National Federation of the Blind of Utah
National Federation of the blind of Utah
801 Dash 631 Dash 8108
“You can live the life you want; blindness does not hold you back!”
February 2, 2022
7:30 to 8:57 PM.
2 motions were passed.
Motion 1. We will add the NFB of Utah to the mail in ballot petition.
Motion 2. We will give $400 to each member who shows that they are attending the New Orleans National Convention in person. The specific details are still being worked out.
NFB of Utah Board of Directors:
president – Everette Bacon: present
1st Vice President – Cheralyn Johnson: Not Present
2nd Vice President – Karl Smith: Excused
Treasurer – Mark Turley: Present
Secretary – Barbie Elliott: Present
Hellen Eckman: Present
Willie Black: Present
Laura Vincent: Present
Ken Duke: Present
Ned Lindholm: Present
The general public was invited. There were over 25 participants in attendance.
1. Welcome and Introductions, see above.
2. National News:
a. The Presidential release was last night and should be available at www.nfb.org by Friday.
b. Covid Testing accessibility for home tests. www.covidtests.gov the site is accessible to order the tests, but access to these tests to take and get results is not accessible. Aira is available to help with this, and the national office is working to try to come up with better solutions.
3. Local News:
a. Update on accessible electronic ballot resolution. There are processes to make accessible voting happen in Utah, it is moving forward in the Lieutenant governor’s office. We will not be pressing this bill because we are already getting movement in Utah. There is a petition for mail balloting we are not against mail in ballots, we just want them accessible. The board made a motion to support mail in ballots and work to make them accessible Hellen made the motion, Barbie seconded it. The motion passed; Mark Turley opposed it because he wants more information about it before he supports the mail in ballot petition. As it stands, he has some reservations about mail in voting for people in care facilities and others and wants more information before he endorses this petition.
b. There will be a legislative Coalition for Persons with Disabilities reception at the capital on Feb. 14 from 3-5pM. Everette is sending out the link to register, you can attend without registering if desired.
4. Washington Seminar scheduling and questions.
a. All 4 issues are available to study and research at www.nfb.org.
b. There is a training session on Monday Feb. 7 from noon to 2 PM MST.
c. The Great Gathering in is later on Monday afternoon at 3:00 PM.
d. Tuesday is our busiest day. 8 AM Congressman Curtis, Laura Hellen and others. 11:30 AM Congressman Stuart. 12:15 Congressman Owens.
e. Wednesday 7:00 AM, Congressman Moor. Willie, Barbie and others.
f. Meetings on zoom in the evenings on Tuesday and Wednesday to share and hear about things nationally going on regarding Washington Seminar in other states and rally and report.
g. We do not have appointments scheduled with our senators. Chelsea is working extra hard to get these appointments scheduled by the end of this week.
h. Everette will email links to Washington Seminar including national training issues and other Washington Seminar links.
5. Public Comment.
a. Ken would like to know if the congressmen will be in person on our zoom meetings for Washington Seminar, but we don’t know if they will make it or if we will have their staff people representing them.
b. Sarah Urb wanted to know if the Washington Seminar events are on our local webpage. Jerry said that they are on our website but the link to join the meetings will not be listed there for protection. We will email and text all meetings out before the meetings.
c. Michael Taylor wants to know who the national rep for our state convention is. We don’t know yet. Usually, they are assigned after Washington Seminar. Our convention is the same weekend as the national scholarship committee meeting, so we will have limited possibilities.
6. NFB of Utah Annual Convention report:
a. Meal options. Thursday meal is free. Friday Saturday breakfast and Friday dinner on your own, and boxed lunches and banquet will be subsidized and provided by the affiliate for a nominal fee similar to last year. Costs to dine in at the hotel are similar to Salt Lake, and shuttles are available from the hotel to Park City’s Main Street.
b. Everette has updated sponsor and donation letter for 2022 toward funding door prizes and sponsoring the convention. We have 2 businesses so far, Vanda and Lundee LLC making accessible real estate information to make searching and purchasing a home accessible on Alexa. We will have more sponsors. Please share.
c. Transportation for the convention. How to get people to and from the convention. Willie is looking into bussing options with UTA to possibly connect people to the hotel from front runner. He has put a request out there to talk with the new disability coordinator at UTA. We will put a check box for people to check off if they have a transportation need on the registration form and if we find we have a big enough need, we may consider purchasing a bus to help people get to and from the state convention. Hellen and Laura want to know about getting transportation to Salt Lake. They know of 14 people so far. Everette is suggesting that chapters work together to help get people to the convention at chapter meetings. Hellen wants help with transportation since the former van is no longer available that they used from Red Rocks in the past.
d. The agenda is still being created.
e. Scholarships local and National: spread the word that both national and state scholarship applications are due by March 31, 2022 and encourage students to apply.
