The meeting, which was conducted via Zoom and streamed on ACB Media Channel 7, was called to order by BOP chair Katie Frederick at 9 p.m. Eastern. Katie, Deb, Cheryl, Penny, Zelda, Cachet, Dan, Rick, Jeff, and Sharon Lovering were present, along with several guests.
After approving the meeting agenda with no additions or corrections, calling of the roll, and unanimous approval of the May meeting minutes following a motion and a second from Zelda and Cachet, several guests brought issues to the attention of the BOP.
Public’s Point of View
Sharon Strzalkowski suggested that it would be convenient for members if there were a designated e-mail address which ACB members can use to contact the BOP. Katie thanked Sharon for her suggestion and said that the BOP will take her suggestion under advisement.
Sharon S. also expressed frustration with the continually frequent and duplicative postings of messages regarding upcoming community events on the Leadership e-mail discussion list.
Deb is completing the guidelines that she and Dan will propose for improving the Leadership list and restoring it to its original purpose, and she and others reminded the group that the community’s daily listing of events provides an excellent and easy-to-use way for people to learn about community events. The list utilizes headings, making it easy for people who use screen readers to find the information they seek relatively quickly. However, Terry Pacheco, Zelda and others pointed out that headings do not provide a similar solution for people who rely on screen magnification or just vision to access the information. It was suggested that some other visually-accessible or searchable feature – such as a group of three asterisks – might be useful for this purpose.
Penny said that, although the daily listing is useful for planning one’s day, it is not useful for adding upcoming events to a calendar. There used to be a weekly list, but Community stopped distributing it because there were so many cancellations during the week. Deb said that she thinks the schedule has become a little more predictable, and so Community might possibly be able to provide a weekly list again. ACB Media uses the Announce list to publicize upcoming streaming events.
Terry Pacheco also said that a drawback of relying on the daily community list for people who might want to listen on ACB Media channels is that Community does not list where events are going to be streamed.
Terry suggested that perhaps ACB Media can list daily scheduled streaming events on the ACB phone system, as Kolby lists daily community events in dedicated mailboxes.
Terry also asked if there is a way to change the footer on groups.io messages to give people instructions for replying to the sender of a message or replying to all. If there is, she said, this could also cut down on the traffic on both ACB lists. Rick will check and if it’s possible, we can discuss making the change.
Zelda will take the lead and Cachet will serve as second for editing BLOG entries in June.
ACB Media Update
Rick said that the Florida hybrid convention, conducted the previous weekend, had gone very well, after solving an initial hardware problem where crossed wires had interfered with streaming.
During the ACB convention, they will set up four separate rooms the way they set up the meeting room for the Florida convention (except there will be no cameras). This will allow for four hybrid events to be taking place and streaming on four separate channels simultaneously.
Preparing for convention while continuing to stream regularly scheduled ACB Media and community events, keeping up with pod casting, and managing all of the tasks associated with keeping ACB Media running is challenging – but it’s happening. Cachet wondered if some of the regularly scheduled events might not be cancelled during the coming two weeks, to give the team more time to plan for convention, but Rick responded that such a deviation from what members expect would have needed to be planned and announced long before now.
Rick said that he could share statistics for May. He acknowledged that the stats would be more meaningful if they could be incorporated into a trend analysis, and he hopes to provide this kind of analysis after convention is over. During May, Community had twice as many listeners as any other stream. There were 4,500 listener hours for Community over the course of the month. Community was followed by Treasure Trove, Mainstream, and Special Events. Special Events were streamed on Media 8, and most were affiliate conventions.
ACB Media plans to make the Community channel more of a scheduled channel, with fewer live streams and more pre-recorded content.
Media is primarily a volunteer operation. Rick says that they hope to do a better job recruiting volunteers, managing volunteers, and retaining volunteers – to prevent volunteer burn-out!
There is still a need to put policies in place for handling interactions with ACB affiliates, committees, Community, etc. Jeff said that the only way to manage expectations is to develop and promulgate policies. For example, ACB Media can allocate X number of resources on any given weekend; affiliates need to put their scheduled conventions on a universally accessible calendar, so that everyone knows what can be expected when. Certain dates should be locked out altogether (for example, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.) This is the way to manage expectations and to thwart burn-out.
