Call to Order and Introductions
The meeting was called to order at 9:05 p.m. Eastern. BOP members Deb Lewis, Chair; Penny Reeder, Zelda Gebhard, and Susan Glass were present. Paul Edwards was absent. Also present were: Dan Spoone, ACB president; Jeff Bishop, Debbie Hazelton, and Jason representing ACB Radio; Bob Hachey; Katie Frederick; Sharon Lovering, editor; David Trott, representing the ACB Board of Directors; and guest Christine Chaikin.
Adoption of the Agenda
Deb Cook Lewis reviewed the agenda for the February 4, 2020, ACB Board of Publications Meeting, with the revision of moving discussion of ACB email lists to right after the opportunity for guests to participate item. Susan made the motion to accept the agenda, and Zelda seconded it. The motion was adopted unanimously.
Approval of the Minutes for the January 7, 2020 meeting of the ACB Board of Publications
Susan moved and Zelda seconded the motion to approve the minutes from our January meeting. The motion carried unanimously.
Open Forum – Opportunity for guests to comment on non-agendized items
There was no discussion.
ACB E-Mail Lists
Bob reported that traffic particularly on the ACB-Chat list is down.
Deb and Bob have been working, in cooperation with the Public Awareness Steering Committee, on the strategy for reorganizing ACB’s lists. An immediate change will be to subscribe all ACB members to the ACB-Announce email discussion list and to open subscriptions to non-members who want to join. We will use Constant Contact to accomplish the group subscription. ACB-Announce will function as a centralized way to get information out, without having to funnel (and find) it on several lists, like Leadership and ACB-L, from where announcements are currently being forwarded.
The plan is to have designated staff members assigned to the task of posting announcements to Announce, and we will let affiliates and others know where to send announcements which they want to share with all ACB members and Announce list subscribers. Constant Contact restricts posting to only ACB staff members.
We will discourage forwarding of announcements to other lists, since all ACB members will already have access to them through Announce, and we will encourage members of other lists, such as Accessible World, to invite people who are interested in learning about specific topics such as upcoming topics for Accessible World, to subscribe to the specific lists which cover those topics.
We will encourage members of Leadership to discuss only those issues which are related to leadership, and members of ACB-L to resist the impulse to forward announcements and, instead, to return the list to the discussion-focused format that defined it back in the day.
We also need to figure out where people who do not use email currently get their information related to ACB, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, other. Katie said they are thinking about creating a survey to find out where people currently get their information related to ACB.
We also need to create a path for posting important announcements and other ACB-related information to social media. Debbie said she would like to see the kinds of announcements that Kelly sends out in a digest format – i.e., perhaps once a week – rather than the way they are currently released one by one. Deb will announce proposed changes to our list structure at the board meeting, and at the presidents’ meeting, not as an adopted change, but as a proposed change.
Bob said he wishes more affiliate leaders would join ACB-L.
Finalization of BOP presentation at ACB Midyear Leadership Meeting
Zelda and Penny will be presenting on behalf of the BOP at the Presidents’ Meeting on Sunday, between 9:40 and 9:55. They will be talking about what the BOP does, our accomplishments so far, and our plans for the remainder of the year. Deb will send Penny and Zelda a bulleted list that will include topics which we should cover. Then we will talk about the BOP awards during the Awards and Scholarships presentation immediately following, from 9:55 until 10:25.
Deb noted that we will be choosing our nominees for the Ned E. Freeman Award next month, since the March ACB Braille Forum is the last issue from which to choose.
BOP activities at ACB 2020 Conference and Convention
The BOP decided not to hold an in-person BOP meeting at convention this year. Penny made the motion, and Zelda seconded it; the motion carried unanimously.
Rather than hosting a town hall meeting at this year’s convention, the BOP decided to host a kind of candidates’ “round robin,” where each candidate would be seated at a specific location in the room and members could visit each to ask questions and find out each candidate’s platform. Ex-officio BOP members will serve as “captains,” pointing members to the candidates they wish to visit. Penny made the motion to host a One-on-One with the Candidates event at the 2020 convention, and Zelda seconded it. We will hold this event this year and evaluate its success before deciding whether to continue it for coming years. We will work out the logistics, including how ACB Radio will be involved, in our next meetings. The motion carried unanimously.
Update on ACB Braille Forum and E-Forum Themes
We are up to date with developing a list of themes through June. At our March meeting, we will need to develop a list of more themes for the Forum(s), beginning in July.
Two potential themes which came up later on during discussions of other topics are: Sports and Recreation, and Safety and Self-Defense, which, Jeff suggested, would be a great topic for the beginning of the school year.
Update from Paul’s Work Group on Seminar Planning
Deb will speak with Paul to find out where we are with respect to developing themes for BOP presentations and when we expect to cover each one. An April presentation seems very possible at this point, and Paul’s group’s next scheduled meeting will be March 11, when they can most likely begin working on the first presentation.
