November 2021

Braille Authority of North America Board Meetings: Fall 2021

November 18-20, 2021, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time each day

The following board members were in attendance:

  • Tamara Rorie, National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, Library of Congress (NLS), Chair
  • Mary Nelle McLennan, Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER), Vice Chair
  • Jen Goulden, CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind), Secretary
  • Danette Johnson, Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Treasurer
  • Jennifer Dunnam, National Federation of the Blind (NFB), Immediate Past Chair
  • Judy Dixon, American Council of the Blind (ACB)
  • Frances Mary (FM) D'Andrea, American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
  • Guy Toles, Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation (CIDI)
  • Cathy Senft-Graves, American Printing House for the Blind (APH)
  • Tracy Gaines, California Transcribers and Educators for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CTEBVI)
  • Tina Seger, Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired
  • Cindy Skandera, Horizons for the Blind
  • Patrick Janson, National Braille Association (NBA)
  • Amber Pearcy, National Braille Press (NBP)
  • Kim Charlson, Perkins School for the Blind
  • Susan (Sue) Reilly, Administrative Assistant
  • Erin Weaver, associate member Council of Schools and Services for the Blind (COSB)
  • Holly Bullock, associate member Crawford Technologies

Not attending:

  • Marie Zaldivar, Alternate Text Production Center (ATPC)


  • Kyle DeJute
  • William Freeman (Friday)
  • Jillian Queen
  • Betty Marshall
  • Wendy Buckley
  • Aquinas Pather (Thursday)

1. Call to Order: Tamara Rorie

Tamara Rorie, BANA Chair, called the meeting to order at 10:08 a.m. Eastern Time.

2. Welcome: Tamara Rorie

Tamara welcomed representatives and observers to the meeting.

3. Self-Introductions: Representatives and Observers

Tamara asked board members and observers to briefly introduce themselves.

Patrick Janson represented NBA because Diane Spence was unable to attend.

4. Zoom Protocols: Tamara Rorie

Tamara outlined zoom protocols for the meeting.

5. Board’s Liability Statement: Jen Goulden

In her role as BANA Secretary, Jen Goulden read the following statement: "BANA indemnifies its Officers and Board of Directors and holds them harmless from all claims of every kind, including court expenses, attorneys' fees, and the claimed amount arising from the performance of their duties as Officers and Directors except for their own acts of dishonesty and gross negligence." (Adopted March 30, 1987)

6. Agenda Approval: Tamara Rorie

Changes to the agenda are as follows:

  • Diane asked Aquinas Pather to give the Tactile Graphics report, and Tamara will adjust the agenda to accommodate his availability.
  • Jen asked to give an update on the Graphing Calculator Guidelines, which has been added after the report for the General Committee on Electronic Braille Translation.

MSC: FM moved and Kim seconded that we approve the agenda as amended. Motion carried.

7. Chair's Comments: Tamara Rorie

Tamara noted that she will make comments throughout the meetings.

8. Approval of Minutes: Tamara Rorie

MSC: Cathy moved and Tracy seconded that we approve the minutes from the September 2021 board meeting. Motion carried.

9. Braille Formats Technical Committee: Cindi Laurent

Guy delivered this report as circulated.

Cindi Laurent has asked for suggestions of a braille reader to replace Marilyn Breedlove, who is stepping down from the committee.

Tamara asked for a report from the Task Force on Formats Errata. Guy indicated that the task force has categorized and prioritized the list of items originally provided by the Formats Committee. Guy met with Cindi to discuss the categories and priorities. The Formats Committee is in agreement with the categories as provided by the task force and is working on the errata at this time.

Mary Nelle said that Publications was part of the task force and had prepared a statement about what constitutes errata, clarifications, changes, etc. This came about because the Formats Committee proposed a number of items that are not errata, but instead are things they believe should be updated. At this point there is nothing more that needs to be done, but we will keep the task force active in case the Formats Committee has questions. Guy also suggested that the Task Force should remain active so that it can collaborate with the Formats Committee as needed on the remaining categories.

 (For more detail on this issue please see the minutes from the April 2021 board meeting.)