7. Proposals for National Convention stipend in New Orleans. Mark made a motion to give $400 per person to attend convention in person. Ken seconded that motion. Everette wanted to add a family cap. Everette suggested membership, banquet ticket The motion passed unanimously to give each attendee who is a member and shows that they have purchased a banquet ticket with a family cap.
8. Bell Academy
a. There is a 3-week bell academy in home edition nationally. Katie Chevalier is our new bell academy coordinator. They are working on ways to coordinate connections with parents and families who participate even though it is going to be an in-home experience again. It is on the nfb website.
9. Project STRIVE update
a. They are planning the homeless meal prep experience they were going to have in December this month on February 12th.
10. Upcoming Events for Chapters/Divisiond/groups:
a. Red rocks, Hellen: the chapter will continue having meetings on zoom. They will hold their meeting on March 1st at 1:00. They had a meeting about keeping your brain healthy and strong as you age in February.
b. Utah Valley, Laura: They held elections in their past meeting. They are changing their meeting schedule. They will keep us posted once they decide how to reschedule their meetings. They also have a tic tock page up.
c. Salt Lake, Ken: They will have their meeting on February and March 22nd. They have elections in February. March will be a March Madness meeting. They also are continuing their trivia game for $$$.
d. Weber-Davis, Willie: Double Good Popcorn Fund Raiser will take place online from February 3 through 6. The February 19 meeting agenda is still in progress. The March 19 meeting will be the chapter elections meeting.
e. Spanish division, Alejandra: Next meeting is on February 24th. They are looking into holding English classes for members who want to learn English. They have established contact with the Hispanic center. They have other members in their database of contacts who are blind or have low vision. That they will share our information with so that they can make a connection with the NFB Alejandra is meeting with the University of Utah and is hoping for sponsorship from them. They would like the registration for convention available in Spanish and are working with Jerry to create a Spanish registration option.
f. Parents Division, Sarah: She met with people at the University of Utah, and Primary children’s hospitals. They gave some feedback to the hospitals about making the health care experience for children with disabilities more accessible and better. They want more positivity about blindness especially regarding eye exams and testing. Cheralyn has also been involved and has helped make some great presentations. They will hold elections for parents’ division positions at convention. They are also working with Katie and want more in person collaboration for bell this year. If you know parents, please put them in touch with Sarah.
g. Kassie with guide dogs has been holding meetings and they are doing well.
h. At large group will hold their next meeting in March and will skip February due to Washington Seminar.
11. Public Comment:
a. Melissa Heck would like to be involved with BELL as a teacher at USDB. Melissa is working with signing up one of her students.
b. Cynthia wanted to remind everyone that front runner does not run-on Sundays so we cannot rely on it to get home on Sunday from state convention as a transportation option.
c. Sarah mentioned that the consent academy located on the East coast has a leadership consent seminar. There are 2 seminars on Saturdays a month. You can do some sessions, and it is $20 per session. Sarah will send the link to anyone interested.
d. Jerry wanted to let us know that they are working hard to keep the NFB of Utah Website up to date. Emails will be approved by Everette. Conventions, meetings, Washington seminar, divisions etc. He encouraged everyone to check it out.
12 Other Business
1. National News: Everette Bacon.
A. The Presidential release was held yesterday It should be available soon. Listen to the long or the short version of the presidential release at www.nfb.org
B. The national convention is still planned to take place in person in New Orleans. Make hotel reservations by going to the website and following the prompts. It may take a while to make reservations. The Sheraton overflow is right across the street along with the exhibit hall in case some would prefer to be nearer to that when they reserve a room. Everette would like to know what we want to have as a stipend and encouraged people to email ideas to him. Mark said most of the time we only give out $400 but have increased it to handle more expensive flights when needed such as Orlando.
C. The scholarship program is changing nationally. There will still be 30 scholarship winners, but the competition aspect will be withdrawn. We will now give each scholarship winner $8,000in cash plus other swag. They will still have mentors and the winners will pick their representative to speak at the banquet. The deadline to apply for a scholarship is still March 31st. We will continue doing the equal scholarship payment here in Utah as we did last year.
D. Washington seminar will be highbred with Everette and Chelsea in person. Everette would like to try to set up meetings in person and on zoom highbred simultaneously. They will meet with Congressman Stuart’s staff to see how this can happen. If this is not possible perhaps a virtual meeting from the hotel will be possible. There are 4 action items. Affordable Technology accessible act, meaningful employment, accessible medical technology, and website accessibility. These will be posted next week and Jerry will email the links for each of these action items for members to become familiar with them. Laura would like to ask for them to commit to video to hopefully get more participation. Feb. 7, great gathering in meeting on zoom at 3 Mountain time. February 8 and 9 will be the dates for meeting with congress.
