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Feb. 2004 Issue of Braille Free Press  Patricia Price
 Feb 20, 2004 17:16 PST 

While we will not always be posting all issues of this new magazine, we
felt you might be interested in seeing at least the first issue. You can
read it in its entirity at its website www.braille-free-press.org. There
you can also sign up to be placed on the mailing list. In a short time,
an audio file of the magazine will be available through The Mosen
Explosion hosted by Jonathan Mosen. I'll send the specifics when
available.
Pat Price
P.S. Where reference to “click here to learn more” and “more” appear,
full documentation is provided on the website. At this time, however, it
isn’t possible to include all the documentation in this post.
WELCOME TO THE BRAILLE FREE PRESS
The Braille Free Press is a publication committed to in-depth,
uncensored coverage of blindness-related news. You can click here to
learn more.
Although our resources are few, our commitment is strong. The Braille
Free Press uses the Internet as its primary distribution channel, but
with the aid of volunteers, we also hope to make it available in
hardcopy Braille, audio, large print and standard print. If you have
access to a CD writer, a Braille embosser, or a printer, we will
appreciate your taking the time to make copies of this available to
blind people who do not have access to the Internet.
We are always looking for content. If you would like an article or
letter to the editor considered for publication, check our
publishing/editorial policy and please e-mail the editor, Penny Reeder,
by using this form.
"Study the past if you would define the future." - Confucius
Join our mailing list to receive updates as they are made to this
website. Expect at least one e-mail update each month.
E-mail address:

The following is the February 2004 edition of the Braille Free Press.
Feb 15, 2004
Reflections at Mid-Year 2004
A commentary by Braille Free Press editor Penny Reeder.
As a fifth member of ACB's leadership family resigns in reaction to the
excesses of power of the Christopher Gray administration, it seems an
appropriate time for commentary from the Braille Free Press. Certainly,
the writer of this particular observation has few answers and a
multiplicity of questions. More personally significant than the
questions, however, is the sense of keen betrayal that I, and virtually
every one of the staff members and board members who has resigned feels
today.
More...
Posted by: Penny Reeder on Feb 15, 2004 | 7:11 pm | Profile
[0] comments (0 views) | [0] Trackbacks   [0] Pingbacks
Feb 14, 2004
Breaking News: Steve Speicher Resigns as ACB First Vice President
Steve Speicher sent a letter, in which he cited his reasons for
resignation, via ACB lists on Saturday, February 14.

More...
Posted by: Penny Reeder on Feb 14, 2004 | 8:01 pm | Profile
[0] comments (0 views) | [0] Trackbacks   [0] Pingbacks
Feb 01, 2004
Why a new Braille Free Press?: A Message from the Editor
An introduction to this months issue and the purpose of this
publication.

This is Vol 2, Issue 1.

More...
Posted by: Penny Reeder on Feb 01, 2004 | 8:45 am | Profile
[0] comments (0 views) | [0] Trackbacks   [0] Pingbacks
ACB Executive Director Resigns
The statement made by Charlie Crawford on his resignaition and a first
response from ACB President Chris Gray.

More...
Posted by: Penny Reeder on Feb 01, 2004 | 8:40 am | Profile
[0] comments (0 views) | [0] Trackbacks   [0] Pingbacks
Braille Forum Editor Resigns
A letter of resignation from the Braille Forum editor and the presidents
initial reply.


More...
Posted by: Penny Reeder on Feb 01, 2004 | 8:38 am | Profile
[0] comments (0 views) | [0] Trackbacks   [0] Pingbacks
Another Gray Reply to the Former Editor
A few days later, Gray responded to Reeder's resignation in a decidedly
less cordial (and more characteristic) manner, as follows.