Committee reappointments:

MSC: Guy moved and Jen seconded the reappointment of Randy Davis for a two-year term on the Braille Formats Technical Committee ending in December 2023. Motion carried.

10. Nemeth Technical Committee: Dorothy Worthington

Jennifer delivered this report as circulated.

The Review Committee is waiting for some feedback from the panel review so that the results can be compiled and given back to the Nemeth Committee. The deadline for feedback is 11/21/2021.  

Committee reappointments:

MSC: Jennifer moved and Guy seconded the reappointment of Mary Denault, Susan Osterhaus and Allison O’Day for two-year terms on the Nemeth Technical Committee ending in December 2023. Motion carried.

Panel of reviewers for the Nemeth document:

Julie Sumwalt

Kyle DeJute

Diane Spence

Kathy Grafsgaard

Sara Larkin

Greg Williams

It was suggested that the board liaisons for Nemeth, Chemistry and Tactile Graphics should discuss how to ensure that none of these documents introduces items that conflict with content in the other two. FM will set up this meeting.

11. Tactile Graphics Technical Committee: Aquinas Pather

Aquinas delivered the report as circulated.

Tamara confirmed that all board members have access to the Tactile Graphics files on Dropbox and that braille readers have received their hard copies of the supplement. The board review will be completed by 12/23/2021.

The Table of Changes spreadsheets folder contains files of everything that was changed in order to adapt the previous document to UEB. The SME content review responses folder contains responses to comments received from the panel of subject matter experts review.

Jennifer noted that once the board review has been completed, the Review Committee will compile the responses and send them to the BANA Chair along with a recommendation for the board regarding approval of the Tactile Graphics document. At that time the board will also have a discussion about whether to approve the document before or after any changes are made.

Mary Nelle stated that the Publications Committee evaluated Tactile Graphics files before and after the panel review. Publications has access to the same files that are currently being reviewed by the board. Publications is looking to contract with a vendor who can create the accessible PDF version and is developing a work scope for the potential vendor.

She recommends that Publications and Tactile Graphics look at the feedback from the board review to determine who should make any changes may be necessary. Some changes can be made more efficiently by the authoring committee, while there are other changes that could more easily be made by Publications.

Aquinas participated in the review of the chemistry document and he noted that they found some conflicts between Chemistry and Tactile Graphics. However, the Tactile Graphics Committee cannot make any changes to their document because the conflicting issues in the Chemistry document are not yet official. Updating these three major documents at the same time makes it hard to resolve conflicts.

The issue Aquinas highlighted is that the Chemistry Committee has devised a new braille symbol that the Tactile Graphics Committee suggests should be shown as a graphic instead.

The board recommends flexibility, and Aquinas is agreeable to adjusting the wording in the Tactile Graphics document.

As noted in the Nemeth Committee agenda item above, the board liaisons for Nemeth, Chemistry and Tactile Graphics should meet to discuss the issue of conflicting guidance in these three documents. FM will convene the meeting before Christmas.

Since the issue of conflicting guidance has not yet been completely resolved, it was decided that the disposition of Charge 296 will remain as ongoing.

Committee reappointments:

MSC: Jennifer moved and FM seconded the appointment of Aquinas Pather as Chair of the Tactile Graphics Technical Committee for a two-year term ending in December 2023. Motion carried.

MSC: Jen moved and Jennifer seconded the reappointment of Allison O’Day for a two-year term on the Tactile Graphics Technical Committee ending in December 2023. Motion carried.

Diane joined the meeting Friday morning to discuss the Tactile Graphics Committee’s budget.

They requested funds for a face-to-face meeting but Diane doesn’t know if this will be necessary. They also requested funds to transcribe the document into braille because there is nobody on the committee who is in a position to do it.

The amount for stylizing the Word files will be taken out of the Tactile Graphics budget because it falls under the Publications Committee’s budget. Diane gave this information Friday morning.

