BOP Editorial Policy Manual, 2015

Preamble

Freedom of the press is an inalienable right of people in a democratic society, and the right to knowledge is an important element of the philosophy of the American Council of the Blind (ACB). ACB publications have a responsibility to provide accuracy and truth. Publications of ACB must be conduits of information and provide forums of discussion for ACB members and other interested individuals. 

The ACB, through all its publications and media formats, has obligations to:

  1. Represent the diversity of its members to include , cane/guide dog users, braille/other alternative literacy modes, and deaf/blind individuals as well as other recognized diversity measures, such as gender, race, age, ethnic heritage, and sexual orientation, and 
  2. Distribute materials in agreed upon alternative formats to reach the widest possible audience as simultaneously as production schedules permit.

The Board of Publications and the ACB editorial staff must be free of obligation to any interests other than promoting independence and effective participation in society.

1. Authority

1.1 ACB Constitution
Article V of the ACB Constitution sets forth the duties of the ACB Board of Publications (BOP) as follows:

A.
There is hereby created a Board of Publications consisting of five (5) members whose term of office shall be two (2) years. The Board shall be selected and constituted in the following manner: every odd-numbered year, the president, at the close of the annual conference and convention, shall appoint a chairperson and one (1) additional member of the Board; and every even-numbered year, the annual conference and convention shall elect, by a majority vote in accordance with voting procedures contained in the Constitution or in the Bylaws, the three (3) remaining members of the Board; provided, however, that no Board member shall serve more than three (3) consecutive terms and no more than one (1) Board member shall be either appointed or elected to the Board of Publications from any one (1) state. Any member of the Board of Publications, whether appointed or elected, who serves more than half of the assigned duration of a term shall have the term counted as a full term served.

B.

  1. A candidate for, or an appointee to, the position of member of the Board of Publications shall be considered to be from the state in which the candidate or appointee maintains legal residence at the time of such election or appointment and shall be considered to be a resident of that state until the end of the term for which the candidate or appointee is either elected or appointed. 
  2. For purposes of section 1, state shall be defined as the fifty (50) United States, and other political subdivisions of the United States including but not limited to: the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and other United States territories.

C.
It shall be the duty of the Board of Publications to approve or disapprove employment by the executive director of the editor of "The ACB Braille Forum" and to establish editorial standards and policies applicable to all American Council of the Blind communication formats including, but not limited to, periodicals, the ACB conference and convention programs and ACB brochures, the ACB web site, and ACB Radio.

D.
The executive director shall have the authority to dismiss the editor of "The ACB Braille Forum," but only with the concurrence of the Board of Publications, after a hearing on the matter.

E.
A majority of the Board of Publications may agree to include an editor/producer of any nationally distributed Board of Publications project as an ex officio member of the board.

F.
The board shall meet at least once each year, and more often if necessary, upon the call of the chairperson or upon the request of not less than three (3) members of the Board of Publications.

*(End of Article V)

1.2 Ex Officio Members
As provided in Bylaw 6, Section L, the chair of the Public Relations Committee is, by virtue of his/her position, to be an ex officio member of the BOP. Other ex officio members may include, but are not limited to, representatives of: ACB Radio, Information Technology Resource Management Committee, Internet Oversight Committee, and the Social Media Management Group.  
 
1.3 ACB Board of Directors Ex Officio Member
According to Article IV, Section D of the ACB Constitution, A member of the Board of Publications, selected at each annual conference and convention by that Board for a term of one (1) year, shall attend all meetings of the Board of Directors, may make motions, and may participate in discussion, but shall not vote. Within thirty (30) days after each meeting, this member of the Board of Publications shall be responsible for writing a narrative summary of actions taken during each Board of Directors meeting for publication in “The ACB Braille Forum.” This narrative summary shall include a record of how each board member voted on all roll call votes with the exception of roll call votes taken during executive sessions, which shall not be included. 

The BOP shall make its selection; one of its elected members in odd-numbered years, and a presidentially appointed member in even-numbered years. If the Ex officio Board of Directors position becomes vacant, it will be filled by the BOP with the same category of member, i.e., elected or appointed. Any vacancy occurring on the BOP shall be filled by the Board of Directors for an elected BOP member, and by the president to replace a presidentially appointed BOP member.
 
