Quarterly Meeting Minutes (October 14 and 15, 2010)

408 White Street
Daytona Beach, FL


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ted Hull, Chair called the meeting to order at 8:30 AM with pledge of allegiance following.

Council Members Present:  Ted Hull, Robert Kelly, Jesus Garcia, Rufus Brown, Paul Edwards, Henry Alexander, Ben Grzesik, Bruce Miles, Joe Minichiello, Dan O’Connor, Sue Townsend, Paul Kaminsky, Jay Naiman, and Joyce Hildreth.
Council members absent:  Sheryl Brown and Dwight Sayer

Council Staff: Phyllis Dill

DBS Staff: Antionette Williams, Les Binnix, Jerry Edwards

District Administrators Report – Les Binnix

Les reported the following for District Five:

Evaluation on DBS Closures – Antionette Williams

Antionette reported a total of 1440 were closed unsuccessful. She stated that of the ones marked 317 were legally blind at closure and 284 were not. The rest were not indicated either way.  The numbers closed in each category were:

Antionette informed the Council there were 376 legally blind closed successful last State Fiscal Year.

Update on VR Goals – Antionette Williams

Policy Review – Lynn Ritter

Lynn read the Self Employment Services Policy #2.10 to the Council.

The Council was concerned DBS was not assisting business in trouble and non profit not being supported.

Antionette will remove and add stipulations.

Joyce stated that it had to be economically feasible.

Abilities First is the consultant that makes the decision on financial jeopardy.

Joyce spoke with Ed Hudson about the center offering training on scope of self employment.

Paul E. suggested a pre requisite for being approved for self-employment of having a certificate in entrepreneurship from a Florida community or state college. Such a course would provide students with many of the tools that they might need to be successful including how to write an appropriate business plan and outreaching to other funding sources.

Joyce stated that DBS could offer training even if an entrepreneurship certificate program was not offered in the client’s area.


Client Satisfaction Survey Concerns – Mary Stutzman via teleconference

Paul E. moved to accept the survey questions with the changes.
Motion received a second and passed.

 Local CRP Report – Ronee Hudson

Blind Foundation Update – Jesus Garcia

Joyce Hildreth’s comments:

While the Council took no action, both Jesus Garcia and Joyce Hildreth were instructed to communicate to the Foundation Board that the Council continues to have concerns about the Foundation’s operations.

Director’s Report – Joyce Hildreth

Lunch Break

Budget  Report – Marta Copeland via teleconference

Joyce’s response to Paul’s concern with the Tampa Lighthouse contract:

Construction Update and Audit Activity – John Clarkson

Joyce introduced John Clarkson the new Deputy Director of DBS.  She asked him to address the question concerning communication to the vendors.

John stated that focus has been on the DBS district offices and the CRPs to ensure the clients did not go without services.  He stated that communication in with the vendors had been lacking.

Report on Construction:

Report on Audit Activity

DBS’ Response to audit:

The tour of the new dorm was moved from Friday’s agenda to today (Thursday).

Meeting adjourned at 2:00 PM

Respectively submitted,
Phyllis Dill, AAII



Friday, October 15, 2010

Ted Hull, Chair called the meeting to order at 8:45 AM.

Council Members Present:  Ted Hull, Robert Kelly, Jesus Garcia, Rufus Brown, Paul Edwards, Henry Alexander, Ben Grzesik, Bruce Miles, Joe Minichiello, Dan O’Connor, Sue Townsend, Paul Kaminsky, Jay Naiman, and Joyce Hildreth.
Council members absent:  Sheryl Brown and Dwight Sayer

Council Staff: Phyllis Dill

DBS Staff: Antionette Williams, Les Binnix, Jerry Edwards

Joyce introduced Susan Roberts the new Chief of the Braille and Talking Book Library (BRBL)

Susan gave the Council an overview of what was happening at the Library

Dan asked if it would be possible to record the DBS client’s rights and responsibilities.

Approval of July minutes

Approval of Annual Report

Phyllis informed the Council she would conduct the new member orientation before the Public Forum on February 8th at the Lighthouse beginning at 2:00 PM.