Panel of reviewers for the Tactile Graphics document:

Laverne Blassee

Nevzat Adil (did not complete the review)

Tina Herzberg

Lindy Walton

Lorraine Banks

Dan Brown

Dan Gergen

12. Music Braille Technical Committee: Karen Gearreald

Tamara delivered the report and read the addendum that was circulated.

She then asked Patrick to elaborate on the following issues, which were raised by the Music Committee.

The first is a discrepancy between the print and braille editions of the 2015 BANA music code. The print shows a sectional double bar (two thin vertical lines) where the braille shows a final double bar. The committee believes that the discrepancy is very minor, does not cause confusion and would not warrant a revision of the document.

The second issue relates to a sentence in Chapter 33, “Instrumental Ensemble Scores.”, section 33.4.6. The sentence reads: “The braille convenience of supplying measure numbers that do not appear in print can be used only when the print score includes no numbers or letters.” The committee notes that this does not reflect common practice. Following the guidance as it is currently written could leave braille readers with several pages of a score that do not contain measure numbers, which hinders navigation.

Therefore, the Music Committee proposes the following: “For the convenience of the braille reader in instrumental ensemble scores, as in all other formats of braille music, the transcriber is free to supply measure numbers that do not appear in print.”

A working group consisting of Jen, Mary Nelle and Patrick met on 11/19 to discuss possible ways of handling/communicating these issues.

The symbol discrepancy does not need to be corrected, but people need to be made aware of it. The current sentence regarding measure numbers should be replaced with the Music Committee’s suggested wording. We will consider both of these items to be errata and put them into one document posted on the music braille page. We can also post an announcement on the homepage and send out a press release.

MSC: Jen moved and Guy seconded that we accept the recommendation regarding the symbol discrepancy that was provided by the Music committee. Motion carried.

MSC: Jennifer moved and FM seconded that we adopt the language regarding measure numbers that was provided by the Music committee. Motion carried.

Committee reappointments:

MSC: FM moved and Mary Nelle seconded the appointment of Karen Gearreald as Chair of the Music Braille Technical Committee for a two-year term ending in December 2023. Motion carried.

Karin Auckenthaler has decided to step down, and Karen Gearreald has put forth Ka Kit Tam as a replacement. Ka Kit is a music transcriber and long-time piano teacher who works for CNIB. We will follow our current process to address this appointment.

13. International Council on English Braille: Frances Mary D'Andrea

FM highlighted the ICEB Code Maintenance Committee (CMC) meeting scheduled for 3:00 Eastern on November 18th. She encouraged board members and observers to subscribe to iceb-announce and to observe on the CMC listserv.

Jordie Howell (from Australia) chairs the ICEB Music Committee. A resolution was passed at the 7th General Assembly in October 2020 stating that this committee would work on a revision of the International Manual of Braille Music Notation but Jordie has discovered that many countries are using the BANA manual that was updated in 2015. As a result, the ICEB Executive approved a change to the resolution. The ICEB Music Committee will investigate the development of a supplement instead. There has also been some discussion about adopting the BANA manual more widely, and that the supplement could address items not already covered. Now that the Music Committee is planning to work on a supplement, Jordie is collecting ideas from other countries as to what should be included. It is not quite clear yet how this initiative will move forward, but a complete rewrite of the international manual is beyond the Music Committee’s scope.

FM noted that anyone who has an interest in music braille should talk to Jordie and/or observe on the committee’s listserv.

The international manual is not ICEB’s document. It is broader in scope, but world blindness organizations do not prioritize it. Kim asked when the World Blind Union (WBU) was contacted, and she said that she can raise this issue at the next WBU meeting. Asking for funding is premature but it would be worth asking if there is an interest in funding. Judy suggested that it’s more important to speak to the WBU Executive about the World Braille Council. The international manual is one reason we need the World Braille council.

FM also noted that the Rules of Unified English Braille Second Edition (2013) is set to be updated by the next General Assembly in 2024.

15. Foreign Language Task Force: Jennifer Dunnam

Jennifer delivered the report as circulated.

The task force now has the Word version of the final draft of the updated Guidelines for Foreign Language Braille Transcription, and the BRF will be ready by mid-December at the latest.