1.4 Reimbursement of Expenses, ACB Board Ex Officio Member
The policy regarding reimbursement of expenses for the ex officio BOP representative to the ACB Board of Directors is the same as that applicable to ACB Board members.
 
1.5 Reimbursement for Other BOP Members
The policy regarding reimbursement of expenses for other BOP members shall be the same as that determined for ACB Board members attending the midyear meeting or convention.

2. Scope

2.1 Primary Duties
The BOP serves as an editorial board, independent of other ACB governing bodies. One of the primary duties of the BOP is "to determine the editorial policy of all communication formats and/or media of the American Council of the Blind." Communication formats and/or media include all widely distributed publications such as books, magazines, brochures, handbooks, public service announcements, media releases, radio programs, the ACB Web site, ACB listservs and social networking sites.
 
2.2 New Publications
In the case of a new publication, brochure or materials that will be used for national distribution in a public relations campaign, the BOP shall have the opportunity to review and provide input regarding the document before production begins.
 
2.3 Exemptions
Congressional or regulatory testimony or business/administrative correspondence and legal filings are not covered under the BOP authority.

2.4 Reminders to ACB Leadership
A reminder to the leadership of ACB about their responsibility to have BOP input early in development of materials intended for general distribution shall be sent twice a year in May and November.  The reminder shall have the following points: 

  1. Materials shall be consistent with the ACB Mission and Resolutions. 
  2. Materials shall represent the diversity of ACB members in all manners outlined in the Preamble above. 
  3. BOP input shall be requested early in development so that any changes suggested by the BOP can be incorporated into the product before those changes will incur significant costs

3. Oversight

3.1 Scope of Oversight
The BOP is responsible for the oversight of circulation, usage, and production matters for The ACB Braille Forum  in all forms and formats, the Web site, ACB listservs, social networking sites, ACB Radio and ACB Reports.  It is suggested that periodically the BOP conducts surveys on the usage of the various communication conduits to ascertain feedback on such topics as relevance of content, and relevance of forms and formats of delivery.
 
3.2 Reporting
The BOP shall receive regular reports on these activities from the Editor of The ACB Braille Forum in all forms and formats, the ACB Web site administrator and the Web Site Task Force, ACB Listserv administrators and the Internet Oversight Committee, administrators of social networking sites, ACB Radio staff and the producer of ACB Reports in order to consider possible changes to improve these services. 
 
Report content and frequency on The ACB Braille Forum in all forms and formats will be determined by the Editor, the BOP Chair, and the Executive Director. Reasonable reporting times should be established for other publications or activities as necessary.
 
3.3 Advisory Role
The BOP will provide advice or other assistance within its area of expertise if specifically requested to do so by a state or special-interest affiliate officer or editor. The BOP does not have oversight responsibility or authority for state or special-interest affiliate Web sites, social networking sites and listservs, newsletters or brochures.

4. Responsibilities & Content

4.1 Priority of Communications
In recognition of primacy, communications to the general membership regarding the actions of the national office, officers, the Board of Directors, and committees will receive priority in all communication vehicles/formats, taking precedence over other content and treated as time-sensitive.
 
4.2 Quality
The producer/editor of a particular ACB communication format and/or media is responsible for the quality and overall content of that publication within the framework of policies determined by the ACB Board of Publications.

4.3 ACB Braille Forum Content
Decisions regarding specific content of The ACB Braille Forum in all forms and formats, the publication of particular letters to the editor, length of articles, etc., will be made by the editor. 

The ACB is not responsible for the veracity of product and service listings.  Complaints arising from dissatisfaction with products, services, or customer service should be directed to the Executive Director.   Multiple complaints concerning a product/service provider may be reviewed by the Executive Director, the Editor, and the BOP for possible sanctions.
 
4.4 Lengthy Documents
Publication in The ACB Braille Forum in all forms and formats of lengthy documents of limited general interest will be left to the discretion of the editor. If the editor receives requests for publication of a lengthy document, he/she may elect to publish a notice stating that the document will be made available from the ACB national office upon request.

