The BOP met via teleconference. Members present: chair Denise Coley, Ron Brooks, Marcia Dresser, Judy Jackson, Doug Powell; ex officio members Berl Colley, Bob Hachey, Ron Milliman; ACB staff/contractors Sharon Lovering, Annette Carter, Larry Turnbull. Several guests also participated on the call.
Chair Denise Colley convened the meeting at 9:05 PM EDT. Ron B. moved and Marcia seconded adoption of the agenda, with a slight change in the order of topics. The motion carried. Ron B. moved and Doug seconded approval of the September minutes with one addition (stating the narrators of the E-Forum). The motion carried.
Formatting of Large Print ACB Braille Forum
Bernice Kandarian, Donna Pomerantz, and Donna Sanchez of the California Council of Citizens with Low Vision (CCCLV) were guests on the call. They would like to see a timetable for the CCLVI best practices to be phased in as soon as possible, because right now the large print Forum is too difficult to read for most large print readers. Although some minor changes have been made, the print is still 16-point rather than 18-point,the lines are too close together, the letters are too faint, the formatting of the bullet lists is not consistent, and there is not enough space between paragraphs. Annette pointed out that in the 2011 revision of the BOP policy manual, it states that the CCLVI best practices shall be used, and that was two years ago. Ron B. said that "cost" and "accessibility" should never be used in the same sentence by an advocacy organization. He further stated that since one of ACB's largest affiliates is telling us what they need to make the publication readable, and we can get that information vetted, we should find a way to budget for it and produce it. Since the current contracts expire in January 2014, we should have enough time to accomplish this in time to negotiate the new contracts. After the CCLVI presentation last spring, Annette was asked to take an existing copy of the large print Forum and create a properly formatted sample to compare, but was unable to do so because of the inconsistencies. Annette gets the MS Word Forum document, puts it up on the Web, and creates a downloadable large print version; she fixes some inconsistencies herself. Sharon, who formats the Forum, said that she does not have all the information she needs to make changes. Also, because of the recent server crash, she lost everything she had for the October, November, and December issues and had to reconstitute it. In accordance with Denise's suggestion, Ron B. moved, and Bob Seconded, that Denise, Sharon, Annette, and a CCLVI representative review past issues of the ACB Braille Forum, as well as the CCLVI guidelines, to identify needed improvements, prioritize these improvements, and determine the impact of these improvements on cost, and that this information form the basis for our budget request for the large print Forum. These findings and recommendations should be presented to the BOP at our November meeting. Once this is done, we will monitor every issue and tweak things as needed; this will be an ongoing process until the standards have been met. The motion carried unanimously. Annette will represent CCLVI in this process. The BOPEEP reports will be presented in writing before our meetings from now on so that there is written verification of what needs to be corrected. Sharon reported that currently, in a 56-page issue with 16-point type and 20-point headlines, we get 17,000 words per issue. We get 10,000 words in a 32-page issue. Increasing the font to 18-point with the extra line spacing in a 56-page issue would reduce the word count to 10,000 words per issue 6,000 words in a 32-page issue), which translates to either a 40% reduction or a 40% increase in cost. This is valuable information to present to the board.
Many people are extremely unhappy because the E-Forum is not produced in hard copy large print or braille. Even though all of the six hard copy issues are 56 pages in length and therefore contain more information, these people would rather see ACB spend its budgetary allotment by producing fewer hard copy issues (seven or eight as opposed to ten) so they would have all the information in hard copy braille or large print. Several people have said that they feel disenfranchised by ACB. Paul Edwards pointed out that with the budget we were given, we would have had seven issues of 32 pages each, and one issue of 48 pages, amounting to 272 pages. Now, with the addition of the E-Forum, we are producing six issues at 56 pages each, amounting to 336 pages, 25% more hare copy information. Although this is correct, the problem is that we are now also producing information that is not accessible to a significant portion of our members, unless they choose to get it from NewsLine. Ron B. suggested that we survey the membership to find out who is reading what format and what would be acceptable to them, along with demographic information. The survey would be available in all formats, including hard copy large print and braille and over the telephone. This suggestion was heartily approved. This survey will cost money, which must be factored into the budget. Melanie would like all budget requests by November 8.
ACB Radio averaged 160 listeners during the general sessions, 70 listeners during the workshops, 85 listeners during the Friends in Art showcase, and 155 listeners during the Candidates' Forum. They are working on getting a form up on the Web site so they can better assist affiliates who want to stream conventions. The Crime Crusher series, a Sherlock Holmes-style show that seems to be quite popular, has just started on ACB Mainstream. Washington and Ohio will be streaming their conventions in November.
Internet Oversight Committee
The committee is still working on the best practices document for list moderators. ACB-l has been very quiet except for topics related to GDUI. All GDUI lists have now left the ACB servers.
Leadership Institute Committee
The committee has been working with the convention committee to make sure that the Leadership Institute will be a part of the convention, not a stand-alone event. Berl asked that we remind people that they do not plan to limit the number of attendees, so everyone who wants leadership training can get it.
Social Networking Committee
The Twitter page now has 507 followers, up from 440 in July. They hope to have the Facebook team in place by the middle of November. There are now 202 followers on the Facebook page.
Annette continues to work out the kinks and improve the functionality of the new Web site. Once the BOP, CCLVI, and others have approved it, the training in its use will start. As long as there is some content on each page, the training can begin. Ron moved and Doug seconded acceptance of the committee reports. The motion carried.
Charlie Hodge reminded us that the BOP policy manual is due for revision.
Sharon is putting together the November issue of the ACB Braille Forum. Thanks to everyone who helped her redo the convention wrap-up, this article is now complete. When the network server crashed at the national office, everything after February 2011 was deleted. When Melanie Brunson sends Larry the hard drives, he will try to get the data restored, although backups can also be corrupted. Sharon has received numerous calls and emails expressing displeasure about the E-Forum, with some people threatening to withdraw their membership or money or both. The bids need to be gotten out quickly in order to have our budget ready by November 8.
The BOP will hold another call this month, at a time to be determined, to further discuss the E-Forum--whether or not we should continue with it and, if so, how to market it.
The meeting adjourned at midnight EDT.
Marcia N. Dresser, Secretary