Call to Order/Introductions
The meeting was called to order by Chair Ron Brooks at 9:03 PM on August 2, 2016.
Ron Brooks, Chair; Susan Glass; Paul Edwards; Deb Lewis. Doug Powell was absent.
ACB Employees and Contractors Present:
Eric Bridges; Sharon Lovering, Annette Carter; Larry Turnbull
Ex Officio members present:
Kim Charlson, President; Carla Ruschival, Goal One Chair; Bob Hachey, Email List Moderator; Katie Frederick, Board Liaison; Denise Colley, Immediate Past BOP Chair.
Other Participants on the Call:
Renee Zelickson; Sue Ammeter; Ralph Smitherman; Ken Stewart.
Adoption of Agenda:
Ron reviewed the Agenda.
Motion: Paul moved and Susan seconded adoption of the Agenda. Motion passed.
Approval of July 3 Minutes:
The Minutes have not been received. Ron will follow up with Tom.
Motion: Deb moved and Paul seconded that adoption of the July 3 Minutes be tabled until a future meeting. Motion carried.
Guest Ken Stewart commented on whether Forum columns such as Swap Shop are considered advertising and would therefore jeopardize the free matter mail status of the Forum as discussed at a previous meeting. He assured the BOP based on his past research that this is not considered advertising.
Ken also noted that the BOP is responsible for having a representative at all ACB Board meetings and providing summaries of ACB Board meetings via the Forum in accordance with the ACB Bylaws. Ron said that the requirement is to do this within 30 days and that he will be the BOP representative to the ACB Board. Ken felt this strengthens communication with the membership and all agreed that it is important. Sharon said she received the July summary from Doug but did not have room in the September Forum so it will be included in October.
Ron observed that we need to get the distribution in line with the writing so that it’s available to members much sooner.
Guest Renee Zelickson asked if the BOP had any role in assisting affiliates to advertise services offered for sale by the affiliate.
Katie said affiliates could use the affiliate web pages on ACB.org to talk about services offered and other relevant topics of interest through Goal One.
Ron said the BOP’s role would be to ensure that affiliates have an equal opportunity to promote their activities and resources and get their message out, but the BOP would not be engaged in making direct referrals to specific services or resources. The role for the BOP is establishing guidelines for empowering people to communicate—what can be shared and how.
Paul said there will soon be a meeting of the Special Affiliate Caucus which also has an interest in promoting the work of special affiliates that ties into specific activities and initiatives of ACB.
Designation of BOP Secretary for 2016-2017:
Ron explained that someone was needed to take minutes of the meeting. Deb Lewis agreed to take minutes for the coming year.
Designation of BOP Liaisons:
There was discussion of the role for liaisons as opposed to the role of ex officio BOP members. Ex officio members represent their committee while BOP liaisons represent the BOP on an assigned committee. Ron asked members to express interest in particular areas and he will have further discussion with individual members prior to the next meeting before making assignments.
ACB Board liaison: Ron. Responsible for writing the Board meeting summary.
Web Taskforce liaison: Eric. This group is primarily responsible for mechanics of the web site, content management and affiliate pages.
Internet Oversite Committee liaison: Paul. Primarily responsible for email listserv management and has not needed to be an active committee this past year. There was discussion of whether a name change should be proposed for this committee in order to more accurately reflect their work. This would require a Bylaw change and is outside the scope of the BOP.
PR Committee Liaison: Paul is willing to serve here as well. Getting the ACB story out to the public is primary role.
Goal One: communications and strategic planning. Major responsibility has been social media presence, web content, and ACB Radio. Ron will serve on this committee.
Ron thanked those who sent their reports in advance and asked that everyone send their reports the weekend prior to each meting so the Board could focus on discussion rather than on hearing data.