4.5 Letters to the Editor
To assist with the "Letters to the Editor" column, the BOP has developed the following guidelines:

A.
To be considered for publication, each letter must include a verifiable name, address, and appropriate contact information. Only the name and locality of the author will be published.

B.
No single letter shall exceed three hundred (300) words; longer letters will be edited.

C.
The editor will assure a civil and balanced composition of the "Letters to the Editor" column. The editor will consult the BOP with any questions or concerns about specific letters or situations.

4.6 BOP Role
The BOP may make suggestions at any time for the editor to consider, such as format changes, layout recommendations, new columns or specific articles.
 
4.7 Board of Directors Report
The BOP member serving as ACB ex officio board representative will be responsible for writing and submitting to the editor a summary of ACB Board of Directors meetings by the Editor's deadline for the next hard copy issue of the ACB Braille Forum in accordance with the constitutional mandates above.

5. Communications

5.1 General Availability
In general, documents produced and circulated to the Board of Publications are open and shall be provided to any individuals requesting them. Under special circumstances where the majority of the Board of Publications specifically identifies documents which shall not be shared, it is permissible that such documents not be made available to others. There must be a compelling reason provided and a formal motion must be made if a document is to be declared "internal" and is not to be made available for circulation. Instances where this may apply would include personnel matters or documents deemed "sensitive" by a majority of the Board of Publications by motion.
 
5.2 Minutes
At its first meeting following the annual ACB elections, the BOP will elect one of its members, either voting or ex officio, to prepare minutes of every meeting and submit those minutes for approval by the body. After approval, these minutes will be made available to the organization's membership in the same manner as Board of Directors minutes.

6. Evaluation

6.1 ACB Braille Forum Production
The Board of Publications shall annually review and evaluate current costs and bid submissions for the ACB Braille Forum in all forms and formats and prepare the budget for the ACB Board of Directors.   

Every two years, or as necessary, the Board of Publications will work with the Editor and the Executive Director/Comptroller to solicit updated bids.  The following timeline is included here as suggestions for timely information gathering and budget compilation.  All requests for bids should be reviewed by the Board of Publications and executive director/Comptroller for accuracy, and sent out on or about September 1.

Unless previously approved by the executive director, the deadline for receipt of bid submissions will be October 1.  All bids will be reviewed by the executive director,/Comptroller allowing for any clarification/negotiation during this time.  Final bid submissions will be reviewed by the Board of Publications at its next regularly scheduled meeting.  The executive director/Comptroller will have the responsibility for negotiating and verifying all contracts and invoices related to production of the ACB Braille Forum in all forms and formats.
 
6.2 Editorial Policy Manual
Every two years, the BOP will evaluate its written editorial policies and update them if necessary.

7. ACB Web Site

7.1 Oversight
The BOP shall establish policies governing the content of the Web site, and governing its operation except for server issues or other technical operational issues. These policies shall uphold the principles of freedom of speech, and equal "user-friendly" access to all public areas and services of the Web site. The BOP shall oversee the design and placement of materials on the ACB Web site with input from any committee or task force as specified by the ACB president. It shall be the responsibility of the Board of Publications to review the structure and organization of the Web site every two years and to recommend and oversee the implementation of such changes as are appropriate. While any individuals employed by or contracted with to manage the Web site are supervised by the executive director of the American Council of the Blind, the Board of Publications shall work cooperatively to provide guidelines and expectations that should apply to this position.
 
7.2 Reporting
In its oversight of the Web site, the BOP shall receive, at least on a quarterly basis, a report from the person managing the Web site. At least one meeting annually with the BOP shall be required of the person managing the Web site. Reporting shall include, but not be limited to, new features, online forms, links to other sites and associated services, electronic message boards, and electronic mail.
 
7.3 Accessibility
The BOP shall regularly assure that the site is monitored for its accessibility using a variety of access methods including screen magnification, refreshable braille, and speech output technologies.  This includes forms, images, text, and controls such as links and combo boxes.  Any concerns regarding accessibility shall be forwarded to the chair of the BOP, who will then discuss them with the appropriate staff or committee chairperson.
 
