June 2015 Chronicle

June 2015 Chronicle

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

By Denny Huff

 

      I hope this edition of the Missouri Chronicle finds all of you doing well and prospering.

      I have received several requests from members to know more about what transpires in the Board meetings of MCB.  Beginning with this issue, we will be including Minutes from Board meetings that have taken place.  I understand that this has been done in the past but for some reason we have gotten away from doing that.  So, farther down in this issue you will find Minutes that have been approved for the past few Board meetings.  Since our last Board Meeting Minutes have not been approved, let me give you a synopsis of what transpired during that meeting.

On Saturday, April 18 the Missouri Council of the Blind Board met in Kansas City for their annual spring Board meeting.  The following is a synopsis of the decisions that were made during that meeting.

During our closed session the Board voted to give our Executive Director and Office Manager a raise.

      At our convention this year we will be having a Braille essay contest.  This will be in conjunction with the Braille Revival League.  Contest rules will be sent out shortly and the Board voted to award $500.00 to the winner.

      I announced during my presidents report that steps are being taken to separate the MCB thrift store from MCB.  There are many reasons for taking this course of action but mainly it is to Keep MCB from being liable for any possible lawsuits that could be filed against the thrift store.

The Board voted to work with Jo Steigerwald in a fund raising effort.  Jo would do the research for possible grants and we would actually write the grants.  The motion was to work with Jo for no more than 40 hours at the rate of $30.00 per hour.

The Board voted to make donations to the Firing Squad in the amount of $1,000.00, to the Children’s Vision Summit and the Missouri Youth Leadership conference, both in the amount of $1,500.00.

The Board also voted to donate $1,000.00 to Melvin Smith for the ACB Walk to be held on July 6 during the ACB convention in Dallas.

MCB will be donating a $100.00 item to the ACB auction that takes place during the ACB convention.

      The Board adopted a new guideline for the ACB Life Membership award.  As soon as the guidelines are edited we will be sending out a copy to the email lists and to the presidents of each affiliate.

      I want to thank the Board for their participation in this meeting.  From the discussion that took place during the meeting I could tell that there was some thought put into their decisions and they didn’t come to just fill a chair.

      Chris and I have been invited to join a committee called, the Missouri HealthNet Partnership.  This group has provided us an opportunity to share information, keep up-to-date on changes in MO HealthNet, and provide feedback on issues happening at a grassroots level.  Other organizations included on the committee are, Department of Health and Senior Services, Department of Family Services, Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration, Missouri SMP, and CLAIM.  Our first committee meeting was on May 29 in Jefferson City.  At the time of this writing we have not attended that meeting yet and I will give more information about it in the next edition of the Chronicle.

      The MCB promotional video that we contracted with Beau Barnhart to do is now finished.  I have uploaded the video to YouTube and you can view by going to https://youtube/j3Y2azoX02A.  I encourage all of you to share this link with as many people as possible.  I will be sending out a copy to all affiliate presidents and hope that they will share it with the members.  A DVD copy can be obtained by calling the office.

      Our guest speaker at the MCB convention this year will be Eric Bridges, Director of External Relations and Policy for the American Council of the Blind.  I’ll have more information about Eric in the next issue of the Chronicle.

      We are one step closer to getting the Chronicle digitized.  MCB has been working with Mind’s Eye radio, a radio reading service in the St. Louis area, to apply for a grant to cover this expense.  The grant has been applied for and we are just waiting word on their decision.  Once we have the grant then we will begin making the necessary changes to make the Chronicle available on digital cartridges and for downloading in electronic format.

That’s about it for this time.  I hope all of you enjoy your summer and maybe we’ll see you in Dallas for the ACB convention.

 

 

Positive Progress at Missouri's Family Support Division

By Christopher Gray

 

For the past three years, the Missouri Council of the Blind has been advocating strongly on behalf of blind Missourians to the Family Support Division, Department of Social Services.  We have identified issues and brought them to the attention of the Department via written correspondence, articles in this magazine, and through a series of face-to-face meetings.  All this activity took time, and during that time many blind Missouri residents have received a level of service from FSD that we wish would not have occurred.  We believe that many within FSD share our beliefs and the agency has now begun to implement some major changes that can turn this around for the blind.  Here are some of the changes that have either already been made or are being made as we go to press.

1.  Blind Pension and Supplemental Aid to the Blind Program Services to be Consolidated into a Single Office.  In the past 3-4 years, FSD has seen a massive decrease of employees and the closing of many local offices around the state.  With the discontinuation of services from local offices, it became impossible for the blind to know who to contact with FSD when a problem arose.  When a real person could be found, that person was often unable to assist because of a lack of knowledge of programs serving the blind.  Paperwork was routinely lost, eligibility determinations set aside or filed without being completed, and inappropriate rules applied to the blind causing them to lose services.  In recognition that services to the blind provided by FSD were severely broken, the agency has established a single office in Warrenton, MO that will handle all blind pension and Supplemental Aid applications and re-evaluations.  Staff are receiving intensive training on programs for the blind.  Blind recipients with issues will be able to discuss them with knowledgeable specialists on an immediate basis.

2.  Visual Changes in the Mail from FSD.  A series of color and design changes are being made to the envelopes and paperwork being sent by FSD to blind recipients.  For example, eligibility review forms will always be in yellow. Envelopes regarding programs for the blind will have a notice in red ink regarding the nature of the mailing indicating that it is time sensitive.  It is also hoped that the state seal can be affixed to the envelope to further draw attention to it though this change is still in the works.

3.  One-to-One Contact Re-established.  When a blind pension or Supplemental Aid to the Blind recipient receives a letter, a phone number is given where the recipient can call if there is a problem.  Until recently, the person at the other end of the line would do no more than relay a message to FSD.  Now, if an issue needs resolution the person answering the phone is to transfer the recipient to a knowledgeable FSD specialist in the area of concern.  Alone, this is a major change and we are already seeing positive results from it.

4.  Notices Issued Sooner.  FSD is going to start issuing notices 60 days prior to the due date for information you must submit back to FSD.  If unanswered, a second notice will be issued 30 days prior to when a response is due to FSD.

5.  Notices Will be Followed Up with a Phone Call.  After a notice has been mailed, it will be followed up by a telephone call from an FSD robo-call contractor.  In this way, it is hoped to assist blind recipients to know to look for mail from FSD to be able to respond to it.

These are the major changes on which FSD is now working.  They are quite significant and could make a real difference in the service FSD provides to the blind of Missouri.  I don't mind telling you that Denny and I often wondered if we were just wasting our time going back and forth to Jefferson City and holding meeting after meeting, making phone calls, and so on.  In this case, it turns out that in the long run, we were not.  You know the old adage:  Advocacy takes time and persistence!  Please share your feedback over the coming months as FSD rolls out this new way of doing business.  If the delivery is as good as the planning that has gone into it, we should see real improvement throughout the remainder of 2015.

