Call to Order and Introductions
The meeting convened at 9:03 p.m. Eastern. Members attending were Deb Cook Lewis, Chair, Penny, Susan, Zelda, and Paul. Also present were Sharon, David, Bob, Jeff, Debbie, Jason, Katie, and ACB president Dan Spoone. Guests included Christine Chaikin and Kathy Blackburn.
Adoption of the Agenda for the April 7, 2020, ACB Board of Publications Meeting
Deb read through the proposed agenda. Susan made a motion and Zelda seconded the motion to approve the agenda, and the affirmative vote was unanimous.
Approval of the Minutes for the March 3, 2020 meeting of the ACB Board of Publications
Zelda moved and Susan seconded a motion to approve the minutes from our March meeting without additions or corrections, and the motion was adopted unanimously.
Open Forum – Opportunity for guests to comment on non-agendized items
There was no discussion of any items not already included on the agenda.
BOP Activities at ACB 2020 Virtual Conference and Convention
Because it was determined at the March 30 ACB board meeting that ACB’s constitution prohibits conduct of business except at in-person meetings, many of the activities which the BOP was planning to lead or participate in cannot occur at our virtual convention. Therefore, terms for all BOP members who would have been running for re-election will be extended by one year (until 2021).
There will be no candidates’ forum this year – although the number of candidates who will be participating in next year’s ACB Board and Board of Publications elections will be larger than ever before!
Paul’s program on “Listening to ACB” will become our convention seminar, hopefully to be held early in the week with Saturday being our preferred day. Susan will be the person who takes questions from the Chat window, and then communicates them to Paul.
Paul, Penny and Zelda will still plan to present the “Forum on the Forum” program, possibly on Friday, May 22nd at 8 p.m. Paul volunteered to announce the upcoming meeting on all of the ACB lists.
Dan asked the BOP to host a kind of convention-week wrap-up immediately before the banquet on Friday evening. We all agreed to be there and to provide the pre-convention entertainment!
There was discussion regarding our plan to provide Zoom training for interested members. By the time of convention, odds are good that many of our members will already have become well acquainted with Zoom, so there doesn’t appear to be any need for us to provide basic Zoom training at convention any longer. However, since we don’t know for sure, it may still be a good idea for us to provide some amount of training in advance of convention. Deb and Debbie were planning to provide Zoom information and some amount of training for people on Ardis’ membership call on April 27. They will evaluate how that goes and we will revisit the topic of whether to provide Zoom training, in advance of convention, at our May meeting. Deb, Debbie, Jeff and Paul all commented on the superior experience they are having with Zoom after converting to the webinar format, and that is the format we are expecting to use during convention.
There is going to be a convention newspaper, this time in an electronic format (including files that can be converted to print, large print, and BRF formats). We will discuss the process for creating and distributing the newspaper at our next meeting, and figure out what kinds of help Sharon might need and who can help with what.
Awards: We don’t yet have any nominees for the Henley Award. We can extend the deadline for submission; we have done that in the past.
We do have nominations for both of the other awards. Susan and Deb will both have to be recused from voting on the Liggett awards, since the newsletter from WCB is one of the two that have been nominated. BOP members need to submit their selections to Sharon by May 1.
Update on ACB Braille Forum and E-Forum Themes
July will have a convention theme.
August will be our Coping with the Coronavirus issue.
September will be our Exercise and Recreation issue.
Update from Paul’s work group on seminar planning—schedule, announcements
We covered these topics when planning for BOP roles at convention.
BOP Chair’s Report
Deb has been participating in countless meetings, many related to planning for our virtual convention, and others related to how our organization is assisting members with coping with the consequences of Coronavirus. Deb has joined a group that is recruiting and training Zoom experts to assist with convention. She also prepared the ACB Braille Forum summary of the March 30 board meeting.
BOP Editor’s Report
Sharon submitted the following report in advance of the meeting:
Editor’s Report April 2020
Issue type: Hard copy
Page count: 80
Braille distributed: 669
Braille returned: 5
Braille return rate: 0.7%
Braille received: 664
Cartridge distributed: 628
Cartridge return rate:
Large print distributed: 2,414
Large print returned: 15
Large print return rate: 0.6%
Large print received: 2,399
Email distributed: 4,556
Return rate: 5.1%
Email received: 4,322
Issue type: Electronic
Page count: 77
Email distributed: 4,862
Bounces: (as of 3/31)
Unsubscribes: (as of 3/31)
Issue type: Hard copy
Page count: 80
Braille to be distributed: 669
Cartridge to be distributed: 628
Large print to be distributed: 2,414
I sent the May issue out the door on Friday, April 3rd. Clovernook is closed at present; however, I am pleased to inform you that a volunteer at Perkins’ recording studio has a studio at home, and has volunteered to record the May issue there in order to get our magazine, with all its time-sensitive information, out the door as close to a normal schedule as is possible in these times.