7.4 Representation on Outside Committees, Task Forces or Web Site-Related Efforts
The BOP shall have representation on any committee or selection group involved in selecting a Web site administrator or for writers being contracted for the production of Web content or other ACB publications. It shall be the responsibility of the BOP to inform the Web site administrator or any writer of the publication guidelines of ACB and the responsibility of the BOP to ensure freedom of speech and diversity of representation in all ACB endeavors.
 
7.5 Representation on Technical Committees
The Board of Publications shall have representation on any committees which relate to the Internet or to e-mail distribution.

8. ACB Radio

8.1 General
The BOP is responsible for establishing editorial policies and standards for ACB Radio. Content decisions are made by the ACB Radio staff; but neither the American Council of the Blind, the Board of Publications, nor ACB Radio is responsible for the opinions expressed on ACB Radio programs.
 
8.2 Content
The content of programming on ACB Radio shall reflect freedom of expression, diversity of topics and an open and encouraging environment for blind people around the world to express views and opinions. It extends an opportunity to blind and visually impaired people around the world to produce programming on a wide variety of topics.
 
8.3 Endorsement and Advertising
Coverage of products on ACB Radio or the unique content of programming should not be considered as an endorsement of such products or the content of a specific program by the American Council of the Blind.  ACB Radio should state this as part of Station Identification announcements or other such periodic reminders.  The Board of Publications shall oversee the development of guidelines for advertising on ACB Radio.
 
8.4 Reporting
The Board of Publications shall receive on a quarterly basis a report from the director of ACB Radio. Though the day-to-day supervision of any staff, employed or contracted for, resides solely with the executive director of the ACB, it is expected that the Board of Publications will provide guidelines and feedback to the executive director.
 
8.5 ACB Candidates Coverage
ACB Radio shall be utilized as a tool to enhance the provision of information about candidates for ACB national office. Such coverage must be carried out in a fair and equitable manner. The Candidates Forum shall be recorded and aired on ACB Radio when possible.

9. BOP Awards

9.1 General
The BOP administers three national writing/communications awards: the Ned E. Freeman Excellence in Writing Award, the Vernon Henley Media Award, and the Hollis K. Liggett Braille Free Press Award.
 
9.2 Invitation for Nominations
The publication of invitations for nominees for these three awards will be made no later than January of the calendar year during which the awards will be presented.
 
9.3 General Eligibility
No person employed by the American Council of the Blind either directly or under contract, or who serves on the national Board of Directors or Board of Publications, during the calendar period specified for each award, may be eligible for consideration. 
 
9.4 Ned E. Freeman Excellence in Writing Award
The BOP will accept submissions for the Ned E. Freeman Excellence in Writing Award based on the criteria set forth below:

A.
An article must have been first published during the calendar period April of the prior year through March of the year of the award presentation to be eligible.

B.
All articles published in The ACB Braille Forum in all forms and formats qualify for consideration. Individual articles published by any ACB affiliate in its official publication may also be nominated by the president of an affiliate, or by an affiliate's newsletter editor.

C.
Articles which have not appeared in The ACB Braille Forum in all forms and formats may be submitted in any format.

D.
The author of the winning article will receive a Ned E. Freeman Excellence in Writing Award plaque at the annual convention.  In addition to the plaque the winner will receive a check for $100.

9.5 Vernon Henley Media Award
The BOP will accept submissions for the Vernon Henley Media Award based on the criteria set forth below:

A.
The Vernon Henley Media Award is intended to be a vehicle for publicizing ACB throughout the general media and to encourage excellence and accuracy in electronic and print coverage of items relating to blindness.

B.
The Vernon Henley Media Award will be presented to an organization, company, or individual, either sighted or blind, who has made a positive difference in the press, whether in radio, television, electronic media, magazines, or daily newspapers, during the calendar period April of the prior year through March of the year of the award presentation which may change public attitudes to recognize the capabilities of people who are blind, rather than focusing on outdated stereotypes and misconceptions.

C.
Programs and/or articles written and produced specifically for a visually impaired audience, as well as those intended for the general public, are also eligible.

