[NFBOH-Cleveland] May 15, 2020 Minutes is in the body of the email and attached.
ali.benmerzouga at hotmail.com
Wed Jun 17 21:28:00 UTC 2020
National Federation of the Blind of Cleveland Chapter
June 17, 2020
May 15, 2020 Minutes:
The May Chapter monthly meeting was held through a teleconference call on
Friday, May 15, 2020 at 5:00 P.M. The Call number used is 605-313-4834 and
the pass Code is 246345. The reason for having this teleconference meeting
is to adhere to COVID-19 social distancing adopted by the National
Federation of the Blind and the local and state officials.
Ali Benmerzouga, recording Secretary, welcomed all members, attendees from
other chapters and Divisions, all guests/visitors. Also, he recited the
Suzanne Turner, President, welcomed everyone and made sure about the
presence of the chapter's members.
William Turner, First Vice President, helped all attendees to recite the
National Federation of the Blind Pledge.
Cheryl Fields, 2nd Vice president, informed the Board about the health
issues of some chapter and affiliate members and/or their relatives and
urged everyone to keep them in his/her thoughts and prayers.
Ali Benmerzouga, Recording Secretary, with the help of Suzanne Turner's
technology touch, presented the April 2020 minutes. Cheryl Fields made the
motion and Billie Graham second it. The minutes were voted on and carried.
Natassha Ricks, Treasurer, presented financial reports for April 2020. The
Checking account reflects to date, $177.88 and the Savings reflect to date:
$1,024.29. Billie Graham made the motion and Delcenia Brown second it. the
treasury report was voted on and carried. Also, she reminded everyone about
sending their dues by mail as soon as possible.
Suzanne Turner, President, thanked everyone for attending the meeting, for
the help some of the members are providing, and for all the meetings
organized by some members during these COVID-19 difficult times. Also, she
reminded the Board about the following items and to do the needful whenever
* Ohio Affiliate has two fundraisings that are still going on, namely,
the Piggest Raffle Ever and the PAC Plan.
* To register for the 2020 Virtual National Federation of the Blind
convention before June 15, 2020.
* Jessica McKee from Opportunities for Ohioans with Disability (OOD)
called and said that she is available and ready to help anyone with matters
related to OOD.
* Members are going to receive by mail some personal protection
equipment from COVID-19 from our Affiliate President, Richard Payne very
shortly. She and the whole board thanked our Affiliate President for his
* To get familiar with Zoom platform since everything is going to be
on Zoom in the near future.
* A great talk scheduled for Tuesday, May 19 at 7:00 P.M., 2020
titled: "Becoming the leaders we deserve," is going to be given by three
great speakers from the National Federation of the Blind.
* There will be a Quarterly open house lead by the National Office for
people to learn about the National Federation of the Blind and its
philosophy. She urged everyone to let his/her family, friends and relatives
know about the event.
* Services for Independent Living, Leadership Academy:
Suzanne Turner, President, informed all members and State members that
Services for Independent Living (SIL) is now accepting applications for its
Virtual Summer 2020 Leadership Academy "Immersion Session". The Leadership
Academy is a course designed to help people with disabilities gain skills
needed to participate on nonprofit boards, community coalitions, task
forces, and/or system change committees in a meaningful way. The goal of
the academy is to increase the number of persons with disabilities prepared
to engage in community leadership roles. She added that the Summer 2020
"Immersion Session" will begin on Monday, July 6, 2020 and end on Thursday,
July 30, 2020. Classes will be held twice weekly on Monday and Thursday
afternoons from 1 pm to 4 pm. All classes will be held virtually. Upon
completion of the Leadership Academy, SIL will work with participants to
identify areas of interest and potential leadership opportunities. The
deadline for applications is June 15, 2020. Because space is limited, we
encourage interested applicants to apply early. If you would like an
application and/or if you have any questions, please contact Laura Gold via
email at <mailto:lgold at sil-oh.org> lgold at sil-oh.org or via telephone at
216-815-0015 (please leave a detailed message). If you require the
application and/or flyer in an alternative format, please let Laura know.
