Welcome and Review of Agenda
Board of Publications Chairperson, Katie Frederick, called the October 4, 2022, meeting of the BOP to order at the board’s new meeting time, 8 p.m. Eastern. Katie read the agenda aloud and it was approved unanimously, without changes.
All board members, Katie, Deb, Cheryl, Zelda, Cachet, Penny, David, Dan, Sharon, and Rick, were present, as well as Christine Chaikin, who attended as a guest, and Jeff Bishop, who represented ACB Media along with Rick Morin.
Approval of Minutes
Following a motion from Penny and a second from Cachet, minutes from the September 2022 BOP meeting were approved without additions or corrections.
Public’s Point of View
There were no questions or comments from guests at the beginning of the meeting.
Zelda will take the lead in editing blog submissions in October, and Penny will serve as second. Cachet will take the lead in November, and Penny will provide back-up.
Katie said that she is almost ready to publish Anthony’s and Gabriel’s latest blog.
We plan to begin publishing the Member at the Mic blogs in October. Cachet asked the BOP to consider defining publication guidelines for those blogs, and the consensus upon which we arrived is to publish two Members at the Mic productions each month. Anthony expects to be fully involved at least through March or April, and he would like to identify two other people to work with him on securing interviews, conducting them, and getting them ready for publication.
Anthony thanked Tim Cumings, who had done all of the editing except for one interview, which was edited by Byron Lee. He praised both editors. He said that we already have seven completed interviews, and there are three more in the queue, and he has received more than ten suggestions of other people who will be great interviews. Anthony said we can easily accomplish publishing two interviews each month, and after the holidays, we can build a team to work together to keep the momentum going.
He also suggested partnering with “Writing Works Wonders” to provide a series of training workshops on writing for blog. Cheryl McNeil Fisher and Kathy King may be willing to schedule this training during their regular Writing Works Wonders program, or it may be possible to schedule separate community events for this purpose.
Cachet has reached out to work with Anthony on creating guidelines for the Minute at the Mic production process, and other BOP members can participate in this planning goal via e-mail or an occasional Zoom call. We will also be sure to include Tim Cumings and Byron Lee in the planning process.
Katie mentioned that we may be able to take advantage of the special disability-related events that take place in October, like White Cane Safety Day and Disability Employment Awareness Month, to procure articles or other written coverage for the blog.
The ACB Braille Forum will continue to be a source worth mining for blog content, and Deb suggested that Jeff Bishop’s article in the November Forum which concerns his experience with diabetes would be an excellent example of one such article. Sharon said that she and Eric Bridges are thinking about creating a “Throwback Thursday” blog each week to republish articles from older Braille Forums, and possibly a Friday Forward blog that will feature snippets from more recent articles. The Friday Forwards snippets can direct readers to ACB Braille Forum articles that are currently available on the web site. And, Throwback Thursdays blogs can include updates from original authors or people who are still working on described projects.
Editor’s Report, October 2022
Sharon had submitted the following Editor’s Report in advance of the meeting:
Issue type: hard-copy
Page count: 48
Braille distributed: 641
Braille returned: 9
Return rate: 1.4%
Braille received: 632
Cartridge distributed: 438
Large print distributed: 2,165
Large print returned: 11
Return rate: 0.5%
Large print received: 2,154
Email distributed: 5,136
Email bounces: 87
Return rate: 1.69%
Email received: 5,049
Issue type: Electronic
Page count: 48
Email distributed: 5,159
Issue type: Hard-copy
Page count: 48
Braille to be distributed: 487
Cartridge to be distributed: TBA
Large print to be distributed: 2,128
Deadlines for the Next Issues
December (electronic): International Relations Committee; deadline: October 24th
January 2023 (hard-copy): 2022 year in review; deadline: November 23rd
ACB Diabetics in Action sent in enough content for two issues – and they have since gotten two more articles! Thanks to Tom Tobin and Becky Dunkerson for organizing ACBDA and galvanizing them to writing the articles, and for letting me know which ones they wanted to go in this issue. They have already spoken up for their second issue – February 2023. With the many diabetes-related articles I had to hold out, I have that issue very nearly full – 7,185 words!
I have sent the hard-copy Braille Forums from 2013-2021 off to Grimm Book Bindery, and am working on printing out the E-Forums to ship there as well. I had to redo a number of the layouts from 2013-2014, which slowed the process down. I have printed out 2013 through 2016, and aim to print out the rest over the next week or so (should be done by the time of our meeting). 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 October 11th; the one after that, the 24th.
I’m still working with the archives committee on preserving and digitizing old recordings and documents from ACB events, and identifying people in photos. As part of that work, I continue to work 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). I’m including Word, text, and BRF file formats in the Forum folders on Sharepoint. As of this writing, I am done with 1992 and working my way through 1991. I aim to be done with the 1990s by year’s end.
The awards committee will meet on Thursday, October 6th.
Sharon Lovering, Editor
American Council of the Blind
Sharon added that she is very nearly finished with the reformatting of all the Forums from 1990.
Bids for ACB Braille Forum Production
We have accepted bids for Braille Forum production from Clovernook, Ironmark, and Perkins.
Katie said that it is difficult to find print producers these days, and she wonders if we will still even be producing large print editions in three years – or cartridge editions.
