. Several changes have been made in order to cut costs and to focus on customer service.

Motion 24: A motion was made from the floor to accept the ACBES report from Mr. Garrett. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Resolution 2006-02 submitted by ACB of North Dakota - Elimination of Earnings Limit for persons Receiving Social Security Disability “…resolved that this organization seek the adoption of Federal legislation that would eliminate the earnings limit for persons who receive Social Security Disability Insurance.”

Motion 25: Ms. Jackson moved the adoption of resolution 2006-02. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Resolution 2006-05 submitted by California Council of the Blind - A change in Braille “…resolved that this organization express its support for additions and alterations to the existing Braille Code as specified in the NUBS in the development of a single Braille Code.”

Motion 26: Ms. Jackson moved to adopt the resolution 2006-05. On a voice vote, the motion failed.

Resolution 2006-07 submitted by California Council of the Blind - Glucose Monitoring Access for Blind Diabetics “… resolved that this organization direct its staff to communicate with manufacturers of blood glucose monitors strongly urging them to incorporate accessibility technology into the conceptual and design phases of their product development cycle, and;
Be it further resolved that this organization further direct its staff to draft and submit proposed legislative language for passage by Congress mandating that manufacturers of blood glucose monitors incorporate accessibility into their blood glucose monitors.”

Motion 27: Ms. Jackson moved adoption of Resolution 2006-07. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

The Board of Publications elections for two-year terms was held. Ms. Noriega and Ms. Van Winkle were elected by acclamation.

Position 1: Ms. Deanna “Quietwater” Noriega
Position 2: Ms. Cindy Van Winkle
Position 3: Mr. Ken Stewart

Motion 28: Mr. Adam Ruschival moved to place the name of Dr. Ron Milliman for election to the Board of Publications. The results of the election between Milliman and Stewart resulted in the following: Stewart received 453 votes with 51.98 percent and Milliman 418.5 with 48.02 percent.

Resolution 2006-19 submitted by ACB Diabetics in Action - Diabetes Retinopathy submitted by “…resolved that the American Council of the Blind call on the American Diabetes Association to ensure that all materials it disseminates are available in formats accessible to persons who are blind or visually impaired, and;
Be it further resolved that the ADA is requested to encourage its service providers to ensure that all materials are available in accessible formats.”

Motion 29: Ms. Jackson moved the adoption of resolution 2006-19. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Resolution 2006-20 submitted by ACB Diabetics in Action - Accessible Insulin Pumps. “…resolved that the American Council of the Blind call upon Medtronics Diagnostics to work to make the Paradigm 712 pump accessible to the blind by developing a piece of equipment that will speak the visual display, and;
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be sent to the American Diabetes Association to solicit their help in advocating for such accessible equipment.”

Motion 30: Ms. Jackson moved the adoption of Resolution 2006-20. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Resolution 2006-21 submitted by Mr. Joel Snider – Video Description on DVD “…resolved that this organization direct its staff to urge DVD producers to add a video described audio track to all future DVD releases.”

Motion 31: Ms. Jackson moved the adoption of resolution 2006-21. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Mr. Bob Hachey requested that “audio navigation” be included in the resolution. The addition was accepted by consensus.

Mr. David Trott delivered a brief report from the Resource and Development Committee. The ACB Raffle proceeds will be used to purchase a CD duplicator for the National Office and an additional server for ACB Radio.

Resolution 2006-01 submitted by ACB Government Employees and California Council of the Blind – Customer Service Satisfaction. “….resolved that this organization direct its national office to seek information from ACB members regarding their complaints related to the quality of access technology products, repair and replacement services and technical support and forward these complaints to the appropriate assistive technology providers, and;
Be it further resolved that this organization direct its president to engage in ongoing dialogue with appropriate assistive technology providers concerning the resolution of these issues and encourage them to seek greater input from consumers, and;
Be it further resolved that this organization instruct its president to report to the ACB convention in 2007 the progress achieved.”

Motion 32: Ms. Jackson moved the adoption of Resolution 2006-01. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Motion 33: A motion was made by Mr. Don Moore to refer the resolution back to the committee for clarification. The motion failed on a voice vote.

Mr. Campbell, chair of the Constitution and By-Laws Committee, brought the remaining amendments to the membership.

