[Ohio-talk] Buckeye Update

Eric Duffy peduffy63 at gmail.com
Fri Aug 28 17:06:12 UTC 2015

Buckeye Update

August 28, 2015

We are less than a month away from our September 26 Board of Directors meeting in Columbus. I can now tell you that we will meet at the North Community Lutheran Church located at 114 Morse Road in Columbus. The meeting will begin at 10:00 A.M. To save Richard from asking the question, I do not have the agenda ready yet. You will hear more about lunch options in future updates. 

I want to thank the Cleveland chapter for their work. The chapter, family members, and friends made calls to Representative Marcy Kaptur's office concerning the TIME Act HR188. As a direct result of the chapter's work, Representative Kaptur has agreed to cosponsor the TIME Act. Good work Cleveland.

I attended an informational day sponsored by the Miami Valley Chapter in early August. The meeting was well organized and well attended. This is another example of the good work that our chapters are doing.

Shelbi Hindel, Sheri Albers, and I were supposed to be in New York City on Wednesday protesting outside of the New YOrk City School Board meeting. This is because the school board is considering adopting Amazon technology that is not accessible to the blind. To its credit the board decided to delay the vote until it could learn more about the concerns of the National Federation of the Blind.
	Barbara and Bob Pierce are in the throws of there move to the Kendall Retirement Community. They have been moving some things in this week, and the moving truck comes on September 1.  The move itself is a major undertaking, and the transition is a life-changing experience.

Barbara will be working on the newsletter as soon as she can get settled in. So if you have promised material to either of us for the newsletter, please get it to her as soon as possible.

I have begun working on convention arrangements. It is my hope to have the preregistration process underway shortly after Laborday. 

Remember that time we made history and broke a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the largest umbrella mosaic?! Well, now you can order proof of your accomplishment.
For an accessible ordering process, please contact the NFB Independence Market at (410) 659-9314, extension 2216 or IndependenceMarket at nfb.org <mailto:IndependenceMarket at nfb.org>. Our staff is available to assist you by phone or by email, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. The Market will be taking orders for certificates until September 30, 2015, so don’t wait too long to place your order. You can expect your certificate approximately ten to twenty business days after your order has been submitted.
You can also order certificates using the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ online store, but please note that there are accessibility issues with this site. If you would like to use this option, go to http://store.guinnessworldrecords.com <http://nfb.org/sites/all/modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=4381&qid=888391>. Click on the “Records” link to reach certificates for purchase. Use ID# 140602-13928 and the code moeq5230MO.
Each certificate features the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ logo, followed by text that reads:
Certificate of Participation
[Your Name Here]
The largest umbrella mosaic consists of 2,480 participants and was achieved by the National Federation of the Blind (USA) in Orlando, Florida, USA, on 8 July 2015.
Certificates cost $25 apiece, plus a shipping (via UPS) and handling fee.

I am looking forward to the board meeting and the opportunity for many of us to get together in person. Although I have not been writing updates as frequently as either you or I would like, we remain quite busy.  We will discuss much of our work on September 26.

I am pasting below the minutes from the April 2015 Board of Directors meeting. This is a long set of minutes, and Shelbi and Barbara worked hard to get them in shape. I appreciate their work.

I appreciate all that each of you do as well. So, let's go build the Federation.