Zelda thanked Rick for creating the Ways to Connect with ACB Media document. It is proving very helpful to people throughout the organization.
Rick said that the document encourages people to call into events using the Zoom numbers, which discourages people from using Zeno Media, and this is working out well. More people are calling in using the Zoom numbers, and there are fewer complaints about Zeno Media failures.
ACB Braille Forum Report
Sharon had provided the report printed below to the BOP in advance of the meeting:
Editor’s Report, June 2022
Issue type: hard-copy
Page count: 80
Braille distributed: 647
Braille returned: 1
Return rate: 0.2%
Braille received: 646
Cartridge distributed: 405
Large print distributed: 2,145
Large print returned: 9
Return rate: 1.9%
Large print received: 2,136
Email distributed: 5,105
Email bounces: 22
Return rate: 1%
Email received: 5,083
Issue type: Electronic
Page count: 96
Issue type: hard-copy
Page count: 48
Braille to be distributed: 648
Cartridge to be distributed: TBA
Large print to be distributed: 2,160
Deadlines for the Next Issues
August (electronic): theme: IVIE; deadline: June 24th
September (hard-copy): theme: Audio Description Project; deadline: July 25th
October (electronic): theme TBA; deadline: August 25th
… … … …
I shipped the July issue out to the producers yesterday, just before close of business. Using the new large print guidelines, this issue is only 48 pages long.
I continue to cobble together the Dots and Dashes newsletter. I’m enjoying it. I’m working on the next issue this week.
I also 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. As of today, I am ¾ of the way through 1998.
I’m still working with the archives committee on preserving and digitizing old recordings and documents from ACB events, and identifying people in photos.
The national office is getting into high gear to prepare for the national convention in Omaha. I’ve been receiving ads for “The Goldenrod Gazette” from the Minnesota office, and will be pulling them together in the next week or so. Looking forward to seeing many of you in Omaha!
Sharon Lovering, Editor
American Council of the Blind
She added the following information:
E-mail distributed for the June 2022 E-Forum was 5,151 — 46 more e-mails than the previous E-Forum.
Dan was pleased to note significantly fewer e-mail bounces.
The July issue is printed according to the newly adopted large print guidelines. This resulted in fewer pages (i.e., 48 in total). She is waiting to hear from Iron Mark to learn how much less our printing costs will be for the issue with a shorter page count.
Convention preparation is going well. Today, she was able to braille and send the auction lists.
We are all set with themes through the end of the year: July, potpourri; August, IVIE; September, Audio Description Project; October, convention wrap-up; November, Diabetics in Action; and December, International Relations.
For July, Katie put together an article that highlights ways that people can access Braille Forum content, including Channel 10, and encourages affiliates and committees to continue adopting a Braille Forum issue to share content related to their missions and achievements.
Cachet suggests utilizing Media Channel 10 to highlight Braille Forum writers or to run a selection of articles in a continuing loop. We will discuss this idea after convention.
2022 Conference Items
BOP members attending convention in person will let Sharon know how and when they can help in the Communications Center.
The BOP will present our convention wrap-up session at 5 p.m. Central time, from the general session ballroom and virtually, on Thursday, immediately before the banquet.
Jeff is handling the convention newspaper, which will be read aloud again this year by a Microsoft voice.
The BOP candidates’ Forum is scheduled for Wednesday, June 15, and Deb will send out Zoom invitations to candidates on Monday. There are additional candidates who will be running from the floor, and they understand that, because they did not complete their candidates’ page responses, they cannot participate in the forum. There is no reason, however, we cannot announce additional candidates who are running from the floor, and Katie will announce the names of any additional candidates who let her know of their intention to run.
The “Let’s Communicate Open House” is scheduled for Friday, June 10, at 8:30 p.m. Eastern, and Zelda has shared the announcement on the Editors’ list, as well as Leadership and ACB Conversation.
There will be no Board of Publications meeting in July because of the ACB Conference and Convention. Our next meeting will take place on Tuesday, August 2, at 9 p.m. Eastern.
The meeting adjourned at 10:39 p.m. Eastern.