D.
A variety of media are eligible for nomination for the Vernon Henley Media Award. Examples can include: television or radio programs; commercials or public service announcements; videos; articles from magazines, newspapers, newsletters, posters, or any other new or emerging media sources.  

Submissions such as books or recurring columns or blogs from the same person should include a synopsis and no more than three sample chapters for books and no more than three samples of the recurring columns or blogs nominated. Submissions should be accompanied by a letter of nomination as well as the sample copy of the item being nominated. Incomplete submissions will not be considered.

E.
The chair of the BOP will annually send a letter to affiliate presidents, newsletter editors and other media markets encouraging nominations for the Vernon Henley Media Award.

F.
A plaque will be presented to the Vernon Henley Media Award recipient at the annual convention.

9.6 Multiple Submissions 
Multiple articles or programs submitted by one author or organization for either the Ned E. Freeman Excellence in Writing Award or the Vernon Henley Media Award will be judged as separate entries unless identified as a book, recurring column or blog. The author/producer will be asked to identify a single submission to serve as representation of his/her work. In the event the author/producer is unable to choose between submissions, the editor will be authorized to make that determination.

9.7 The Hollis K. Liggett Braille Free Press Award
The BOP will accept submissions for the Hollis K. Liggett Braille Free Press Award based on the criteria set forth below:

A.
The Hollis K. Liggett Braille Free Press Award is intended to promote best journalistic practices and excellence in writing in publications of ACB's state and special-interest affiliates.

B.
All periodicals of ACB affiliates, distributed no less than semi-annually, are eligible.

C.
Nominations must be submitted by the affiliate's newsletter editor or president.

D.
Submissions must include the following:

  1. Two issues of the affiliate's publication from the previous calendar year sent electronically and in hard copy in the format which the affiliate recognizes as the format which best represents its readership.
  2. Answers to the following questions:
  • How many members are in your affiliate?
  • How often is your publication published per year?
  • In what formats is your publication produced?

E.
Members of the BOP directly involved in the editorial process of any submitted publication will excuse themselves from judging/scoring that particular publication.

F.
Criteria for judging submissions will include:

  1. The number of contributing writers in a single issue;
  2. The variety of information presented in each issue;
  3. How well the publication portrays the affiliate;
  4. The quality of writing throughout the publication;
  5. The overall layout and presentation of the publication.

G.
A plaque will be presented to the Hollis K. Liggett Braille Free Press Award recipient at the annual convention.

9.8 Deadlines 
Submissions for The Hollis K. Liggett Braille Free Press Award, the Ned E. Freeman Excellence in Writing and Vernon Henley Media awards must be postmarked no later than the first business day of April in the year the award is to be presented. All submissions should be accompanied by a cover letter providing details about the nominee including name, address, telephone number and e-mail address of the author if known and details about the submission, its origin, and any other pertinent information. The return address of the person making the nomination should be included in the cover letter.

10. Convention Newspaper and Other Convention-related Publications

10.1 General
The BOP has the overall editorial responsibility for the convention newspaper, and other convention-related publications. This oversight is directly exercised by the editor of The ACB Braille Forum working in cooperation with other relevant ACB staff and in conjunction with the BOP whenever editorial policy decisions are required.
 
10.2 Operation
Ongoing operation of the Marcia Nigro Dresser communication center and publication of the convention newspaper will be under the direct supervision of the editor.
 
10.3 Underwriting
Underwriting of the convention newspaper and other convention-related publications by individuals, affiliates, non-profit organizations or vendors, either through monetary donations or materials donated or loaned such as braille paper, computers, printers, etc., will be accepted and acknowledged.
 
10.4 Priority
Items published in the convention newspaper are printed as a service. Since space is very limited, priority is given to information considered by the editor to be of greatest interest to convention attendees and may be edited as he/she sees fit.
 
10.5 Announcements
Announcements from a representative of the ACB Convention Committee or an affiliate about activities or events taking place during the convention will be accepted without charge.
 