Amendment 2006-04 submitted by Ms. Karyn Campbell - Article IV, Section I. Add the following sentence to the end of the section. “No former employee of ACB or individual contracted to provide services to ACB shall be eligible for election to the Board of Directors or be either elected or appointed to the Board of Publications prior to one year after the date of termination of employment or contractual arrangement with ACB regardless of how either employment or a contract was terminated.”

Motion 34: Mr. Campbell moved the adoption of amendment 2006-04. The motion failed on a voice vote.

Amendment 2006-03 submitted by Mr. Jim Jirak – Amend Article III, Section C Voting. Modify the seventh (7) sentence of this section by replacing twenty-five (25) with fifty (50). Proposed wording: “C. Voting. Each voting member attending an annual convention shall be entitled to one vote. In addition, official delegates from affiliates shall cast the number of votes to which their organization is entitled as provided in the By-Laws. Voting on all issues at annual conventions shall be conducted in one of two manners: voice vote by which the presiding officer calls for the oral ayes and then for the oral nays. For record vote. A record vote shall be composed of two distinct components; a standing vote by which the individual votes of certified voting members are taken and a roll call of affiliates by which the official affiliate delegate shall announce the votes of their respective organization. Elections where there are contests of officers, directors and members of the Board of Publications must be conducted by record vote. If a voice vote on any issue in the opinion of the presiding officer is too close to determine the result, the presiding officer shall have the discretion to order a record vote on the issue. A record vote on any issue shall also be ordered by the presiding officer if any fifty (50) certified voting members and/or members at large identify themselves from the floor of the convention and request a record vote.”

Motion 35: Mr. Campbell moved the adoption of Amendment 2006-03. On a voice vote, the motion failed.

Amendment 2006-08 submitted by Mr. Ken Stewart – Amend Article IV, Section K by striking out all of the current text in the section and inserting the following: “It shall be the affirmative obligation of every candidate for any elective office to disclose all associations, whether volunteer, employment or contractual with any outside organization serving or representing people who are blind. Any conflict of interest or appearance of conflict of interest shall be sufficient to require a disclosure. Disclosures shall be announced along with the candidate’s state of residence to the convention by the person making the nomination either on behalf of the Nominating Committee or from the floor.”

Motion 36: Mr. Campbell moved the adoption of Amendment 2006-08.

Motion 37: Mr. Jeff Thom moved to refer the amendment back to the Constitution and By-laws Committee. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Amendment 2006-05 Article 5submitted by Mr. Charlie Hodge – Amend Article V, Section C, second sentence by striking out the word ‘chair’ and replacing it with the word ‘chairperson’. Proposed wording: “The Board of Directors is hereby authorized to establish an Executive Committee consisting of five (5) members selected and constituted in the following manner; two members shall be elected by and from among the ten (10) directors, two members shall be elected by and from among the five (5) officers and the immediate past president. The president shall serve as chairperson.”

(Proviso: If the above amendment is adopted, the secretary in consultation with the chairperson of the Constitution and By-Laws Committee and Executive Director is hereby authorized to insert the word ‘chairperson’ in place of the word ‘chair’ wherever the latter word is found to occur throughout the Constitution and By-Laws and to correct article and section designations, punctuation and cross references and to make such other technical and conforming changes as may be necessary to reflect the intent of the members in convention assembled in relation to achieving uniformity of consistency in the usage of and conformity in terminology utilized throughout the ACB Constitution and By-Laws while at the same time not altering the substantive meaning of or the intent underlying the numerous provisions envisioned to be altered throughout the ACB Constitution and By-Laws pursuant to the insertion and alteration authority granted herein to the secretary.)

Motion 37: Mr. Campbell moved adoption of Amendment 2006-05. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Amendment 2006-06 submitted by the Constitution and By-Laws Committee – Amend Article VIII by striking out all current text and replacing it with the following: “This Constitution and By-Laws may be amended at any regular convention of ACB provided that such proposed amendment has been presented in writing to the Constitution and By-Laws Committee before the end of the first day following the day of the roll call session of the convention. A two-thirds vote of those present and voting is required to adopt a constitutional amendment and a majority vote of those present and voting is required to adopt a by-law amendment according to voting procedures contained herein. Both the original language and proposed language shall be read to the assembly during any business meeting of the convention provided the deadline for submission has been met and final action shall not take place until a second reading to the assembly has taken place on any subsequent business meeting day. The reading of any proposed amendment may be dispensed with on the day of final action by a unanimous vote of the assembly. Any such proposed amendment is not considered pending business until the amendment has been properly placed in the hands of the convention assembled.”

