Welcome and Review of Agenda
Board of Publications Chairperson, Penny Reeder, called the October 3, 2023, meeting to order at 8:30 p.m. Eastern. There were no additions made to the published agenda.
Board members present: Penny Reeder, Cheryl Cumings, Cachet Wells, Zelda Gebhard and Jeff Bishop. Ex-Officio members present: Sharon Lovering, ACB Braille Forum Editor; Rick Morin, ACB Media and IT Manager; Katie Frederick, Member Lead on ACB Public Awareness Sterring Committee; Deb Cook Lewis, ACB President, also Dan Spoone ACB Director.
Approval of Minutes
The motion was made by Cheryl and seconded by Cachet to approve the September minutes. No corrections were offered. Minutes were approved.
Public’s Point of View
No topics were brought forward.
In addition to the emailed report, Sharon shared the following ACB Voices Blog Statistics:
233 views,156 visitors, 3 comments and 3 likes.
Penny asked if the comments could be shared to the BOP list. Sharon has had some password problems but will work on doing this.
The Jamica Miller Member on the Mic post got 91 visits. The Archives got 26 visits.
Penny thanked Sharon for the stats and encouraged those currently listening to encourage others to do the same.
Sharon finished updating the Forum issues from 1989 today and has found the 1980 and 1981 copies which are all 1980s that remain to be completed. She will work on the 1970s next.
Editor’s Report October 2023
Issue type: electronic
Email distributed: 5,362
Electronic bounces: 37
Return percentage: 0.69%
Email received: 5,325
Issue type: hard copy
Page count: 48
Braille distributed: 495
Braille returned: 1
Return percentage: 0.2%
Braille received: 494
Cartridge distributed: 362
Large print distributed: 2,114
Large print returned: 24
Return percentage: 1.1%
Large print received: 2,090
Email distributed: 5,364
Electronic bounces: 36
Return percentage: 0.67%
Successful deliveries: 5,328
Issue type: electronic
Email distributed: 5,367
Issue type: hard copy
Page count: 48
Braille to be distributed: 496
Cartridge to be distributed: TBA
Large print to be distributed: 2,095
Email to be distributed: TBA
Deadlines for the Next Issues
December (electronic): International Relations Committee; deadline: October 24, 2023
January 2024 (hard-copy): braille/reflections on 2023/goal setting for the new year; deadline: November 20, 2023
February 2024 (electronic): accessible voting, civil rights and black history; deadline: December 22, 2023
October’s Table of Contents
President’s Message: Volunteering Your Way to Employment, by Deb Cook Lewis
Convention 2024: Traveling to Jacksonville, by Janet Dickelman
Summary of the June 30, 2023 ACB Board Meeting, by Penny Reeder
ACB Membership Seminar: Benefits of Partnerships for Membership Growth, compiled by Ardis Bazyn
A Call to Action: White Cane Day, by Anthony Corona
APH ConnectCenter Provides Information on Employment — And a Whole Lot More, by Lori Scharff
Reasonable Accommodation and Assistance Dogs in the Workplace, by Ed and Toni Eames
Olegario D. Cantos VII, A Man for All the People, by Charles D. Nabarrete
United Becomes First U.S. Airline to Add Braille to Aircraft Cabin Interiors
In Memoriam: Dr. Ronald Earl Milliman
Readers’ Memories of Dr. Ronald E. Milliman
Here and There, edited by Cynthia G. Hawkins
High Tech Swap Shop
November’s Table of Contents
In Memoriam: Oral O. Miller, April 7, 1933 - August 6, 2023
Oral O. Miller: Friend … Advocate … Sportsman, by Charles D. “Chuck” Goldman
Readers’ Memories of Oral O. Miller
Looking Ahead to Jacksonville, by Janet Dickelman
Summary of the August ACB Board of Directors Meeting, by Penny Reeder
Summary of 2023 Resolutions
Raise Your Awareness — and Tune in for the Annual Audio Description Awards Gala!, by Tabitha Kenlon
Benefits of Audio Description in Education (BADIE) Essay Contest Winners
Audio Description on the Hill: Why the CVTA Matters, by Tabitha Kenlon
Audio Description in the Federal Government, For the People, by Patrick Sheehan
Audio Description at Every Performance, by Joel Snyder, Ph.D.