AFFILIATE NEWS

St. Charles County Council

By Beverly Kaskadden

 

Spring has sprung in St. Charles!  Can you believe it!  Spring is finally here.  Even though the winter was relatively mild, I believe everyone was so done with winter this year.  I must admit, I did something I have never done before…I took an indoor plant outside prematurely, and it is still in shock!  We will see how tough it really is.      St. Charles Council is busy making plans for a Trivia night fund raiser in September.  These events not only bring in funds so we can accomplish our goals, but they are also fun when the night arrives.   

      I have been very concerned about membership.  Our numbers are down, but we acquired two new members.  Welcome to Rob Sifford and Ron Marriott.   We created a new position within SCCCB.  I have appointed Spencer Teghtmeyer as our Social Director.  Spencer has been working hard to find areas of interest for our members.  The first month was an organizational gathering to test the waters.  We wanted to find out what day and time worked best for those interested.  We met at a local library and played trivia.  The next month Spencer arranged for a tour of the First Capital in St. Charles.  The tour guides did a wonderful job describing for us.  After the tour we met for lunch at a restaurant on the river front.  Everyone had a wonderful time.  Now the next outing is drawing a bigger crowd.  We have arranged a Sunday afternoon at a winery in Augusta with live music.  What a beautiful setting in the rolling hills of Missouri.

      The annual banquet for the installation of new officers is coming up, so I will give you all the scoop in the next issue.

 

Blind of Central Missouri

By Joe Morgan, President

 

      Hello from Sedalia.  I hope everyone is well after all the winter flu we had. We held a pizza party during our March meeting and we filled out camp applications. Everyone enjoyed the pizza from Pizza Hut. We are having a picnic and a swim party on June 28th at Centennial Park in Sedalia. We are going to raffle off some money. One $100 prize and two $50 prizes will be awarded. Tickets are $1 or 6 for $5. That's all I have for this report.  Until next time keep smiling!

Delta Area News

 

      Hello to everyone from Delta Area.  We had to cancel our affiliate meeting in February because of bad weather, but had a great meeting on March 24.  Chris and Marvelena Gray were our special guests.  Chris talked about the Warren County DFS office being the designated office to handle the Blind Pension issues and he thought that was a good change.  After our meeting, we had a great lunch at Lambert’s restaurant.  We appreciate Chris and Marvelena making the trip to Southeast Missouri and invite them to come back again.

      On March 31, Jim Taul and LaWana Copeland traveled to Jefferson City, Missouri for Legislative Day.  They spoke with several Representatives and found them to be both receptive and supportive of issues concerning blind and visually impaired people in Missouri. 

      Three members of Delta Area attended the April 18 MCB Board Meeting in Kansas City, Missouri.  We had great weather to travel and even though it was a long drive, we thought the meeting was very productive. 

      We had our monthly affiliate meeting on April 28.  Several members are signed up and getting excited about going to camp Cobblestone in July. Others are thinking about the weekend in September. We are glad to see some of our new members going to camp this year.

      We would like to ask for your thoughts and prayers for two of our members. Tony Blurton and Andrew Ormsby are both recovering from surgery.  They are both doing well at this time.  From our affiliate to yours. Have a great summer!

 

 

Missouri Library Users

By Marie Thompson, President and Loretta Welch, Secretary

 

      Hello, I hope things have gone well for all of you so far.  Summer will be here soon and before we know it, it will be time for the MCB 2015 convention. I would like to inform all Missouri Library User members to be thinking about whom you would like for your new president to finish out my term of one more year, as I am resigning for personal reasons.

      We will be having a breakfast again this year.  It will begin promptly at 7:00 A.M. on Saturday, October 3 at the MCB convention.  We will then have our meeting.  The breakfast will cost $12.00 each.  The dues for Library Users is $10.00.  You must get your money to Paul Mathews before August 15 so he can give a count to the hotel.  The total amount to send to Paul for breakfast and your dues is $22.00.  Please send to Paul at the following address:  Paul Mathews, 2126 Louis Circle, Apt. C, Jefferson City, MO 65101.  Library Users welcomes anyone who would like to join.  We hope to have a lovely meeting.  This is the only meeting we have each year.   I thought you might like to know when the Missouri Library Users became a special interest affiliate.  It was October 21, 1988 at the MCB convention held in Joplin Missouri.  I hope you enjoy this report. Have a safe summer.

 

COMMITTEES REPORTING

Youth Services

By Linda Gerken

 

It! Is! BACK!  The kids Club will be making its return at this year’s convention.  There will be lots of fun, food, and care to be provided to and for the children of the Missouri Council.  Kid’s Club will be for ages 6 weeks-12 years of age.  Please have you child registered by the deadline for preregistration and even find a space on the forms to do so.  Thank you and we look forward to meeting your most prized possessions.

Bylaws/Resolutions Report

By Janelle Edwards, Bylaws/Resolutions Committee Chair

 

      ARTICLE XI COMMITTEES Section 5 of our bylaws includes the following: "Amendments to the Bylaws and Resolutions to be presented to the convention shall be sent to the Chairman with the names of two members, an MCB committee, a Regular Affiliate, or a Special Interest Affiliate supporting that amendment no later than July fifteenth."  If you have questions or submissions, my contact information is in the Chronicle insert. 

 

Education and Advocacy Committee

Chip Hailey, Chairman

 

      Hello MCB family and friends.  Hope everyone has had a wonderful spring.  It’s been a very active 2015 legislative session and we have a lot to report.  This year’s MCB Legislative Days took place on Tuesday March 31, 2015.  It was a beautiful, bright, sunshiny day in Jefferson City as we gathered at the Capitol for Disability Rights Legislative Day (DRLD).  This year’s theme was “Lives Without Limits” and MCB was pleased to be well represented, including many MCB members who were there for the very first time.

      The day began with a rally in the rotunda of the Capitol, and our very own Executive Director, Chris Gray, was one of the speakers at the rally and did an absolutely marvelous job.  He spoke on employment opportunities for the blind.  The three initiatives that we presented to our legislators this year were HB 1003, which would require a student to receive instruction in Braille reading and writing if an assessment demonstrated the need for the instruction.  At the time of this writing, the bill had passed out of the House and moved onto the Senate but had not yet been assigned to a committee.

The second initiative was HB 454, which would require election authorities to make available at least one electronic voting machine per polling location for blind or visually impaired voters at an election in order to comply with federal law.  The last status we received was this bill had been referred to the Elections Committee on February 10 but had not yet received a reading.

The third initiative was HB 469, which would require the Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to provide grants to organizations that provide services to deaf-blind persons.  The last status we received on this bill was that it had been referred to the Children and Families Committee on February 24 but had not yet received a reading.