Motion 38: Mf. Campbell moved adoption of Amendment 2006-06. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Motion 39: Mr. Edwards moved to replace ‘unanimous’ with ‘simple majority’.

Motion 40: Mr. Mr. Byington moved to change ‘simple majority’ to ‘two-thirds’. The change was accepted by the membership.

Motion 41: Vernon Daigle moved to amend by striking the following sentence. “The second reading of any proposed amendment may be dispensed with on the day of final action by a two-thirds majority vote of the assembly.” On a voice vote the motion carried.

Amendment 2006-07 submitted by Constitution and By-Laws Committee - Create a new Article V of the Constitution and re-number all subsequent articles. “Article V Publications Board A. There is hereby created a Board of Publications consisting of five (5) members whose term of office shall be two (2) years. The board shall be selected and constituted in the following manner: Every odd-numbered year the president at the close of the annual convention shall appoint a chairperson and one additional member of the board and every even-numbered year the annual convention shall elect by a majority vote in accordance with voting procedures contained in the Constitution or in the By-Laws the three remaining members of the board provided however; that no board member shall serve more than three consecutive terms and no more than one board member shall be either appointed or elected to the Board of Publications from any one state. B. 1) A candidate for or an appointee to the position of member of the Board of Publications shall be considered to be from the state in which the candidate or appointee maintains legal residence at the time of such election or appointment and shall be considered to be a resident of that state until the end of the term for which the candidate or appointee is either elected or appointed. 2) For purposes of Section A states shall be defined as the fifty (50) United States and other sub-divisions of the United States including, but not limited to, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and other United States territories. C. 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 programs and ACB brochures, the ACB website and ACB radio. D. The Executive Director shall have the authority to dismiss the Editor of the Braille Forum but only with the concurrence of the Board of Publications after a hearing on the matter. E. A majority of the Board of Publications may agree to include an editor/producer of any nationally distributed Board of Publications project as an ex-officio member of the Board. F. 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.”

Motion 42: Mr. Campbell moved adoption of Amendment 2006-07. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Amendment 2006-09 submitted by Constitution and By-Laws Committee - Strike out By-Law seven (7). “By-Law 7: Publications Board. There is hereby created a Board of Publications consisting of five members whose term of office shall be two (2) years. The Board shall be selected and constituted in the following manner: Every odd-numbered year the president at the close of the annual convention shall appoint a chairperson and one additional member of the Board and every even-numbered year the annual convention shall elect by a majority vote in accordance with voting procedures maintained in the Constitution or in the By-Laws the three (3) 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. 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 programs, ACB brochures, the ACB website and ACB radio. The executive Director shall have the authority to dismiss the Editor of the Braille Forum but only with the concurrence of the Board of Publications after a hearing on the matter. A majority of the Board of Publications may agree to include editor/producer of any nationally distributed Board of Publications project of the American Council of the Blind as an ex-officio member of the Board. 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. B. A member of the Board of Publications is considered to be from the state in which he or she maintains legal residency. A candidate for or an appointee to the position of member of the Board of Publications shall be considered from the state in which he/she maintains legal residency at the time of such election or appointment.”

Motion 43: Mr. Campbell moved adoption of Amendment 2006-09. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Ms. Jackson read the final resolutions of 2006. Resolution 2006-08 - JAWS Tutorial and New Features Cassette “…resolved that this organization urge Freedom Scientific to provide complete JAWS cassette tutorials until such time as the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) completes its conversion to DAISY format.”

Motion 44: Ms. Jackson moved adoption of Resolution 2006-08. The motion carried on a voice vote with a minor change.

Resolution 2006-09 submitted by Mr. Ken Stewart - Quiet Vehicles “…resolved that this organization formally urge the United States Department of Transportation to take decisive and binding action to regulate the operation of all quiet motor vehicles to require the inclusion of sound emission devices, and;
Be it further resolved that this organization strongly urge its state affiliates to seek adoption of similar state and local requirements, and;
Be it further resolved that this organization express to the manufacturers of these vehicles the necessity to immediately develop and design modifications, and;
Be it further resolved that this organization enlist the assistance of the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the Transportation Research Board and other non-governmental organizations of traffic engineering professionals in mitigating this safety hazard.”