More...
Posted by: Penny Reeder on Feb 01, 2004 | 8:37 am | Profile
[0] comments (0 views) | [0] Trackbacks   [0] Pingbacks
Jonathan Mosen's statement regarding his resignation and that of Charlie
Crawford

Shortly after Crawford resigned, Jonathan Mosen released a statement
concerning both his and Crawford's resignations, as well as his
perceptions of excesses of power by the Gray administration which may
have contributed to the loss of both staff members.

More...
Posted by: Jonathan Mosen on Feb 01, 2004 | 8:37 am | Profile
[0] comments (0 views) | [0] Trackbacks   [0] Pingbacks
ACB Board Refused to Sign On To GDUI Complaint
Controversy accelerated among members concerning the ACB Board of
Directors' November decision not to sign onto GDUI's complaint against
the Iowa Department for the Blind, which had refused to provide
rehabilitation services to a guide dog user.
What follows is correspondence between elected leaders and ACB staff
persons, including the editor and executive director, over articles and
letters to the editor concerning the Iowa guide dog issue.
More...
Posted by: Penny Reeder on Feb 01, 2004 | 8:32 am | Profile
[0] comments (0 views) | [0] Trackbacks   [0] Pingbacks
The June 2003, "Letters to the Editor" column was dominated by the Iowa
guide dog issue.
Continued correspondence over the Iowa guide dog issue.

More...
Posted by: Penny Reeder on Feb 01, 2004 | 8:31 am | Profile
[0] comments (1 views) | [0] Trackbacks   [0] Pingbacks
President Attempted to Control Forum Content Long Before Iowa
Early in 2002, Gray began to try to "manage" the "Letters to the Editor"
column, and to control its content.
His correspondence with the editor was decidely less than cordial, and
set the tone of his management style with respect to the editor, the
magazine, and his administration's desire to spin information to present
less than balanced coverage of events, opinions and issues.
More...
Posted by: Penny Reeder on Feb 01, 2004 | 8:30 am | Profile
[0] comments (1 views) | [0] Trackbacks   [0] Pingbacks
On June 3, 2003, the Board of Publications (BOP) met by conference call.

An excerpt from the minutes of the June 3, meeting concerning Gray's
response to publication of letters on the guide dog issue.

More...
Posted by: Penny Reeder on Feb 01, 2004 | 8:28 am | Profile
[0] comments (0 views) | [0] Trackbacks   [0] Pingbacks
Proposed Letter Regarding Book Gala Sparked Controversy
In June, 2003, the editor received a letter which criticized the
proposed convention gala to celebrate the publication of People of
Vision, because the book was not going to be available at that time in
accessible alternate formats.
The series of events which ensued further document a concerted attack
against free speech in ACB's flagship publication and constitute just
one of many events that inspired the rebirth of "The Braille Free
Press."
More...
Posted by: Penny Reeder on Feb 01, 2004 | 8:26 am | Profile
[1] comments (6 views) | [0] Trackbacks   [0] Pingbacks
At Convention Tensions Escalated; First Executive Session Held
The 2003 convention was held in Pittsburgh, PA; this is how events
unfolded.

More...
Posted by: Penny Reeder on Feb 01, 2004 | 8:24 am | Profile
[0] comments (0 views) | [0] Trackbacks   [0] Pingbacks
Crawford Resignation Deepened Crisis
Soon after word of Crawfords' resignation went public things got heated.

More...
Posted by: Penny Reeder on Feb 01, 2004 | 8:21 am | Profile
[0] comments (0 views) | [0] Trackbacks   [0] Pingbacks
Gray Publicly Attacks GDUI President
This series of exchanges between Debbie Grubb and Chris Gray provides
insight into members' anguish and the president's sentiments concerning
GDUI, the Iowa guide dog issue, and reactions to Crawford's resignation.

More...
Posted by: Penny Reeder on Feb 01, 2004 | 8:20 am | Profile
[0] comments (0 views) | [0] Trackbacks   [0] Pingbacks
E-mail postings flew back and forth on ACB's e-mailing discussion lists.
Board members weighed in publicly and privately. One series of postings
is worth
noting, as two board members shed light on events which had led up to
Crawford's resignation, and offered hope of resolution.

