July 9, 2005, Post-Convention Board Meeting Minutes

American Council of the Blind
Post-Convention Board Meeting
July 9, 2005

President Chris Gray called the meeting to order at 1:05pm at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Roll Call was taken by Secretary Donna Seliger. Not all board members were present for roll call, but all arrived shortly. Guests were invited to introduce themselves.

The agenda was reviewed and amended.

Motion 1: Mr. Edwards moved to adopt the agenda as amended. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Motion 2: Mr. Edwards moved to adopt the minutes from the mid-year board meeting. On a voice vote, the motion carried except for an amendment by Mr. Charlson who wanted a statement to be included that he was elsewhere presenting, but did attend the remainder of the meeting.

Motion 3: Mr. Charlson moved to accept the May 11, 2005 minutes. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Mr. Charlson reported from the Budget Committee. One of the requirements of the interim comptroller will be to produce at least quarterly financial reports.

With the election of a new treasurer, a vacancy was left on the Budget Committee. A third person will be elected.

Motion 4: Mr. Edwards moved to accept the budget committee report. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Mr. Charlson discussed incorporating the convention budget into the full budget. Ms. Ruschival agreed to put together a document for a possible trial run for the 2006 convention and to be put into operation at the 2007 convention.

An election was held to fill the vacant position on the Budget Committee.

Mr. Pomerantz nominated Mr. Mike Godino, the newly elected treasurer. The motion carried on a voice vote.

The direct mail campaign report – Mr. Ralph Sanders. Two mailings have been completed since the beginning of 2005. Thus far 110,000 letters have been mailed with proceeds of $15,431. An additional amount is anticipated for total revenues of $18,500.

Motion 5: Dr. Bradley moved to accept the direct mail report. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

National Office report – Ms. Melanie Brunson, Executive Director; Ms. Terry Pacheco, Membership and Affiliate Services; and Ms. Sharon Lovering, Acting Braille Forum Editor reported the latest activities in the Washington office.

Ms. Brunson intimated to the Board that during the Legislative Seminar the group indicated they wished to have conference calls perhaps once a month with legislative updates. An effort will be made to set up a conference call just prior to Congress leaving for their recess.

The Braille embosser at the office is old and needs to be replaced. The tape duplicating equipment has been repaired three times. The computer system also needs to be upgraded, but has not been budgeted. The phone system still is not working as it should.

Ms. Day Al-Mohammad, Governmental Affairs Director, with assistance from Ms. Brunson, reported on the resolutions from 2004. All the priority one resolutions have been handled, most of the priority two and a few of the priority three.

Ms. Sharon Lovering, acting Braille Forum Editor, distributed her written report to the Board of Directors. She stated The July-August Braille Forum is in the mail. The e-mail readers are up 35 percent from 2004.

Ms. Terry Pacheco commended Ms. Lovering for her work keeping up the address database. She reported that 77 people had requested listening devices to use during the annual convention. There was an increase in interpreters this year also.

Motion 6: Ms. Towers moved to accept the report from the National Office staff. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Dr. Otis Stevens announced that he is reviewing and updating the Greenwood Encyclopedia of Civil rights and Liberties and will put an entry in it about ACB.

Resolution prioritization – Mr. Jeff Thom, chair Resolutions Committee.

1. National 411 Exemption – 2

2. Audio Description Awards – 3

3. Pedestrian Safety Right Turn – 2

4. RFB&D Authorization Key – 2

5. Not passed

6. Emotional Support Animals under the Air Carriers Access Act – 1

7. Right to have a Service Dog – 1

8 - 11 and 33 Complimentary Resolutions – 1

12. PIN Entry Devices (Key Pads) – 2

13. Nemeth Uniform Braille System – 2

14. Life Member Fee Allocations – 1

15. Digital Divide – 3

16. Voter Verifier Paper – 1

17. ADA and ADAAG Standards – 2

18. Supreme Court Nominees – 1

19. Department of Veterans Affairs 508 Access Issue – 2

20. Social Security Administration Law Suit - 1

21. Amtrak – 1

22. Guide Dog Relief Area – 2

23. Poker Tournament - 1

24. JWOD Federal Procurement Practices – 2

25. Unauthorized use Of Audio Described Materials – 3

26. Name Change for NLS – 3

27. Training for Independent Use of Financial Management Capabilities – 2

28. Health Facility Training – 2

29. SSP – 3

30. Rehabilitation Service Administration – 1

31. Sky Diving Access – 2

32. School Materials for Parents in Accessible Formats – 2

34. Satellite and Cable Audio Description Feed - 2

Motion 7: Mr. Edwards moved to accept the resolutions prioritization listing. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Ms. Ruschival reported about the 2006 convention to be held at the Jacksonville, Florida Hyatt Regency. The dates will be July 8 through 15.

Mr. Pomerantz suggested Ms. Ruschival prepare a short article for the Braille Forum explaining the reason that people should cancel their room if they are not actually going to attend the convention.

Motion 8: Mr. Edwards moved to refer the question to the Convention Committee and ask them to come back with a recommendation by the pre-convention board meeting next year with regard to a forfeiture policy of the first night’s fee. The motion carried.

Motion 9: Mr. Edwards moved to accept the convention site selection report. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Ms. Towers reported to the Board of Directors about the 2005 convention. Ms. Towers may place a report in the Braille Forum concerning volunteer responsibility. She complimented Ms. Carol Ewing, President of the Nevada affiliate for the hard work she and her affiliate did to make the convention such a success.

Several members shared concerns and issues that occurred during the convention that might be taken into consideration in the future.

Ms. Soule reported there were five relief areas and that in general people took better care of their dogs this year. She will be the contact person for the issue on the Convention Coordination Committee.

Motion 10: Mr. Edwards moved to accept the Convention Coordinator’s report. The motion carried on a voice vote.

NTI – Mr. Pomerantz reported that NTI offered jobs to work at home, but when blind persons applied, they were told the NTI software was not compatible with screen readers. Several names were collected and a letter was sent to NTI from Ms. Lainey Feingold, Attorney, indicating those people were discriminated against. Mr. Pomerantz plans to confer with Ms. Feingold on another letter to follow-up on some recent happenings. Apparently NTI is slowly beginning to make their software compatible with screen readers.

Ms. Seliger reported the 2003 convention summary had been sent to the webmaster to be put up on the ACB website and that 2004 should be completed by the end of July.

Motion 11: Mr. Edwards moved to have a telephone conference call fall board meeting. On a voice vote, the response was unclear. Roll call was taken with five for, nine against and one absent. Those voting for were: Mr. Charlson, Mr. Edwards, Ms. Ruschival, Ms. Soule and Mr. Trott. Those opposed were: Mr. Beatty, Dr. Bradley, Mr. Godino, Ms. Keith, Mr. Miller, Mr. Pomerantz, Ms. Schmitt, Ms. Seliger and Mr. Sheehan.

Motion 12: Ms. Ruschival moved that Dr. Bradley be asked to explore his Houston proposal for the third weekend in September. If that proposal does not materialize, then look into another one. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

President Gray adjourned the meeting at 4:10pm.

Respectfully Submitted,
Donna Seliger, Secretary