Date of Meeting: June 8, 2019
Where: MIT 77 Mass. Ave., building 5, Room 134, Cambridge, MA
The meeting was called to order at 1:00 p.m. by President Frank Ventura. Following introductions the minutes were read and approved except LTI should be changed to LVI.
Frank announced that if anyone receives emails that look like they come from him or from Vibug asking for anything, please be very careful and check with Frank or VIBUG before responding to them or taking any action. Never never automatically click on a website and always contact any officer if you are unable to get Frank.
We are not going to announce our treasury balances publicly as this may have been incentive for someone to pull this scam.
Tim says there are no new announcements about audio and the website is working well.
Jerry says we have a few new members, and please join us if you have not done so already. We currently have 45 paid members.
Bill Fischer is attempting to start a project and asking for help. You may contact him via cellphone at 617-852-1739 or by email at: email@example.com
He would like to develop the ability for blind and visually impaired persons to participate in political activity such as phone banking and canvasing. He has been involved since last October with phone banking. He called voters in Georgia about a very special election that had some last minute changes. Using software the democratic party supplied him with he was able to tell people where their poling place was and encourage them to vote. Phone banking is for advocating for legislation, raising money, getting people to go out and vote. The company that deals with most of the democratic campains is NGPvan or votebuilder. Offices are in Washington D.C. and Somerville. He uised their phone banking software which ties in with campaigns lists of voters. It helps them keep their records up to date and reach people. There is hubdialer which dials people for you, and if people answer, you are to speak with them. The other is Open Virtual Phone bank. He could dial the customer, talk, check off the info, and go to next call. It appears to be useable by visually impaired people. It was 90% workable for blind people, as tested with Tim. Bill wishes to talk with the company and see if they can be convinced to tweak the software so that it will work with screen readers. If that works, he would like to train a group of people who can train users on how to use it with him.
Mikka announced there is a new website for blind travelers: http://www.blindtravelersnetwork.org You can list events such as VIBUG meetings or other events. There will be blogs about travel and travel technology and safety. There will be reviews from a blindness perspective.
If you are interested in items from vispero, their prices at consumer shows are competitive.
Jerry Berrier demonstrated a twitter web-based program called easychirp.
Toufik spoke about an app called Riffr wich is available in windows and as an IOs or Android app.
James Schaeffer, researcher at UMASS Amhurst demonstrated Percept, an indoor navigation system for the blind and visually impaired.
The following three people will be on the nominating committee. Mikka, Nina and Jeffrey Drucker.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:00 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Jeanette Kutash, Vibug Clerk