10.6 Candidate Statements/Advertising
The convention newspaper and other convention-related publications will not print campaign statements for candidates running for ACB national office, nor may the resources of the Marcia Nigro Dresser communication center be used to reproduce campaign statements intended to promote any candidate for office. The convention newspaper and other convention-related publications will not accept paid advertisements from candidates regarding their candidacy.
 
10.7 Closed Meetings/Executive Sessions
The convention newspaper will not report on the activities or actions of the ACB Nominating Committee or any other closed meeting or executive session of the American Council of the Blind prior to an official report or announcement from the ACB president, Board of Directors, or designated committee chairperson. The convention newspaper staff will not initiate news stories during the national convention or disseminate information relating to any meeting designated as closed by the ACB Constitution and Bylaws. The newspaper  may report on information released by the chair of a committee or other official ACB representative following a closed meeting, but that information shall not appear until after it has been released publicly by an official ACB representative, committee chair or his/her designee.
 
10.8 Advertising Rates
The convention newspaper will accept paid advertising; the fees to be charged each year will be proposed by Convention Management, and approved by the BOP.

10.9 Advertisement Policy
These fees will entitle the advertiser to announce his/her product or service on the requested days in the daily paper (available in print, electronic formats and braille).  Affiliate announcements of raffles, products for sale, and other fundraising activities are accepted as paid advertisements.  The ACB is not responsible for the veracity of advertisements.  Complaints arising from convention ads should be referred to Convention Management.   Multiple complaints concerning an advertiser may be reviewed by Convention Management, the Editor, and the BOP Chair for possible sanctions.

11. Candidates’ Forum

11.1 General
The BOP is responsible for coordinating and hosting, via a moderator, the annual ACB Candidates' Forum. The Candidates' Forum will be recorded and aired, when possible, on ACB Radio.
 
11.2 Candidate Questions
The BOP (except for those BOP members who are candidates for office) will determine the questions to be asked of candidates. Written questions will be accepted in advance of the Candidates' Forum. Questions from the audience will also be accepted at the Candidates' Forum, time permitting. The BOP has final say on the use of externally submitted questions. The Board of Publications will not accept any questions submitted anonymously. The Board of Publications also reserves the right to exclude any question deemed argumentative or inappropriate. 

12. Candidates’ Web Page

12.1 General
Prior to each year's convention elections, the BOP will utilize all available communication formats to inform the membership about all announced candidates. A Candidates' Page will be created for presentation on the Web site, and in other media to the extent feasible. Candidates' Page information presented in other feasible communication formats as they become available will adhere to the same calendar constraints and fairness principles as prescribed for the Candidates' Page on the Web site. 

Procedures to ensure fair and equitable dissemination of candidate information are as follows:

12.2 Invitation
No later than May 1, an invitation will be published in The ACB Braille Forum and in other media for any member desiring to stand for election to any national office to participate in the Candidates' Page.
 
12.3 Statements and Word Count
Each participant will submit statements of 300 words or less in answer to each of a set of questions developed by the BOP regarding ACB governance in general and specific campaign issues.  Word counts are based on the total number of words in each answer, with each answer being a maximum of 300 words. Word counts will be determined through the use of MS Word's "word count" feature, in which every word contained in the answer enters into the total word count. Hard-copy submissions will be converted into electronic format and then counted. Entries for each answer will terminate at the end of the sentence containing the 300th word.
 
12.4 Submission
Answers to questions must be submitted to the editor of The ACB Braille Forum by the deadline established each year by the BOP. Responses may be submitted in print or braille, on computer disk, or by e-mail. Submissions will not be accepted via telephone, voice-mail, audiocassette, in HTML code, or in handwriting. Responses will not be edited for spelling, grammar, or content, but they will be converted to the HTML code to facilitate posting of the material to the Web site. Any candidate submission judged to be out of compliance with announced policy by the editor of The ACB Braille Forum will be returned to the candidate for correction to the extent permitted by the posting deadline. If time does not permit correction by the candidate, only compliant portions will be posted.
 
12.5 External References
Candidates' statements may contain references to Internet sites or other information sources. However, no live links will be permitted as this constitutes a violation of the established 300-word limit.
 
