Call to Order and Introductions
Deb called the meeting to order at 9:02 p.m. Eastern time on June 1, 2021. When Penny called the roll, all members, both official and ex officio, were present except for Dan Spoone, who couldn’t attend the meeting. There were several guests in attendance, as well, and the meeting was streamed live on ACB Radio.
Adoption of the Agenda for the June 1, 2021 ACB Board of Publications Meeting
Deb read the agenda aloud, and it was approved unanimously, following a motion from Zelda and a second from Susan.
Approval of the Minutes for the May 4, 2021 meeting of the ACB Board of Publications
Minutes, as corrected during the preceding month in accordance with corrections suggested on the BOP e-mail list, were approved unanimously, following a motion from Paul and a second from Susan.
In response to a question from a guest, Deb clarified that the BOP has no responsibilities related to affiliate elections. There were no further questions or comments from guests.
All Things Editors –Zelda
Zelda reported that the editors’ list has been quiet for the last couple of weeks.
Zelda realized that she could not host the first quarterly meeting for editors as had been planned for a Friday in June, since the date conflicts with her state affiliate convention. The first editors’ meeting in the quarterly series will take place in August.
Deb plans to write something to post on the editors’ list describing the BOP and what we do, hopefully to entice some list members to attend our meetings and ultimately to become involved in the BOP, themselves.
Candidates’ Page and Candidates’ Forums: Process and Timeline
Deb said that the deadline for submitting to the candidates’ pages had closed on May 31. Deb announced the candidates’ pages opportunity in the ACB Braille Forum, in Dots and Dashes, and as a Constant Contact announcement, and she sent a separate e-mail reminder to all of the incumbent candidates.
We have 15 people who will be running for 13 positions. There are some incumbents who did not submit content to the Candidates Pages.
Kim Charlson has accepted our invitation to assist with hosting the BOP Candidates’ Forum, and Ron Brooks has said that he will probably be able to assist. Deb plans to reach out to Mike Duke, as well. There will be eight candidates on the first night’s forum, and seven on the second night. Debbie and Rick will be helping with the video for the BOP Candidates’ Forum. We will also be podcasting the forum.
Katie and Paul volunteered to help with the BOP forum as well.
Deb also plans to talk with Debbie Hazelton about the ACB Radio promotions that candidates will have presumably recorded. Deb will provide assistance to the candidates with recording and editing their 20-second promotional pieces.
BOP Awards Status — Notifying Winners and Scheduling Video
Deb said that winners of the Freeman and the Liggett award will be announced at the banquet, and the Henley award will be announced during general session on Monday. Penny will present the Freeman and the Liggett award, and that presentation will be pre-recorded. Deb will present the Henley award. Rick and Jo Lynn will be setting up the recording schedule.
Convention Newspaper—Human or Browser as Reader?
Deb has been exploring the possibility of allowing the Microsoft Edge Immersive Reader voices to be used for recording the convention newspaper. Jeff will consult with her to find ways to improve pronunciation of names as much as possible, but generally the digital voices do a good job, and the BOP members agreed that this is a preferable way to provide an accessible audio reading of the newspapers for people who pay for newspaper subscriptions.
Jeff asked and Deb readily agreed to add a headnote or endnote to each newspaper that identifies the Microsoft digital voice as the reader.
Deb said that we need an audio editor for the paper (Sharon will be the paper editor). Jeff volunteered, but he may not have enough time, so Deb will continue to seek a volunteer if needed.
BOP Chair’s Report
Deb has been planning for and making the candidates’ pages and forum happen, and preparing for convention. She has a meeting scheduled with ACB’s new Director of Communications, Jennifer Flatt. She is beginning to think about possible BOP projects for next year.
Bids for producing the ACB Braille Forum will definitely be on our agenda for the coming year. Sharon explained that the expected process is to send out bids for large print, braille, and cartridge editions of the Forum in early to mid-August, with an expected reply-to-bid date in early September. Then, the BOP Chair and ACB Braille Forum editor – as well as others – will meet to open the bids and select winners. The producers will launch production for the February 2022 ACB Braille Forum.