Representatives Jim Neely of District 8 and Joshua Peters of District 76 had officially signed on to become co-sponsors of the bill.

Representative Neely is a Republican and Vice Chair of the House Committee on Children and Families (the same committee that will hear and deliberate on the bill).

      Other bills that we are tracking but did not take to our legislators were HB 1034, which specifies that no person who has trained a service dog shall be liable for the actions of the dog at such time that the dog has completed training and is no longer in possession of the trainer.  This bill received a second read on March 16 but had not received any further reading.  We have also been tracking HB 840, which specifies that any person who causes substantial physical injury or death to a service dog shall be ordered to fully compensate for the injury, loss, or replacement of the service dog.  The last status we received on this bill was that it had been referred to the Select Committee on Judiciary on April 22.  We have also been tracking managed care legislation and at this time, Missouri lawmakers are looking at expanding managed care statewide but would exclude aged, blind, and the disabled, which is good news for those in the blind community who receive home care services.

We have also been watching House Committee Substitute SB 322 Increase Asset Limits for MO HealthNet.  On April the 27, a House Committee Substitute was voted out of the House Select Committee on Social Services. The substitute bill still increases the asset limit beginning in July 2016 until it reaches $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for a couple by FY2020. Every year thereafter, the limits would increase with inflation. The new limits would be for MO HealthNet eligibility categories that are blind, aged, or permanently and totally disabled.        One last piece of legislation on the state level before I move onto the national level, HB 14, the Fy15 supplemental funding bill, was passed out of the House and Senate and had received the Governor’s approval.  This bill appropriates approximately $4 million for healthcare for the blind. This money will help to close out the remaining programs in the FY15 budget.  We want to thank all of you who worked so tirelessly on our three legislative initiatives and who made our MCB Legislative Days a great success.  We hope many more of you will be able to participate next year.

Now, on the national level, with the initiatives that were taken to our federal lawmakers.  Due to the limited space I won’t go into great detail but just give you the highlights.  Unfortunately, due to the inclement weather in Washington D.C. at the time of the ACB Legislative Seminar, I was not able to make the trip but do have a few things to report.  I had tuned in to the internet streaming of the seminar and it made me wish I could have been there, even though it sounded as though many attendees had arrived late due to the bad weather. 

First, is the Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act.  The Act is designed to improve the delivery of appropriate special education and related services to all students who are blind or visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing, or deaf-blind, including students who may have additional disabilities.  Once enacted, the legislation will ensure that properly designed and individually tailored services are in fact provided, meeting the unique learning needs of students who are blind or visually impaired, and that the educators who serve them are prepared and supported to do their jobs well, based on evidence-driven best practice.

The second imperative was the ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty.  This treaty is known as the Marrakesh Treaty, because it was adopted at a diplomatic conference held in Marrakesh, Morocco in 2013.  The Marrakesh Treaty is important to Americans who are visually impaired because it calls upon those nations who sign it to provide in their copyright law a limitation or exception that allows:

  • Reproduction of works, by an authorized entity, for the purpose of converting them into accessible format copies exclusively for the use of beneficiary persons.
  • Distribution of accessible format copies exclusively to beneficiary persons.
  • Export of accessible format copies of works, in order to make them available to a beneficiary person in another country.
  • Import of accessible format copies of works produced in another country, in order to make them available domestically.
  • In practical terms, this means that libraries and other organizations that produce accessible format copies of works for distribution to people with print-reading disabilities will be able to share those works with each other. That will ultimately free up resources that are currently used to make multiple copies of the same work, so that more publications can be put into accessible formats. The treaty contains provisions that protect both the rights of copyright holders and those who want to gain access to their copyrighted works.  It was signed by the United States on October 2, 2013.  The Last imperative was the low vision device exclusion legislation.  Here was ACB’s legislative proposal.

ACB urges the House of Representatives to promptly pass H.R. 729, the Medicare Demonstration of Coverage for Low Vision Devices Act of 2015.  This legislation would evaluate, through a five-year national demonstration project administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, the fiscal impact of a permanent change to the Social Security Act. This legislation would allow reimbursement for certain low-vision devices that are the most function-rich, most powerful, and most expensive. The devices would be considered durable medical equipment.  Individuals will be eligible to participate in the demonstration project only after completing a clinical evaluation performed by an ophthalmologist or optometrist who would then deem a low-vision device as medically necessary.

The national demonstration project is designed to provide a rich, well-structured and defined data set that can yield Medicare-program-wide evidence-based conclusions using appropriate statistical methods.  The bill has received solid support and was last reported to have eight cosponsors.  I need to express my deepest gratitude to Chris Gray, our Executive Director, for covering for me at the ACB Legislative Seminar and making all of the legislative visits.  Chris you are a true leader!  Thanks so much for your leadership.  I realize my report is quite lengthy but I wanted to give you as much information on all aspects of the legislation we have been involved in as I possibly could, and while this report may be lengthy, it is still only a condensed version.  If you have any questions regarding any of these legislative imperatives, or other pieces of legislation that I can assist you with, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

I would like to end by saying how much I appreciate all of the support the MCB leadership has given me, and the confidence the rest of the organization has expressed.  I also need to express my deepest gratitude to Virginia Drapkin and the MCB office for their invaluable assistance in assisting me with all of my legislative responsibilities on both the state and national levels.  Thanks MCB and may God continue to smile on all of our legislative efforts.

Craft Room

By Loretta Welch

 

I am going to be the Chairman in the Craft Room again this year at the MCB Convention so I needed to put a piece in about this room.  We want to have a very good Craft Room, so please get in touch with me if you need a table.  Homemade crafts are the only products to be sold in the Craft Room. 

      Craft Room hours are Thursday from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  You will need to call me at 660-679-5429 and I will put you down for a table.  If you want to write me, send mail to Loretta Welch, 7251 N.W. County Rd. 3001, Butler, MO 64730.  I’m home most of the time, if not, leave a message.  We are hoping to have several calls or write-ins.  Thanks to everyone for your co-operation.

 

Member of the Month Committee

 

      Congratulations to Donna Giger, November 2014 Member of the Month, nominated by Loretta Welch. Everyone knows Donna. I am sure she has spoken to or has helped just about every person in the organization. MCB is grateful to her for the time and effort she expends volunteering and sincerely thank her for the contributions she has made. Donna has a reputation for being everywhere offering her services whenever or whereever there is a need. For some reason, when you mention the name Donna, she appears.  Donna, a long-time member of the Springfield Service Club is currently serving as its Treasurer.  She coordinates the White Cane Walk in Springfield, assists members during Legislation Days and helps at camp with meals and games. Donna is Chair of the MCB Credentials Committee organizing volunteers, keeping track of registration, and supervising the voting. She has assisted on tours for the ACB conventions. MCB thanks Donna for her dedication to the organization.

