Minutes of September 2013 VIBUG meeting

Where: MIT, 77 Mass. Ave., Building 5, Cambridge, MA
When: September 14, 2013

President Amy Ruell called the meeting to order at 1:00 PM. All present introduced themselves. Amy explained that we had a last-minute room change due to a scheduling conflict at MIT.

Clerk Jerry Berrier read the minutes of our May meeting. They were accepted without change.

Amy apologized for having to cancel the June meeting on short notice.


Steve Dresser has resigned as webmaster; Tim Cumings has volunteered to serve for the remainder of 2013. Amy publicly thanked Tim, and he received a round of applause.

Amy apologized that we are meeting on Yom Kippur.

Frank Ventura presented the Nominating Committee report. He explained that the purpose of the nominating committee is simply to ensure that at least one qualified individual is nominated for each available position. Nominations from the floor are welcomed and encouraged. The slate of nominees includes:

Amy announced that if she is elected president for 2014, it will be her last year to serve in that capacity. She has been involved in leadership in VIBUG since 1996. She will continue to participate in VIBUG, but she encourages new leaders to emerge. Some of Amyís priorities for the coming year include:

Amy received a rousing round of applause.

Amy said we are not online today. Jerry attempted to fill in for Tim and Steve but was unable to complete the online audio setup. She asked that anyone interested in being trained to manage the audio equipment e-mail her. Jerry recommended that concise instructions be written to manage the equipment.

Amy said we were offered a table at the upcoming Abilities Expo, but she recognized that we were not prepared to staff a booth for three full days, so she turned down the opportunity.

Our guest Speaker for today Andrew Leibs from http://www.About.com canceled at the last minute due to a health issue.

Amy announced numerous industry updates. She then asked who among us may be interested in attending training sessions to learn the basics of using a Mac. VIBUG would potentially pay the cost. Several expressed interest.

Mikka Pyhkala described Square Wallet, a mobile app for making payments to participating merchants without touching your mobile device. He also talked about Level Up, which still has some minor accessibility issues. Square Register is a mobile app that can be used to accept payments.

Amy said the Attorney Generalís office is doing some research on accessibility of E-readers. They are particularly interested in talking with students and with adults not connected with the NFB who have tried using the Kindle and related products.

Professor Teller at MIT is seeking blind folks who may be interested in pairing up with students to research technology solutions for people who are blind. E-mail Amy if interested.

Chuks Ezewuzie said his organization is seeking computer equipment and other technology for the blind to send to those in need in African countries. To learn more, call 781-333-4036, or visit http://www.royalaccess.org. Email mails@royalaccess.org


Following the computer question and answer period, there was a presentation on the Rivo Keypad for iOS devices. Members with I devices were given prototypes to keep and were asked to provide feedback. A user guide can be found at http://www.mobience.com/rivo_en.html

The meeting was adjourned at 4:00 PM.

Jerry Berrier, Secretary