Call to Order/Introductions
The meeting was called to order by Chair Ron Brooks at 9:02 PM on October 4, 2016.
Members Present: Ron Brooks, Chair; Susan Glass; Paul Edwards; Deb Lewis; Doug Powell.
ACB Employees and Contractors Present: Sharon Lovering; Larry Turnbull
Ex Officio members present: Kim Charlson, President; Carla Ruschival, Goal One Chair; Bob Hachey, Email List Moderator; Katie Frederick,Public Relations.
Other Participants on the Call: Renee Zelickson; Sue Ammeter; Leslie Spoone; Judy Wilkinson; Ken Stewart
Adoption of Agenda:
Ron reviewed the Agenda.
Motion: Susan moved and Doug seconded adoption of the Agenda. Motion passed.
Approval of August 2 and September 6 Minutes:
Motion: Paul moved and Doug seconded adoption of the August 2 and September 6, 2016 Minutes. Motion passed.
Kim clarified the secretarial process. Deb will make any necessary edits and will forward Minutes to Ron who will in turn provide them to Sharon for posting online and archiving.
Deb commented that the February Minutes are the most recent ones online. There is a link to April Minutes which leads to the February file. She said that if we can get either Minutes or recordings of meetings she will get the past Minutes ready for posting. Ron will contact Tom Mitchell to get copies of past Minutes. Sharon will check the files for Minutes that may have been approved but not posted and will forward to deb for formatting.
Judy Wilkinson proposed a discussion of what is published regarding convention proceedings in the Braille Forum. She stated that having the President’s Message in 3 parts and the Convention Report in two parts means that the information is distributed as much as 5 months after the convention. She expressed that this content could be included in the E-Forum in the first issue following the Convention or perhaps does not need to be published since the convention audio is made available so quickly. Judy also expressed concern that the Convention Newspaper takes “an amazing amount of time and energy” but she found little of use because she said it mostly consisted of ads and room changes, and it was hard to read the braille because of all of the UeB formatting symbols. Judy would love to have resources diverted so that drafts of Resolutions or Constitutional Amendments could be included in the paper. She hopes the BOP will consider what the purpose of the newspaper should be and take appropriate action.
Ron explained that the BOP has a work plan item to clarify content of both the Braille Forum and the E-Forum. Ron was not sure if the Newspaper is in the BOP work scope or the Convention Committee.
Kim said the Newspaper is historically a BOP responsibility that needs to be coordinated with the Convention Committee. Kim also said that she thought there are ways to make the Braille edition easier to read such as stripping UEB font codes out.
Discussion followed on whether removing font indicators was a violation of UEB. There was consensus that since these codes are added specifically to format the large print edition and are not relevant to the content, removing them from the Braille edition is actually appropriate.
Deb proposed the Newspaper discussion be added to the work plan item about the Convention program. She also asked if resolutions could be made available electronically since it’s often hard to follow them as they’re read out loud.
Paul expressed concern about releasing advance copies of resolutions because they might be misinterpreted or inaccurate which could be damaging to the organization.
Renee asked if kiosks could be set up for people to review the resolutions.
BOP Chair: Ron Brooks
Ron reported that he Worked with Sharon and Eric on developing the RFPs for production of the Braille Forum.
He also made revisions to the work plan and will send the final version to the BOP.
Editor: Sharon Lovering
September 2016 Returns: Large Print: 37; Braille: 4; Cassette: 10; CD-ROM: 4; Miscellaneous Copies: 8
October 2016 Issue type: electronic; Print Page Count: 64
Posted to Website: 9/30/2016
E-mail issues: 3,159; Date: 9/30/2016
November 2016 Issue type: hard copy: Print Page Count: 48
Large Print: 3,040; Date Mailed: not yet
Braille Issues: 745: Date Mailed: not yet
Cassette Issues: 1,110; Date Mailed: not yet
CD-ROM Issues: 157; Date Mailed: not yet
Date Posted to Website: not yet
E-mail issues: not known; Date sent: not yet
Sharon has received four bids for the large print and one bid for the cassette production. The bidding deadline is October 14.
