Welcome and Review of Agenda
BOP Chairperson, Katie Frederick called the November 1 meeting of the ACB Board of Publications to order shortly after 8 p.m. Eastern. BOP members and several guests attended, via Zoom, and the meeting was also streamed by ACB Media. Members approved the proposed meeting agenda without modifications.
When Penny called the roll, Katie, Deb, Zelda, Penny, and Cheryl were present. Cachet arrived at the meeting at 8:53. She experienced problems with Wi-Fi connectivity, and had been trying to connect for nearly an hour. Also present were Dan Spoone, Sharon Lovering, David Trott, Jeff Bishop and Rick Morin. Guests included Christine Chaikin, Jamaica Miller, Meryl Shecter, and Terry Pacheco.
Approval of October Minutes
Penny made the motion to approve minutes from the October BOP meeting, Zelda seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.
Cachet will serve as editor for November submissions, and Penny will serve as secondary editor. Zelda will serve as editor for December, and Penny will be the secondary editor.
Developing guidelines for multi-media blog content is a priority for the BOP.
Katie had submitted the following draft guidelines to the BOP list:
The following are guidelines (suggested draft) for the ACB Voices Blog.
— Send contributions to [email protected]
— The BOP will edit spelling, grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure.
— Audio/photo/video submissions
— submit no more than two horizontal photos with minimum dimensions of 470 X 246.
— Audio should be no longer than 15 minutes in length.
— If you wish to share links, ensure the links are correct and email those to [email protected].
Text summaries/transcripts will accompany audio recordings.
Summaries should be no more than 150 words. (recommendation)
Recommendation: keep transcripts between 500-1,000 words.
— The Board of Publications (BOP) will review submissions within 72 hours of receipt.
— If submitting multimedia content (audio/video/photo), allow one week for editing and one week for transcription.
We agreed that we may meet to continue talking about proposed guidelines outside our regularly scheduled BOP meetings. Meanwhile, we will continue discussing proposed blog guidelines, including for Member at the Mic, on the BOP list.
ACB Braille Forum Report
Sharon had submitted the following editor’s report to the BOP in advance of the meeting:
Editor’s Report, November 2022
Issue type: Electronic
Page count: 48
Email distributed: 5,159
Email bounces: 108
Email return rate: 2.09%
Email received: 5,051
Issue type: Hard-copy
Page count: 48
Braille distributed: 487
Cartridge distributed: TBA
Large print distributed: 2,128
Email distributed: 5,160
Deadlines for the Next Issues
January 2023: 2022 year in review (and braille too?); deadline: November 23rd
February 2023: ACB Diabetics in Action, Part 2 (mostly full already); deadline: January 3, 2023
March 2023: theme TBA; deadline: January 25, 2023
I have sent the E-Forums from 2013-2021 off to Grimm Book Bindery. Once all the 2022 issues are completed, I will ship them up as well.
I continue to put together the Dots and Dashes newsletter. The next issue will go out November 7; the one after that, November 21st.
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 contacted Carla Ruscheval to see whether she had any loose print copies from the ‘60s through the ‘80s; she is looking at what she has, and will ship them to me once she’s got them all together. It’s amazing how many issues turned up in the ‘80s that are still being worked on today!
I will also be working through minutes of ACB board meetings, looking for motions that led to policies/policy changes. One of the items I’m trying to find under that category is the resolutions index that Steve Speicher created in the ‘90s and kept up until 2005 or 2006. If you know where that is, please let me know ASAP.
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, by the first quarter of 2023. Jo Lynn is working on a list of the BADIE Award winners. 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).
Sharon Lovering, Editor
American Council of the Blind
Sharon said that the December Forum is so full, she will need to hold several articles over for publication in January or February.
When Penny asked, Sharon said that she had been unable to fit the ACB board meeting report from the August 31-September 13, 2022 multi-session meetings of the board (which she had submitted in advance of the November deadline) into either the November or December ACB Braille Forums. Penny said that sharing this information in January will seem quite late, especially since the summary of the major fall board meeting will be available by then as well.
Katie commented that the Braille Forum is no longer the only way members can find out about board meetings. She suggested that the BOP needs to make sure that members know that board meeting podcasts are available via the ACB Media web site, and that minutes are posted on the ACB.org web site after they are approved.