Monday, February 7th will be travel day and attendance at a dinner at Andrews. 
Tuesday morning the 8th the Summit will begin and adjourn by noon.  The public forum will be conducted at the Lighthouse of the Big Bend from 3:30 PM until 5:00 PM with a tour of the facility following.  The CRP report will be given prior to the public forum.
Wednesday, February 9th the Council meeting will begin at 8:00 AM at the hotel and adjourn at 5:00 PM.

Agenda Items for February 2011

On-going agenda items:
Director’s report (Joyce will introduce invited guests)
District Administrators Report
Approval of October minutes
Agenda items for the April meeting in Miami
Update of VR Goals
Client Satisfaction survey Update

New items:

Election of Officers
DSO update

Ted and Paul E. will compose letters to the Governor and Commissioner with a list of concerns.

Joyce will Request one of the following to speak briefly at the February Council meeting.  Commissioner Smith or Bambi Lockman, Bureau Chief of Exceptional Education or Bill Palmer, DVR

Paul E. would like to get more demographics on legally blind, totally blind, and non blind.

Joyce is concerned that DBS does not become with cataract surgery with what VR became with hearing aids.

Several things Joyce wants to look at:  

Paul E. is concerned that DBS may not be not abiding by federal regulations and serving the most severely disabled with sufficient priority.  He wants the statistics that will make it possible to distinguish among closures so that the Council will be able to get a handle on starting to evaluate this situation.

Dan stated that without an Order of Selection the Counselors go by what comes in and gives equal attention regardless of how severe their vision impairment is. 

Joyce stated that DBS is federally mandated and the most significant is a priority.

Robert commented that one of the things to be considered is really taking a look at who are the unsuccessful closures and what else characterizes the person who isn’t benefiting from the program.  He doesn’t think the data is yet available.  When the agencies policies state that the person is eligible and gives the range of services then the Counselor will deal with the cataract case that comes in because that is what is expected.

Joyce stated that she agreed and it was on her list to get a better handle on.  She informed the Council that as part of the new process they were going to separate out the totally blind and legally blind.  There will be three data fields:  Total blindness, legally blind and visually impaired or sight impaired.

Joe is concerned that DBS is taking on the role that should be handled by the medical field, insurance and Medicaid.

Joyce stated that DBS is required to look for comparable benefits.

Joyce informed the Council that DBS can set parameters and have a policy with a cut off point and it will not be an order of selection.

Joe had another concern that a friend lost his hot key to JAWS and his Counselor told him it would have to be sent to Miami.

Joyce will find out who handles quick fixes such as hot keys.

Paul E. suggested that Joyce speak with the Tampa Lighthouse about the degree to which they are responding and if there is a triage to put the kinds of quick fixes at the top of the list and every two or three hours a day doing tandem stuff.

Paul K. spoke about a program the VA just started that would not interfere with Blind Services.

Joyce asked if he wanted a policy statement relating to eligibility for services as it pertains specifically to restoration.

Robert suggested a Task Force to look at what fields would be beneficial to look at.

Joyce stated that she could provide the federal reports and what has been collected. 

Ted suggested that a teleconference be held before the next meeting with the Task Force.

Joyce stated that she would get the RSA II3 and 911 for the past fiscal year to the Task Force before its teleconference.

Joyce informed the Council that input from the Task Force needed to happen quickly.

Phyllis will send the entire Council the date and time of the teleconference for the Federal Eligibility Task Force.

Paul E. asked if DBS would send out the revised policies the Council reviewed.

Old Business

The Council was informed that Congress would be who the consumer groups could address their concern about the Federal Grant money.

Joyce will let the Council know when DBS receives this year’s Grant monies.

The Council agreed to conduct next October’s meeting in Daytona.
After discussion the date agreed on was October 27th and 28th.

Meeting adjourned at 10:15 AM

Return to top of page

DISCLAIMER: Links on the Florida Division of Blind Services (DBS) website that are directed toward websites outside the DBS, provide additional information that may be useful or interesting and are being provided consistent with the intended purpose of the DBS website. DBS cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided by non-DBS websites. Further, providing links to a non-DBS website does not constitute an endorsement by DBS, the Florida Department of Education or any of its employees, of the sponsors of the non-DBS website or of the information or products presented on the non-DBS website.