      Many recognize the voice of December’s Member of the Month, Alan Newsham nominated by Jesuita Tabor. After retirement, Alan became a volunteer reader for Mind’s Eye Radio Station recording the St. Charles County News and the Rolling Stones Magazine. When asked why he chose to provide this service, he said it was to honor the memory of his Uncle Frank who was blind. Alan said his uncle had a very positive influence on him when he was growing up. “He was more like a grandfather to me,” Alan said, “He taught me music and always had a song in his heart. He taught me to be observant and instilled in me the importance of the little things in life that build character. I still miss him every day.”  Alan is a member of the St. Charles County Council. Alan serves on the MCB Credentials Committee. He provides transportation and is quick to offer his services at any time. Alan is a retired psychiatric nurse and serves as an election judge. Thanks to Alan for his services to the blind community.

      Wanda Matlock is January 2015 Member of the Month. Marie Thompson nominated her. Wanda’s activities lead her in many directions. A busy individual, she has volunteered for numerous committees, served on the MCB Board of Directors and other Boards in her community. Wanda is President of the Delta Area, represented her affiliate for Legislative Days and attended Power-Up. Wanda has recruited new members and is diligently seeking to add more. She and her affiliate are active in fundraising projects and promoting the MCB distributing information on other programs offered by the Council.  Wanda serves as President and is a member of the Board for the Independent Living Center in Kennett, Missouri. She has worked for the Delta Area Economic Opportunity Corporation helping those in need.

      We were able to surprise February’s winner, Member of the Month Committee member, Barbara Dewberry. Thanks to Jesuita Tabor for recognizing her. Barbara was a charter member of the Progressive Council and was instrumental in keeping the affiliate active through its struggles before it dissolved. She now serves Allied Workers in many capacities. Barbara is tireless when it comes to fundraising projects. Everyone knows of  her candy and nut selling abilities. A quiet individual, Barbara loves and cares about people and is always doing for others. Somehow, she is drawn to those in need of help or guidance and directs them to appropriate resources. For down-time, she does research for many who do not have access to the Internet.  Barbara served on the Missouri Statewide Independent Centers (SILK) many years and was chair of transportation. She has attended numerous city transportation meetings sharing ideas and helping set up paratransit, Oats and other modes of travel. Barbara worked for the Ticket to Work Program through the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The Ticket to Work Health Assurance Program allowed Missourians with disabilities to work without losing their Medicare Mo Health Net coverage.  She is a regular attending ACB Conventions taking part in the business sessions and numerous meetings of interest. Always thinking of others, Barbara returns with brochures, catalogs, and other handouts for those unable to attend. Barbara is an example of what it means to be MCB.

      One of the best rewards for this committee is learning about individuals through the Member of the Month program. Let members know they are appreciated. Choose someone who deserves to be recognized for this award.  The guidelines are: An MCB member must nominate an MCB member who may be sighted or visually impaired. If visually impaired, they may be selected for their service, not only to the blind, but also for their service to their community even if it does not directly affect the blind. If sighted, they would be recognized for their service to the blind and visually impaired. The recipient of the award receives a gift card.  The Member of the Month Committee, Barbara Dewberry, Nancy Hodson, Susan Sanderson.  Please send nominations to Yvonne Schnitzler, Chair at meshowjys@charter.net

 

Adaptive Technology News Spring 2015

By Darrel Vickers

 

Hi everyone, so glad winter is over. It seemed like a long one to me.  Adaptive Technology (ATI) is making some progress. Our 501(c) 3 has been submitted and we are just waiting for our confirmation letter. Hopefully by the summer newsletter we will be in good legal standing.  The ATI website has been tested and we are up and running. I would like to take a moment to explain why I feel our own website is important.

1. I believe our first mission is to share information to help members get the most out of the technology most of us are already using.  To accomplish this, the site has a very easy to use article publishing component. This allows articles and other content to be added without the need for anyone to know html, the language of the web. An article can be simply written with the word processor of their choice. When the article is finished, one only needs to login to the article manager and click add new article.  Then just fill in the title, copy the text of the article from the word processor and paste it into the body section, choose a category from the ones listed and click publish.  At this point it is now on the web for all to see.  For example, this article was posted on our website long before it appeared in this Chronicle issue. Also meeting minutes and other organization information can be found there.  Currently a member must request to be a content editor to do this. Eventually just being a member will allow anyone to add content but it will not be published until a Content Editor has checked it.  If interested just contact me for more information.

      2. It has a member management side. (A) This allows a new member to join and submit their dues via PayPal or print the signup form and mail it with a check.  (B) Current members may pay dues via PayPal. (C) Officers can manage members, i.e. add a new member, enter dues paid manually, send out reminders and print a member list for MCB.  Some more features may be added later.

In summary, this should allow any new officers to keep track of members and manage content without knowing anything about web programming.  One more note:  If you are a current member, you are in the system. I need each member to go in and set a new password. Send me an email and I will give you your temporary password so you can login and pick a new password of your choice.

Call to Action:  I know from talking to members that in the past ATI has either been very active, or left to flounder. My number one goal going forward is to make ATI relevant, updated and get in the position to make a difference in all of our lives.  To this end, the organization needs more leadership and technology expertise.  So I would like to ask anyone who is a member who really cares about our blind community to get involved. If you are not a member but feel the same, please consider becoming a member.

Conference calls:  Since I have become president I have made it a point to hold a conference call meeting once a month. The date and times have been kind of hit and miss. So I have decided to hold the call the second week of the month on Wednesday night at 7:30 PM. All officers should make a point to be on these calls.

Bylaw changes:  I am currently working on a few proposed amendments to our bylaws. Most of my proposals will be in the area of redefining or clarifying roles, the convention meeting and broadening our mission.  I will send these proposed changes in July and the meeting in August will be for discussing and or refining them. 

Final Thoughts:  The first few months have been a real learning experience for me. Though I have managed and owned businesses, I am finding out being the head of this kind of organization is very different. So I would like to thank everyone for their patience and support. I am committed to continuing the learning process and all ideas and suggestions are always welcome.

 

Dual Vision and Hearing Loss Committee

By Mary Hale, Chair

 

Sharing with RSB:  Recently I had the wonderful opportunity to go to Jefferson City and speak at a Rehabilitation Services for the Blind (RSB) meeting.  This was a gathering of statewide RSB teachers, and other personnel.  While they may be familiar with blindness issues, when it comes to those who also have a hearing loss, it seems that there was a lack of knowledge. 