Editor: Sharon Lovering
July 2016: Issue type: hard copy Print Page Count: 48
Large Print Issues Mailed: 3,130; Date: 6/28/2016
Braille Issues Mailed: 755; Date: 6/30/2016
Cassette Issues Mailed: 1,140; Date: still checking on this
CD-ROM Issues Mailed: 164; Date: 6/30/2016
Date Posted to Website: 7/1/2016
E-mail issues mailed: 3,164; Date: 6/28/2016
# Of Large Print Copies Returned Undeliverable: 25
# Of Braille Copies Returned Undeliverable: 3
# Of Cassette Copies Returned Undeliverable: 5
# of CD-ROM Copies Returned Undeliverable: none
# Of Miscellaneous Copies Returned Undeliverable: none
# of Convention Brochures Returned: none
August 2016: Issue type: electronic; Print Page Count: 44
Date Posted to Website: July 27, 2016
Date E-mail version sent: August 1, 2016
E-mail issues mailed: 3,172 (as of July 29)
Since writing her report Sharon has received two large print, eleven cassette and ten miscellaneous additional returned Forum copies from various months.
She is currently working on the September issue of the Forum. Thanks to everyone for getting their convention wrap-up articles in. This issue is going to be chock-full of convention items! Some articles will be held until October due to space constraints and Sharon will let authors know accordingly. High Tech Swap Shop and the article about this year’s walk are postpone, and Here and There is trimmed down to time-sensitive items. Ditto for Affiliate News. Kim’s President’s Report to the Convention is divided into three parts.
Sharon continues to receive new members, address changes, format changes, and death notices. If your affiliate is not using the online AMMS database, please put a bug in the ears of the powers that be, because it will be mandatory soon. Using it is free; the designated person needs to send a request with his/her desired username and password, plus a confirmation from the affiliate president stating that the requesting individual will be doing the membership updating.
Sue Ammeter asked if Sharon’s report on numbers of each format could be made available. Annette said that Sharon’s report is posted on the web site at the end of the BOP minutes.
ACB Webmaster and Web Taskforce: Annette Carter and Eric Bridges
Annette commented that she has not received BOP minutes for May, June or July.
A major goal has been to go live with the Responsive theme on revised web sites. ACB Radio, ACB.ORG and Donate.ACB.ORG went live on the same day as planned. The Mall will be later because it was designed in a store front theme and requires more work to integrate with the rest of the site.
Eric is now chairing the web taskforce which began meeting again in July. An ad hoc committee is developing a plan for migrating ACB.org to the new site. The project plan will be presented to the web taskforce later in August.
ACB Radio: Larry Turnbull
Larry has been getting the convention archives online. All recorded events including the convention program, Friends in Art, various workshops, Library Users and GDUI are available as podcasts at http://acb.org/acb-events.xml. Affiliates who stream their conventions on ACB Radio are also included in this feed. ACB Radio will be streaming the World Blind Union conference in Orlando later this month.
Convention listener stats: Sunday 195; Other General sessions averaged 125; Friday business session 185; FIA Showcase 95; Banquet 50, this low number is attributed to internet problems; Candidate’s Forum 105; Information access Committee 140; BOP and Membership workshops 50; Other streamed events averaged 125 listeners.
Two new shows are starting. Debbie Hazleton is doing Inside Track and Sarah Conrad is doing Milestones. Both are airing Wednesday evening.
The Interactive On Demand pages are all up to date.
The most significant content was an interview with Microsoft on Main Menu regarding the Anniversary update for Windows 10. There were 65 live listeners. ACB Radio was first to bring this information to the community.
Deb inquired about whether there is a source for the individual Mainstream podcasts. Larry said they are posted on the main page, he sends submissions to ITunes and also to HumanWare for inclusion on the Victor Reader Stream.
Paul asked about problems with ACB Link during the convention where the stream could be reached through other apps but not through ACB Link. Larry said that Jeff Bishop is consulting with the app developer to make sure there is resolution prior to Midyear.
ACB Email List Moderator: Bob Hachey
List traffic spiked in June but has now returned to a more normal flow. Convention updates and Social security were hot topics.
Deb asked about the history of keeping these stats. Bob said they were started in February so we don’t have longer term trends yet. We do know that list traffic on ACB-L is much less than two years ago.