She will be sending November to the presses on Monday, after one final proofreading.
Sharon continues to receive new members, information about people who have passed away, format, address, and name changes,. Kansas has been particularly active at sending in new folks over the last few weeks. She’s also looking ahead at this year’s annual membership update process; more to come on this later.
And yes, the rumors are true; Sharon is putting a tin of Christmas cookies in the holiday auction.
ACB Radio: Larry Turnbull
Listener counts for September were not available yet.
Programming changes: GDUI Juno Report is discontinued.
Bruce Toews stepped down as content provider for Treasure Trove. Bill Sparks has graciously donated his entire OTR collection for use on Trove, and Jeff has purchased additional content. John and Larry Gasman will also provide content.
Michigan will be streaming their convention October 8-9.
Future episodes of Main Menu will air accessibility information from the Microsoft Ignite conference attended by Jeff Bishop.
Larry is applying security updates to the web site. He is handling this until the new contractor starts which will occur in the next few weeks. He is also training staff on how to upload content.
Doug wanted to know if the web consultant would be providing reports to the BOP. Eric will determine this, but it was thought that probably Larry will be providing the web update rather than having the consultant attend BOP meetings.
ACB Email List Moderator: Bob Hachey
ACB-L Number of Members: 306: Number of messages for September: 155
ACB-Chat Number of Members: 139; Number of messages for September: 47
Shortly after the presidential debate of Monday, Sept. 26, a member posted a message on ACB-Chat with vulgar references. He then sent a public apology to the list. Bob thanked him for his apology, suspended him for his highly inappropriate language, and sent him a copy of list rule number 4. Thankfully, there were no replies to his message. Other than that, we’ve been civilly discussing this hotly contested campaign on ACB-chat. The list member was resubscribed after a one week suspension.
Doug asked if Bob was putting his stats into a spreadsheet. Bob promised that he will enter all of the data by Thanksgiving.
Social Media: Carla Ruschival
FB likes 2539. Top posts: Volunteers Bringing Plays to Life for Visually Impaired; How American Restaurants Fail to Accommodate Blind Diners; Historic Accessible Book Treaty Takes Effect Today.
Twitter: 1574 followers. NVDA Online Conference; How 6 Scrappy Young Inventors Built a Breakthrough Text to Braille Device; Marrakesh announcement.
The committee is experimenting with creating a Montage of stories on Twitter which presents the highlights of several stories in a compact version. If this increases ACB’s public visibility on Twitter it will be a good thing despite recognition that it will probably be necessary to work with twitter on accessibility issues.
Public Relations: Katie Frederick
PR met in September. Michael Garrett from the Scholarship committee came to discuss collaboration to promote that program. Ideas considered included highlighting the success of past applicants and generally raising awareness all year long.
Katie assisted Kelly to get information out to the Leadership list and on social media describing the Microsoft Ignite conference recently attended by Jeff Bishop and Pat Sheehan.
PR is working with Kelly to promote the parenting video which was put together by the same videographer who did the Convention video. The target audience is blind people who are thinking about becoming parents. It conveys a strong message to sighted people as well regarding the capabilities of people who are blind. Katie welcomes ideas for how to reach interested audiences.
Doug asked if there has been a deliberate decision to do both an audio described version and a version without description? He wondered if there would be negative feedback if we did only the audio described version. Katie said that with the convention video there was a much larger response to the version without descriptions and that Kelly thought the videos were perhaps posted too close together.
ACB Radio Management Team: Deb Lewis
ACB Radio is determining whether it will be possible to record more affiliate content at the Convention and if so what policies would need to be adopted by the ACB Board regarding cost and arrangements. A subcommittee with representation from ACB Radio and the Convention are working on these logistics and will have a draft policy for ACB Board consideration at the October meeting.