      With the addition of hearing loss to many with blindness on the rise, this is an extremely important issue.  We all know that with blindness there is more reliance on your hearing. My Support Service Provider (SSP) and I were able to share tips on how they could REALLY help those with this dual sensory loss.  Many are just simple things that many people just do not think about, such as getting their attention first BEFORE starting to speak. Face them so that your voice will go towards them, do not look down at your paper work while talking.  Being aware of all the “other” noises and activities in the area such as TV, radio, people talking or walking around, office machines, etc. as all of these things can be very distracting.  It is very important that only one person speaks at a time in meetings or groups. Hearing aids are great but they increase the volume of everything in the room, not just the person speaking.  It takes a lot of concentration to focus just on the voice of someone speaking to you. FM systems are great but they do not solve all the problems as they are just short term temporary solutions.  Many people assume that if you just turn the volume up that will work.  It “may” help but more important it is the clarity of the voice that is more important. Speaking just a little bit slower can be helpful and the willingness to repeat some words. Hearing aids never will give a person 100% hearing.  Even with hearing aids some may only be able to understand 7 or 8 words out of a 10 word sentence. Thus leaving the person to figure out what all was said.  For this reason, many people with hearing loss are thought to be dumb or have lack of intelligence.  Keep in mind a lot of sounds are heard, but it is the understanding of the spoken words that is most important.  The feedback that was received after this presentation was wonderful. Many expressed a sincere appreciation of just being made more aware.  Hopefully this will lead to better communication between the RSB clients and the RSB staff in the future.  Remember it is always better to speak up and let others know when they can be of better help to you.  ADVOCATE.

 

Summer Camp Committee

By Beverly Kaskadden

 

I hope everyone is ready for the “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer” at Cobblestone.  We have the cabins and tables assigned, and bingo cards ready to go.  It is so heartwarming to hear the laughter and joy that goes with connections at Cobblestone.  How can you not have fun at Cobblestone?  There is still time to consider putting in an application for the; extended weekend in September.  The deadline for that session is August 1.  I am ready to float down the lazy river at Cobblestone.  Hope to see you on the front porch.

 

Wolfner News Spring 2015

By Darrel Vickers, Wolfner Advisory Board Chairman

 

Wolfner Library contact numbers are 573-751-8720 or toll free at 1-800-392-2614.  Your reading advisors are

Paul Mathews, Reader Advisor A-Co paul.mathews@sos.mo.gov

Brandon Kempf, Reader Advisor Cp-G and Wi-Z brandon.kempf@sos.mo.gov

Ginny Ryan, Reader Advisor H-L ginny.ryan@sos.mo.gov

Diann Stark, Reader Advisor M-R diann.stark@sos.mo.gov

Carol Mathews, Reader Advisor S-Wh carol.mathews@sos.mo.gov

 

March Wolfner Meeting Notes:

      In March we had our first meeting of the year. Wolfner has a new Executive Director and the Board has many new members.  Our new Director is Dr. Donna L. Riegel and brings to the position a lot of knowledge and organizational skills. I feel confident Wolfner will be well positioned for future growth. Also, as with Dr. Smith, she has a great staff to work with.  The new Board members are Peter Altschual from Columbia, Bob Jaco from St. Louis, Darla J. Rogers from Gladstone and Carolyn Sue Tussey from Jefferson City.

 

Extra! Extra! Read All About It:

      NFB-NEWSLINE® Offers Breaking News at Your Fingertips.  Stay on top of the day’s news with NFB-Newsline, a free service for Wolfner Library patrons offered through the National Federation of the Blind.  Newsline provides access to newspapers, magazines, and TV listings 24/7 using a touch-tone phone, on the Web, or by download to a digital talking-book cartridge or MP3 player.  Newsline allows individuals to participate in their communities by keeping up with the latest local news.

Students can research school assignments and do homework independently. Professionals can readily access information critical to their careers.  Over 300 newspapers and magazines are available, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Kansas City Star, and St. Louis Post Dispatch. Users can read the current day, previous day and most recent Sunday edition of any newspaper in the service. News from Missouri state agencies and organizations, election information, job listings and grocery ads are available as well. Users may also choose to have newspapers sent to their personal email address.

Navigation to specific sections and articles is easy. The audio menu allows the user to change the speed and voice settings, spell out words, or search for a particular word or subject. Users can personalize their reading choices by selecting up to six newspapers to be stored as “favorites.”  The NFB website (www. nfbnewslineonline.org) offers detailed instructions and how-to guides for accessing publication content in a variety of formats.  Patrons of Wolfner Library are already qualified and need only contact their Reader Advisor to sign up for the service.

 

Another piece of exciting news:

      NLS Bard has accepted the books Wolfner has recorded over the past ten years and are beginning to show up on BARD. These books are currently on Shelf, (a not so friendly way to download them), and all books should be on Bard by the end of July and shelf will go away.

 

Some Reading Suggestions:

Stage and Screen, Music Appreciation and History

Cher DB25216, Taraborrelli, J. Randy. Reading time: 10 hours, 15 minutes. Read by Ann Hodapp.  Relates the life of the singer, comic, and actress, dwelling on her much-publicized escapades and her image as a flamboyant personality. The author describes her years with Sonny Bono and his influence on her career, which Cher refers to as a form of slavery. Taraborrelli speculates upon her emergence as a serious actress. Strong language.

 

Suspense Fiction, Psychological Fiction

The missing DB69749, Gautreaux, Tim. Reading time: 12 hours, 35 minutes. Read by Jack Fox.  New Orleans, 1921. War veteran Sam Simoneaux works as a floorwalker until three-year-old Lily is kidnapped on his watch. Lily's parents and Sam take jobs on a riverboat with hopes of finding the girl, but they discover violence, ignorance, and family secrets among the backwoodsmen. Violence and strong language. 2009.

 

Romantic Suspense Fiction, Bestsellers

Black Hills DB69690 Roberts, Nora. Reading time: 16 hours, 33 minutes. Read by Madelyn Buzzard.  Childhood friends and briefly young lovers, former New York cop Cooper and cougar expert Lil are uneasily reunited years later when Coop returns to South Dakota to help his injured grandfather. Now they must work together to outsmart a killer. Violence, strong language, and explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 2009.

 

Disability

Now I See You: A Memoir DB80131 Kear, Nicole C. Reading time: 8 hours, 17 minutes. Read by Celeste Lawson.  Kear, diagnosed at age nineteen with Retinitis Pigmentosa, shares her struggles with acceptance of the condition and the risks and adventures she engaged in during her twenties. Describes falling in love and having children, and how she focused on them before admitting to having RP. Strong language. 2014.

 

Classics, Travel

American Notes DB76066 Dickens, Charles; Ingham, Patricia. Reading time: 15 hours, 18 minutes. Read by Bill Wallace. Acclaimed British novelist chronicles his 1842 trip to the United States and offers observations about North American society. Includes Dickens's celebrated visit with Laura Bridgman at the Perkins Institution and Massachusetts Asylum for the Blind. Introduction and notes by Patricia Ingham. 2004.

