Katie Frederick called the meeting of the ACB Board of Publications to order at 9 p.m. Eastern time. Except for Dan Spoone, who was traveling, all members of the BOP were present, including David Trott representing the ACB Board of Directors, and Rick Morin and Larry Gassman representing the ACB Media team, as well as several guests.
Approval of March 2022 Meeting Minutes
Penny moved and Zelda seconded the motion to approve the meeting minutes from March. Board approval was unanimous.
Public’s Point of View
Mary Haroyan expressed her appreciation for the work ACB has done to assure that messages distributed by Constant Contact on behalf of ACB now follow WCAG guidelines for accessibility.
Cheryl will take the lead in editing blog submissions for April, and Zelda will follow up with any suggestions for additional edits. In May, Penny will take the lead, and Cachet will serve as secondary editor.
Penny said that she noticed it is hard to find the instructions for submitting blog content on the ACB web site. The BOP agreed to post the instructions on the web page that introduces the blog.
Penny had received e-mail from a person who was writing an article for the ACB Braille Forum, requesting guidelines for writers. The BOP asked Sharon to find an appropriate spot within the magazine to post guidance for people who want to submit articles for the Forum.
The BOP recommended posting Guidelines for submitting to the blog and the Forum on the ACB Publications web page as well.
Melody Holloway, who was a guest, suggested that ACB Media might want to post guidance for Braille Forum article and blog writers between programming on ACB Media. Deb suggested that we can produce brief spots that can be aired between program segments and during convention, as well.
ACB Media Updates
Rick shared encouraging statistics regarding listener hours for podcasts, as well as for the ACB Media streams. Live 365 shares the number of times podcasts are downloaded and how long listeners are listening to the various streams.
Over the past 13 months, Live 365 reports that, across all streams, ACB Media visitors have listened to 233,262podcast hours.
Over the last 13 months, Mainstream had just under 38,000 listener hours.
Community had approximately 30,000 listener hours.
Treasure Trove had about 30,000 listener hours.
Café had about 10,000 listener hours.
Totaling around approximately 134,000 listener hours.
Alexa accounts for 43 percent of our listeners.
The ACB Media team continues to look at programming to determine criteria for re-streaming. They know that not everything we stream needs to be streamed live. A problem with our equipment configuration right now is that there’s no easy way to reschedule a program on a stream. When we move everything to the cloud, this situation will improve.
Another, recently initiated project is to rebuild Mainstream from the ground up. Mainstream is probably the ACB Media brand that is most well recognized within the blindness community. We need to figure out where to take Mainstream while preserving what’s best within the traditions associated with Mainstream.
In terms of total listener hours, Mainstream is Number One. Following Mainstream are Community, Treasure Trove, and Café.
We continue to hear complaints from people who find Zeno Media failing to meet their needs, especially from Treasure Trove listeners. For programming that sparks the most interest (e.g., ACB board meetings, other special events, ACB is thinking of setting up listen-only Zoom meetings that people who cannot listen online can dial into.
Lessons learned from D.C. Leadership meetings: Plan for a full technical preview session the day before an event (such as convention).
Practice transitions ahead of time.
Set up a room on the day of a presentation where, immediately before an event, someone who can see will be available to make sure a blind person who will be on camera is presenting well from a visual perspective.
Large Print Guidelines, Next Steps
Sharon has been sharing feedback from large print Braille Forum readers with us on the BOP e-mail discussion list. Nearly all feedback has been positive.
Penny moved and Cachet seconded the motion to adopt the large print guidelines which were submitted by CCLVI, for all future ACB publications. These guidelines will replace large print guidelines which were adopted by the BOP in 2017. The motion carried unanimously.
ACB Braille Forum Report
Sharon submitted the following report to the BOP e-mail discussion list:
Editor’s Report, April 2022
Issue type: hard-copy
Page count: 80
Braille distributed: 641
Braille returned: 13
Braille return rate: 2%
Braille received: 628
Cartridge distributed: 432
Large print distributed: 2,145
Large print returned: 9
Large print return rate: 0.4%
Large print received: 2,136
Email distributed: 4,987
Email bounces: 33
Email unsubscribes: 8
Email received: 4,954
Issue type: electronic
Page count: 96
Email distributed: 5,139
Issue type: hard-copy
Page count: 80
Braille to be distributed: 647
Cartridge to be distributed: TBA
Large print to be distributed: 2,145
Email to be distributed: TBA
Deadlines for the Next Issues
June 2022 (electronic): focuses on the convention; deadline: April 25th
July (hard copy): potluck - whatever articles I haven’t had space for yet; deadline May 23rd
August (electronic): IVIE; deadline June 24th
… … … …
Right now I’m putting the finishing touches on the May Forum. What an excellent job the Multicultural Affairs Committee did with the April issue!
This year’s certification process went well, with only a few minor issues. I finished the updates, deletions and additions that I had on March 16th - the earliest I can remember finishing.
I continue to work on cleaning up and modernizing old issues of the Forum to current large print standards and organizing them on our Sharepoint drive (at the moment, from the 1990s through today). I’m including Word, text, and BRF file formats in the Forum folders on Sharepoint. I am a three-quarters of the way through 2015.
I also continue to work with the archives committee on preserving and digitizing old recordings and documents from ACB events, such as conventions, board meetings, leadership seminars, legislative seminars and affiliate presidents’ meetings, etc.
In addition, I’ve been working with the awards committee. We’ll be meeting this weekend to make the decisions, and Jean Mann and I will put our heads together to write the verbiage for the plaques.
As for BOP awards, I haven’t received any further Freeman, Henley, or Liggett nominations. Many thanks to those of you who have already gotten your votes in. Bear in mind that National Braille Press needs the plaque language by close of business April 29th to ensure that we have plaques to present at convention.
Sharon Lovering, Editor
American Council of the Blind
Sharon added that the convention newspaper will be called, “The Goldenrod Gazette.” (Goldenrod is the state flower of Nebraska.)
National Conference and Convention
Sharon will be running the ACB Communications Center again this year and welcomes help from BOP members who will be in Omaha.
The BOP is tentatively planning a “Coffee with the Candidates” virtual event using the break-out rooms feature of Zoom during which visitors can visit candidates who are moving from one virtual room to another, to get to know them better, ask questions, etc. The event will be tentatively scheduled for the afternoon of June 18 from 1 to 3 p.m.
We have these themes lined up: June: convention; July: Potluck; August: IVIE; September: ADP.
The next meeting of the ACB Board of Publications is scheduled for May 3. The April meeting adjourned at 10:54 p.m. Eastern time.