Initiating Work on Large Print Reader Preference Survey
The BOP work plan includes conducting a survey of current and prospective readers of ACB publications in order to establish a Style Guide for ACB large print publications. Ron invited Leslie Spoon to this BOP meeting to offer the perspective of CCLVI and to begin this collaborative effort. Ron’s goal at this meeting is to determine who from the BOP would be interested to serve on a task group along with representatives from CCLVI to develop a draft survey. The process for distribution of the survey will be determined by several factors including the survey length and complexity.
Leslie thanked Ron for the invitation to collaborate and emphasized that CCLVI wants to help in any way.
Doug asked about the current guidelines for large print and noted that he thought the BOP had recently tackled this issue and made substantive changes to the requirements for large print.
Ron said the issue of large print has been challenging. The BOP made a good faith effort to resolve the concerns raised by particular individuals but no formal guidelines have been adopted by ACB although CCLVI did establish its own standard. Previous discussions seemed to favor single rather than double column as an example of what could be changed.
Sharon explained that article text is Arial 18 point 1.5 line spacing and headlines are Arial black 22 point with 1.5 line spacing.
Paul and Deb expressed willingness to serve on the task group. Paul has specific experience developing surveys and Deb has extensive experience developing standards. No current BOP members have experience with large print. Sharon will staff the task group.
Doug noted that software revisions available to ACB staff may make it more feasible to make format changes that are likely to be ultimately proposed.
Ideas for Proposed Items for the 2017 ACB Budget
This year Eric is providing committees with information on their last budget and asking that this be used as a baseline for revisions to meet this year’s goals. Ron asked the BOP to identify work plan items that would require budget revisions to accomplish the outcomes.
Braille forum: cost will be determined by the outcome of the RFP’s. There was discussion on whether the BOP should establish a minimum number and size of issues for both the Braille Forum and E-Forum as a budget baseline.
Motion: Paul moved and Deb seconded that we retain, at a minimum, the existing number of both the hard copy and e-forum issues with the goal of expanding the number and/or length of hard copy issues. The motion passed.
Large print preference survey: The office has a commercial account for Survey Monkey. A quantitative survey could be conducted online followed by a qualitative survey conducted at the Convention or elsewhere.
Motion: Paul moved and Doug seconded that $1000 be budgeted for the survey. There was discussion about whether we had enough information to propose a specific amount. Deb suggested that getting the process identified was more useful than assigning a budget number and that Ron could work with Eric for the numbers once we were clear on process. Numbers should be based on data. Paul withdrew the motion.
Meetings at Convention: Last year we paid for AV and charged admission for the Editor’s Workshop. Ron will work with Eric to determine meeting costs including the possibility of a focus group for the survey. There will be no charge for attending the Candidate’s Forum and Sunday meeting so the budget must account for these.
BOP awards: Ron will ask Eric to identify likely cost of producing the awards.
Floppy drive to convert archives: Sharon requested a budget item to purchase a drive to transfer archived Braille Forum issues from floppy disks to CD. Ron said this may be covered as an office expense and he would verify this with Eric.
No other items were identified. Ron will draft the budget considerations and will circulate it to the BOP before submitting it to Eric.
Paul said he had received negative feedback on the new ACB web site and he would like this to be considered at the next BOP meeting.
Kim responded that the web task force identified major issues, and a list which includes the Responsive Theme on the Home page will be given to the new web contractor. Kim recommended that after that list has been resolved the BOP should raise any additional issues, but she thought many of them would overlap with the list already prepared and would therefore not be productive. Further discussion is deferred until January or February to give the new contractor time to respond and BOP members are encouraged to monitor progress on the site.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016 – 9:00 PM Eastern
Deb moved and Paul seconded adjournment. Motion passed and the meeting adjourned at 11:04 PM.
Deb Lewis, Secretary