 

Suspense Fiction

The Lost Key DB79859 Coulter, Catherine; Ellison, J. T. Reading time: 13 hours, 6 minutes. Read by Don Feldheim. Former Scotland Yard inspector, now a newly trained FBI agent, Nicholas Drummond is called to investigate a stabbing on Wall Street. It quickly becomes clear that the victim, John Pearce, was more than the naval historian and antiquities dealer he appeared to be--and Pearce's adult children have disappeared. Strong language and some violence. 2014.

 

Suspense Fiction, Psychological Fiction

The Girl on the Train: A Novel DB80635 Hawkins, Paula; Fisher, India. Reading time: 11 hours, 1 minute. Read by Louise Brealey; Clare Corbett. Rachel's train commute to London passes her former house--now inhabited by her ex-husband and his new family. She also observes a happy young neighboring couple--but then the wife goes missing. Rachel believes she witnessed a critical clue, but her alcoholic blackouts make her an unreliable witness. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2015.  Enjoy everyone, see you in the summer.

 

MCB History Book

By Yvonne Schnitzler

 

If anyone has an article or information for the History Book, you need to send it to Yvonne Schnitzler or the office as soon as possible. If necessary, let me know you are working on something and will need a little more time. Thank you to those who have shared articles. I am still looking for write-ups of members.  If you have a story or information on a member, please let me know. We want to keep a record of those earlier members who did so much for the organization throughout the years. Sad to say, we have already lost way too much of the MCB’s history and its dedicated members. If you have anything of interest about the MCB, please share it with us.  See insert for contact information.

 

Alma Murphy Braille Essay Contest

 

      In order to promote the use of Braille, the Missouri Council of the Blind is sponsoring an essay contest in conjunction with the Braille Revival League of Missouri, a special interest affiliate of the Missouri Council of the Blind.  The essay topic will be How Braille has Affected the Writer’s Life.

      The essay shall be a minimum of 400 words to a maximum of 500 words.  The essay will be judged on 1) content, 2) originality, 3) formatting, and 4) grammar and punctuation.

      The essay may be written in contracted or uncontracted Braille and shall be written with either a slate and stylus or a Perkins Brailler.

      The essay shall in some way contain a reference to the Missouri Council of the Blind.

Missouri Council of the Blind will award $500 to the winner of the essay contest.  The winner will also be invited to attend the MCB convention to read their winning essay in October with all expenses paid.  Any blind or visually impaired student, who is a resident of Missouri, enrolled in a Missouri school and who is in grades 7-12 is eligible to enter.  Entries shall be postmarked no later than July 31, 2015 and should be mailed to the MCB office as follows:  Alma Murphy Braille Essay, Missouri Council of the Blind, 5453 Chippewa, St. Louis, MO  63109

      The 2015 MCB convention will be held in Kansas City at the Country Club Plaza Holiday Inn.  For more information call the MCB office at 314-832-7172 or email Chris@MoBlind.Org.

      The Alma Murphy essay contest is sponsored by The Braille Revival League of Missouri, MCB Special Interest Affiliate

 

MCB BOARD MEETING MINUTES

October 2, 2014

Location Doubletree Springfield, Missouri

 

The meeting was called to order at 2:00 PM by President Patti Schonlau.

 

Chip Hailey led us in prayer.  Wanda Matlock led us in the pledge of allegiance.  Recording Secretary Joe Morgan called the roll.  26 Board members and 26 guests answered the roll.  Patti welcomed Executive Director, Chris Gray.  The meeting was not streamed.

 

The Board meeting agenda was approved.

 

Auditor Eric Stopp was unable to attend so William Hawkins gave the 2012-2013 MCB audit report.  The audit covers transactions from September 1, 2012 through August 31, 2013.  We did receive a qualified audit for the fiscal year.  We were in the middle” not to bad, but not great.  The things we needed fixing are fixable.  Income was up $273,000.  The Thrift Store was also included in the audit data for the year.  Overall it was not a bad audit.  William answered questions from the Board.

 

A motion was made and seconded to continue using the Eric Stopp auditing firm for 2014-2015.  The motion was adopted.

Blind Pension lawsuit update

MCB attorney, Deborah Greider, gave an update on the Blind Pension lawsuit.  She has been dealing with health issues but she is doing much better now.  When the case went back to Judge Joyce from the Court of Appeals, she asked Judge Joyce to develop a claims process, of course she did not.  Debbie developed one and sent it to the other side.  They made their comments and it went back and forth.  She thinks we are close to being at the end of the claims process, then we can present this process to Judge Joyce and ask her to adopt.  If she adopts it, the Court of Appeals will hear the question to determine if the damages are approximately $180,000 or $18,000,000 as MCB has contended.  Members currently receiving a claim will not have to firmly file a claim.  The notice will be published in at least three newspapers with general circulation.  Some organizations, including MCB, have this information on their websites.  If you disagree with any particular part of the claim, or what the state might tell you is your claim, you will have due process with the court.  If the case goes to the Supreme Court we will have at least one advocate.  Debbie took questions from Board members and stayed in the hall for anyone with private questions.

 

President's Report

 

Patti has been writing in the Chronicle what has been going on in her world as President.  She hopes that everyone has read the chronicle.  She has done her best and deeply appreciates having the opportunity to be our president for two years.  This is her last Board meeting conducting the Board and she thanked everyone for their support during the past two years.

Executive Director's Report

 

Chris Gray has spent a huge amount of time supporting blind people in Missouri as they have issues with the Family Support Division and Blind Pension.  It is to the point where some MCB affiliates are getting involved at the Affiliate Board Director’s Level by writing and calling.  A group from Springfield got together and helped to resolve some cases that Chris had been working on for quite a while.  He is seeing a little bit of a decrease in issues. We are getting close to the point where there will be one office that handles Blind Pension matters.  We have the attention of FSD and Denny, Chris, and Patti had some meetings with them.  The meetings are a little frustrating but a little positive.  We keep making little steps of progress and FSD is saying that they think the majority of these Blind Pension issues will be rectified and not occur again by March.  We are moving forward with the program to put Blind Pension/SSDI recipients into Medicare Part D which is very important and will safeguard the ability of Missouri Health Net to continue paying other benefits for all blind Missouri Health Net recipients as the year progresses.  The exact amount of the reduction in Blind Pension for this year has still not been announced.  Also, the month the reduction will occur has not been announced but he has good reason to believe for planning purposes about a $20 a month decrease which is not bad considering that if FSD had waited until the middle or later in the year the amount would be much more.  He is already gearing up for the next session of the Missouri legislature.  He attended a meeting with the Appropriations Committee. Family Services Division had quite a grilling at that meeting and he used that as an opportunity to write a letter to every member of the two committees and personalized letters to those people who go out of their way to indicate that they are unhappy with FSD consolidating their offices and so forth explaining what that meant to the blind community.  He and Denny have a couple of things in the works for bills next year but nothing formal enough to report. 