12.6 Posting
All candidates' statements will be posted simultaneously on the ACB Web site at a date not to exceed 2 weeks after the submission deadline, to be determined by the BOP yearly. They will remain available until 8:00 a.m. the morning of the election at the annual convention.

13. BOP Editors’ Workshops and Other Educational Activities

13.1 General
The BOP may, from time to time, either by itself or in conjunction with other ACB entities, sponsor and conduct workshops for affiliate newsletter editors or any other educational activities that could be beneficial to newsletter editors.

14. Email List Communication

14.1 Scope
The Board of Publications will work closely with the Internet Oversight Committee and any other committee assembled by the ACB president to administer email lists at the national level. The BOP will serve in an advisory role to such committees.

14.2 List Rules
The BOP recommends the set of rules developed and approved by the Internet Oversight Committee in 2010 for use in governing the activities of the ACB-l mailing list. These rules serve as a good base for other lists administered at the national level by ACB, its committees and task forces. The BOP will not specify rules for lists run by state and local chapters or special-interest affiliates, but is available to act in an advisory role.   The ACB Internet Oversight Committee has developed a Best Practices for List Moderators document.  The BOP recommends affiliates and chapters consider adopting similar practices. 

The Board of Publications has formulated list rules for the ACB Leadership list, which will be updated as necessary.  The BOP has also formulated guidelines for candidates for national offices postings regarding their candidacy on the Leadership list which will be updated as necessary.
 
14.3 Dispute Resolution
Anyone wishing to dispute a decision of a moderator of a national ACB list may bring that dispute before the Board of Publications with both sides having equal opportunity to present evidence. The BOP will then have the final say in the outcome.

15. Social Networking

15.1 Scope
The Board of Publications will advise ACB in its social networking efforts through a social networking task force and by supervising the volunteer positions of Twitter and Facebook Administrator. Current efforts will be limited to Twitter and Facebook, but the task force will keep any and all emerging social networking trends in mind.

15.2 Facebook
The Board of Publications will set up and administer a fan page on Facebook through the volunteer position of Facebook Administrator.

The ACB Facebook page will cover events of the ACB national office, national-level committees and task forces.  

After being reviewed for consideration and placement, items will be placed on the ACB national Facebook page by the Facebook Administrator or a designated group within the Social Networking Task Force.  
Items for consideration for the Facebook page will be sent to a designated email address within ACB. “Facebook-ready copy” is preferred, but when this is not possible, the Facebook team will collaborate to develop the appropriate copy.  

All decisions as to copy, editing, inclusion, format and any links, photos or other material as part of the posting to Facebook rest with the designated committee.  

Any post, photo, video clip, audio clip or other convention of Facebook utilized by ACB will follow all rules of Internet accessibility to serve as an example of a fully accessible and inclusive Facebook page.
 
15.3 Twitter
The Board of Publications will set up and administer a page on Twitter through the volunteer position of Twitter Administrator.
 
The ACB Twitter page will cover events of the ACB national office, national-level committees and task forces.

After being reviewed for consideration and placement, items will be placed on the ACB national Twitter page by the Twitter Administrator or a designated group within the Social Networking Task Force.

Items for consideration for the Twitter page will be sent to a designated email address within ACB. “Twitter-ready copy” is preferred but when this is not possible, the Twitter team will collaborate to develop the appropriate copy.

All decisions as to copy, editing, inclusion, format and any links, email addresses or other material as part of the posting to Twitter rest with the designated committee.

Any post or other convention of Twitter utilized by ACB will follow all rules of internet accessibility to serve as an example of a fully accessible and inclusive Twitter page.

16. Standard and Alternative Formats

16.1 Provision and Reasonable Accommodation

A.
It shall be the policy of the American Council of the Blind that documents shall be made available in accessible formats, if requested. Appropriate standards shall be followed to ensure that those materials meet normal expectations. 