The themes for January will be the ACB year in review and braille, in honor of the anniversary of Louis Braille’s birthday. February’s issue has been adopted by ACB Diabetics in Action, and March is Women’s History Month and may also include articles submitted by the Multicultural Affairs Committee.
Earlier on November 1, Katie had shared draft guidelines for ACB committees and affiliates who contribute themed articles to the ACB Braille Forum, on the BOP list. Guidelines are based on the following considerations provided by Sharon:
The Forum is 48 large-print pages, and can hold roughly 10,000 words.
- Keep articles to between 500 and 1,500 words; no profanity or vulgarity.
- Suggest affiliates/committees/etc. submit 5 to 8 articles of 500 to 1,500 words, (that would enable us to include all the “regular” articles, such as the President’s Message, Janet’s convention article, Affiliate News, Here and There, High Tech Swap Shop, etc.)
These are the guidelines that Katie had posted on the BOP list:
Forum deadlines are approximately six weeks ahead of the publication date.
If an affiliate or committee volunteers for an issue but is unable to meet the deadline, they should let Sharon know as soon as possible.
Affiliates or committees should plan to submit four to six articles for a monthly issue they have adopted. Articles should be between 600 and 1,200 words.
Articles should not contain vulgarities or profanity.
Sharon said that most people submit articles in either MS Word or ASCII text, and both are acceptable. We will add this suggestion to the guidelines.
Penny made a motion to accept the draft guidelines as proposed and discussed, and Cheryl seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved.
Katie and Sharon will work to put the guidelines on the ACB web site and to find a place to include them inside the magazine.
Terry Pacheco told the BOP that she would like to write an article about the “Women of ACB,” based on the two-part show she did for VisAbilities this past year. She wondered when the deadline would be for her to submit, and Sharon said, January 25.
Jeff Bishop asked where we are with getting older issues of “The Braille Forum” on our web site. Sharon responded that issues from 1990 are the earliest one currently available on the ACB web site.
Sharon is working with Carla Ruschival to discover which print issues from the 1960s through the 1980s she may be able to provide to Sharon, who will then scan, digitize, format, proof and post them on the web site.
2023 BOP Awards Discussion
We need to modify our awards to make sure that we honor all of the various kinds of publications from ACB and about blindness that we as the Board of Publications want to recognize.
The Ned E. Freeman Award honors Braille Forum articles and ACB official publications that are published between April of the preceding year and March of the current year in which the Freeman award is given. Articles don’t necessarily need to be released in printed format. Podcasts would also be acceptable, as would blogs.
We can consider broadcast programs and podcasts and any other new or emerging media for the Henley Award, as well.
Guest Jamaica Miller said that she would like to nominate a community program for a BOP award, and she wondered in which category community programs would fit.
During discussion it was pointed out that we could propose a new award that would apply to ACB Community programming. A new award would need board – or possibly convention – approval. Or we could add podcasts, blogs, and social media to the Henley category.
Criteria for the Liggett award should be modified to recognize that ACB has changed over the years. For example, why should it matter how many members an affiliate has? And why must an affiliate wait for five years to be considered for the award again?
And now there are excellent affiliate publications in formats other than print.
Zelda said that she is hoping to stimulate interest in submitting content for the Liggett award at coming editors’ quarterly meetings.
Deb suggested that it would be better to expand criteria for existing awards than to create new awards, since we already have a lot of awards. For example, an award that focuses on the excellence of digital content could fall under ADP awards. She suggested that we look at all of our awards and expand their criteria to better fit the changes that the 21st century has brought.
Jeff said that there is a significant group of volunteers for whom there does not currently appear to be an award whose criteria would match the significance of the contributions they make to ACB and especially ACB Media.
Deb responded that that award if it were created would probably not be a BOP award.
Sharon said that the ACB History Committee has asked her to create an awards landing page on the web site that will list all of our awards, their criteria, and winners.
Terry Pacheco reminded the BOP that ACB created another award in 2005 which has never been given again, but it was approved by the ACB board, and it could be given again. ACB even created a logo for the award, which was given to Universal Studios for the movie, “Ray.” The logo appeared on the DVD which contained the movie as well as the audio description.