Motion 45: Ms. Jackson moved adoption of Resolution 060-09. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Motion 46: Mr. Paul Edwards offered a friendly amendment to strike the entire clause referring to trucks making noise when they back up. The amendment was accepted by consensus.

Resolution 2006-12 submitted by Mr. Charlie Hodge - Braille Coin Legislation. “… resolved that in light of the inaccurate, unfair and inequitable provision in this legislation this organization in all good conscience has no choice but to recommend and to call upon President George W. Bush to veto this legislation.”

Motion 47: Ms. Jackson moved adoption of Resolution 2006-12. On a voice vote, the motion failed.

Resolution 2006-13 submitted by ACB Government Employees – Accessible Software and Assistive Technology for Governmental Employees. “… resolved that this organization insist that Government agencies that have purchased application software which is either inaccessible to or incompatible with assistive technology take all steps necessary to actively resolve such accessibility and incompatibility issues, and;
Be it further resolved that the appropriate Congressional Committee which provides oversight be advised of these agencies’ failures to reasonably accommodate employees who are blind or visually impaired, and;
Be it further resolved that these committees be informed about the inadequate training provided to employees who are blind or visually impaired as well as to managerial and technical support staff, and;
Be it further resolved that this organization strongly urge its state and local affiliates to seek similar oversight from the appropriate committees of the respective Legislative bodies within their jurisdiction.”

Motion 48: Ms. Jackson moved the adoption of Resolution 2006-13. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Motion 49: Mr. David Trott moved to adopt the three courtesy resolutions. On a voice vote all three were adopted unanimously.

Resolution 2006-15 submitted by Resolutions Committee - Medicare for Low Vision Aids. “…resolved that this organization join with CCLVI, KABVI and other affiliates and chapters who have submitted comment in deploring and condemning the blatant efforts of CMS to render moot valid case law that has been established concerning coverage of low vision aids and technology under Medicare thus denying effective due process appeals rights to citizens with low vision as a class, and;
Be it further resolved that this organization direct its officers, directors and staff to use all post-comment period opportunities to work toward expansion of coverage of low vision aids and technology under Medicare.”

Motion 50: Ms. Jackson moved adoption of Resolution 2006-15. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Resolution 2006-16 submitted by Mr. Mark Reichert - National Center for Leadership and Visual Impairment. “… resolved that this organization offer its warmest regards, congratulations and best wishes for success to the Doctoral Fellows participating in the NCLVI program, and;
Be it further resolved that this organization extend a formal invitation to the NCLVI Doctoral Fellows and staff to attend an annual convention of the American Council of the Blind during the five (5) year term of the NCLVI program to offer each participating student an opportunity to take part in the life and mission of ACB.”

Motion 51: Ms. Jackson moved adoption of Resolution 2006-16. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Resolution 2006-17 submitted by Mr. Mark Reichert – Application of the ADA to Commercial Websites’ Need for Advocacy “… resolved that this organization reaffirm its long standing policy of opposing efforts to open the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and;
Be it further resolved that this organization affirm that in order to be complete any ADA restoration legislation or similar ADA amendments proposed to and enacted by Congress must clarify that the ADA shall be interpreted to include coverage of those public accommodations which do not maintain physical facilities.”

Motion 52: Ms. Jackson moved the adoption of Resolution 2006-17. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Resolution 2006-22 submitted by Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America – To express Dissatisfaction with the Conclusions of the Senate HELP Report on the Randolph-Sheppard and Javits-Wagner-O’Day Program. “… resolved that ACB join with its affiliate, the Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America, in expressing the profound dissatisfaction with the report of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and urge the committee to reject the conclusions contained in the report as the basis for developing legislation to modify the Randolph-Sheppard Blind Vending Facility Program.

Motion 53: Ms. Jackson moved adoption of Resolution 2006-22. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Resolution 2006-24 submitted by RSVA – Determine the status of Randolph-Sheppard Program Training for Professionals in the Rehabilitation Services Administration - “…resolved that this organization join with its affiliate, the Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America (RSVA), in directing appropriate ACB staff to schedule an appointment with John Hager, Assistant Secretary of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, (OSERS) to ascertain whether and to what extent technical assistance training is or will be provided to RSA staff.”

Motion 54: Ms. Jackson moved the adoption of Resolution 2006-24. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

President Gray adjourned the 45th annual ACB convention at 4:55pm

Respectfully Submitted,
Donna Seliger, Secretary