The office is going well.  We are starting to gear up and do some preliminary work on the next audit.  He thanked the Budget and Finance Committee; they have been very helpful.  while we did do an update last year of the MCB internal controls document and submitted it, Chris indicated that when you read that document, you realize it needs more than a simple update.  They will have that done before the beginning of the next audit which will be in mid-November around the 18th or 19th.  He will give a more detailed report to the membership about the whole year.

 

The Minutes for August 11, 2014 were approved.

 

Policy Committee Report

Michael Keller talked about the affiliate grant program and a policy necessary for program administration which was read to the Board by William Hawkins.  Denny Huff moved that the Board postpone the approval of the grant policy until the November Board meeting.  The motion was adopted.

Treasurer's Report

 

William Hawkins reported another really good year for MCB.  He thanked the Board for allowing him to work with Nichols, Stopp and Van Hoy.  The engagement letter from Eric Stopp will be forwarded to the appropriate individuals.  The plan is to get the 2013-2014 audit done within the next 45 days. 

 

Investments for the year

 

At the close of business yesterday, MCB has at Wells Fargo $2,364,894.  The U.S. bank balance is $1,431,101.  The MCB checking account balance is $64,249.17.  The portfolio and total assets are performing at an average of 9.5 percent so that has gone quite well for the past year.  The Budget and Finance Committee, along with Chris Gray, met twice this year with Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank so they have kept very close contact with them and have received very good advice from them.  They were able to get Rickhoff involved with Right network.  Wanda Matlock has joined the Budget and Finance Committee and she has been quite helpful over the past two months.  William said he won't be in trouble with the Summer Camp Committee anymore; they got right on top of this and resolved it quite quickly.  MCB received $25,000 from the Lighthouse for summer camp.  MCB owns 5 percent of the Baldwin Family Trust.  MCB is insured to have money from that which is anywhere from $65,000 to $70,000 a year.  The Thrift Store this past year was able to give $25,000, which was budgeted by the Budget and Finance Committee last year and approved by the MCB Board.  It was paid on November 18, 2013.  They are planning to raise that to $75,000 this year. 

 

At this time the president requested that we go into Executive Session.  A motion was made and seconded that we go into Executive Session.  The motion was adopted. 

 

The Board of Directors left Executive Session at approximately 5:02 P.M.  No motions were reported out of the Executive Session.

Respectfully submitted, Joe Morgan, Recording Secretary.

November 24, 2014

 

The meeting was called to order at 7:03 PM by President Denny Huff.

 

Linda Gerken led us in Prayer.

 

Denny welcomed Executive Director Chris Gray and online listeners.

 

Recording Secretary Joe Morgan called the roll.  Members in attendance are at the end of this report.

 

The agenda was approved.

 

President's Report

Denny Huff mentioned two items he wanted Board reps to take to their affiliates. 

 

Strategic Plan

 

The process will start sometime in January and he would like a representative from each affiliate on that committee.

 

A five-year plan was prepared in 2009. We did not obtain most of the goals in that plan but goals do change and he is a firm believer in having a vision for this organization.  When you have vision you must have goals to reach which is the purpose of a strategic plan. He would like to have input from the affiliates as to where they want MCB to be in three years.

 

He has been working with Chip, Mike, and Chris on Rehab Services for the Blind (RSB) matters. Missouri is ranked 50th in paying their staff the lowest in the nation.  RSB falls under the Department of Social Services (DSS) and they are struggling to keep good employees because they cannot pay them enough.  Since they are under the umbrella of DSS, they have to follow RSB standards so they want to break out on their own. They will be working on aspects of this during this year. They will not bring it to the legislature this year but they will be gathering facts, information, and research on how they can present this to the legislators to bring RSB out from under DSS.  We will hear more about this during the year.  Denny has visited Southeast Missouri United Blind Club, Allied Workers for the Blind and his affiliate, St. Charles County Council of the Blind.

 

Executive Director's Report

The MCB building now has a new front door. The door is much more attractive than the old one. He thanked Charles Johnson, and Jesuita Tabor and the building committee for all their help.

 

Work in the office with the Blind Pension is busier than usual.  Many are frightened and upset because they do not understand certain issues regarding the reduction in the Blind Pension.  It is being reduced by $33 a month but many think that the reduction is incremental and not just one reduction.  Many are calling about this matter.  Every time we have change of any kind, it creates a lot of upheaval. It will be recalculated in the spring and we will see where it goes then.

 

People are doing very well in working their way through the Medicare part D transition. Well over half of the blind people affected who need to make the transition have done so. Chris is busy gathering things together and submitting letters to banks and the insurance companies concerning the audit. It's still a work in progress but going very well.

 

There has also been work done at the Thrift Store and the office part of the audit will be done by mid-December. The office is starting to get a few donations that we always do throughout the Christmas season. We have had one donation two checks from one person which was $5000. He said he would let us know more about it in an email to the Board. An event is being planned with the help of the Building Committee.  A Christmas event at the MCB office and a welcoming of Denny as our president.  The underlying theme is to reach out to independent living centers to make sure that they know about us and let them know that we are thinking about them.  They are also reaching out to lawyers who work in the area of legal probate which is the disposition of property and funding of money after people pass away, of the administration of wills, and the administration of funds for people who did not make their own will as well as reaching out to elder attorneys to make sure they know about us.

 

Self-Assessment

Denny talked about a long range plan in his report. Chris said we are certainly due for one. A corollary to that is an organizational self-assessment. We are supposed to do according to our own policies but also as requested by the Better Business Bureau and the agencies who rank non-profits like MCB a self-assessment every two years. It is a self-assessment of our plans, our long range plan of our goals, of our purposes as an organization. It will be done this year he is inclined to see it as a part of the long range planning process. It would be good if it were done before or as we begin the long range planning process but the basic idea is to look at our previous long range plan to look at our purposes, of MCB and our bylaws and any other areas that are obvious things we work on and have a committee get together and make an assessment of how well we have done in those areas. It’s primarily an internal document. There can be two pieces, of a self-assessment, a public one and a secondary segment which can be private whit in the organization similar to the way you have two 990's put together. You don't have to make the whole 990 public but we might choose to do that for the self-assessment. It can help an organization be more honest with itself knowing that the honesty necessarily all be up for public scrutiny. He is looking forward to getting involved in that and he knows that Denny is committed to do it and he hopes the Board is too.

 

The office event will be on December 11th Denny would like Board members to attend from 1 to 4 pm. Chris took questions from Board members.

 

The pre-convention Board meeting minutes for October 2, 2014 were approved.