The task force recommends that the board set a start and end date for a 30-day review of these guidelines. Board members can determine individuals in their organizations with the expertise to help with this review. The Review Committee will also prepare a review instrument for this process.

GC: A board review will take place from January 15th to February 15th. The Review Committee will need a charge for this process.

There was some discussion about a possible resource list of transcribers who work with languages other than English, but it was suggested that this may be out of scope for BANA.

16. Ad Hoc Committee on Chemistry: Cary Supalo

FM delivered the report provided to her by Cary Supalo.

The Chemistry document includes a section that contains tactile graphics, and the Chemistry Committee is working to make sure that there are no conflicts with Tactile Graphics.

FM thanked Cathy and APH for producing the supplements needed for the review.

Panel of reviewers for the Chemistry document:

Chelsea Cook  

Dawn Gross

Robert Jaquiss

Susan Osterhaus

Aquinas Pather

William Skawinsky

Dorothy Worthington


Lindy Walton is on the Nemeth Committee as well so she will see the responses from the Nemeth review. The Chemistry Committee is working hard and FM believes that once the meeting of Chemistry, Tactile Graphics and Nemeth liaisons takes place, the Chemistry Committee can then complete the work. They’ll need to communicate with APH regarding updated versions of the supplements (Section 10, which contains graphics).

FM has the list of changes from Lindy, and the feedback from the review panel has already been incorporated.

Publications needs a heads-up on the timing of the turnover of the document for review in order to coordinate the workload. The board needs to discuss the sequence for the board review, but it does not necessarily have to be decided at this board meeting. We have to work out a process as we have done with the Tactile Graphics document.

17. Report of General Committee on Unified English Braille: Frances Mary D'Andrea

FM delivered the report as circulated.

She has requested input from the board on the following:

Should the “th” in Beethoven be contracted or uncontracted? Prior to UEB some countries used the “th” contraction and others did not. There continues to be some confusion about the use (or not) of the contraction. For the sake of consistency, the CMC will be voting on this issue in the near future.

Another item for consideration is a braille symbol for the German ess-tset i.e. double s. In the German braille code, the symbol is dots 2346, so the proposed symbol for UEB is dots 46, 2346. This was being reserved for a particular integral symbol that hasn’t been requested. If it is requested in the future, it can be represented with a three-cell symbol.

GC: The board agrees that the U.S. should vote for the use of dots 46, 2346 for the German ess-tset symbol.

GC: The Board agrees that the U.S. should vote for the use of the “th” contraction in Beethoven.

18. General Committee on Electronic Braille Translation: Jen Goulden

Jen delivered the report as circulated.


Judy was not included on the list of committee members but Sue added her during the discussion.

Tamara raised the possibility of BANA taking leadership on the eBRF issue. The intent would be to collaborate with national and international organizations who are already working to develop an eBRF standard, such as – but not limited to – APH, NLS, ICEB and DAISY.

Tamara noted that NLS is developing specs based on what DAISY is doing, Judy stated that William Freeman and Greg Stilson from APH will be coming to the December meeting of the ICEB Executive.

There was some discussion about how we could include Duxbury and other manufacturers, but any representatives would need to be individuals who are involved with programming.

Judy, Jennifer, Jen and Tamara agreed to work separately on a charge that they will bring back to the full board before the end of these meetings.

William Freeman attended as an observer on Friday to speak about the latest draft of the eBRF document developed by APH. APH is working with DAISY, and DAISY wants more CSS (cascading style sheets) to be included in the standard. William explained that the latest draft is a stricter version of XHTML that includes CSS and uses classes to define things that don’t currently exist in XHTML. The point of all of this is that the BRF format is not adequate for the future of electronic braille because it has no markup. Transcribers add the markup in a program such as Duxbury or BrailleBlaster but when they save as BRF the markup is stripped away. eBRF will not change how transcribers work, just how files are saved. Incorporating CSS means that we can have a BANA style sheet, or RNIB, etc. and the reader could switch them out as needed. eBRF will be a zip folder that contains the eBRF, as well as the folder with the CSS style sheets. There will also be graphics in a folder called Images, and the actual braille will be in XHTML files for each volume. These files will have the markup, while the CSS will have the formatting. Users will have the style sheet according to how they set their software/hardware parameters. The standard will not be proprietary and it will not affect how documents appear, just how readers interact with them.

