Welcome to AER Division 17

Meeting Minutes

AZ-AER Board Meeting
(AUGUST 30, 2007)

Meeting called to order at 4:00 P.M.
Present: Venetia Hayden, Mark Brady, Milo Borich, Mike Gordon, Holly Lawson, Sarah Johnson, Dorinda Rife
By Phone: Karen Aron, Deb Duby
Excused: Christine Powers, Christina Schoch

President's Report: (Venetia) Introduced new and returning board members. Bylaws and policy/procedure updates: we need a new member to handle maintaining/revisions. Dorinda pointed out that the past-president takes on this responsibility. Venetia presented Dorinda with proposed changes. Venetia updated a policy change to make consumer money roll over year to year if it’s not used. Milo offered to take charge of handling vendors for conferences and workshops. Kerry Duncan is available to assist Milo in the “changing of the guard.” We also need another member to handle responsibilities related to membership (Kartar has done this in the past). Holly will help with membership. Jim Gandorf at international is going to send out lapsed-member postcards inviting members to re-join AER. March AERLIFT is in Dallas, Texas (March 28th – 30th). We should have funds for two members to go. Mark expressed an interest in going this year. Deb Duby is in her current position for one year since Holly Lawson moved to the position of vice president.

Vice President's Report: (Holly) Website update: current website uses old program, so AZ AER might want to invest in DreamWeaver software to update the website with more current technology. There is an also an idea to streamline all state chapters into the national AER website. Holly presented a professional mini-grant from Patty Arnold to attend sign language course to increase communication with deaf/blind clients. (See Dorinda’s Past President Report below for further details on this request).

Secretary's Report: (Mark) Newsletter (bios, articles, announcements) SAAVI, FBC, VA could be contacted for blurbs/articles. Scholarship (Karen Aron) student did a summer program at Columbia for college-bound juniors/seniors (honors and advanced students) and was requesting funds, $500, for this endeavor. The $500 scholarship was granted per Board vote, and this information should be included in the newsletter. Mark suggested providing meeting notes on website as they have not been posted for quite some time. Meeting minutes need to be accessible to the entire membership. Mark will forward all previous notes to Holly.

Treasurer's Report: (Karen) Wanted to know if Mark still wants $150 for student version of MS Word to support the development of the newsletter. If Mark needs, just purchase it and bill AZ AER (send to Karen). Karen requested new AZ AER logo from Holly. Holly will email logo to entire board. Rolling consumer grants over needs to be looked into. If we can roll over, can we increase the cap amount awarded to students? In consumer grant fund, we have $275 left. ($400 per year). $16,161.94 in the money market account. In checking we have $3,246.76 (we have to keep at least $3000 to avoid being charged fees). $450 left for Professional grant. $80 away from hitting line item for the newsletter. The board agreed to raise the cap of the consumer to $200 per grant request. The money will be rolled over fiscal year to fiscal year if not used.

Past President's Report: (Dorinda) Will research Patty’s mini-grant application to see if she qualifies. It appears, based on the policies and procedures of AZ AER, that she may not qualify. Dorinda requested the board to also read through and offer input into this mini-grant request. Dorinda suggested posting the exact guidelines for mini-grants so AER members considering applying for a grant can access the information to see if their efforts could be rewarded.

Old Business: (Dorinda) Mail ballots: the tabs did not hold the cards together. Fortunately, though, over half got back to Dorinda (approximately 60% return). Can Electronic voting be a future option if this mode is needed? Refunds were timely to members after the Spring Workshop was cancelled and thanks was given to Karen, Treasurer Diva!

New Business: Board should provide a Gift of Appreciation to Penny Rosenblum for her dedicated work and upkeep on the AZ-AER website, and Gifts of Appreciation to departing members.

FALL CONFERENCE: Our conference is landing the same week as the Deaf/Blind conference. Met with Cindi Robinson from AZ Deaf-Blind Project to discuss the possibility of a joint conference.

We went with Gold Canyon since it is just outside of Phoenix, central AZ, so all individuals can stay overnight. Casita-type rooms (deluxe and patio). Room rates are $125 and $135 for Single or Double occupancy per night, (triples and quads $10 more per person per night). Reserve rooms ASAP to start filling them up so we can keep the current rate offered (price could go up if we do not reserve well in advance). Encourage people to bunk together. They are charging $150 for dining rooms/breakout rooms. There may be a make-and-take breakout session (this may require a minimal $10 fee, but allow members to take home what they create).

Flyer for conference needs to be completed and sent out within TWO WEEKS. Mark will repeat what is posted on the flyers in the newsletter. Dorinda will research what to charge AER members for registration for the conference. Venetia is using last year’s conference schedule as a “template” to try to help plan for this year’s conference. We need 18 Call for Papers (we have 14 so far, and one of them has not yet been agreed upon yet).

Cindi Robinson will be invited to our next AZ AER Board Meeting for her input in how this conference should be arranged and scheduled. Milo and Sarah offered suggestions for addressing functional VI issues for adult consumers who also have hearing loss. This will tie-in with the Deaf-Blind component of the conference. Perhaps Marilyn Gense (who charges $1000 per day for conference presentations) could be part of the Spring Workshop (perhaps doing a whole-day section of the workshop).

Meeting adjourned at 6:00 PM

Respectfully submitted,
Mark Brady
AZ AER Secretary





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