Treasurer's Report

William Hawkins reported that the transition to Rickhoff accounting has been completed. The reports sent out last week could not be read with screen readers but this will be corrected. The next set of reports will come out in Excel format. The auditor visited the Thrift Store on October 14, and 15 and the auditor was really pleased with the growth of the Thrift Store and where they are and he will let the auditor give us the good news. William will be in St. Louis on December 15.  He, Chris and Virginia will be working on getting the office audit complete. The goal is to get back on schedule with our audits. We will receive the 2013-2014 audit by the spring Board meeting and the 2014-2015 audit at the convention.  Thereafter audit reports will be given at the convention. A lot of money was spent last month. At the close of business today and with everything that is out the MCB checking account had a balance of $18,393.22. The Thrift Store account with all bills paid for the month of November had a balance of $7,818.22.

 

Thrift store plans for the next quarter include supervisor training for the supervisors which will take place in the store on the 4th and 5th of December. They will be trained in conflict resolution, coaching for success and coaching to change. The training will be done by a Paychex representative. A forecasting piece model has also been added.

 

Payroll has been reduced since June from $22,088.00 every two weeks down to payroll last Friday of $16,942.00; tax liability and administrative fees brought it up to $18,197.00. This has led the Store to very productive and profitable months.

 

Investment reports were not given since it was the middle of the month. William said that he could email anyone a copy of the report in December. The Wells Fargo and US Bank balances will be in a new set of reports. William took questions from the Board members.

 

Policy Committee Report

Michael Keller presented 5 proposed policy changes.

 

1. Bids for contracts. DeAnna Noriega moved to increase the amount that could be spent without Board approval be raised from $2000 to $2500. The motion was adopted.

 

2. Transferring of funds from any accounts by MCB or the Thrift Store would have to have approval by the President in writing before they could be executed. Chris Gray spoke on this matter. A motion was made and seconded to delete this section. The motion was adopted.

 

3. Advance Payments Travel Passed without objections.

 

4. Hotel and other Travel expenses. The mileage paid for travel was discussed. Jesuita Tabor moved to change from the state's rate to 0.50 a mile. The motion was adopted. Michael Keller moved to accept the finance policy with the changes that were made. The Motion was adopted.

 

Scholarship Guidelines

Wanda Matlock moved that the amounts be written in to the scholarship guidelines. Beverly Kaskadden moved to put in the phrase “Not to exceed $2000or $1000” in the guidelines. The amendment was adopted.  The Guidelines with the phrase "Not to exceed $2000 or $1000” was adopted.

 

Donation Request for Power up

Last year MCB gave $2000 for Power Up. Chip Hailey moved that MCB give $2000 to Missouri Assistive Technology for Power Up 2015. The Motion was adopted.

 

ACB Holiday Auction

Jesuita Tabor moved that we give a $100 item to the ACB holiday Auction. The motion was adopted.  Chris Gray will get the item to ACB.

Mind’s Eye Donation

Tony Pickrell moved that MCB make the same donation to Mind’s Eye as last year, which was $1,000. The Motion was adopted.

 

Changing the Chronicle from Cassette to Digital

DeAnna Noriega moved that the MCB Chronicle be changed from cassette format to digital. The motion was adopted.

Approval of Committee Chairs

Michael Keller moved that the new committee chairs be approved. The motion was adopted.

 

Low Vision Committee Budget

Newly elected Low Vision Committee Chairman Jeff La Montia recommended a $1000 line item be put in to the budget. Linda Gerken moved that $1000 be added to the budget line for the Low Vision Committee. The motion was adopted.

 

Executive Session

Beverly Kaskadden moved that we go in to executive session.  The motion was adopted.  Personnel matter discussed; no action taken.  A motion was made to adjourn. The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted, Joe Morgan Recording Secretary

December 11, 2014

 

The meeting was called to order by President Denny Huff at 7:03 PM.  Chip Hailey led us in Prayer.  Recording Secretary Joe Morgan called the roll.  Members in attendance are at the end of this report.  The agenda was approved.

 

Beverly Kaskadden made a motion to donate $1000 to the Mary Culver Home. The motion was adopted.  The Board approved Michael Keller to be chairman of the Thrift Store Committee.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 PM.

Respectfully Submitted, Joe Morgan Recording Secretary

 

February 9, 2015

 

The meeting was called to order by President Denny Huff at 7:00 PM.

Linda Gerken led us in prayer.

 

Denny welcomed Executive Director Chris Gray.

Recording Secretary Joe Morgan called the roll. Members in attendance are at the end of this report.  The agenda was approved.

 

Jim Pohlman, our MCB Broker, talked about why he was changing companies from Wells Fargo to Raymond James.  He felt that he would have more flexibility and control with Raymond James and he would be able to make more of the decisions that Wells Fargo was not allowing him to make.  This change will not cost MCB since Raymond James will pay the account termination fees charged by Wells Fargo.  He also took other questions from the Board. Jim moved to Raymond James on January 16, 2015. The Budget and Finance Committee recommended that MCB stay with Jim Pohlman and switch our investments from Wells Fargo to Raymond James. This was considered a motion and the motion was adopted.

 

MCB Affiliate Grants:  The MCB Affiliate Grant Guidelines were discussed.  Regular affiliates can apply for a $500 grant and special interest affiliates can apply for a $250 grant.  The deadline will be extended this year until April 1, 2015.  The policy committee recommended that the affiliate grant guidelines be approved.  This was considered a motion and the motion was adopted.

 

A motion was made to adjourn.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted, Joe Morgan, Recording Secretary

 

 

CHOICE MAGAZINE

 

      Choice Magazine Listening (CML) is a free audio magazine for adults with impaired vision or other disability. Four times a year, listeners receive 12 hours of great writing, chosen from over 100 of the finest magazines by CML’s team of editors. These quarterly issues feature stories, poems and articles from publications such as National Geographic, The New Yorker, Time, Vanity Fair, Harper’s, Smithsonian, Sports Illustrated, Southern Living, Oxford American, and Texas Monthly. All CML’s selections are wonderfully read by some of America’s top audiobook narrators.

For more than half a century, CML has been proud to serve adults with conditions that make it difficult to read standard print or to hold a magazine. Listeners love the mix of interesting, entertaining and amusing pieces they receive as a download or on a digital cartridge (easily returnable in the postage-free mailer it arrived in). This quarterly service is completely free of charge due to the support of a charitable foundation established to ensure that all Americans could enjoy the best writing from leading magazines. CML’s tens of thousands of subscribers include those with conditions such as low vision, macular degeneration, blindness, MS, diabetes, cerebral palsy, ALS, dyslexia, and Parkinson’s.

If someone you know would enjoy this free service, please call 1-888-724-6423 to find out more. Call between 9 and 4 Eastern Time and your call will be answered by a friendly person happy to help – not a machine. Further information is available on CML's website, too.  Please visit www.choicemagazinelistening.org.