It is important to have software that converts BRF files to eBRF and vice versa. The goal is to have dynamic electronic files that can be read with refreshable braille displays, as well as static BRF files that can be embossed as needed.

Another important difference between BRF and eBRF is that the new format will be based on Unicode instead of ASCII. Unicode is an international standard and ASCII is not. 

William indicated that he can share the latest draft once it is ready. If the standard can meet strict formatting guidelines it can definitely accommodate the requirements of countries with less stringent rules.

Jennifer, Jen, Judy and Tamara met to work on the charge drafted by Judy. Tamara would like to establish an ad hoc committee and appoint board members during this meeting, but others will be added as needed. The ad hoc committee would investigate the work currently being done and then make recommendations to the board.

Tamara appointed an ad hoc committee that consists of Jennifer, Jen and Judy, with Tamara as Chair.

MSC: Judy moved and Guy seconded that the ad hoc committee on eBRF be charged as per the statement below. Motion carried.

There are several efforts internationally to develop standards for the efficient reading of braille on refreshable braille displays. In light of this, The Ad Hoc Committee on Electronic BRF is charged with the following:

  • Gather and review all international efforts to develop an electronic braille standard;
  • Identify which portions are within the purview of BANA;
  • Work with other national and international organizations (such as ICEB, DAISY, etc.) to determine which organization shall have responsibility for publication and maintenance of the eBRF standard; and
  • If appropriate, draft a BANA EBRF standard.

19. Graphing Calculator Guidelines: Jen Goulden

Jen gave the following update.

Bonnie Read is in the process of updating the most recent version of the Graphing Calculator Guidelines so that it will be in line with UEB. Hilda van Haren, Daphne Hitchcock and Jen Goulden are providing feedback to Bonnie. Braille Literacy Canada will review the document internally but Jen will also send the draft to the GCUEB once it is ready. Jen estimated that the draft should be finished early in the new year.

20. Publications Committee: Mary Nelle McLennan

Mary Nelle delivered the report as circulated.

Sandy Smith and Mary Nelle are working on a list of content updates that are needed to bring the under-development version of the BANA web site in line with the current site so that Sue can implement them. Mary Nelle explained that this “punch list” is more complicated than it seems because someone has to go through every page on the current BANA web site to make sure nothing is missed.

She also noted that Jackie Witterschein is willing to remain on the Publications Committee.

Cathy asked about the document Tamara created on general usability of PDF files. Its original intent was to start a conversation with the Publications Committee about the level of accessibility of BANA’s PDF files. Tamara will send it to the board but she wants people to be aware that it has already changed significantly. The Publications Committee has since developed a work scope for potential vendors and this is probably a more helpful document for the board to see as it more accurately reflects what the Publications Committee will require from vendors who remediate BANA documents. 

21. Task Force on Web Migration: Jennifer Dunnam

Jennifer delivered the report as circulated.

As Kim is stepping down from the board, Sue Reilly now has the credentials for our domain name. All of the listservs except BANA-announce have been migrated to We have to use Mailchimp for BANA-announce because this list exceeds the limit for This has already been set up and the migration is in progress. BANA-all includes everyone who is in the BANA directory.

Jennifer also advised the board that some of the funds listed under the Publications Committee for 2021 should actually fall under the Task Force on Web Migration.

Judy asked if there would be training for something like G-Suite, should we go that route. Jennifer highlighted the fact that no decision on G-Suite has been made at this time.

The GCUEB is working on a list of changes that will need to be made on BANA’s UEB page, but Jennifer said this won’t be needed until after the new site goes live.

Mary Nelle then said that she and Sandy Smith are trying to document everything that needs to be changed, removed, or updated since 2019, because that was when we gave the web site to Pumex to migrate to Drupal. That’s the “punch list” referred to under the Publications Committee report. Pumex has the list of work orders for the current site up until March 2021. Jennifer suggested an offline discussion about timeframes. Mary Nelle will need a few more weeks to finalize the list of updates. Jennifer said that we could have access to the interface any time now and that we are just waiting on Pumex.