At the same time, I was putting together the April Job Connection, which I sent to Louisville Web Group yesterday – and had another job come in this morning, which I have sent to Louisville Web as well.
Earlier this week I sent you the list of Freeman and Liggett nominees, and sent you the files, two each from AABT and Washington. A week and a half ago I sent you all the two affiliate-nominated articles, one from California (Judy Wilkinson’s article about Elvis) and the other from Washington (Heather Meares’ article, “Awakening the Cacophony”). If you did not receive them, please let me know, and I’ll re-send them to you.
I am also working on the next issue of Dots and Dashes. I recorded the Washington Connection on March 24, and recorded an update earlier this week after the results of the board meeting were made public. I also updated the national convention box and the scholarship information box on the phone system.
I’m enjoying working from home, particularly the shorter commute. But I will be glad when we’re able to return to the office. I’ve got some braille documents to emboss! Unfortunately, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s stay-at-home order runs through June 10th.
Sharon Lovering, Editor
American Council of the Blind
Sharon also reported that she continues to receive complaints about our new method of delivering the Forum to subscribers via Constant Contact. For some people, the links don’t work.
Dan asked if Sharon can provide the email addresses for people for whom bounced emails were reported. Sharon said she would look into that and let the BOP know.
Deb said that we would deal with this issue at the Public Awareness Steering Committee meeting(s) as well.
Debbie reported that ACB Radio has four new shows on Mainstream: Tuesday Topics, Pride Connection, Art Parlor, and ACB in Action. Jim Pemberton is launching a new show, Pemberton’s Basement, which will now be on Interactive Live. Darrow Loucks has done lots of commercial radio. He is planning to do a classical music show and a once-a-month talk show called “Did You Know?”.
The production team is growing and becoming more active, with a goal of merging interactive and café this month.
Dan told Debbie about two more possible shows, one called Eyes Free Sports, and another, perhaps monthly, show from Brian Charlson and Rick Morin on audio-described movies.
Jason said that ACB Radio is continuing talks with Louisville Web Group regarding the server upgrade.
Everyone complimented Jason on the great job he did streaming the March 30 board meeting. There were more than 320 listeners. Katie said that she has heard lots of compliments from people who are not members of ACB regarding how Dan ran the meeting, and praising our transparency as an organization.
Deb will be drafting language for our BOP Editorial Policy Manual describing our organizational obligation to make real-time board meetings available on ACB Radio from now on.
Debbie added that she is beginning to stream more of the ACB Community Conference Calls on ACB Radio, as well.
Jason said that he is working on archiving many of these new shows and podcasts; there’s room on the site, but categorizing/organizing them is still a work in progress.
Deb pointed out that a similar important project worthy of consideration would be how to preserve various ACB Radio programs or snippets of programs for historical purposes. She added that the Washington Council has been thinking about how to do this for their own historical documents and files.
Paul told Deb that the Florida Council has worked to digitally preserve their important historical documents, and he will be glad to share their experience with Washington State.
Dan said that he wants to thank ACB Radio for all of the assistance they have been providing to our affiliates.
ACB E-Mail Lists
Bob had sent his report to the BOP in advance of the meeting, as follows:
Below my name please find the March 2020 statistics for ACB-L and ACB-Chat Looks like number of posts on the chat list are way down for last two months.
Kelly shared the following social media statistics with the BOP:
Lionsgate casting searching for blind boy for feature film
2,542 people reached
15 likes and loves
Clark Rachfal quoted in coronavirus article
872 people reached
31 likes, loves, and wows
Free JAWS for students and workers during COVID-19
1,159 people reached
ACB Board votes to hold virtual convention
873 people reached
32 likes and loves
ACB members-only OrCam discount
Aira free access for college students during COVID-19
ACB community conference calls during COVID-19
ACB votes to hold virtual convention
Katie spoke briefly about what the Public Awareness Steering Committee has been doing. She said that this year’s virtual convention will present increased opportunity for us to use video at convention for certain presentations, and then beyond convention, for purposes of public outreach. Deb added that, particularly with respect to ACB Angels presenters, we may want to look for resources local to their geographic area who can provide video recordings of their presentations.
Katie reported that the staff is going through training right now to prepare them for ACB’s inclusion on Be My Eyes’ list of experts in the field of blindness. Staff will be available between noon and 3 p.m. Eastern Monday through Friday to respond to calls.
In addition, she reminded us that the new ACB Link app is out.
The next BOP meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 5. We expect to be very focused on the upcoming convention. The meeting adjourned at 10:57 p.m. Eastern time.