Delcenia Brown and Renee Johnson Arrington both graduated from SIL
Leadership Academy and have the following to say about the Leadership
Delcenia said that she learned a lot from the training and now she knows
about how to run a board meeting, committee composition, nonprofit
organizations, leadership qualities, how to be at the table when decisions
related to disabled individuals are made ; Renee added that she learned a
lot about Nonprofit board and how they operate, the existence of many and
diverse disabled groups and organizations, the great and enjoyable classes
provided by the program and that she learned new skills and sharpened old
ones. Both graduates, Delcenia and Renee recommended the training to all
members, especially to those who would like to advocate for the disabled
A Philosophical Discussion:
Suzanne Turner, President, asked all members the following question: Are you
ok with being blind? Many members and without the slightest hesitation told
their own stories and experiences and enthusiastically expressed that they
are fine with their blindness and they undoubtedly believe it is respectable
to be blind.
Regina Mason, Membership Committee Chair urged the board to have some
devoted volunteers who will take the responsibility of keeping in touch with
the newly blind individuals. For those interested, please call Regina or
Gloria at your earliest convenience.
Gloria Conway, Senior Committee Chair reminded the board about the monthly
Call, scheduled on Sunday, May 17 at 7:00 P.M. and asked everyone to share
his/her favorite recipes with those on the call. She added that there is a
daily coffee break call at 10:00 A.M. and urge everyone to call, check in
let those on the call know how he/she is doing and break the isolation
caused by COVID-19.
Joann Williams, Cleveland's Cheering Coordinator, reminded the Board that
time is stressful now and invited all members to join and encourage one
another on Sunday, May 24, 2020 at 4:00 P.M. on the Ohio conference line.
Ohio Association of Guide Dog Users
Louann Bowers and Debbie Baker , members of the Ohio Guide Dog Users (OGDU),
talked about the different activities of their group, their yearly get
together at conventions, their email list, having guest speakers
/veterinarians, how they advocate for bills related to their guide dogs,
explained that their guide dogs do not transmit COVID-19 virus and urged
everyone to reduce the patting. Also, they talked about the benefits of
being a member of the group /OGDU, the $5.00 yearly membership fee and their
coordination with the national Guide Dog Users (NAGDU), especially when
advocating and working on legislatives related to Guide dogs. They added
that OGDU is part of NAGDU and mentioned that they help individuals when
they have issues with their guide dogs.
Ohio Association of Blind Students (OABS):
Kinshuk Tella, member and president of the Ohio Association of blind
students, talked briefly about his association/division and urged everyone
to help with the 2020 adoption of a graduate through Facebook or by email or
by contacting him directly.
Cheryl Fields urged everyone to be safe and be healthy.
Wilbert Turner thanked our state affiliate President, Richard Payne for the
personal protection equipment.
Regina Mason thanked Suzanne for all the work she is doing for the chapter
and the affiliate.
Henry Butler told our Chapter president Suzanne Turner that she really came
Shirley Patterson Thanked everyone for their thoughts and prayers, calls and
for asking about the health progress of her mother, brother and sister.
Team Building Exercise:
Suzanne Turner, President, started a team building exercise and asked
everyone to be honest with himself/herself. She described four different
personalities and assigned a different color for each personality, namely,
Orange, gold, green and blue. She asked many members about the true color of
his/her personality. She added that these colors may change when progressing
in time and the degree of participation and learning from the National
Federation of the Blind activities and self-education.
Meeting adjourned at 6:45 pm.
Please make a note of the action items below:
Voice Box Number:
Cleveland Teleconference Number:
Ohio Conference Line:
Tel: (712) 775-7031
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 408 185 0851
One tap mobile
+16468769923 and ID code: 408-185-0851.
Zoom Telephone number:
Ali Benmerzouga, Recording Secretary
440-590-0315 - cell
Natassha Ricks, Treasurer
1. Please take a moment and like, share and promote Cleveland's Facebook
2. Please subscribe to Ohio-Talk to stay informed on the know in the Ohio
Ohio-Talk mailing list
<mailto:Ohio-Talk at nfbnet.org> Ohio-Talk at nfbnet.org
3. Please subscribe to Cleveland's List Serve for all up-to-date information
in the Cleveland Chapter.
<mailto:nfboh-cleveland-request at nfbnet.org>
nfboh-cleveland-request at nfbnet.org
4- Please don't forget to send your dues to our Treasurer as soon as you
5-please call a member who you have not seen for a while and talk to them
about returning to the Cleveland Chapter.
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