22. BANA Appointments Committee: Tracy Gaines

Tracy sent out the appointments reminder to committee chairs but got no responses.

In June we start asking committee chairs to let us know if they need new members.

We will use our established process to appoint Ka Kit Tam to the Music Committee. Board members can recommend braille readers for the Formats Committee so that we can follow our appointment process for this committee as well. Email Tracy with any recommendations.

The GCUEB may need one or two new members, but FM will talk to committee members and revisit this in the new year.

We then discussed whether it is necessary that all committee appointments take place in November. Tamara suggested that we modify our plan so people can ask for a member and go through the process regardless of the time of year. This is only for technical committees, which are the only ones that have term end dates. We’ll come back to this issue when we talk about bylaws.

Liaisons may have to take a more proactive role when it comes to appointments. It was also noted that the last couple of years have just been really challenging. We may choose to include quarterly reports, the appointments process etc. in the training that we provide to committee chairs. In 2019 we approved the reporting protocols that were developed but we did not get that information out to the committee chairs.

The appointment committee needs new members as well.

The Membership Committee was also discussed, and Jennifer stated that the membership documentation has already been updated and she will send it to the board.

22. General Committee for Review Process: Jennifer Dunnam

Jennifer delivered the report as circulated.

She will send the revised review process for Tactile Graphics to the board.

MSC: Jennifer moved and Cathy seconded that the disposition of Charge 353 be changed from ongoing to done. Motion carried.

[Charge 353 (5/2/19): Work with the Publications and Tactile Graphics committees to determine the process for the review of the upcoming tactile graphics revision and bring a recommendation to the Fall 2019 meeting.]

MSC: Jennifer moved and FM seconded that the Review Committee be charged to manage the review process for the Guidelines for Foreign Language Braille Transcription. Motion carried.

MSC: Jennifer moved and Cathy seconded that the disposition of Charge 397 be changed from TBA to ongoing. Motion carried.

[Charge 397 (5/6/21): Document any deviations from the workflow regarding Tactile Graphics, Nemeth and Chemistry, and provide that information to the board.]

FM asked about the status of the chess document. There are draft guidelines that were going to go through a “pilot”, but this did not happen and there does not appear to be a way forward with these guidelines.

MSC: FM moved and Judy seconded that Charge 326 be discarded. Motion carried.

[Charge 326 (11/2/17): Handle the process of a preliminary review of the draft Chess Guidelines presented by the Crafts and Hobbies Committee.]

Sue noted that the Crafts and Hobbies Committee has an outstanding charge elated to knit and crochet guidance. It is now attributed to an ad hoc committee, but that ad hoc committee was never constituted. The Crafts and Hobbies Committee was too broad in scope, but we need ad hoc committees for specific items. Tamara and Cindy have had conversations about how to move forward with knit and crochet. Cindy transcribes patterns but she needs people with whom she can discuss questions. Amber will check at NBP to find out who transcribes this kind of material. Jennifer will also send names to Tamara of people who may be able to work on  this. Tamara will appoint a committee to address the knit and crochet guidance.

23. Bylaws Committee: Jennifer Dunnam

Jennifer delivered the report as circulated.

Earlier in the meeting it was confirmed that the reporting protocols have been approved, so the Bylaws Committee now has everything that is needed to move forward with policy amendments addressing the revised schedule for reporting the status of projects.

MSC: Jennifer moved and FM seconded that the disposition of Charge 389 be changed from TBA to ongoing.

[Charge 389 (11/8/20): Propose amendments to the bylaws and policies that address the following:

  • Dealing with situations when a face-to-face meeting is cancelled, such as in the case of a pandemic;
  • Ensuring optimal format and timing of notifications to board members in general;
  • Clarifying policies around board member attendance of meetings;
  • Adding policies delineating the duties of the administrative assistant;
  • Optimizing the responsibilities designated to specific officers;
  • Optimizing financial policies; and
  • Optimizing policies on hosting a BANA meeting.]