Recap of 2023 Audio Description Project Awards, by Jeff Thom
Here and There, edited by Cynthia G. Hawkins
High Tech Swap Shop
Thanksgiving, by Anthony Corona
I have placed a house ad at the end of the November issue, before the officers, board, and BOP, telling people how to send in an article and how many words we want. The deadline and theme information are at the end of the table of contents. Also included in the November issue are a number of photos of Oral from various years.
I continue to put together the Dots and Dashes newsletter. The next two will go out October 10th and 23rd.
I have also updated the resolutions index to include the 2023 resolutions.
I’m still working with the archives/history committee on preserving and digitizing old recordings and documents from ACB events and identifying people in photos. Part of that work includes cleaning up and modernizing old issues of the Forum to current large print standards and organizing them on our SharePoint drive. I make the Word version first, then the text and braille-ready files. I have finished 1982 through 1988 and am working on 1989. Big thanks to Perkins for helping me find the back covers and missing pages of some of the 1988 and 1989 issues. Once I finish the 1989s, I will look for 1980 and 1981. We’re still living out of moving boxes, so I’m hoping they’re in the same box as the other ‘80s were.
I continue to record the Washington Connection, and some of the other boxes on our phone system, such as the national convention box, the scholarship information, and the state convention box. I updated the Washington Connection on September 26th with information on COVID tests becoming available again, and updates to Title II of the ADA. The other six boxes were updated on the 21st. And there may be more updates coming in the near future, so stay tuned, and check the Washington Connection often!
With Kelly gone, I am also handling some of the social media items, such as posting the ADP updates on Twitter and Facebook, as well as taking care of whatever press releases may need to go out. I understand we’ve also hired a contractor to help with the social media stuff and are working on getting him up and running.
Sharon Lovering, Editor
December (electronic): International Relations Committee
January 2024 (hard-copy): braille/reflections on 2023/goal setting for the new year
February 2024 (electronic): accessible voting, civil rights and black history.
Braille Forum Boilerplate and BOP Page on ACB Website:
Penny reported that Scott Marshall had called her after reading the recent ACB Braille Forum from cover to cover. He noted that there was no mention of other ACB communications such as the ACB Voices Blog and ACB Media in the Forum. He suggested that this kind of information be included in the Forum. Penny agrees. She also feels that the boilerplate with information about how to submit articles, suggested length of articles, etc. should appear in the same place in each issue. Sharon read what is currently printed on the inside cover. Possible changes to the information and where it should be located were discussed.
During the discussion Terry Pacheco suggested that the High Tech Swap Shop is perhaps not as relevant as it has been in the past because of the changes that have occurred in methods of communication. It was noted that the column has decreased in size and does not appear in every issue, perhaps indicating a decrease in usage. Patty Fletcher offered to share information she has gained from some who attend her ACB Community Chat sessions and feel disconnected because they are not users of smartphones or computers.
After more discussion. Dan suggested, in order to give our Editor clear direction, perhaps a task force be formed to consider changes to the BOP page on the ACB website and boilerplate information in the ACB Braille Forum. Penny asked for assistance. Zelda volunteered to work with Penny and Sharon on this and bring suggestions back to the full BOP.
ACB Editorial Policy Manual
The ACB Editorial Policy Manual currently on the ACB Website does not reflect the revisions made to it in 2019 as it was not officially approved by the ACB Board. The current Large Print Guidelines were ACB Board approved and used by staff but have not been included in the appendix of the manual. To make use of the work previously done, Zelda will post both on the BOP list. After revisions have been made, the revised version will need to be approved by the BOP and also by the ACB Board prior to being placed on the ACB webpage.
Jeff suggested that a Dropbox folder be created for the distribution, access, and storage of BOP documents such as the Editorial Manual. Sharon will create a Dropbox folder. Jeff moved that an ad hoc committee be created to review the Editorial Policy Manual with initial focus on Section 15 which addresses the role of the BOP in social media plus other necessary updates and revisions. Cheryl seconded the motion. There was no opposition. Penny requested volunteers. Zelda and Jeff will work with Penny on this task.
