CCB FALL CONVENTION SUMMARY
October 26, 1996
The business meeting was called to order by President Marcia Nigro at
10:04 A.M. There were 23 members present. Jessica Beach, Coordinator of
Affiliate and Membership Services, from the ACB national office was
The minutes from the spring convention were read and accepted with the
following corrections: the idea of researching a change of long distance
carriers was squashed because of the possibility of the lessening of
quality of service. Therefore, nothing was done. Clarification was made
to the reference to the ADA Advisory Committee Survey. The results are not
fully tabulated as yet. The minutes were approved with these corrections.
The Nominating Committee Chairman Dan Mills gave his report and
presented the slate as follows: President Marcia Nigro, First Vice
President Steve Dresser, Second Vice President John Mattioli, Third Vice
President Alice Jackson, Recording Secretary April Hutchins, Corresponding
Secretary Cheree Heppe.
Treasurer's Report: As of October 1, 1996, the checking account
contained $561.07. The savings account contained $2,826.04. The CD for
the scholarship fund contained $2,762.06. The report was accepted as
given. Thanks were expressed to Dave Bates for his dedicated service.
Newsletter: Steve has assigned various tasks to committee members.
Bryan McGucken is writing profiles, starting with the Board. April is in
charge of the bulletin board. Pam Garde is writing the "Newsmakers"
column. Thanks were expressed to members for their hard work.
Steve then went on to report that he is experimenting with a voice-
mail system which he hopes to put on the CCB toll-free line. It is up and
running in the Hartford area. The phone number is 521-6749. There are
several options, such as leaving messages for individual committee chairs.
Steve is donating the use of this system.
Membership and Publicity: John Mattioli and Paul Morline are both at
Seeing Eye, training with their new dog guides. The list of people from
Connecticut who have contacted the national office is still being worked
on. They sent 30 letters to people of special interest groups and members
at large of ACB. John finished working on the brochure. Marcia has a print
copy to display. We are looking for a printer.
Scholarship: Jessica Beach raised the question about the form of the
scholarship presentation. She informed us that the national office sends
half the scholarship in the fall, and the other half in the spring. Because
our 1996 scholarship winner cashed the scholarship check prior to the
transfer of funds from the scholarship CD, we received a $25 charge for
insufficient funds in the checking account. Therefore, a motion was made,
seconded, and carried, that the Scholarship Committee present the
scholarship winner with a certificate, and mail the actual check at a later
Transportation: Connecticut Transit officials have been regular
attendees at ADA meetings in Hartford. Issues have been clarified
regarding major stop announcements, such as transfer points. Drivers
should, however, announce all stops. D.O.T. employees are used by
Connecticut Transit as spotters on buses to see that the written policy is
enforced. Cheree Heppe proposed having individual riders who are blind
take an informal survey in which they would record the route, time of day,
and stop announcements made. This study would be done over a one month
period. Dan Mills and Cheree Heppe drafted this survey form.
Carol Gillispie reported on the New Haven Paratransit. She feels that
the needs of the blind are not being accommodated. Bob Hoyt from the
Kennedy Center gave a presentation at the previous meeting of the New Haven
Transit District. It seems that most efforts are being directed toward
people with more severe disabilities, not toward blind or visually impaired
Dan Mills reported on some new bus technology using automated bus
announcements. Dan says he is skeptical of the system ever being widely
used. The system is being tested in Washington, D.C. Nolan Crabb, editor
of "The Braille Forum," has tested it, and says it is fabulous.
Legislation: The Braille Bill was discussed at the September ACAC
meeting. Copies of the bill are being reviewed by the ACAC members. BESB
is sponsoring the bill, and will submit it to the legislature if the
governor approves it. We may encounter a stumbling block because some
people on the Education Committee, where the bill will be referred, believe
that this bill would cost $250,000 to implement. Cheree suggested posting
a list of legislators on the CCB voice-mail, or in the next newsletter.
CRIS: CRIS Radio did not receive a press release announcing this
convention. Marcia apologized. TCI Cable in Branford carries CRIS on the
SAP channel of channel 13, the Spanish station.
There are two surveys currently being conducted, one from CRIS, and
one from LBPH. Both are looking for ways to improve service.