BOP Editor’s Report: Update on ACB Braille Forum and E-Forum Themes
Sharon had submitted the editor’s report via e-mail in advance of the meeting. The report follows:
Editor’s Report, June 2021
Issue type: hard-copy
Page count: 80
Large print distributed: 2,241
Large print returned: 5
Return rate: 1.9%
Large print received: 2,236
Braille distributed: 657
Braille returned: 3
Return rate: 0.5%
Braille received: 654
Cartridge distributed: TBA
Cartridge returned: TBA
Return rate: TBA
Cartridge received: TBA
Email distributed: 5,185
Electronic return rate: 5.7%
Email received: 4,888
Issue type: electronic
Page count: 96
Email distributed: 5,232
Issue type: hard copy
Page count: 80
Large print to be distributed: 2,230
Braille to be distributed: 654
Cartridge to be distributed: TBA
Email to be distributed: TBA
Deadlines for the Next Issues
August 2021 (E-Forum): International Relations Committee, The World Turned Inside Out. Deadline: June 25th
September 2021 (hard-copy): New Beginnings, July 26th
I am currently working on the July issue. There will be two articles coming in today (6/1) with relevance to the convention that I want to be sure to include.
I continue to record the information about ACB’s community calls into our phone system. Each day has its own separate box on the phone system. Wednesday has two boxes, one for before 7 p.m. Eastern, one for after 7 p.m. Eastern, due to the volume of calls held that day. We may have to do that in the near future for a couple of other days as well – perhaps after convention.
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 have finished the year 2000, and have gone back to fix a few years’ worth that, for whatever reason, did not save in the updated format. Then I will start on the 1990s.
I am working on an update for the Job Connection, and hope to have it ready to post by mid-month. I receive job listings from a variety of sources – the Department of Justice, various states’ Lighthouses for the Blind (South Texas is prolific), Industries for the Blind, and other departments and organizations.
I expect to receive some updates for the Washington Connection within the next week or so.
Sharon Lovering, Editor
American Council of the Blind
Pedestrian Safety and Transportation are the BOP’s suggested theme for the October Braille Forum. Penny will contact Becky Davidson and Sheila Styron and ask them to solicit articles from their committee members, noting that several of their planned convention presentations may be relatively easily adapted to become ACB Braille Forum articles. During the discussion, ACB Transportation Committee member, Deanne Hart, who was a guest at the BOP meeting, reported that the Transportation committee is updating the Pedestrian Safety Handbook, with no firm date as yet for completing the project.
Jeff volunteered the Information Access Committee for sponsoring an issue. As discussion proceeded, the BOP decided to combine technology articles from the IAC with ACB Media Network-themed articles – for December.
In response to Zelda’s question regarding what happens to articles that have been submitted but have not fit into Braille Forum themed issues, the BOP decided to support a Fall “Free-For-All” or “newVember” issue for November.
September’s Braille Forum is usually focused on convention.
Debbie told the BOP that Jennifer Flatt has met with ACB Radio and ACB Community staff and that she will assist with developing an evaluative scale for content and to determine how topics and programs can be sorted out among various streams. She said that ACB Media staff is well aware that they need to be developing policies with respect to what kinds of content are appropriate for various streams across all of ACB Media.
They are trying to select the best of the best content from the ACB Community for streaming, reworking the Café, and preparing for convention.
Rick said that ACB Radio has now contracted with Live 365, for 10 streams during convention. Discussion is still underway regarding how many streams will be streaming live on Live 365 post-convention. In addition, they are planning for one single Alexa skill which will reach any of the streams, and this reformatted Alexa skill will be in place well in advance of convention.
The ACB Media Network will launch after convention.
Paul remembered ACB Radio’s having left Live 365 a few years ago because their prices had skyrocketed and they were unhappy with other aspects of their services. He asked why ACB Radio has chosen to return to Live 365, and Rick said that this is a new incarnation of the service, with better prices and better services. Rick added that Live 365 will make it easier for ACB Radio to transition from some of their archaic infrastructure to more modern technology. In addition, he said, that they can pay Live 365 on a month-to-month basis, so if prices escalate again, they will be able to pull out easily and find some other service to accommodate their needs.
There were no available social media statistics.
Public Relations – Public Awareness steering committee
Katie reported that the steering committee had met for the first time with Jennifer Flatt, and she will be participating in future committee meetings.
Deb said that, despite several challenging situations, the ACB-Conversation list has settled down and is not currently experiencing problems. After convention, we will revisit the question of whether and how to recruit additional moderators and whether to reconsider policies with respect to list posting and content. After convention, we need to revisit the topic of the ACB-Leadership list, as well, to try to reorient that list so as to make it more useful for leaders and ACB affiliates.
There was no new business.
Paul moved and Zelda seconded a motion to skip the meeting which would be scheduled for July. The motion carried unanimously.
We do have our convention Wrap-Up BOP event, which is scheduled for Friday, July 23, at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time.
This was expected to be Paul’s last official meeting as an elected member of the BOP, but, fortunately, he promises to remain involved and to attend BOP meetings, perhaps as an ex officio member.
Following a motion by Penny and a second by Paul, the meeting adjourned at 10:28 p.m. Eastern time.