Board of Directors Meeting
National Federation of the Blind of Ohio
April 11, 2015
                1. President Eric Duffy called the meeting to order at 10:03 a.m. A new conference line was used (712) 775-7031, access code 900797801#.
                2. Debbie Baker was the only board member absent. Several guests were present on the call. 
                3. It was on the agenda to sing Happy Birthday to Tom Ruth. This did not happen because he was not on the call.
                4. The NFB pledge and the one-minute speech were said. This was difficult due to the delay that occurs with the phone system.
                5. Barbara Pierce moved that the January 31, 2015, minutes be approved as circulated. Susan Day seconded the motion. It passed.
                6. Sherry Ruth moved that the February 26, 2015,  board meeting minutes be approved as circulated to the board of directors. Barbara seconded this motion. It passed.
                7. Personal Updates--
                A. William H. Turner gave us an update on his rehabilitation progress. He should be released to return to his home at the beginning of May. The house is being worked on for adaptations related to his needs. His legs are getting stronger, and he hopes to return to work in June. William H. appreciates all the concern that Federationists have shown him over the past months.
                B. Cheryl Fields has a new grandson. He was born prematurely on Thursday. His name is Jonathan. He is in the NICU although he was a good birth weight, five pounds five ounces; he has not yet been able to be cuddled. He needs to gain nine ounces in order to leave NICU. She is asking people to pray for the baby and family.
                C. Barb Fohl went to the hospital and then to a rehab facility. Her sugar was high, and her potassium level was low. She was having trouble walking. Barb will not be able to attend the Baltimore trip sponsored by the Cleveland chapter. Cheryl Fields assured us that Barb’s money would be refunded.
                8. Shelbi Hindel read the financial report. Susan moved this report be accepted as read. Sheri Albers seconded the motion. There were questions which Sherry Ruth answered. The motion passed.
                9. At this time Eric does not have  an idea for a major fundraiser  to be held at the state convention. There is a lady, who works at the Double Tree, in Cleveland, with some contacts for fundraising in that area. She is willing to help us. Eric will get more information on this from her.     
                10. Richard Payne broached the topic of grant writing as he knows that a seminar was held in Baltimore for this and several people from Ohio attended it. Richard suggested that we attempt to get corporate sponsors for our convention because, when we hold fundraisers, we are primarily relying on our own members. We have not been able yet to find a good means of bringing in people from the general public. Eric stated that it would be very nice to have a combination of grant writing and fundraising taking place. Barbara told us that there are some difficulties with grant writing. Grants must be written for a specific project, asking for specific contributions, in a specific time frame. Money gotten must be spent on the specific project, and there is paperwork that must be provided to prove that the grant was used for that specific project. You can not write a grant for the general operating fund or  an open-ended use. The people from Ohio that received training in Baltimore were Eric Duffy, Jason Ewell, and Deborah Kendrick. There is a grant for STEM. It is from the Science Foundation, and the program for children has been carefully worked out.
                11. Barbara expressed concern for the state scholarship fund.  We need $3,500  that has not yet been allocated. She suggested that we look for a granter for this program. Sherry R. informed us that there is actually $3,300 set aside for the scholarship fund, and at convention she and Tom plan to donate $200.
               12. If anyone wishes to write a grant proposal and needs it to be reviewed prior to submitting it, you may contact Eric. He is willing to assist in this manner but will not write the proposal.
                13. J.W. Smith is not able to participate in this conference call. He sent a report for the Drive for 75 to the listserv earlier this week. There has been some outreach to corporations. Be sure to read the reports that he posts to OhioTalk. Eric thanked the committee for their efforts and encouraged them to continue their efforts. Sheri Albers informed us that on April 29 J.W. would be performing in Cincinnati as Dr. Feelgood at Arnold’s Bar and Grill. This is open to the public. There will not be an admission charge, but donations will be taken. There will be other fundraising activities throughout the evening. Walter Mitchell announced that on May 30  another fundraiser will take place, Blind Inspiration, at which J.W. will play a significant role. He will be joined by other blind performers and a couple of choirs.
                14. Shelbi stated that the next NFB Scrip Ohio order would be due on May 3 at 7:00 p.m. Eric said that, if Ohio had seventy-five people preregister, online, for the national convention, he would enter names for a $75 drawing of a Scrip prize which he would provide funds for.
                15. Last year Ohio contributed $50 to each of four funds: tenBroek, Jernigan Fund, White Cane Fund, and SUN. We have not contributed to NFB Camp for several years, but we should not forget about it. Barbara moved that again this year Ohio contribute $50 to each of the four funds. William Turner seconded the motion. It passed. Sherry R. said that last year Ohio contributed $200 toward door prizes, and she moved we do the same this year, with the understanding that chapters will contribute money toward this. Barbara seconded the motion. It passed. Eric suggested that our door prize contribution be from the NFB Scrip Ohio program, being sure that the gift cards ordered could be used nationwide. Suggestions given were Walmart, Amazon, and iTunes.