New request: To modify section 6.2.4 of the bylaws, which currently states that appointments are generally made at the annual meeting in November. This would allow for more flexibility with regard to the timing of appointments.

MSC: Jennifer moved and Mary Nelle seconded that the Bylaws Committee be charged with revising Section 2.6.4 of the bylaws in order to optimize the timing of committee appointments. Motion carried.

24. Nominations Committee: Jennifer Dunnam

Jennifer delivered the report as circulated.

Jennifer, on behalf of the board, expressed her gratitude for Tamara and all of her efforts in chairing BANA, particularly with the challenges of the last two years. The time and energy she invested in leading the organization is very much appreciated!

MSC: Jennifer moved and FM seconded that we elect the slate by unanimous ballot. Motion carried.

Chair: Jen Goulden (year 1)

Vice Chair: Mary Nelle McLennan (year 3)

Treasurer: Danette Johnson (year 2)

Secretary: Amber Pearcy (year 1)

Tamara appointed the Nominations Committee for 2023. It consists of Jennifer and FM, with Tamara serving as the new Chair.

25. Ad Hoc Committee on Braille Signage and Labeling: Kim Charlson

Kim reported that the task of updating the signage brochure is ongoing. She is willing to continue as Chair of the committee.

FM pointed out that BANA receives a lot of questions about braille signage, and Jen said that this is the case in Canada as well.

26. International Initiatives

There has been no movement by WBU with regard to the World Braille Council.

FM sends international braille-related items to BANA-l.

27. Secretary's Report: Jen Goulden

There is nothing to report because there have been no email votes since the September 2021 board meeting.

28. Treasurer’s Report: Danette Johnson

Danette reviewed the financial documents as circulated.

She noted there will be some changes because of the web migration and tactile graphics conversations that took place earlier in the meetings.

For year-to-date:

Danette will adjust as follows: $7830 belongs under Web Migration and $131 belongs under Publications (for our current web site). Guy noted that he will be submitting expenses for the production of the Tactile Graphics supplements that were needed for the review process.

It was decided that for 2022 we should include a budget for administration assistant’s travel expenses ($2000).

A discussion ensued regarding what is required for the audit of BANA’s financial statements. Danette is having trouble finding an accountant willing to take this on. What is required of a non-profit depends on the state where an organization is incorporated.

Jennifer explained that the IRS doesn’t require a CPA to do the audit for organizations under $500,000. We will need to look into the requirements for D.C. because that is where BANA is incorporated. Kim offered to do this and will get back to the board so that we can determine how to proceed. The $800 for the audit will be left in the budget for 2022.

Kim said that the Braille Signage Committee doesn’t need $100, so the amount can be changed to $0.

The line items for Early Literacy Materials Production and Chess will be removed from the budget.

Tamara asked about the transcription costs for Chemistry because FM mentioned that the Chemistry Committee would be contacting APH about helping with the production of the Section 10 supplements (which contain tactile graphics). Discussion ensued about costs to be included in the budget. Nemeth and Chemistry both have people who can create the BRF files.

Jennifer estimated about $3000 for the Web Migration budget for next year.

Sue clarified that Administrative Fees are for the domain name and that maybe Pantheon could be covered under this category as well. It was suggested that we change Web Migration to Web and Listserv Maintenance.

Jennifer indicated that the treasurer transition documentation has been completed.

Danette is currently the only signatory on the BANA accounts. The Chair and Vice-Chair should be added as account viewers.

It was also suggested that the Zoom account should be listed under Administrative Fees.

FM proposed that the funds for Awards be moved to Archives.

No budget is needed at this time for the eBRF Committee.

MSC: Jennifer moved and Tina seconded that we approve the 2021 financial statements and the 2022 budget. Motion carried.

29. Certificates of Appreciation: Mary Nelle McLennan

Tamara asked Mary Nelle to take on this role because Kim is stepping down. Mary Nelle has agreed.

