Call to Order/Introductions
Adoption of Agenda:
Ron reviewed the Agenda.
Motion: Doug moved and Deb seconded adoption of the Agenda. Motion passed.
Approval of March 7 Minutes:
Motion: Paul moved and Susan seconded adoption of the March 7, 2017 Minutes. Motion passed. Ron noted that the Minutes were fantastic in terms of detail and format!
There were no comments from guests.
Finalizing Details for 2017 Editor’s Workshop
- Ron recapped efforts made to offer a Personal Branding workshop, and the decision to go with the suggestion made in February; past award winners to share insights and tips on award winning, successful writing. Email discussion prior to the meeting indicated consensus for a fee to offset expenses, but cost should not discourage attendance.
- Motion: Doug moved and Deb seconded that we charge $6 for both preregistration and onsite.
- Deb favored charging a low amount to attract people, but a higher onsite rate to encourage preregistration. Paul observed that the workshop has low attendance regardless of fee. Sue Ammeter noted that the charge somewhat offsets the cost of microphones and assisted listening devices. Ron said he understood the rationale for charging but the counter argument is that anticipating attendance only matters if you have a capacity issue; we never do. If no one comes, we don’t cover our costs even if we charge, and based on past attendance we won’t even come close. Ron also does not believe that paying causes people to come unless they really pay a lot. So the primary focus should be getting people to the event. Paul indicated he would vote no because he fully agreed with Ron’s points.
- Amendment: Deb offered and Doug accepted a friendly amendment to the motion on the floor to set preregistration charge at $6 and onsite registration as $8. The amended motion passed with one opposed.
- The workshop will be on Wednesday at 1:15. Doug has agreed to moderate the panel. Ron suggested that Susan, as a Freeman awardee and current BOP member would be a good panelist. She expressed willingness, and will assist Doug with invitations.
- Ron suggested prerequisites for panelists should be that they are award winners and/or published outside of the Braille Forum, and that they are able to present well on a panel. Several names were suggested.
- Doug asked for clarification as to whether we were looking for general writing or specifically for advocacy and support of the Braille Forum. Ron said he would like to keep it more general; advocacy is important, but probably more important to find good writers about a variety of topics. Susan thought this would be clear once the panel begins sorting out the presentation focus.
- There was discussion regarding whether all award categories should be included on the panel. It was finally decided that panelists would be Freeman winners or published writers which allows for more creativity and focus on the individual writers.
- Ron has received feedback that the title editor’s Workshop is off-putting. It was suggested to call it Writers Workshop because there are not many editors but many who would like to improve their writing. Everyone agreed that a new name for the workshop can be considered next year.
- Everyone will propose panelists via email by April 9, the top three will be prioritized by April 11, and then Doug and Susan will invite and confirm panelists prior to April 17 which is the deadline for the complete description.
Paul and Susan will cohost this event on Tuesday at 5:45 PM. Doug recused himself from working on the Forum questions, and Deb indicated willingness to work with Ron and the hosts on this. Ron will send email with last year’s questions and some initial thoughts.
BOP Meeting at Convention:
Ron observed that there are no vacancies anticipated on the BOP unless Doug is elected to another position, attendance is traditionally low and primarily the people who come to the phone calls, and convention is very busy. On the other hand, the BOP is an elected body and accountability to the membership is important. There was discussion and agreement that this is one opportunity for ACB members to become familiar with the role and work of the BOP. The Agenda should include expanded updates on BOP work plan activities, lots of opportunities for public input, and the usual business meeting. The BOP meeting will be Saturday at 10:30.
Process of Selecting Award Winners:
Sharon reported there are no nominations for the Liggett or Henley awards. Ron wants to figure out why there are not nominations for these awards and see what can be done to promote these next year. Kim suggested that in addition to the Braille forum article, Ron should post reminders on the Leadership list to solicit nominations for the BOP awards. We should also build into the timeline for Sharon to update us about three weeks in advance of the deadline so we will know the status of nominations. Larry said we could also post reminder announcements on the web site.