                16. Ohio will be selling M&M’s, plain and peanut, again this year. We will not have a table in the exhibit hall.
                17. Our state has forty Jernigan Fund drawing tickets to sell. We will pay for all of these. Please sell them. Shelbi will be responsible for mailing these out, with the help of daughter Aliyah, who is working on volunteer hours for eighth grade honors. Please email Shelbi with your ticket count request. Money is due to Sherry R. as soon as possible and ticket stubs to Eric at the Post Office box address by July 3. Each ticket costs $10. The purpose of this project is to help first-time convention attendees. The grand prize for the drawing is  $1,000 to spend and a convention trip for two in 2016.
                18. Capital Steps is coming to a major city in Ohio. This is a nationally known group . It started with a group of staffers on Capital Hill who got together and wrote some songs and then performed them. The songs are satirical, irreverent, and make fun of everyone. They are bipartisan. There are several albums available on Amazon. If you wish to schedule the group, you are required to pay some amount up front. They do try to put together a concert track to be the most cost efficient possible. This would be an easier event for us to promote than our Beatles event was. Barbara and Deborah are to gather information on whether this is an activity that our affiliate should pursue. They are to report to Eric in two weeks time. If it is worth pursuing, they will put together the beginning of a proposal.
                19. Ohio has been challenged, as one of the seven original founding states, to create the artwork for the print agenda and the banquet tickets. This usually has something to indicate the host state. This year there are seven of these. There was a lot of discussion on this topic. The committee will make suggestions to Suzanne Shaffer, the art director at the national office.
                20. The hospitality suite is another major responsibility that Ohio has at the convention. Sheri Albers, Barbara Pierce, Pat Eschbach, and Aleeha Dudley have been asked to play a major role in this area. The merchants division will assist in providing snacks. Meals are not served in the suite, but a lot of people  come to have their meals supplemented. Many people really do stretch their finances in order to attend the convention, so we want their visit to the hospitality suite to be positive in every way. There are a lot of hours to be covered, so a schedule will be set up. Details will be provided as they become available.
                21. It is very helpful to Eric to know prior to the convention who is attending. As soon as you know your plans, please send him an email with the details.
                22. The trip to Baltimore sponsored by the Cleveland chapter is starting Thursday. The bus is almost full. This should be a good trip. Thanks to those who have put work into making this trip possible.
                23. A new brochure for Ohio has been produced. It is similar to the last brochure but has been updated. The cover has a picture of Eric and MaKenzie Love. Eric does not want a lot of these brochures sitting around unused so has only ordered  500. Springfield is planning to make a contribution toward the cost of producing the brochure. Chapters should make a contribution of $.25 per brochure toward the cost when requesting them. Suzanne Turner asked if the brochure had been produced in Braille. It has not.
                24. Eric reported that shortly before the 2014 state convention our Braille embosser stopped working. We need to look into the cost of getting it repaired.
                25.  Barbara reminded us that there is a large variety of information available from the Independence Market in Braille and recorded formats. Much of this is provided at no charge.                   
                26. BELL dates have been set. It will be held at OSSB starting June 22 through July 2. The curriculum will be changed this year to include more technology and mobility. Debbie Baker and Marianne Denning will be working together to form the lesson plans. The application for this year’s program is available. Contact Eric to receive a copy. Sherry R. reported that not many contributions have been received for the BELL program. Chapters and divisions were encouraged to make donations toward the BELL program.
                27. Richard and Deborah were not able to participate in the afternoon portion of the teleconference.
                28. During the board meeting which was held at the state convention, a group was put together to work on planning an event for the Parents division. The event was to take place in the spring. This has not happened. This division exists on paper only, and this is not good. This group did not hold a meeting at the convention, therefore, did not elect officers.  We should not say we have a division when it is not active at all and none of the current members have minor aged children. Barbara moved that the charter of the parents division be lifted so that at the appropriate time the division can start afresh to be rebuilt. Debbie seconded the motion. It passed. Eric acknowledged that this is a sad and difficult step to take. This is an important group for us to work with to improve the lives of blind children. We need to find parents with young blind children, talk with them about the importance and value of the organization, persuade them that there is sufficient value in what the NFB has to offer to them that they want to put time and effort in to the organization, thus starting a new parents division in Ohio.
