Board of Directors Meeting 11/12/2012

CCLVI Board of Directors Meeting 11/12/2012


Roll Call

Roll call was taken. Board members present were Jim Jirak, Lindsey Tilden, Mike Godino, Richard Rueda, Leslie Spoone, Brian Petraits, Grady Ebert, Bianca Knight, Dan Smith, Reba Landry, Allen Casey, Fred Scheigert, Annette Carter, and Mike Keithley. Board members not present were Lucinda Talkington, Donna Pomerantz, and Michael Byington.

Also on the call were: Jane Kardas, Ken Stewart, Jeff Harris, Mike Gravitt, Kathy Casey, Bernice Kandarian, and Glenda Such


Minutes were accepted with corrections.
Jim suggested that the minutes be posted to the board list at least one week before each meeting. Corrections will be made ahead of time and minutes can be voted on without being read on the call.

A motion was made that minutes be presented to the board one week before each meeting and that they be approved or amended rather than being read at each meeting.. The motion carried.


Treasurer’s Report

Checking: $32,455.09
Savings:   $5.00

CDs: Total: $60,535.63

5 Year: $12,133.85
4 Year: $12,126.22
3 Year: $12,122.40
2 Year: $12,099.51
1 Year: $12,053.65


Program Fund: $22,340.19


Total Assets: $115,335.91


The 1 year CD will be maturing in March and will be rolled over to a 5 year as determined at a previous meeting.


A question was raised about the purpose of having more money in the checking account than the savings account. The checking account pays 1%, while the savings only pays 0.5%.


The overall difference in assets from the last meeting is -$2496.83. Since the last meeting, Mike paid a scholarship, Sprint bill, and funds to Mike Gravitt.


A question was raised about why the Program Fund is in a separate account. The Program Fund is in an investment account.


Proposed Date of CCLVI Pre-Convention Board Meeting
Opening ACB General Session will be Saturday night (July 6). It has been the practice to hold the preconvention board meeting the day before opening general session. The CCLVI preconvention

board meeting will be held at 3:00 pm on July 5. Nominating committee will immediately follow.



In January, Jim will begin "CCLVI Chat" calls (Similar to ACB’s "Office Hours"). The calls will be an opportunity for Jim to connect with the membership. This will help him fill the remaining spaces on committees. The first call will take place at 5:30 PST the second Tuesday of January.


Info on Dues Collection

ACB is requiring more information than previous years. They would now like members’ phone number and email address (when available). Chapters should send the membership information to Jeff Harris and the dues checks to Mike Godino. Jim will email Jeff’s contact information to the chapter presidents via the leadership email list.


CCLVI Large Print Feedback to BOP on ACB Convention Program

BOP wants feedback. Jim called the chair and received no return call. Jim was invited to be at the December and January meetings. Jim will let everyone know when he has more information.


CCLVI Representation on Prescription Drug Labeling Group

CCLVI has been granted an opportunity to participate in a prescription drug labeling taskforce with the Access Board. This will provide good PR  for ACB and CCLVI. Jim has appointed Annette Carter because she is familiar with low vision guidelines and is able to articulate them well. Annette is honored to serve on the taskforce and has been using the document’s guidelines in her work on the website. Annette will go to DC in January and May.

There are 18 individuals on the taskforce. Half of the group is organizations; the other half is entities like pharmacies. Mitch Pomerantz is representing ACB.

CCLVI’s involvement is in discussing and describing our best practices document. Members can keep track of the taskforce’s progress on the Access Board’s website. Annette welcomes any comments members would like to be considered by the task force.

Annette has researched the cost to travel to DC. The cost for flights will be about $400. Annette will find out for sure whether or not the Access Board is covering the travel expenses. Annette will report back. The dates for the January meeting are Jan 10-11.


Committee Reports:

Convention: Kathy Casey

The committee is in need of more members.  Ken Stewart and Jane Kardas will now serve on the committee with Kathy, Richard, and Jim.  The Pre Convention board meeting will take place on 7/5. The convention program will be similar to programs from years past. Planned program will appear as follows:

Saturday Morning: Low vision devices exhibit
Saturday Afternoon: CCLVI Mixer
Sunday Evening: Game Night
Monday: General Membership Meeting

The committee is still working on programs and speakers. One suggestion came from an email sent out from Anari Highland who is involved with Toastmasters. She would like to have a Toastmasters meeting (1 hour 15 minutes). The committee suggests Tuesday have a Toastmasters meeting and do another session of showing the movie "Going Blind". (Lisa has not returned Jim’s phone calls regarding returning CCLVI’s copy of the movie. Kathy will try to contact her).