FY-2024 Braille Forum Budget:
Penny recommended that we publish 10 issues of the ACB Braille Forum each year with the June-July and December-January issues combined and that all issues be available in all formats including hard copy Braille, and hard copy large print at 48 pages.
Deb reminded us that there are a large number of nonmembers receiving hard-copy Braille and large print and NLS cartridge. A process is being developed for a yearly reconciliation of members and non-members. This would probably happen prior to convention each year. The initial purge of non-members will result in significant cost savings.
Our options were discussed. Sharon will find the cost of 64 vs. 48 pages and report back to the BOP. She and Deb will work up the numbers for 8, 10 and 12 issues a year including the cost savings that will result when the nonmembers are taken off the Forum list.
This information will be shared with the committee via email so we can prepare and submit our budget request to Nancy prior to the deadline.
Anthony Corona suggested we spend some time educating our members about the different ways the Braille Forum can be accessed through ACB Media.
ACB Voices Blog
Anthony has completed Cecily’s Member on the Mic. Katie will post it this week. He has also completed the first Scholarship winner interview and Katie will post it the middle of the month.
Because there has been some confusion about what topics are appropriate for blog posts, we will clarify the criteria for Blog posts via the BOP list. The finished product will then be posted.
Member on the Mic Process
The process document for creating, updating, and sustaining Member on the Mic continues to be developed. Anthony, and Lisa have submitted their information. Cheryl has gathered Tim’s information and will put it all together to be reviewed by Cachet, Anthony and Cheryl. They plan to present it during the November BOP meeting.
Voices Blog Editors
October – Zelda lead, Cheryl second
November – Penny lead, Cheryl second
BOP Training Responsibility
Penny reminded us that the BOP has a responsibility to provide training. We have done this through online training such as the Editor’s Gatherings and during convention.
She has identified a training opportunity and suggested that we partner with BRL and LUA to provide training on the NLS e-reader. NLS may help with this also. Penny will talk to Liz Bottner. Katie suggested that NLS may also have some tutorials we can link to on the blog or the BOP page. There was agreement that this is a great idea.
Cheryl brought up another possible training opportunity - SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which includes tags and other things we could use to optimize a blog search. Katie volunteered to help us address content development as it relates to SEO sometime after November. Rick also offered to help.
ACB Media Report
Rick announced a new version of ACB LINK and asked Jeff to address it. Jeff explained that the changes being made make it more robust for iOS 17. The changes are not large but respond to suggestions they have received from users. This version should be out this week.
ACB Media Support group is continuing to meet and are addressing content. Talking about live content vs. prerecorded content and how the risk of content shifts between live content and preproduced content.
All 142 Convention podcasts are up. Team was recognized in the Mission Moment during the Fall board meeting. Eight 24-hour days plus 14 hours.
We have had 20,235 listens of the convention podcasts since putting them up.
Running about 200,000 listens in total on the podcasts. Podcasts are a major delivery element because of their convenience.
126,000 listener hours year to date:
#1 Media 5
#2 Media 3
#3 Media 1 with 24,000 listener hours
#4 Media 6 11,000 hours (primarily business stuff). 20 listeners tonight
#5 Media 10 1200 hours (Braille Forum) current issue is repeated every two hours on even hours.
Joyce will be taking on the calendar. She was the project manager for podcasts.
Penny asked about Zeno Media. There is nothing else out there similar to Zeno Media. Complaints seem to come in waves. There seems to be more and more people tuning in on Zoom and less on Zeno Media. Dan mentioned that many are now using their Echo.
Will be doing some training on accessing podcasts.
The convention survey revealed that 19% use ACB LINK for podcasts.
Cachet moved to adjourn the meeting, Cheryl seconded the motion, meeting adjourned at 9:57 p.m.
Next BOP meeting
November 7, 2023, at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Zelda Gebhard, Member
ACB Board of Publications