Katie said that the Next Generation group is interested in hosting a workshop on how to use YouTube and how a person who cannot see can use Instagram. She said that the BOP members would be welcomed participants in the planning and presentation process.
BOP Chair’s Report
The Public Awareness Steering Committee is meeting every other week, with several BOP members participating, and that committee is getting ready to have a presentation for the break-out groups at mid-year.
ACB Radio in cooperation with affiliates is figuring out the structure for implementing the new policy regarding affiliates’ convention recordings. Each affiliate will designate one person to serve as liaison between that affiliate and ACB Radio. Each affiliate will submit the name for the appointed liaison at the same time as they submit their program description, and then Janet can share that information with Rick.
This item will be presented at the board meeting, and we can talk about it at the presidents’ meeting, as well, after having cleared the language with BITS in advance of mid-year. Then the BOP will discuss and approve next month, and it will become part of the BOP Policy Manual.
BOP Editor’s Report
Sharon submitted her editor’s report in advance, as follows:
Nutshell Report February 2020
Issue type: Hard copy
Page count: 80
Braille distributed: 673
Braille returned: 3
Braille return rate: 0.4%
Braille received: 670
Cartridge to be distributed: unknown
Cartridge return rate:
Large print distributed: 2,434
Large print returned: 36
Large print return rate: 1.5%
Large print received: 2,398
Email distributed: 4,563
Email bounces & unsubscribes: 225
Email received: 4,338
Issue type: Electronic
Page count: 90
Email distributed: 4,557
Bounces as of 1/31: 220
Email return rate: 4.8%
Email received: 4,337 (as of 1/31/2020)
Issue type: hard copy
Page count: 80
Braille to be distributed: 669
Cartridge to be distributed: TBD
Large print to be distributed: 2,414
The March issue went out the door to the producers on January 31st – several days ahead of schedule. Lots of convention-related items came in for this issue, along with a number of really good articles about non-convention-related topics. Meka White’s article about accessibility is excellent. Hayley Agers’ teamwork article is equally good.
I’m also working on formatting the Mini Mall catalog for large print. It will go along with the March issue.
The February E-Forum went out Friday over Constant Contact. It has some wonderful articles on leadership by various authors, including Susan Lochtefeld, Linda Bolle, and Devorah Greenspan (whose article made me want to listen to “Leader of the Pack” to hear the motorcycle roar).
Our affiliates have been quite busy updating their membership rosters. Missouri sent me 15 deceased members in one day – plus two others that I already knew of. Kansas, Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Georgia, Florida, Washington, BRL, LUA, and many other affiliates have been working hard, too. Thanks to Nancy Christine in the Minneapolis office for handling the updates while I was out on bereavement leave.
Sharon Lovering, Editor
American Council of the Blind
Jason said he is working with Zeno Media on procuring a phone service for listening to ACB Radio Streams, the Forum(s), and other ACB Radio materials. He believes they will be able to use just one phone number for listening to all three kinds of recordings.
At the moment, the free phone service is still free, although periodically we have to get a new phone number.
ACB Radio will be offering the Mainstream West channel, which allows people living in the Pacific time zone to listen to programs at the relatively same time of day that people living on the east coast access the same programming. Mainstream West swill go live this week for testing. Katie offered to help with making the announcement regarding Mainstream West as soon as it is ready to go live for the public.
New shows that are in the works include Meka White’s “BookAbility,” a resumption of Tuesday Topics, and a show featuring a psychologist coach.
BITS, FIA, and Main Menu have already created three shows.
ACB Radio is almost ready to go ahead with affiliate ads.
During discussion involving the new policy regarding convention recordings and affiliates’ ownership of same, Dan suggested that perhaps we should record the board meeting. His proposal was met with universal approval, and he and Deb and the ACB Radio team will follow up and figure out how to make it happen.
ACB Email Lists
Bob had shared e-mail lists statistics via the BOP e-mail list, as follows:
Email List Statistics
Kelly Gasque sent the following statistics from January 2020, as follows.
NJ New State Dog: Seeing Eye Dog
1,434 people reached
167 likes, loves, and wows
Blind Woman Asks Pet Owners to Be Aware of Service Animals
972 people reached
61 likes, loves, and wows
Microsoft Project Tokyo: Using AI to help visually impaired identify faces
1,048 people reached
64 likes, loves, and wows
Claire Stanley Featured on Pick of the Litter
1,173 people reached
49 likes and loves
NJ New State Dog: Seeing Eye Dog
Claire Stanley featured on Pick of the Litter
ACB Scholarship Application Deadline Approaches
Katie has sent her draft of the Wikipedia submission to the BOP list, and we will comment on that draft and Katie will create a final submission in the next few weeks.
The meeting adjourned about 11 p.m. Eastern time. The next BOP meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 3.