Kim said that braille readers also receive a letter that contains the wording from the certificate. She will provide Mary Nelle with blank certificates and anything else that is needed. Mary Nelle would like to meet with Kim to discuss details of the certificate process and she would also like to see a sample. Tina is willing to work with Mary Nelle on this.


Marilyn Breedlove (Braille Formats)

Karin Auckenthaler (Music)

Kim Charlson

Cathy Senft-Graves

Jackie Sheridan Witterschein

30. Directory Update: Sue Reilly

The current directory as of July 2021 is on banafiles, and Sue will update it with the new officers in January. The Task Force on Web Migration will discuss how to update this information for the general public.

31. BANA's Listservs: Sue Reilly

This item was already discussed under Web Migration.

32. BANA's Archives: Frances Mary D'Andrea

FM delivered the report as circulated.

We have been sending print copies of our documents to APH for the archives but everything is done electronically now. We haven’t been sending documents to the archives for the last couple of years. A budget would be needed to have the files printed and sent to APH. Sue and Jen have offered to assist FM as needed.

Minutes of the monthly meetings also need to be posted to the web site.

33. Awards: Frances Mary D’Andrea

FM delivered the report.

She will assist the Publications Committee with award information once the new site is up and running. She also suggested that we may want to consider a different venue the next time we present the award.

FM has followed the process that Sandy Ruconich used when she chaired this committee, but she suggested that we check to see if a process has been documented. Judy said that she may have something in her files and Jennifer will check the BANA policies.

FM then asked if anyone is interested in joining the Awards Committee.

She also suggested that we may need to review the premise of the award and revise the criteria. No applications were submitted this year and yet there is a lot going on in the braille world that BANA could acknowledge.

MSC: Judy moved and Mary Nelle seconded that the Awards Committee be charged with reviewing criteria for the Darleen Bogart Braille Excellence Award. Motion carried.

Amber and Judy have volunteered to serve on this committee.


MSC: Jennifer moved and Tina seconded that Judy and Amber be added to the Awards Committee. Motion carried.

34. Press Releases: Mary Nelle McLennan

Upcoming press releases:

  • Election of BANA officers for 2022
  • New web site – when it is ready to go live
  • New BANA-announce listserv


35. Unfinished/continued business

The BANA podcast needs to be moved to the Outreach Committee. Kim’s editor is now working part-time and will no longer be able to assist with this.

Jennifer has a to-do regarding the BANA membership form and she has already sent it to the board.

Tamara said that we should wait to appoint a membership committee when one is needed.

Jackie stepped down as Chair of Standardized Tests, and Tamara will ask Katherine Padgett if she is willing to take on this role.

36. New Business

No items to discuss.

37. Upcoming Meetings

Tamara explained that NLS could host a meeting but nobody is allowed on their campus and NLS employees are still not permitted to travel. She doesn’t know when the travel ban will be lifted.

The list of future meeting hosts has gotten out of sync. According to the revised schedule, NFB would host the spring 2022 meetings if they are held in person. NFB is tentatively on the schedule for May 2022. Jennifer will investigate possibilities and will report back to the board.

38. Future BANA meetings:

It was noted that we will have to revisit the list of future hosts.

Board teleconferences will take place on the fourth Monday of the month at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

39. Around the Table: Organization Updates (time permitting)

Tamara thanked Kim and Cathy for their hard work and participation over the years, and that she hopes they will continue to be involved. The braille community is important and we don’t want to lose people who care about braille.

Tamara then extended a welcome to Wendy Buckley and Kyle DeJute, who will be joining the board in January.

In 2022 we should plan to do an orientation for new board members.

Tamara: I have thoroughly enjoyed working with all of you. We have achieved a lot in the last two years.

Mary Nelle: We thank you, Tamara, for your leadership and for shepherding us through a difficult time. Cathy and Kim, we share our appreciation for you and also that we respect all that you have contributed. You will all be receiving a personalized memento for your service to BANA.

40. Adjournment

Tamara adjourned the meeting at 12:03 p.m. Eastern Time.

Respectfully submitted,

Jen Goulden (Secretary)

November 30, 2021