E. Marsha Deraa who worked tirelessly for the federation retired, then she developed cancer and chose to keep it quiet. She passed away in December. The funeral was Tuesday January 4th.
2. State updates.
A. The Leadership seminar which was planned for this weekend was postponed due to covid, perhaps we may want to revisit holding the seminar later this year. Karl recommended that we plan for some time in the fall.
B. Bell Academy can be a live Bell Academy this summer. We need to find a new Bell Academy Coordinator because Wendy is still ill and going through recovery from the kidney transplant. It would be a good idea to honor Wendy for her years of hard work as the BELL Academy Coordinator at our next convention. Karl has been our Bell representative helping us with the financial and logistical report writing etc. He cannot do that and serve as the day-to-day coordinator of the BELL Academy. There will be a job description with interviews to find a new Bell Academy coordinator. Once we have our new coordinator, we will decide if we want to do a live, in person, or both kinds of a program this summer. Cheralyn will help support the new coordinator, but she is not interested in being the coordinator. She is excited to help support and choose the new coordinator however.
C. USDB advisory committee. Everette suggested putting together a survey. USDB has a school community council with parents who were heavily involved. It is for families of children who attend the school at one of their campuses and have at least 2 years of experience with USDB. There has not been a parent of a blind child on the council for over 6 months. Sarah applied and was denied but doesn’t quite know why. This is not an appropriate representation of families with students who are blind at USDB. On a positive note, Sarah is also having a meeting with Susan the superintendent regularly.
D. State convention. The hotel information is posted and reservations can be made at this time. Please start reserving the hotel. Convention registration and scholarship information will start going out in February. If anyone wants to help with registration contact Jerry, contact Marnie to help with scholarships. Everette will have the link emailed out to the membership again.
E. Double GOOD FUNDRAISER> We have held 4 fund raisers with Salt Lake, Utah Valley, Red Rocks, and the Spanish Division, and Weber-Davis will be holding their fund raiser soon. Everette suggested that we allow the chapters to keep all of the double good popcorn fund raising. Cheralyn made a motion and it was seconded by Laura and many others to allow the chapters to keep all of the money they raise. The motion passed unanimously. Mark is working with the company to get the funds downloaded into our accounts.
3. Public Comment.
a. A. Anitra has girl scout cookies available for sale if anyone would like to purchase them, please contact her.
b. Jerry has information about reserving hotel rooms for convention on our NFB of Utah website. He also wants us to keep him updated on chapter and division boards to keep that information current.
4. Chapter Divisions.
A. Weber-Davis, Willie: Pizza Pie Café Christmas party was a hit. Zoom work out and dance meeting coming up this month on January 15th.
B. Salt Lake Chapter, Ken: Christmas party had 95 people in attendance. People had a lot of fun. January is holding a meeting about accessible exercise and meditation aps. They are doing a trivia question activity with trivia from the braille monitor the pot increases if nobody answers. They have $35 in the pot right now. They will hold elections in February, and something about March Madness in March.
C. Utah Valley, Laura: She thanked people for participating in the popcorn fund raiser. December chapter Christmas party with a meal catered by Lisa’s daughter. Carma Lynn had Paul Mitchel product donations provided, and they will also be having a fund raiser. Next meeting will be on January 26th most likely on zoom. They would like to have someone from UTA talk about changes for 2022. Elections and dues of $2 will be coming up soon.
D. Red Rocks, Hellen: December Christmas Party with food, fun and friends. They collected dues at the Christmas party as well as $600 from an anonymous doner. February meeting is bowling in February. Elections will be held soon. In March. Hellen would also like to have their county clerk come and talk about what they are doing to make voting accessible. Everette suggested having Shari Newton present.
E. Spanish Division, Alejandra: They participated in a YouTube disability awareness day event. They held a new Year’s meeting on December 30th. They invited a youtuber who has a channel called blind with a vision. They are gaining a strong participant base and wats app.
F. Parents division, Sarah: This past Sunday some families went to have a tactile tour of the gingerbread house at the Grand America when they took it down. They are looking for ideas to keep safe and engage families to continue meeting even through the pandemic Omicron faze.
G. Guide Dogs, (Everette): They met and 8 people were in attendance. Susan Reimers is getting a guide dog.
H. At Large group, Everette: Their next meeting will be about Washington Seminar, they will go through the fact sheets and answer questions. The next meeting will be on Wednesday January 12th on zoom.
I. Project Strive, Cheralyn: January was canceled since it was going to be the leadership seminar. February was going to be Washington Seminar, March is snow showing .
5. Adjourn: The meeting was adjourned at 8:49 P.M. MST.