                29. NFB Ohio will play a leading role in participating with a coalition to create a council to govern Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) instead of a Commission. Eric had a discussion, by phone, with Kevin Miller and the chief legal advisor on this topic. Kevin Miller is willing for the agency to participate, and he is even willing to broach the topic with his boss. A letter will be sent to Mr. Miller that recaps the conversation and invites him to participate in a meeting which will start the process of creating the new structure. This will not be a quick process. It will be a part of the biannual review, which will be held in the spring of 2016. Eric gave a list of groups that have responded, saying that they want to support the coalition. Their names will be put on the letter. This will be posted when it is available. Eric thinks that there will be ten organizations to start out because many who have expressed interest need to work through their boards of directors before their participation is official. This process must be a consumer-led process, which  is the role that we are taking. Our plans will be solidly laid out by the time the first meeting with OOD is held. There may come a time when people are asked to make legislative calls or send emails.
                30. A. HB 121 would designate the last week in July as Guide Dog Appreciation Week. The first hearing will be on Wednesday, April 15, at the State House. Testimony may or may not be presented. Barbara is concerned that this bill  not harm the amendments to the White Cane laws that govern dog guides in Ohio. We want to be clear about employment laws, so, if we jump on the bandwagon for this bill, the legislators may feel that they have done all that they need to do. The best recommendation is for NFB not to take a stand. A recognition week is not overly valuable and could cause us to lose substance. Mike Stinziano Jr. is sponsoring the recognition bill. Remember that the White Cane law is more important.  There was a time  when it was thought that blind people should not travel independently. If they did  and an accident occurred, it was automatically the fault of the blind person. The White Cane law is already on the books, so people need to know what it is.  Much more education about the White Cane law is needed. Our affiliate does not want to be seen as opposing HB 121. The bill has good support from the committee; therefore our position should be laid back. Eric  plans to attend the hearing on Wednesday.
            B The Ohio Association of Guide Dog Users is currently  working on two initiatives to improve the lives of guide dog users in the state of Ohio. Its legislative committee is working on changing the Ohio law so that it is more in line with the ADA, increases the punishment for denial of access to a service dog team to a second-degree misdemeanor, and  adds a clause that would punish those who claim they have a disability in order to be allowed to bring their non-service dogs into  places of public accommodation. OAGDU's education committee is currently working   on a document to educate police officers on how to interact with blind people, especially those using guide dogs. They are adding many details and pictures to the document to make it a full-fledged presentation.  It should soon be ready.
                31. The spring issue of the Buckeye Bulletin is thought by many to be the best issue that has been published in quite a while. It has been widely circulated. People were urged to consider this your publication, think about what you  are able to contribute, work on this, send your contribution to Barbara, and she will assist you in making it the best possible article. The preconvention issue of the Buckeye Bulletin will be released in  late summer. A focal point to this upcoming issue will be the national convention. If you attend this historical event, please consider writing an article for your newsletter. Remember there is assistance with writing, so do not think you can not do a good enough job.
                32. Last year, 2014, Ohio received an award for being in the top states for vehicle donations. Remember this program and promote it whenever possible. Promotional materials for the vehicle donation program are available free of charge from the national center. Richard is the chair of this program in Ohio and has a committee under his leadership.
                33. Barbara has been asked to write the required letters for the national scholarship candidates from Ohio. She serves on the national scholarship committee. Candidates can request a letter from either the state that they are from or the state in which they will be attending school. Eric wrote Macy McClain’s scholarship letter. This was a personal decision based on a desire to do so for having worked with and known the family for such a long time.
                34. President Mark Riccobono sent  a letter to Leader Dogs prohibiting them from having a display table in our exhibit hall, based on their accreditation with NAC. NAC has been the single biggest fight that the NFB has had with an entity outside itself. The civil war would be the biggest fight undertaken for the organization. An explanation of the NAC protests was given. There is concern that NAC may think we have relaxed our vigilance, so this is the time for them to make a comeback. Not so! Be aware that CABVI is in the process of renewing its NAC accreditation. Clovernook and the Sight Center in Cleveland are not accredited. OSSB was but dropped their accreditation. The Vision Center, in Columbus, is no longer operating. We need to figure out what Ohio should do about this issue, so stay posted for further information.
                35. Our next board of directors meeting will be held in Columbus with the location to be announced at a later date. It will be on September 26, 2015, starting at 10:00 a.m.
                36. The student division will be holding its gift card drawing. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5. Sales of tickets will start on May 1 and run for seventy-five days. Half of the proceeds from this fundraising project will be donated to the Ohio 2016 BELL Program, and the remainder will be in the treasury of the students division. Tickets can be purchased online or from a member of the division. Kaiti Shelton will post detailed information on Ohio Talk.
                37. The meeting adjourned at 2:38 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Shelbi Hindel


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