by Paul Edwards
(Editor's Note: Each year, a member of the board of publications is appointed as an ex officio member of the board of directors so that he or she may report on each board meeting to the membership through a "Braille Forum" article. Ken Stewart fulfilled that task last year and the board of publications wishes to express its appreciation to him for his hard and excellent work. Now Paul Edwards has taken that role and, for the next year, he will be reporting on board meetings. The American Council of the Blind constitution and bylaws require that a narrative summary of every board of directors meeting be prepared by the board of publications' ex-officio representative to the board of directors. Upon approval of the minutes of this meeting by the board of directors, the minutes will be made available to the membership on the web site. Members who cannot access the minutes in that way may request assistance from the national office.)
The post-convention board meeting was called to order at 10:10 a.m. July 12, 2008 at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Ky. All board members were present, including the three newly elected members, Berl Colley of Washington state, Marsha Farrow from Georgia, and Michael Garrett from Texas. President Mitch Pomerantz welcomed them and congratulated David Trott from Alabama and Billie Jean Keith from Virginia for their re-election to the board. He also thanked Naomi Soule for her service on the board. She chose not to run for another term on the board.
Many of the items that were dealt with were carry-over elements from the pre-convention meeting. Carla Ruschival reported on progress being made toward the completion of a reasonable accommodations policy. This document is intended to provide guidelines to ACB on how to deal with individuals who have special needs based on a disability other than blindness, while attending our convention. She has gathered and circulated older policies and plans to have an updated document ready for presentation at the fall board meeting.
Ruschival also presented a convention report. Since she had reported to the membership only the day before, she asked for questions. There was a good deal of discussion of the life members' reception; she reported that the hotel had not scheduled the event appropriately. It was agreed that, in the future, the reception would be a hosted bar in some fashion. It was also agreed that life member ribbons would be provided starting next year to honor our members who have made this important commitment to ACB.
With regard to the convention, the board discussed cafe hours, the appropriateness and completeness of interpreter services to people who are deaf and blind, and some concerns about tours. The board commended both host committees and both affiliates for an excellent convention.
There was also some discussion of next year's convention in Orlando, where the rate will be $83 per night. Ruschival reported that the new hotel in Phoenix, where we are now scheduled to meet in 2010, was almost ready for site inspection. There is the possibility that the Phoenix convention may have to be moved a week later than its current scheduled time, but no motion was made or adopted.
After each convention, the board receives a report from the resolutions committee and its staff liaison, in which the resolutions adopted at our convention are prioritized. Each resolution is rated as a 1, a 2, or a 3. Resolutions rated 1 are to be acted on immediately; those rated 2 are to be acted on as a matter of priority; and those rated 3 are considered not to be time-sensitive but, of course, are to be implemented as soon as possible. The prioritization report was adopted with one change.
The board moved to executive session for discussion of a matter of some sensitivity concerning an affiliate and its constitution. When the board returned to open session, Pomerantz reported that a motion was made that the president be authorized to request a meeting with the board of GDUI regarding a situation about which we are concerned, in the hopes of resolving the matter in a satisfactory manner.
Each officer serves as a liaison to one or more national committees and, at this meeting, they were asked to report on work that these committees are doing. The officer liaison reports were received and accepted.
There was some discussion of when and where the next board meeting would be held. It appears that it will occur in Orlando and the primary date suggested for this meeting was Oct. 18. Pomerantz and Ruschival will finalize both the date and location and will inform the board as soon as that decision has been made. The meeting adjourned at 1:50 p.m.