More...
Posted by: Penny Reeder on Feb 01, 2004 | 8:20 am | Profile
[0] comments (0 views) | [0] Trackbacks   [0] Pingbacks
E-mail exchanges became ever more heated.
Tensions on e-mail discussion lists rose and Gray's reactions to
members' questions and concerns were barely civil.

More...
Posted by: Penny Reeder on Feb 01, 2004 | 8:19 am | Profile
[0] comments (0 views) | [0] Trackbacks   [0] Pingbacks
BOP Attempted to Restrain Free Speech in Forum
When the editor notified a letter-writer that her submission had been
rejected by the BOP Review Subcommittee, that writer posted her letter
on the internet.
When Reeder responded to questions about the letter's rejection on a
private e-mailing list, by citing the BOP's reasons for rejecting the
letter, BOP Chair, Charlie Hodge, requested her immediate discipline.
More...
Posted by: Penny Reeder on Feb 01, 2004 | 8:17 am | Profile
[0] comments (0 views) | [0] Trackbacks   [0] Pingbacks
Two Affiliates Spoke Out; Respected Board Member Resigned
The president reacted to these events by submitting a proliferation of
un-related articles to the editor for publication in the upcoming issue
of the "Braille Forum" and by attempting to spin the contents of the
state affiliate statements in his own "President's Message" in that
issue.


More...
Posted by: Penny Reeder on Feb 01, 2004 | 8:14 am | Profile
[0] comments (0 views) | [0] Trackbacks   [0] Pingbacks
Gray Moved to Restrain Free Speech Once And For All
Gray wrote to the BOP and suggested that the editor's inclusion of the
affiliates' statements in the "Affiliate News" column constituted
grounds for her immediate dismissal.

More...
Posted by: Penny Reeder on Feb 01, 2004 | 8:13 am | Profile
[1] comments (3 views) | [0] Trackbacks   [0] Pingbacks
BOP Considered Removing Forum Editor
Acting executive director, Brunson, and Reeder attempted to divise a
plan whereby the editor could continue to serve in that role, but Gray,
on the verge of consolidating his complete control over ACB
publications, did not support the plan. Penny Reeder resigned as editor.

More...
Posted by: Penny Reeder on Feb 01, 2004 | 8:10 am | Profile
[0] comments (0 views) | [0] Trackbacks   [0] Pingbacks
Crisis Reached New Depths When Editor Resigned
Reeder received many telephone and e-mail messages of concern and
support. Gray and his supporters attempted to justify their assault on
the editor, and freedom of speech within the ACB.
Meanwhile, a statement from ACB of Maryland concerning the Charlie
Crawford resignation, which Reeder had included in the "Affiliate News"
column of the February "Braille Forum," was deleted before the issue
went to press.
More...
Posted by: Penny Reeder on Feb 01, 2004 | 8:08 am | Profile
[0] comments (0 views) | [0] Trackbacks   [0] Pingbacks
The Bay State Council of the Blind has called for a Board of Inquiry.
BSCB has asked others to join in an official inquiry. ACB leaders and
board members have begun to respond.

More...
Posted by: Penny Reeder on Feb 01, 2004 | 8:05 am | Profile
[0] comments (3 views) | [0] Trackbacks   [0] Pingbacks
What now?
What are members and leaders thinking and saying about the future of
ACB?

More...
Posted by: Penny Reeder on Feb 01, 2004 | 8:02 am | Profile
[0] comments (0 views) | [0] Trackbacks   [0] Pingbacks
What can you do to return democracy to the American Council of the
Blind?
Inform others. Talk to your affiliate leaders. Take action!

More...
Posted by: Penny Reeder on Feb 01, 2004 | 8:00 am | Profile
[0] comments (2 views) | [0] Trackbacks   [0] Pingbacks
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