Fundraising: It was reported that there is only enough money for one
more scholarship. It was suggested by President Marcia Nigro that holding
a dance in the spring to benefit the scholarship fund would be a good way
to raise money. People are needed to organize and plan it. Dave is coming
up with a list of everything that needs to be done. He will give this list
to Marcia, who will follow up on it. Kathie Mills has requested permission
to find a place to have crafters come and rent a table to sell their items.
The rent from the tables would go to CCB. CCB could have an informational
table on site. Carol Gillispie suggested that CCB should find a product to
be sold every year for which we would become known. April Hutchins
suggested Pick-a-Pearl as another fundraising project. Karaoke was also
suggested. Life memberships were discussed, and an age scale was proposed.
We are in the process of forming a guide dog users chapter and a
Southern Connecticut chapter.
Ken Tripp, BESB Executive Director, sent a message in which he said he
regretted not being able to attend the convention, but had a family
emergency out of town. He went on to say that we should keep the faith. He
is going to turn BESB upside down, and hold people accountable. He is in
for the long haul. The governor instructed him to run the agency as he
sees fit. He is committed to BESB, and plans to write an article for our
Braille Literacy Month is coming up in January. Marcia would like
help with a braille literacy drive.
After lunch, elections were held. There were no nominations from the
floor, and all officers were elected by acclamation. The position of
Treasurer remained unfilled since there were no nominations from the floor.
David Bates offered to remain as acting treasurer for a short time.
Marcia Nigro proposed an alternate solution, that of having an assistant
treasurer trained by the treasurer. This person, after being trained,
would then come in as treasurer. Jim Schwarzhaupt is reported to be
willing to serve as treasurer when his duties are over as treasurer of the
West Hartford Lions' Club. A motion was made to continue Dave Bates as
acting treasurer until a full-time treasurer can be secured, the deadline
being the spring convention of '97. The motion carried.
On June 15, 1996, the ad hoc Convention Committee, consisting of Paul
Morline (Chair), April Hutchins, Bryan McGucken, Dan Mills, and Dave Bates,
presented a list of recommendations for future conventions. Marcia
commended this committee for its hard work, and Paul Morline for careful
preparation of the report. A motion was made and seconded to accept the
recommendations of the committee as given. The question was raised about
public transportation to sites. Therefore, the motion was amended to vote
on the recommendations individually. The motion carried with some
CCB Convention Committee Recommendations
1. The committee recommends that CCB continue to hold both a fall and
spring state convention, with the fall convention being overnight,
starting on Friday night, and concluding with a convention banquet on
Saturday evening. It is suggested that the weekend convention include
workshops, diverse speakers, expos, vendors, fun activities,
organization business, etc., and be open for registration on both
Friday and Saturday. It is recommended that the spring convention be
one day, focusing on the current status of the organization. It is
suggested that the spring convention be rotated between the West
Hartford and West Haven BESB industries facilities, with lunch catered
by one of the BESB restaurant operators.
A motion was made, seconded, and carried to accept this recommendation.
2. The committee recommends that a permanent CCB convention committee be
formed with a set of guidelines established governing the structure and
responsibilities such as those outlined.
The question was raised as to whether or not we would need to change
the constitution or bylaws to make room for this committee. We checked
the constitution and determined that we would not need to change
anything. Following this, a motion was made, seconded, and carried to
accept this recommendation.
3. The committee recommends that the permanent convention committee be
given the authority to coordinate transportation to conventions for CCB
members requesting assistance.
This recommendation was accepted without any changes.
4. The committee recommends that CCB establish partnerships with service
organizations with the goal of creating joint projects from which funds
could be used to fund a transportation fund. This fund would be
earmarked to pay the organization's share of transporting members to
conventions and other organization-sponsored events. It is also
suggested that this fund be open for charitable donations.
It was suggested that the word "establish" be changed to "explore." The
recommendation was accepted with this word change.
5. The committee recommends that CCB develop a relationship with state-
based institutions of higher learning to have students enrolled in
courses which give credit for time spent with persons with disabilities
with the goal of learning from each other through joint social and
personal development projects.
The membership accepted this recommendation with a suggested word
change from "state-based" to "in-state-accredited."
Marcia will appoint a convention committee.
A motion was made and seconded to have the spring convention at the
West Hartford workshop facility. The motion was defeated. The motion was
made, seconded, and carried to leave it to the convention committee to find
an appropriate site, centrally located. The date for the spring convention
was set for April 26, 1997.
The meeting adjourned at 2:39 P.M.
Table of Contents
CCB Home Page