B.
For the purposes of this policy, two classes of documents are identified.  The first class shall be known as “ACB materials.” These constitute all the governing documents of the American Council of the Blind and any other document which the Board of Directors or Board of Publications identifies as needing to be distributed to the membership. All documents in this class shall be available in braille, in large print, and in audio format. When a member requests such documents in his/her format of choice, the organization shall provide them as soon as possible.  “Non-ACB materials” make up the second class of documents. An immense quantity of information is currently being made available through the Internet. Also, because of the widespread availability of electronic files containing text which can be easily and cheaply stored on different media, there is the potential of making huge quantities of information available to ACB members. The Board of Publications and the American Council of the Blind believe that it is desirable to make all relevant information available to members. However, except in the case of “ACB materials” as defined previously, it shall be the policy of the American Council of the Blind that the organization has limited responsibility for the preparation and dissemination of information not deemed “ACB material” by the Board of Directors or the Board of Publications.


C.
It is the policy of the Board of Publications that documents not designated as “ACB material” should be made available in widely utilized electronic formats such as Microsoft Word (.DOC), plain text (.TXT) and braille (.BRF) versions.  These materials can be disseminated either via email or on a CDROM disk. ACB must disseminate large documents electronically; failure to do so would place the organization and its members at an immense disadvantage. However, an obligation to produce such documents in braille or on cassette would impose a financial and staff burden that the organization simply cannot afford. It is understood that this approach will not please everyone.

D.
Because electronic files classified as “Non-ACB materials” will usually not originate with ACB, no guarantee can be made concerning the format or usability of such files. Likewise, if a file is converted to a different electronic format, it cannot be guaranteed that the format will be appropriate or perfect for printing.


16.2 Standard Print
Standard print documents, publications, and other communications classified as “ACB materials” produced within the organization and submitted to the ACB Web site administrator for posting online and provided to the ACB membership shall be provided in accordance with the guidelines set forth below.

A.
Microsoft Word documents shall be in Sans serif font as in Arial, size 14 point with titles in bold using standard formatting for bullets and numbered lists.  No HTML code shall be included in the document. Microsoft Word extension shall be .doc so all features will be readable by versions 2003 and older.  Newer versions that would have extensions of .docx are to be saved in compatibility mode (Word 97-2003) resulting in .doc extension. 

16.3 Large Print

A.
All documents, publications, and other communications classified as “ACB materials” produced within the organization shall be available in large print.  The BOP incorporates in an Appendix to this Policy Manual the CCLVI Best Practices and Guidelines for Large Print Documents used by the Low Vision Community and will implement them to the extent practicable.


B.
Large print requests for “non-ACB materials” shall conform to standards applied to all other forms of “non-ACB materials” being disseminated via CDROM disk.

16.4 Braille
Braille documents shall be provided to the ACB membership in accordance with the guidelines set forth below.

A.
All documents disseminated by ACB shall be made available as electronic (.BRF) files. 
 
Braille will be produced in accordance with recognized standards adopted by the Braille Authority of North America (BANA). 

16.5 Audio Materials

Audio materials shall be provided to the ACB membership in accordance with the guidelines set forth below. 
 
A.
Audio standards shall conform to those set out in the standards utilized currently or in the future by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) for the production of spoken word materials.  
 
B.
Audio materials will be provided in MP3 format using the most efficient compression rate for comfortable listening.

16.6 Electronic Materials
 
Materials in electronic formats shall be provided to the ACB membership in accordance with the guidelines set forth below.

Electronic formats other than those used to produce braille consist of files with the following extensions: .TXT (plain text) and .DOC (Microsoft Word) in accordance with section 16.2.A. Other formats will be considered as they evolve.  When providing material in electronic formats, files with .TXT and .DOC should be included.
 
It shall be the policy of the Board of Publications that all ACB documents be converted to DAISY as a matter of priority. This policy recognizes that much of what is produced will be produced in "text" DAISY rather than audio DAISY. Every effort will be made to expand the availability of DAISY files in audio format.

16.7 Simultaneous Distribution


When ACB materials are being widely distributed in multiple formats, strong efforts should be made to set production and distribution schedules so that members receive the material on or near the same day

Appendix

A.  CCLVI Best Practices and Guidelines for Large Print Documents used by the Low Vision Community
B.  Guidelines for Candidates Postings to Leadership List
C.  ACB Leadership List Guidelines