Sharon has sent the list of eligible Freeman articles to the BOP. She must have all plaque wording by May 8. Ron asked members to review the Freeman eligible articles, rank the top five, and send the results to Sharon by April 25. She will tabulate it for the May meeting. If there is not consensus, another round can be conducted by email in May. Doug asked if we announce runner ups. Sharon said we have in the past.
BOP Chair: Ron Brooks
- Discovered a pricing issue impacting recorded versions of the ACB Braille Forum. The price quote from National Audio Company had two separate pricing components for creating the original master copy of the digital recording of the Forum, but our pricing page only included one of the components, resulting in an under-budgeting of these expenses. The issue was discovered when the first invoice from National Audio Company was much higher than expected. The ACB Executive Director worked with National Audio Company to adjust the charges for the initial version of the Forum, and a decision was made to have Perkins create the digital recording and then to have National Audio Company duplicate and distribute the cassette versions. The result of this arrangement is a minimal impact to our budget for the cassette versions of the Forum newsletters. Going forward, the BOP will include a standardized Excel template for all bidders to use when stating their prices. This will ensure that pricing is received in a standard format, and it will allow for a better comparison of price proposals.
- Authored two articles for the May edition of the Braille Forum: one summarizing the February 25 ACB Board Meeting and the other inviting members to use the ACB Candidates Pages and ACB Candidates Forum to announce and promote their campaigns for office.
- Participated in several teleconferences regarding the ongoing project to redesign the ACB website. Ron commented on how valuable it will be to have a well-designed web site and a good content management system.
- Updated BOP member volunteer hours through March on the ACB volunteer hours tracking spreadsheet.
- Ron is having monthly conference calls with Eric and Sharon prior to the BOP meetings to make sure necessary items are agenized and to increase communication.
Editor: Sharon Lovering
March 2017 Issue type: hard copy; Print Page Count: 48
- Braille Distributed: 687; Returned: 0; Return Rate: 0; Received: 687
- LP Distributed: 2,692; Returned: 23; Return Rate: 0.9%; Received: 2,669
- Cassette Distributed: 994; Returned: 12; Return Rate: 1.2%; Received: 982
- CD Distributed: 135; Returned: 0; Return Rate: 0; Received: 135
- Electronic Distributed: 5,240; Returned: 3 (with request to remove); Return Rate: 0.1%; Received: 5,237
- Total Accessed (Excludes Returns): 9,710
April 2017 Issue type: electronic; Print Page Count: 54
- Electronic Distributed: 5,251; Returned: 1 (request to remove); Return Rate: 0; Received: 5,251
- Total Accessed (Excludes Returns): 5,251
May 2017 Issue type: hard copy; Print Page Count: 48
- Braille Distributed: 701; LP Distributed: 2,740; Cassette Distributed: 941; CD Distributed: 138; Electronic Distributed: none yet
- Total Accessed (Excludes Returns): none yet
- Sharon has just finished the May issue and sent it to Clovernook and United Book Press. She will wait for the blue line proof to send it off to Perkins.
- Nancy and Sharon finished all the AMMS additions, deletions, changes and deceased on March 15th – the earliest ever in Sharon’s nearly 24 years with ACB. There are two states whose lists are still outstanding. Changes may not be made in AMMS until May 1st, to allow Nancy to finish validating the certifications and doing the dues calculations.
- Doug inquired regarding why the email number was not listed for May. Sharon explained that she does not include the electronic number until she emails them.
ACB Radio: Larry Turnbull
- Larry has not received data from Audio Now so listener stats are not available. He will send them when received.
- Larry is working with Tunein Radio, the service used to stream internet radio on Amazon Alexa, updating some of ACB’s channel listings to be compatible with Alexa. Impacted streams are treasure Trove, Live Event and Special event.
- Bay State stream their convention in March. California will stream their convention next weekend with a new streaming team who are just learning the ropes. Iowa is scheduled to stream their convention later in April. Florida will stream their convention in June.