Public Relations: Katie Frederick
PR has not met since convention but will in August. PR will be focusing on affiliate web pages and helping affiliates to tell their story.
Carla was not on the call yet but Katie reported that twitter followers and Facebook likes spiked during the convention and were both high traffic at that time.
Development of 2016-2017 BOP Work Plan
Ron would like the BOP to adopt a work plan that lists the projects we’re working on, where we are and where we project to be after a year with a roadmap of objectives. This will help us measure our progress and determine our achievements. Deb suggested this plan could be a primary tool for communication and could be the basis for annual reporting. Discussion followed which generated the following items for inclusion on the plan:
Monthly meetings: regularly scheduled to conduct the business of the BOP.
Review and updating editorial policies: should publish an update this year.
Awards: Ned E. Freeman, Henley and Liggett awards. Nominations will be due by March 31 with decisions in May.
Editor’s workshop: presented at convention.
Contracts: cartridge production nearing completion, Braille production, large print, production, audio recording, cassette duplication. Solicit bids and negotiate contracts. These are extended through December so must be bid and back for 2017.
Preparation of Budget: due in October.
Candidates Page, Candidates Forum at convention:
Forum articles: awards announcement, candidates announcement, post-convention articles
Ron invited members to propose new initiatives that should be considered.
Develop a Style Guide for Large Print:
Ron proposed that we develop standards and a style guide for production of materials in large print. UEB is the standard for Braille but we don’t have a similar standard for large print. We currently publish in 18 point type with 22 point headings. CCLVI has also adopted their own guidelines for large print. Ron proposed that we survey ACB members who use large print to learn about their experiences and ability to use large print documents produced by ACB, including the Forum. This would provide quantitative and empirical data which could then be used along with other relevant factors to develop ACB’s guidelines and style guide.
Renee asked if other printed items such as exhibit signs could be included in the survey. Ron said that his recommendation was limited to printed documents because he thought we could achieve outcomes here.
Paul commented about the challenge of creating a survey that would actually get the desired information. Who are we surveying and how do we get to them? What criteria will we use to evaluate results of the survey? What do we do if there is not consensus or if there are substantial numbers of people with different views? We need to recognize that this is not an easy issue and we must be deliberative. We should also remember to include information about columns verses a single line presentation.
Ron thinks the data collection should be done over the next year. Once we have a proposal we will also need to develop a target budget for 2018. There might be a quantitative survey early on with focus groups at convention for example.
Annette suggested that we could develop samples of different styles online for people to consider as they complete the survey.
Paul expressed concern about the quality of the UEB in the Convention Newspaper and felt the BOP should take steps to correct this. Kim said she made sure the font indicators etc. were removed from the Convention Program to make it more readable and this should also occur for the Newspaper.
Paul suggested that a subcommittee be formed to determine how the role of the e-Forum could be expanded. Is it an electronic version of the forum or is it something else?
Convention Program Oversite:
Denise said that every year the BOP receives complaints about layout and readability. The BOP needs to find a way to have input into the process of formatting and organizing the Program.
Ron suggested that we could create short quantitative surveys to get concise feedback about both the E-forum and the convention program document.
Paul noted that there is a persistent perception that the Braille program is somehow different from the print one.
Kim said that the Program process involves a lot of people and tends to be based on the previous year’s document.
Denise suggested the BOP should consider opportunities to offer training or provide information to Presidents at Midyear. Paul asked if meeting at Midyear should be considered. Ron said this meeting is short and it has been difficult to get full attendance due to the cost. We can determine in the fall if there is content to present and if someone will be available to present it.
Ron will draft the workplan for review and adoption at the September meeting.
Kim has learned that the company producing the cartridges has no inventory and will have none until after the first of the calendar year. This will delay transitioning of the Braille Forum to cartridges and therefore no hurry on getting the RFP out. There was discussion about making the bid life long enough to compensate for this delay.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016 – 9:00 PM Eastern
Deb moved and Paul seconded adjournment. Motion passed and the meeting adjourned at 11:06 PM.
Deb Lewis, Secretary