Katie called the January 2023 meeting to order at 8 p.m. The following members were present: Katie, Deb, Cheryl, Penny, Zelda, Cachet, Dan, Rick, and Sharon. Several guests were present, including Jamaica Miller, Michael Babcock, and Terry Pacheco. Cachet made and Zelda seconded a motion to approve the December 2022 minutes, and the motion carried unanimously.
We put up our second “Member at the Mic” blog in December. The next presentation in this series will be the interview with Meryl Shecter, and we will decide during the coming month which interview we will be featuring after that. Katie thanked Cachet for summarizing several articles that had appeared in older issues of the Braille Forum so that we can feature them in “Friday Forum” blog. Katie will continue posting those articles. Cachet will provide editing for January blog submissions, and Penny will serve as the second editor. Katie suggested reaching out on the conversation e-mail discussion list to invite list members to write about their experiences with braille, to honor Braille Literacy Month in the blog. We can also spread the word about the scholarship program.
Cheryl asked if we have data to let us know how many people are visiting the blog, and Katie will work with Kelly to get that information in an accessible format if it is available.
We will also provide more promotion of the blog during coming months, including on our upcoming community call, in “Dots and Dashes,” and – using automation – on the ACB Media community channel. Rick said that the promo pieces can be up to a minute in length.
Braille Forum Report
Sharon provided the following written report in advance of the meeting:
Editor’s Report January 2023
Issue type: Electronic
Page count: 48
Email distributed: 5,058
Email bounces: 20
Email return rate: 0.4%
Email received: 5,038
Issue type: Hard-copy
Page count: 48
Braille to be distributed: 483
Cartridge distributed: TBA
Large print distributed: 2,114
Email distributed: 5,045
Issue type: Electronic
Page count: 48
Deadlines for the Next Issues
March 2023: ACB Women; deadline: January 25, 2023
April 2023: Multicultural Affairs Committee and Candidates Forum information; deadline: February 24, 2023
May 2023: Teachers and Students; deadline: March 24, 2023
June 2023: convention; deadline: April 24, 2023
I am currently working on the February 2023 E-Forum. I’m waiting for one article, but aim to have it done by the end of Friday.
I continue to work with the history and oral archives committee on preserving and digitizing old recordings and documents from ACB events, and identifying people in photos. As part of that work, I am working on cleaning up and modernizing old issues of the Forum to the large print standards and organizing them on our Sharepoint drive (at the moment, from the 1990s through today, plus a few from the 1980s that I had loose copies of). I’m including Word, text, and BRF file formats in the Forum folders on Sharepoint. I found a complete set of 1982 issues, and am scanning and cleaning them up in between deadlines.
I am also working my way through minutes of ACB board meetings, looking for motions that led to policies/policy changes, and documenting them in a Word file. I have worked my way through 1985 so far.
Another part of that work is creating an awards landing page, with links to the list of award winners, DKM First-Timers, JPMorgan Chase Leadership Fellows, ADP Awards, BADIE Awards, Barry Awards, plus information about the awards themselves (criteria, etc.), the people for whom the awards were named, and so forth. Our goal is to have it up online, with a link from the front page, in the first quarter of 2023. I have the awards list (current to 2022), the informational document, the people the awards are named for, and the list of First-Timers and Leadership Fellows (also current). I’m still working on a few other related pages, and hope to have it up on acb.org by the end of January.
In my spare time, I continue working to identify people in prior years’ convention photos. I’m currently working my way through 2011.
Sharon Lovering, Editor
American Council of the Blind
Sharon added that she would be sending out the next “Dots and Dashes” on the coming Monday. She had sent an article on the topic of awards to Katie, and it will go into the February issue.
Katie will check with ACB Students and ACB Teachers to make sure they are able to adopt the month of May for submitting articles to the Braille Forum.
E-mail list guidelines discussion
Deb shared list guidelines for Leadership in December, and so far, list members are complying with the guidance to resist sharing information regarding coming community events on that list. Some sharing of that kind of information is occurring on ACB-Conversation, but we can add a guideline recommending limiting such postings to only once.
Deb and Sheila will be inaugurating their list of weekly events that are not included among community event listings now that the new year has arrived.
Deb and Katie will encourage list members to subscribe to the community events list within the postings of monthly guidelines for Leadership and Conversation.
January town hall meeting
The BOP will host a 90-minute Town Hall community call meeting on January 28, beginning at 3 p.m. We will plan the content of the meeting via our online e-mail discussion list.
ACB Media Update
Rick expects to distribute a written report containing statistical data during the coming month. Meanwhile, he said that some anomalies that data collection has already identified can probably be addressed by better promoting programming that has not acquired expected audience attention. For example, Advocacy Update podcasts have not been attracting as much attention as the program probably deserves. Rick and Kelly will address these issues with an updated communications plan.
Convention cartridges had been mailed during the previous week. Cartridges were distributed to less than 75 people (despite the amount of work that is involved in producing and distributing them).
ACB Media needs to connect with the History and Archives Committee to make sure that they acquire and appropriately archive events like those preserved on convention audio cartridges. Events preserved on social media and video also need to be brought to the attention of that committee. Rick will initiate a dialog with Chris Gray and David Trott, co-chairs of the History and Archives Committee, to make sure that audio and video materials are retained appropriately.
The Community-a-thon had raised a little over $11,000, and money was still coming in, rick said. The event averaged around 90 listeners per hour. There were 325 unique Zoom participants.
The ACB Media Support Committee expects to present the Affiliate Engagement Policy document to the board, and to state and special interest affiliate leaders, at the Leadership meetings.
ACB Media will be streaming the Minnesota convention during January, and Sagebrush during February. Sagebrush will be a hybrid meeting.
For the Leadership conference, ACB Media will set up an Alexa skill that will allow only those people who have registered for the conference to listen using Alexa.
Rick wrapped up by saying that, now that ACB has hired an audio description coordinator, the audio description web site update should be completed soon.
Deb will record an announcement for airing on ACB Media channels that encourages ACB Braille Forum readers to return cartridges quickly.
The BOP will also be encouraging print and braille readers to switch their subscriptions to e-mail. About 2,500 subscribers currently receive the magazine in hard-copy print or braille. The BOP may want to help readers to switch their subscriptions to e-mail. Perhaps Cindy’s posse can help with this.
Dan suggested that the BOP might want to invite Kelly to a meeting to talk about the widespread social media outreach that came from the Audio Description gala. A “Star Wars” fan club spread the word about audio description awards related to those shows, which allowed people who may not have even been aware of what audio description is to hear about audio description and ACB. Microsoft’s receipt of the Innovation Award for gaming had similar social media outreach consequences.
Discussion briefly centered on possibly hosting a workshop to share information with affiliates and chapters about taking advantage of no-cost groups.io lists that are available for ACB-related groups as part of our relationship with Groups.io. In order to create an e-mail discussion list, groups need to appoint a moderator who understands how to administer the list. Perhaps the BOP could provide some training for interested affiliates or chapters.
Dan and Katie will be in touch regarding topics for BOP presentations at the Leadership meetings.
The meeting adjourned at 9:37 p.m. Eastern. The next BOP meeting will occur at 8 p.m. Eastern on February 7, 2023.
Submitted by Penny Reeder