Anari is also writing an article for the Toastmasters’ magazine about doing a program for the convention. The magazine will go international. There is no charge to us.

Kathy would like to have convention committee conference call first week in December.


Membership: Jeff Harris

Jeff held a committee meeting with Mike Godino and Kathy Casey. He gathered background on the procedures for managing the list. Many members on the list already have phone numbers and emails listed. Jeff is familiarizing himself with the list so as to be better able to work with it. There will be another committee meeting in January. Jeff plans to follow up with members who have not communicated and has plans for acquiring new members.


Publications: Mike Keithley

Mike has received good feedback on the Fall issue of Vision Access. He has asked the committee to meet on regular conference call every two months. He is still working on a formal schedule. Thus far he has only received responses from Joyce and Mike Vogl.

It has been decided that Vision Access needs updating on the website. A decision was also made to continue Vision access in html rather than word documents because it is more universally accessible. The cassette version was sent out. Vision Access is available in large print, cassette, audio CD, data CD, and email

Mike sent five extra, large print Vision Accesses to Bernice, because he thought they would be of value at the CCB convention.  Richard will send the boxes of extra fall and summer issues to Kathy Casey. Mike contacted National Printing to let them know that Jim is now president, rather than Rueda. Jim asked Mike to have extra issues sent to Kathy. Kathy uses them for events such as low vision fairs and legislation awareness days.


Scholarship Mike Gravitt

The current main focus for the committee has been advertising. Thus far, advertising has been mainly in print publications, as Mike wants to wait closer to the application live date to do online advertising.

Annette Carter is getting the website ready. Mike posed a question to the board regarding international students. He asked if CCLVI is able to grant scholarships to international students. A confirmed answer was not able to be given to him on the call. Mike will check with Cathy Schmidt Whitaker to find out for sure. Mike Godino will also confer with a friend who is an accountant.

Mike Gravitt still needs members for the Scheigert committee. It was clarified that the Scheigert and Genensky awards have different committee members. Mike is the chair for both. However, Cathy Schmidt Whitaker is currently handling the Genensky Award.

Jim asked Ken Stewart to ask members of MCCLV if they would like to serve on the scholarship committee.

A decision must be made on what to do with the money in the Carl Foley fund. There is no backing for the fund, and it is not making very much in interest. The fund would be depleted very quickly if it were to be given in scholarships. Action TBD at the next board meeting


Website: Annette

A report submitted by Donna Pomerantz regarding Web Testers/Evaluation from the Low Vision Perspective was read by Annette (report attached below). A committee of 10 members is needed to provide feedback about web accessibility and experience while using a variety of adaptive technology. Reba Landry, Annette Carter, Glenda Such, Dan Smith, and Kathy Casey have volunteered. In addition, two members of CCCLV have expressed interest.

Annette has changed the web passwords and updated the board list and constitution/by laws. Mailman lists were made for the board, announcements, discussion, leadership, and committees (as needed). Social networking links are up on the site for Facebook and Twitter.

Annette is maintaining the module and core updates to Droople (for the scholarship section). She has been working with Mike Gravitt and the scholarship committee to get the application going.

The "Let’s Talk Low Vision" podcasts stopped in August. The calls are currently on hold until further notice.

Annette had been quoted for 100 hours of work to build the scholarship pages. The website taskforce created a wish list for the next steps on the website:

Links to social medias (this has been completed)
Making the site low vision user friendly
Putting the whole site in Droople
All Vision Access publications to be available for download
Ability to receive donations online
Communication online: a mini forum where information is routed to the webmaster for concerns or information, email addresses, or scholarship information
Adding photos

Possibility of compensation for webmaster which would require constitutional change. Annette would give an estimate.

SSL Certificate (Security): Currently people have to request a log in using their email. For some people this is difficult. The merit of the certificate is that people can save their scholarship application and come back. We don’t need an SSL certificate for this unless we are going to take donations online.

It would take a lot of time to complete the items on the wish list. With the required expertise and time involved, it was recommended to consider changing the constitution to allow someone to be paid to complete the work.

The wish list will be posted to the board list for consideration and will be discussed further at the February meeting.


Update on Low Vision Booklet: Richard

The booklet project was started two years ago. We are still looking for bids in order to put the booklet to press. Ken reported that all they have so far are rough drafts. Ken requested reactivating the committee (Richard Rueda, Joel Isaac, Isolde Keilhoff, Dr. Bill Takashita). Jim recommended that Richard get in touch with the other committee members.


Update on Google Voice for Toll Free Line

No update. Jim has not heard from his contact yet.


New Potential Dial in Number for Board Meetings

Several people have asked about recording on the conference call line. The general understanding is that the number currently in use is a free service, and you can record calls for a fee. Leslie Spoone reported that she has use of a conference line on which recording is free. Jim also reported that he has a number on which recording is free.

A motion was made that Jim research and procure a free conference account for CCLVI board and committees to use for recording. Motion carried.

The current number will continue to be used for "Let’s Talk Low Vision" calls.


Additional Items

Richard reported that Dr Bill has been hard to get a hold of. "Let’s Talk Low Vision" is supposed to be regular function, but is on hold at this time. Ken Stewart requests an email with this information be sent to the announce list.


Next Board Meeting

The next board call will be tentatively planned for the second Monday in February at the same time.


The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 PST.



Council of Citizens with Low Vision International
Report to the Board of Directors
November 12, 2011
Submitted by: Donna Pomerantz
2nd Vice President and Web Committee Member


Re: Web Testers/Evaluation from the low vision perspective.



The Council of Citizens with Low Vision International (CCLVI) is comprised of a diverse membership. For purposes of the focus of this report our membership ranges from those who use mainstream tools within their computer operating system, to those who use screen magnification, to those who use screen magnification with speech, and finally to those who use screen readers or Braille Displays to navigate the web and do word processing.


The American council of the Blind, our parent organization, has entered into several structured negotiation cases as well as litigation when all else fails. When working with outside entities, they often ask for evaluation from the low vision perspective and for the most part, it has been myself and at times one other person who provides assistance.


Because, not only the ACB comes to us, but other organizations are beginning to seek expertise from the low vision perspective, the web committee has discussed this subject at several of its meetings. At the meeting of the Information Access Committee (IAC) of the ACB, I was asked if CCLVI could assist with some of what they are doing, bringing the low vision perspective forward. I have also been approached by Disability Rights Legal Firms and other advocacy organizations in my capacity as CCLVI’s 2nd Vice President.


Our President, Jim Jirak has asked me to lead in the gathering of members to form a group of testers/evaluators.


At this moment, Reba and Annette have offered to provide assistance, and I have two other members from CCCLV who are interested in being a part of this group.


I’m seeking a group of committed volunteers who use mainstream magnification, screen magnification and speech such as, but not limited to ZoomText or Magic. CCLVI is in need of a group of at least 10 people who use different technology to provide, at times, a quick turn around of sometimes days, or even a week or a month turn around with your shared observations.


At times, we would work as a group with you emailing your observations to me and I would compile them and get them to the entity seeking our input. Another possibility is that a Disability Rights Law Firm or other entity will ask me for a reference of one person they could work with, and I would contact the group and whomever responds first and could do what is being asked according to the timeline the entity has put in place, I would directly connect that person with the entity to do their work together.


It is imperative the person possess the following traits so as to further promote CCLVI as the organization that is dependable and completes the projects that are brought before it. We need to be the "go to" organization for all that is low vision related, and we are being asked, so let’s answer with a strong, resounding "yes" how can we assist?


So here are the traits:
keeps task focused
detail oriented
able to articulate in writing their observations while evaluating web environments
communicative, even if the task is not yet completed but is able to articulate progress on a regular basis to the request
self driven and motivated to complete projects independently without the "nudging" (we need to keep it professional and goal oriented to the outside which is why this last trait is stated).


In closing, I hope to hear from other Board Members via email of your interest before I email out to the CCLVI Leadership List and then to the general discussion list if we don’t yet have our 10.


I realize everyone has busy schedules and full plates that is the reason for seeking the group of 10 so we always have some who can assist if others are too busy in the moment.


Please send me and email with the following information:

1. Full Name
2. Two phone numbers where you can be reached
3. Email address that you check very frequently, several times a day at least
4. Name of assistive technology you use
5. Version of assistive technology you use
6. Internet browser you use
7. Version of internet browser you use
8. Version of computer operating system you use


Thanks in advance for being a part of this hard working group that will represent CCLVI both inside of the ACB structure, and outside of the ACB structure.


I am very excited seeing the potential of what our web testers/evaluators can do to identify and work to remove barriers that can discourage our low vision community on a daily basis.


I must hear from you by November 18 if you are interested in working as a part of this group.


Please email or call and if I don’t answer, leave a message of interest and I will phone you back or email when I return on Nov. 17th.


Thank you,

Donna Pomerantz
2nd Vice President
Council of Citizens with Low Vision International
(626) 233-2991