Meeting Minutes: August 17, 2020

Heartland Chapter of the American Council of the Blind of Indiana

Meeting minutes recorded by Sandy Adams, Secretary

Virtual meeting via Zoom on August 17, 2020

Present: Ted Boardman (chapter president), Barbara Salisbury (president of state affiliate), Rhett Salisbury, Bill Fierman (chapter treasurer), Kathy Tappero (chapter vice president), Paul Tappero, Mary Stores (chapter affiliate), Sherry Wells, Mike Adams, Sandy Adams (chapter secretary), Marilyn Kettridge, Raymond Montgomery (guest speaker).

Ted asked if there were any corrections to the proposed minutes for the June 15, 2020 virtual meeting submitted by the secretary. Mary Stores noted that the ACB Indiana.org hyperlink was missing the hyphen after ACB. This will be corrected. A motion was made by Bill to accept the corrected minutes. Mary seconded the motion.

Barbara reported that the Indiana-Ohio state convention will not occur this year in person. A virtual convention for 1 day will be held instead. In order to stay connected to state members monthly community chats will begin in September.  The Indiana L-list at the state web site will be about monthly community  chats. One can unsubscribe if they do not want the L-list.

Hopefully next year 2021 will be a joint convention with Ohio. Community chats on a national level already exist so they can be used as a model. Mary volunteered to do a social chat/coffee each month on a Saturday. An email from the state president will provide information of what is planned each month for the chats.

Ted introduced the guest speaker, Raymond Montgomery, the outreach coordinator for Bosma Enterprises. 

Raymond began with a history of Bosma which was started 100 years ago. In 1915 it was a broom assembly plant run by the state and turned over to a nonprofit organization in 2006.

The Rehab Center serves 92 counties in Indiana. Itinerant representatives go into homes to serve the clients. They focus on senior clients 55 and older to teach them how to feel safe in their home and to get them equipment that they need while informing them what is available.

Also Senior Connections for 55-plus clients provides trivia games over the phone.

Employment Service Team helps with resumes and job placement. 

There is a Student Training Employment Program (STEP) for high school students.

Youth Employment Service for age 14 clients to help them know what is available in employment opportunities. They also learn habits that will help them be better employees such as getting up on time and being punctual for appointments.

Rehab Center technology provides education in using ZoomText, Fusion and JAWS.

Orientation and Mobility training available. Adjustment counselor available to help clients cope with new/recent vision loss.

Tech Tuesday from 1 to 3:30 pm helps clients learn how to utilize smart phones and other computer devices. 

Bosma regularly hosts a 16-week training program to prepare people with disabilities to become Salesforce administrators who can analyze complex problems, understand data, provide advice about taking action on data and formulate complex solutions for companies.

Randolph Sheppard affiliate: Small shop vending machines is a 30-week course. This is partnered with Voc Rehab. After completion of course may bid on government sites where vending machines are located.

Rehab Center teaches braille. Provides digital recorders and talking books.

New Blindness – Individuals go to Voc Rehab first, then can be referred to Bosma for this 4-5 month program.

Aira download on phone enables user to get from point A to point B.

Ted pointed out that Voc Rehab qualifications for disability are now more difficult because there have to be three disabilities present in order to qualify as disabled.

Vision Rehab 101 is for those who do not qualify for Voc Rehab and clients do not have to go through Voc Rehab to sign up for this program. Teaches major things to know. A grant provides for this training

Corporate Side – Package exam and surgical gloves for Veterans Administration.

Ability One is a not-for-profit. Largest employer of blind in Indiana at Bosma. 75% of people on the assembly line doing the work are blind.

Foundation does fundraising to help Bosma. Fundraisers are Dine in the Dark/Dance, Hasbrook Luncheon and a golf fundraiser.

Independent skills are interconnected with employment.

Discussion about state agency taking children away from blind parents.

CRM – SalesForce based in Indianapolis. Do you have to be referred by Voc Rehab to be in class?

This concluded Raymond’s presentation about Bosma. Ted has Raymond’s contact information for anyone needing it.

Barbara reported that the Indiana ACB presented a resolution to the Secretary of State to take action regarding absentee voting in an independent and private way for visually impaired individuals.

Barbara encouraged the attendees to contact the county election clerk and ask for an accessible absentee ballot. The group talked about the possibility of a PDF ballot. Mary pointed out that it takes training to take an existing PDF and make it accessible for the visually impaired. The main issue is that it needs to be accessible as the law states a voter has the right to have an independent and private vote. 

Barbara said she will send an email with miniscript on what to say to the election clerk. Many other states do not have accessible voting systems yet.

September Community Chat from the Indiana ACB will have info on the topic of accessible voting.

Ted received a box containing 7 accessible  Uno Decks (braille and large print) donated by Ellie Kolbaum. What should we do with these items? Auction them? Give a set to Jeff and Machell? Think on this.

Possible speaker for October meeting suggested by Sherry Wells is Deborah Kendrick author of Navigating Healthcare: When All They See is that You Can’t. Barbara suggested that Deborah’s presentation be a Community chat for the State hosted by the Heartland Chapter. The third Monday of October is the 19th.

As far as activities proposed last meeting, the August 22 event at Oliver Winery is on-hold because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Other possible activities include August 23, Bloomington Symphony Orchestra is presenting a concert at Switchyard Park which is free to the public, bring your own blankets, but attendance limited to 150. To get tickets need to go to Bloomington.IN.gov.

 We could go to a park for a socially distanced gathering/picnic.

It was decided to meet at Bryan Park for a socially distanced gathering.  Ted will send an email with three possible dates and times from which the group can choose to determine when the gathering will be.

State Community Chats on September 20th on Transportation. More information to be forthcoming.

It was moved by Bill that the meeting be adjourned. This was seconded by Ted.

Meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.

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