Monthly Braille Forum Themes
Monthly themes already scheduled include: November’s theme is diabetes; December’s is international relations. For January we have talked about a year in review focus on 2022. January is also Louis Braille’s birthday month. In February, Diabetics in Action will provide content, and we still have the content that wouldn’t fit in the November issue. We will need to wait to see how much extra room there will be for other topics in the February issue. March is Women’s History Month, and we will reach out to the ACB Women’s Committee to see if they want to adopt all or part of March. Cheryl said that the Multi-Cultural Affairs Committee wants to adopt April.
Braille Forum Guidelines
Katie and Sharon had shared the following draft Braille Forum guidelines with the BOP e-mail discussion list, as follows:
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 between 500 and 1500 words in each, (that would enable us to include all the "regular" features, such as the President's Message, Janet's convention article, Affiliate News, Here and There, High Tech Swap Shop, etc.)
Katie said that we can add specific guidance for affiliates and committees who are adopting a month, e.g., five to eight articles submitted by a deadline of X, etc.
Cachet suggested that, if we hold affiliates or committees accountable for four to six articles, we will still have room for those things that have to be covered in each issue, such as the president’s message, a convention article, High Tech Swap Shop, Here and There, etc.
Penny said that we should find a reliable location within the magazine and also on the web site so that potential contributors can always find the guidance for writers.
We will leave it up to Sharon’s discretion to locate a suitable space.
Dan suggested that we can check with Nancy Becker to see how relevant information about the CFC campaign actually is today, since we realize very little income from the Federal Campaign anymore. Perhaps we can use that space for this purpose.
Penny suggested that an ideal spot for the “how to contribute to the Braille Forum” guidelines would be directly under the table of contents.
The guidance for writers doesn’t have to include the guidelines for committees and affiliates, we can simply have a discussion with them.
We will ask Cindy to add the guidelines to the bottom of her daily community e-mail messages at least once each quarter.
Braille Forum Cartridges
Sharon reported that Perkins has told her that more than 300 subscribers have not returned cartridges for the last year or two. She sent Zelda a blurb describing the problem to share with affiliate newsletter editors at the next editors’ meeting, and via the editors’ list. We can also distribute the information to the presidents at their weekly meeting.
Dan suggested that Cindy’s posse can reach out to members who have not been returning cartridges, with a phone call and e-mail message.
E-Mail List Updates
List guidelines for Leadership are almost ready and will be distributed to list subscribers, state and affiliate presidents, committees, and the BOP in early October. Next month, the BOP will re-visit the guidelines for ACB-Conversation.
Deb said that the Announce List for ACB Media is an effective way for members to keep track of what’s going on, on ACB Media.
She said that she and Cindy are beginning to discuss needed changes in formats (including headings, fonts, print sizes, navigation aids, etc.) for the Community’s daily list.
Deb is thinking about creating a weekly list where she could post upcoming community events that don’t fit into the category of routinely scheduled events, so that people would be aware of them before they appear on the daily schedule, when it can easily be too late for them to adjust their calendars and attend. She is going to propose the idea to Cindy. For example, the list can be described as “Highlights of Community and ACB Media Events Coming This Week.”
BOP Awards for 2023
We will be discussing BOP awards for next year at our November meeting, possibly recommending changes in criteria or additional awards. Katie will distribute current descriptions of BOP awards on the BOP e-mail list.
The next editors’ workshop is expected to take place on Friday, October 14.
The BOP hopes to turn some of the programs we did last year for editors into podcasts, for example, the Word formatting training that David Kingsbury provided and the Duxbury training that Steve Dresser provided.
Our BOP meetings are available on the ACB podcast listing. Jeff Bishop suggested making a page for BOP podcast content, and he suggested that Katie should reach out to Rick and Larry about creating such an easy-to-locate space on the ACB Media web site. Rick said that he would be happy to create a space for BOP podcasts.
BOP Town Hall
The BOP decided to host a town hall meeting on Community in January, where we can talk about new list guidelines, awards, the blog, “2022, The BOP Year in Review and What’s Coming in 2023.” We are tentatively thinking about scheduling the event on Saturday, January 21, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern. Katie will propose the time and date to Cindy.
ACB Media Report
Rick reported that a number of podcasts of meetings that occurred during the Omaha convention week had been released over the past few days and ACB Media expected to release podcasts of all of the break-out sessions from that week by the end of the month. He reiterated that the general session recordings will be very clean – audio for every minute will be clear, since clear audio recordings are available. A high-quality HD video will also be available via our YouTube channel.
The ACB Media Support Committee is now in place, and there are already a number of issues in queue for the committee to address. A first priority is to sort out who is responsible for what with respect to streaming affiliate conventions, i.e., what responsibilities do affiliates have and what role does ACB Media play in producing high quality affiliate convention streaming.
The ACB Media team is beginning to plan for the hybrid board meeting which will occur on October 21 and 22.
Everyone at the meeting agreed that the 8 p.m. starting time for the meeting had worked well for each of us, and we will continue to schedule meetings to begin at 8 p.m. Eastern going forward. The meeting adjourned at 9:49 p.m. Eastern. The next BOP meeting will take place on November 1, 2022, beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern.
Penny Reeder, Member
ACB Board of Publications