[PACapitalChapter] Meeting notes 4-18-20 10AM

CAROLE cacruise at comcast.net
Sat Apr 18 17:09:17 UTC 2020

-Phone conference meeting attendees:
Christine Callahan, Rob Farabaugh, Mark Pickens, Carlton Walker, Nick Peters, Jerry Curelo, Matt Shore, Hillary McFadden, Jason Polansky, Lynn Heitz, Justin Salisbury, Laurie Malek, Nick Spohn, Anna Walker, Carole Cruise

-Introduction of members due to many new attendees! Whoo hoo!
-Lynn shared that any new members should contact Joe Drenth to be added to chapter email list
Carlton’s Treasurers Report as of 3-31-20 statement
$362.25 in checking
$1,221.96 in savings
-some confusion with checking account numbers on old checks so state dues currently behind but will be addressed ASAP possibly with chapter dues - Carlton will work it out with State Treasurer
-If you haven’t yet paid 2020 chapter dues contact Carlton to determine payment options (check. Venmo)

-Jason is looking into changing meeting next month to Zoom rather than conference call. He will send info when available. Lynn said Joe Drenth can set us up.
-looking into having speakers of topics of interest participate in meetings in the future

-Jason’s updates:

-Presidential release was live for the 1st time
-President Riccobono encourages everyone to look out for each other
-info about transition to online distance learning & how that impacts blind students
-National Convention in Houston cancelled due to Covid-19 National Emergency but plans are in the works for virtual convention.
-Jason still attempting to contact legislators regarding Aim High bill for accessibility to learning for blind students. He is still awaiting responses.

-Justin shared that legislators are still in their offices & should be available.
-change must be addressed at state level with many Democrats on board but still waiting for a Republican to join and draft a bill to send a message to Congress that there is a Federal Mandate for equal access to learning and we have compiled guidelines for accessibility to give blind students equal opportunity to learn with their non disabled peers.
-Carlton shared that accessibility guidelines are like a gift being sent to schools so there is no excuse to not provide necessary technology etc, to all blind students
-long discussion about Parental Rights and who actually is in charge of criteria that determines if a child should be taken from a blind parent due to some misconceived beliefs that blind parents are incapable of safely raising that child.
-discussion about inadequate OVR services and lack of caseworker response to communications. Where & how are State/federal fund’s allocated? It would be interesting to know!
-Lynn shared OVR has quarterly public meeting that would be important to attend to gain information about services.

Stay safe & healthy out there everyone! Reach out if you feel alone or need support of some sort! We are in this crazy covid-19 together!

Carole Cruise
Secretary Capital Chapter

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