- Larry has also been busy with the file structure and configuration of SharePoint for the ACB offices and has been helping with the site map for the new website.
ACB Email List Moderator: Bob Hachey
Bob was ill and indicated he would send his report later in the week. I did not receive it for the Minutes.
Social Media: Carla Ruschival
Facebook: 2,940 likes
Top Posts of the Month:
- Stevie Wonder Carpool Karaoke: 8,842 people reached; 59 likes, loves and hahas; 93 shares
- Blind passenger booted from American Airlines Flight: 5,783 people reached; 67 likes, angry and wows; 73 shares
- Marlee Matlin contacts the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk: 4,505 people reached; 68 likes and loves; 50 shares
- Autonomous Self Driving Vehicle Survey: 4,017 people reached; 34 likes and loves; 57 shares
Twitter: 1,828 followers
Top Tweets of the Month:
- Blind passenger booted from American Airlines Flight: 707 impressions; 37 engagements
- DirecTV Accessibility Resources: 637 impressions; 10 engagements
- Blind Gamer Plays Ping Pong on Nintendo Switch: 602 impressions; 24 engagements
- Eatsa Press Release: 463 impressions; 40 engagements
Carla said that Goal One has completed most of the objectives assigned and ongoing activities are transitioning to the Strategic Plan Groups. There was discussion about the differences in traffic between Facebook and Twitter. Paul again asked if we could have some definitions of Facebook and Twitter terminology. This will be scheduled for a future meeting.
Ron reported this committee is primarily working on tasks associated with the web design project. They have been focused on the site map, the structure, and various levels of items on the web site. Larry said the design phase is almost completed.
Paul inquired about the status of implementing “quick fixes” which would enable visitors to skip some of the repetitive links at the top of every page. Larry said this is being implemented on the new site but wasn’t sure of status for the current site and will look into it. Paul indicated that this problem is discouraging for blind visitors and was initially raised in the august BOP meeting. Ron said this may have been lost in the transition, and in general the IT Group is focusing Larry’s effort on the new website which fixes a number of these issues. He assured Paul that this specific issue is being addressed on the new site. Doug asked when the new site will go live. Larry said this will be determined when the site design phase is completed and approved. At that time, Louisville web Group will propose an implementation schedule. Deb recalled that this is roughly scheduled for fall. Paul asked that Larry and Ron look into whether a simple fix that significantly improves the user experience and would not take away from the overall focus could be implemented. Carla noted that she visited the current site with her iPhone and Apex without difficulty.
Public Relations: Katie Frederick
The PR Committee continues to discuss possible topics for video and photography during the 2017 convention. They are developing a form for photo requests which will coordinate photo and video activity and will identify how pictures or video will be used by the requester. Doug asked about the process for getting pictures on to the web for those committees and taskforces with a webpage. Katie said this can be indicated on the request form.
Large Print Reader preference Survey: Deb Lewis
The taskforce met in March with another meeting scheduled for April. The matrix comparison of guidelines is almost complete. The short term outcome will be a list of constants that are agreed upon without surveying, and a list of variables which will be surveyed. The challenge will be to manage the significant number of potential survey variables and produce them in a meaningful way. Members have rejected the option to conduct focus groups which means the survey must be packaged for individual use. Ron has confirmed that survey copies can be placed at the Information desk for pickup and can be dropped off there upon completion. Ron asked the taskforce to bring a recommendation regarding the survey process to the next meeting.
Other Business and Announcements
Paul announced that BRL will have a phone call on April 12 to discuss Braille displays and note takers. Information will be sent to the Leadership list.
The Tuesday, May 2, 2017 – 9:00 PM Eastern meeting was cancelled.
The next scheduled meeting is June 6, 2017 at 9:00 PM eastern.
Doug moved and Susan seconded adjournment. the meeting adjourned at 10:48 PM.
Deb Lewis, Secretary