Katie and Sharon will get together to develop awards criteria that emerges from this discussion.
E-Mail List Guidelines Discussion
Deb said that Dan has implemented the changes in eligibility for the leadership list. All of the ACB “Angels” have been removed from the list roster, and each affiliate has been notified of their ability to add three representatives to the list. The plan is to review list membership annually. Topics which are suitable for discussion on the list have been identified, and postings that do not fit the criteria have already begun to decrease. Affiliate presidents have been informed about the changes, the board has adopted them, and new criteria was expected to be disseminated to the list by the end of the week.
ACB will provide a weekly announcement regarding calls and events that are appropriate for posting on Leadership (and which are not necessarily expected to be posted on other forums, such as the daily list of Community events. Sheila Young is already creating and posting such a list for ACB affiliate presidents, and Deb hopes to collaborate with her to jointly produce a list of events which will appear each week on Leadership.
On ACB-Conversation, we will encourage members to post coming events only once, and the BOP will take another look at policies regarding that list.
Deb continues to work with Cindy and Kolby on improving formatting of community list announcements.
She said that, in the coming week, the ACB Media Support Committee was expected to meet for the first time, and they would be asked to reassess the role and process for the ACB Media Announce list.
Editors’ Workshop Update
The October editors’ meeting did not take place because of an e-mail mix-up, and that meeting is now re-scheduled for December 9.
Meanwhile, Zelda has distributed Tyson Ernst’s blog on unemployment to the editors’ list, and several affiliate editors are going to re-publish his blog in their newsletters.
She is also asking editors to include information in their newsletters about the number of cartridges that are not being returned.
Deb will also reach out to affiliate presidents regarding unreturned cartridges, and Zelda has already asked Cindy and Kolby to include that announcement periodically on their daily list of community events.
Deb will create a promo announcement about missing cartridges and ask ACB Media to run the announcement between program segments possibly for a week once or twice each quarter.
ACB Media Update
Rick said that the ACB Media Support Committee will be working on the Engagement Guidelines for affiliates who want ACB Media to stream their conventions.
The committee will also be considering all of the policies associated with managing community programming and ACB Media content streams. He said that ACB Media is hoping that the support committee will act as an advisor on how to handle various situations.
He said that ACB Media needs to do a better job of defining roles for different people, so as to avoid burn-out of volunteers.
He said that Media Channel 2 is going to become a scheduled community channel, relying primarily on pre-recorded community calls content. That will require lots of decisions to be made, e.g., selecting content, editing, producing it, scheduling it, and letting people know what to find where and when. Improving the ACB Media Calendar is an ongoing goal as well.
Jeff and Rick also hope to put together a technical support team to help ACB Media move off their outdated infrastructure and move to a web or cloud-based system that will be easier for a variety of people to manage.
Hundreds of hours are required for producing the post-convention podcasts, and Rick said that ACB Media needs a broader volunteer base to get the work done. He says ACB Media may well need to build up to a number of volunteers that is similar in scope to the many volunteers that the ACB Community depends upon. Those volunteers will need specific skills to do the work that is required, and that will require training. This post-convention effort, he said, ties ACB Media up for six months out of every year – and once podcasts are published online, it’s time to begin planning for next year’s convention.
Rick said that he expected all podcasts from the 2022 ACB Conference and Convention to be uploaded within days. He is hoping to create an index to assist people in following various specific topics, which has been one goal for creating convention tracks.
Another task that the ACB Media Support Committee will be taking on is creating a mission statement.
Penny asked when BOP members can attend meetings of the Public Affairs Steering Committee again. Deb said that the public awareness steering committee has not been meeting since just prior to the convention. The Public Affairs Steering Committee is being reformulated to include representatives from the various steering committees within the organization, so that ACB can build their public awareness program around the activities of those committees. There will be BOP representation on the public awareness steering committee when the reorganization is completed.
Deb and Rick both recommended that all of us make sure we update our Zoom app very frequently, at least once a week, to assure that we can participate in meetings as fully as possible, since Zoom tends to remove various user capabilities if the app or the browser are not up-to-date.
The meeting adjourned at 10:30 p.m. Eastern. The next Board of Publications meeting is scheduled for December 6, beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern.