[nfbmi-talk] Minutes Quarterly Board Meeting National Federation of the Blind of Michigan Saturday, February 22, 2014

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Thu Mar 13 11:58:55 UTC 2014

Minutes Quarterly Board Meeting National Federation of the Blind of Michigan Saturday, February 22, 2014
Quorum, yes Larry Posont, Mike Powell, Joe Sontag, Terri Wilcox, Mark Eagle, Dave Robinson, and Mary Wurtzel.
Secretary's Report, Terri Wilcox.  Mike Powell moved to adopt the October 20 Quarterly Minutes.  Dave Robinson seconded the motion. 
The October 20 Quarterly Minutes were approved.  Treasurer's Report, Mark Eagle.  The Pnc Account has $82.75.  The Restricted Youth 
account has $9,841.40.  The general fund has $74,265.20.  The Newsline account has $1,933.26.  Fund raising is necessary.  Stocks 
that pay dividends are good investments.  Mark Eagle, Marcus Simmons and Joe Sontag are on a committee for fund raising.  $1,000 was 
allocated for Washington Seminar for expenses of individuals, with $100 allocated for transportation.  This amount was spent except 
for about $20.  Dave Robinson moved to adopt the Treasurer's Report.  Mike Powell seconded the motion.  The Treasurer's Report was 
Introduction of Participating Members
1.  President's Report, Larry Posont.  Referrals come to the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan online and in other ways. 
Three parents with kids going blind have contacted The National Federation of the Blind of Michigan in the last three weeks. One was 
through Mott Hospital.  The current flu is rough on retinas.  There is hope after blindness and the children can do anything they 
want.  Christine Boone is meeting with one family on Sunday.  It is scholarship application time.  We use this as an opportunity to 
let people know about the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan.  Dave Robinson is going to a conference on March 20 for the 
Society for Public Health in Howell.  Larry Posont has moved to Munising and can do things over email and the phone.
2.  Bureau of Services to Blind Persons
Jobs sent out by the Bureau The agency only sends Larry Posont lower level jobs.  Larry Posont sent an email to the Director to 
learn about jobs.  The agenda was posted for the last advisory meeting the week after the meeting occurred.  Terry Eagle and Joe 
Harcz find civil service jobs.  Heibeck was hired as the Assistant Director of the Training Center.
3.  Leadership Seminar Follow Up Anil Lewis and Dr.  Maurer urged us to focus more on growing the Federation than on the Agency. 
They urged us to focus on specific concerns for the health of the affiliate.  Other things must be done to strengthen the 
organization such as membership, youth programming, Newsline and individual advocacy.  The agency does not listen to the advocacy 
from blind people, but we must advocate for our philosophy.  THE National Federation of the Blind of Michigan must not be consumed 
by our battles.  We must give people what they need or find a way to have the Agency give it to them.  People do not believe that 
the Agency is serving blind people as poorly as it is.  New people learned of the National Federation of the Blind from the seminar. 
There is interest in a leadership seminar in the state.  Leaders could learn about fund raising, plus chapter and membership 
building.  Leaders develop camaraderie with other leaders.  Follow up is key.  Programs from the affiliate must increase.  The 
public service commission could be approached regarding Newsline funding.  A leadership seminar and a skill seminar are both 
suggested.  Mary Wurtzel moved to have Lydia Schuck write a survey to assess members needs.  Mike Powell seconded the motion.  Dave 
Robinson, Mike Powell, Mary Wurtzel, and J.J.  Meddaugh will be on the membership committee.  Lydia Schuck will have the survey done 
in two weeks and the committee will respond in
two weeks.  The conference line is a good tool for getting things done.  The membership committee will meet via conference call on 
March 9 at 8:00 P.M.     4.  Washington Seminar Follow Up, J.J.  Meddaugh, Terri Wilcox.  Rose Sloan and Anil Lewis were  impressed 
with how we presented ourselves and the issues.  The issues include: Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities, The Technology 
Education Accessibility in College and Higher Education Act, and the Air Carrier Technology Act.   We had a cohesive group and we 
spoke with Congressmen about Fair Wages, Teach, and Air Carrier Access.  Follow up is essential.  Walberg is needed to sponsor Fair 
Wages.  The National office is tracking meetings with representatives.  Call or email Elizabeth Mohnke who recently had foot 
5.  National Convention, 2014, Orlando Florida July 1-6 Rosen Center Hotel
6.  National Convention Funding Assistance? Terri Wilcox moved to allocate $3,000 for Convention assistance at the discretion of the 
President.  People must register for Convention, sign up to work the exhibit table and register for the banquet in order to obtain 
assistance.  They must also call or email Larry Posont at (313(727-3546 or (906) 387-3546
or email at president.nfb.mi at gmail.com  Mike Powell seconded the motion.  The motion passed.
7.  May 17 Board Meeting/Walk-A-Thon in Lansing? Sponsors are being sought for the walk-a-thon.  Half of the money will go to the 
Lansing chapter and half to the state affiliate.  Pledge forms will be provided.  Most likely, the walk will be on the river walk.
8.  Providing a person to run the NFB table at the Michigan Association of Education and Rehabilitation Conference? Terri Wilcox and 
Larry Keeler will attend the conference.
9.  Parents of Blind Children Reorganization? Larry Posont intends to have a conference call for parents of blind children.  Emails 
and conference calls will reach out to parents of blind children.
Karen Evans will facilitate the conference calls with parents of blind children.  10.  Bell Program Update.  Volunteers are needed 
for the Braille Program.  It will take place August 4-15, most likely in Ann Arbor.  A kitchen, playground, bathroom and classroom 
are needed.  It cost $6,000 to $8,000 to run the program.  The National Federation of the Blind of Michigan will run a day program 
for five to ten kids.  Dave Robinson moved to have the regular braille program under the guidance of Terri Wilcox with consideration 
to enter into the Bell program next year.  Mike Powell seconded the motion.  The motion passed.
11.  Mailing List Etiquette People are irritated with the list serv.  A suggestion was made to set up a separate list for state 
agency and government policy information.  It would be a place to put things for the public record.  Foias would not be posted on 
both lists, but on the government policy list.  The public record list would include letters written to someone else.  The current 
mailing list is a bit caustic.  There is concern since if The National Federation of the Blind of Michigan is c.c.ed then it looks 
as if The National Federation of the Blind of Michigan endorsed the request.  An individual can post a link to alert the list to 
information placed on the government policy list.  The second list would be low traffic, but of use.  It is customary for lists to 
be directed with specific topics.  Rules need to be established and followed for the list serv.  Civility is needed and the general 
rules for National Federation of the Blind lists need to be followed.  Dave Robinson moved to have a committee composed of Joe 
Sontag and Nick Wilcox, to set up rules, guidelines and format for the list serv.  A report will be given at the next board meeting. 
Mike Powell seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted.
12.  Science Camp Report, Fred Wurtzel.  Science Camp is scheduled for July 28 to August 1.  Primarily, the subject will be Science 
with literature and art included.  Science Camp will be held in Dearborn.  Families need to be involved in our organization.  No 
chapters have turned in membership rosters this year.  These should be sent to Terri Wilcox at
trising at sbcglobal.net.
13.  Resolutions Update Larry Posont will break down Resolutions and assign them for follow up.  The Bureau of Services to Blind 
Persons resolutions were sent to Marcus Simmons's state Senator and Representative.  Mark Eagle and his committee are working on 
some resolutions.  Terry Eagle is working on four of nine legal Resolutions.
14.  Chapter Reports: Ann Arbor meets from 12:30-3:30 on the first Sunday of the month.  Visions is May 14.  Officers include: 
President, Terri Wilcox, Vice President, Nick Wilcox, Secretary, Amy Shepherd and Treasurer Larry Keeler.  Detroit Chapter officers 
include: President, Leonard Gross Vice President, Mike Powell.  Meetings are the second Saturday of the month.  Detroit intends to 
have some philosophy in action seminars.  The Wayne County Chapter officers include: President, Marcus Simmons Vice President, Jack 
Couch, Secretary, Cheryl Stahl and Treasurer, Denise Kennedy.  The Lansing Chapter officers include: President, Mark Eagle, and Vice 
Larry Woods, and Gere Wilcox Treasurer.  The Jackson Chapter officers include: President, Dave Robinson Vice President, Mary Ann 
Robinson, Secretary, Judy Rabbit, and Treasurer Carrie Kalen.  Board members include: Travis Wilson and Pat Felpach.  Meetings are 
the second Thursday of the Month at Steve's Ranch.  Twenty prisoners need rehabilitation services.  The chapter may help give 
blindness skills to these prisoners.  Transportation is another challenge Jackson is trying to solve.  The Members at Large Chapter 
will meet February 24 at 7:00.  People who are not close to other chapters can participate in the Chapter at Large.  A leader is 
needed.  The Kalamazoo Chapter has members moving.  Students feel that affiliate support is needed.  Students need to have a cause 
to work toward.  The Dogs Division needs to get moving.  Chapter presidents can help connect members who have dogs with the Guide 
Dog Division.  A Braille coffee mug is being made and proposed for sale by the affiliate.  THE Business Enterprise Program has eight 
locations that have not been bid on.  Six or seven do not generate more than subminimum wage income.  Cora's Restaurant will be 
announced soon.  Four plaintiffs participated in a lawsuit because the Bureau did not follow the rules.  Rissa Patrick Langtry was 
awarded Mr.  Essenberg's former location, but still has not been inventoried into her new location.  Furthermore, it is inaccessible 
to a blind operator.  Most blindness agencies do not require Foias for public information because they are publicly funded.  Mike 
Baer is at The department of Corrections. We hear that he will be leaving the program.
15. A long discussion occurred about Meeting with a Lawyer. The Michigan Rehabilitation Council lobbied to secure blind people a 
spot on the council, but this was denied. Contact Larry Posont if you have been denied services by the Bureau at
president.nfb.mi at gmail.com
 The National Federation of the Blind of Michigan are the strongest advocates for blind citizens in Michigan and the go to Agency. 
Organizing the Flint Chapter begins on April 12.                              16.  New Business: Mary Ann Robinson has been working 
with her employers regarding accessibility of software for two years.  She was required to use the new Window Eyes but it still does 
not work.  Joe Sontag reminded us of an object stored at his house that will help us as we go to the streets.  Sympathy was extended 
for Dave Robinson's family and for Derek Moore's family.  Prayers are extended for Mike Powell's family for his brother.  17.  Old 
Business: Sign up for Paq and Imaginator.  On March 20-21, in the Brighton Howell area, sign up through Donna Posont to attend the 
Back Yard Birding event.  The price is $10.
Adjourn at 4:00.

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