Quarterly Meeting Minutes (Wednesday, January 18, 2012)

SpringHill Suites
1300 Executive Center Drive
Tallahassee, FL


Approved April 20, 2012

Paul Edwards, Chair called the meeting to order at 8:35 AM with the pledge of allegiance following roll call.

Council Members Present:  Paul Edwards, Jesus Garcia, Henry Alexander, Vicky Magliocchino, Bruce Miles, Ted Hull,  Andrew Raines, Christopher White, Donté Mickens, Sylvia Stinson-Perez, Dan O’Connor, Ben Grzesik , Paul Kaminsky, Michele Polland, Sue Townsend and Joyce Hildreth.  Gloria Mills represented NFB.

Council Members Absent:  Sheryl Brown and Joe Minichiello
Council Staff: Phyllis Dill

DBS Staff: Antionette Williams, Ana Saint-Fort, Jeff Whitehead

Attendees: Alisa McKinlay, Roy Cosgrove, Leanne Grillot, Lee Nasehi,

Interpreters: Pam Hill and Tim Godwin

A motion to adopt the Agenda as written received a second and passed.

Election of Officers

Joyce Hildreth conducted the election for Council Chair.

Nomination for Chair:

Motion was made and seconded to elect Paul Edwards Chair by acclimation.

Mr. Edwards resumed his role as Chair of the Council and continued with elections.

Nomination for First Vice Chair:

Motion was made and seconded to elect Bruce Miles as First Vice Chair by acclimation.

Nomination for Second Vice Chair:

Motion was made and seconded to elect Paul Kaminsky as Second Vice Chair by acclimation.

District Administrator's Report

Ana Saint-Fort presented the Council with an overview of activities in district two and its relationship with the local CRPs.

Ms. Saint-Fort presented an overview of the district’s relationship with the local CRP, Lighthouse of the Big Bend (LBB).

VR Director

Aleisa McKinlay, recently appointed Director of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, addressed the Council with an overview of VR.

Last year VR gainfully employed clients were: 41% mental health issues, 16% orthopedic, 14% chronic medical, 9% developmental disability, 14% sensory disability, 4 % substance abuse and 2% learning disability.

Director's Report

Ms. Hildreth’s report included the following:

Legislative issues:

Ms. McKinlay informed the Council of a contract VR has with the Center for Social Capital (CSC).  CSC’s charge, under the contract, is to do train the trainer to develop certifying business technical assistance centers (CETAC).  She offered to share the information with DBS.


Bureau of Business Enterprise (BBE)

Bill Findley, Bureau Chief presented the Council with an overview and update of BBE.

Bureau of Client Services Update

Antionette Williams reported the following information:

  • The Goals for this year remain the same as last year at 750.
  • Successful employments so far this year are 289 which include:
  • 110 partially or legally blind
  • 80 other visual impairments
  • 25 totally blind
  • 4 as result of restoration
  • 8 veterans
  • There are 671 unsuccessful closures this year to date.
  • DBS attributes the successful closures to elements of the employment plan which includes:
  • Heightened accountability among the districts.
  • Requiring VR staff to attend employment opportunity training.
  • VR staff is taught how to provide employers with qualified applicants.
  • DBS has identified an employment consultant.
  • The BBE program is being promoted.
  • Now emphasizing the work experience program.
  • Promoting internal employment programs.
  • Embarking upon two new employment initiative programs.
  • DBS is confident it will meet or exceed the 750 goal this year.

DBS Policy #10.9

Lynn Ritter read Policy #10.9 – Identification Cards, tabled from the July meeting.

Christopher White referred to the second paragraph and suggested replacing the wording “adequate eye report” with “eye report that meets the above criteria”.

Motion to accept change was seconded. 

After discussion it was decided to condense the first sentence in second paragraph to read:

“Certification of visual impairment or legal blindness may be made by DBS counselor, Supervisor or District Administrator who has access to an eye report that meets the above criteria.”

 Motion passed.

Lunch Break

Meeting resumed at 1:15 p.m.

Florida Outreach Program - Birth - 21 years

Emily Taylor-Snell, Coordinator with the Florida Outreach Project (FOP) provided material to the Council earlier via e-mail.  She conducted a Power Point presentation with a detail description of each slide.

Contact information:

Florida Outreach Project
University of Florida
P.O. Box 100234
Gainesville, FL  32510
Toll Free:  800/667-4052
Email:  info@deafblind.ufl.edu
Web site:  www.deafblind.ufl.edu

Florida Outreach Program - Adult Needs

Vicky Magliocchino, President of the Florida Association of Dead-Blind and its representative on FRCB, addressed the Council on the adult needs of the deaf-blind.

  • Total deaf-blind in the United States, of all ages beginning at birth, is 1.214 Million.
  • In 2010 more deaf-blind has increased due to baby boomers becoming 55 and above.
  • Approximately 1.7 million senior citizens will lose their hearing.
  • Approximately 1.01 senior citizens will lose their vision.
  • Approximately 290,000 senior citizens will lose both hearing and vision.
  • There are three barriers with deaf-blind:
  • Communication is the largest barrier.
  • Mobility limitations
  • Participation in ones own community.
  • Greatest need is accessibility
  • To participate in our communities
  • To meet others like ourselves
  • To have access to training and technology
  • Degrees of hearing and vision:
  • Completely deaf-blind is no hearing or sight.
  • Deaf with low vision.
  • Hard of hearing and completely blind.
  • Hard of hearing with low vision
  • Being born deaf first and becoming visually impaired later.
  • Being born blind first and becoming hearing impaired later.
  • The Mission of the Florida Deaf-Blind Association (FDBA):
  • To enhance independence through economic and social opportunities for all people who are Deaf-Blind in Florida. This will be accomplished through education and advocacy for people who are deaf-blind in their community. FDBA will educate the general public about deaf-blindness so that all Floridians may better understand the needs of the deaf-blind community in order to lend their support.
  • FDBA held its first meeting in May 2004 and elected Mrs. Nellie Pohlmeyer as the first President.  Vicky Magliocchino was the second president and is currently serving a second term as president.
  • FDBA has 4 regions with 2 representatives in each region.
  • ACTIVE membership is for anyone who is DEAF-BLIND.
  • ASSOCIATE membership is for anyone who is SIGHTED and is a supporter, such as a friend, a family member, or a caring person.
  • STUDENT membership is for anyone who is DEAF-BLIND and is attending school as long as he/she is 23 years old or under.
  • ORGANIZATIONAL/BUSINESS membership is available to national, state, and local non-profit organizations and businesses with a mission or interest for promoting the lives of Deaf-Blind people.
  • FDBA web site: www.fldeafblind.org 
  • FDBA has 6 goals :
  • 1. Increase outreach to find more deaf-blind individuals.
  • 2. Increase public awareness of deaf-blind and their needs.
  • 3. Provide social events for the deaf-blind.
  • 4. Establish an SSP (support service provider) task force to set up a SSP Program in Florida.
  • The role of an SSP include the following:
    • Facilitate communication for the deaf-blind individual.
    • Provide transportation.
    • Provide information about written materials.
    • Assist with shopping and appointments.
    • Provide environmental information.
    • Provide companionship
  • 5. Hold an annual state meeting (often in the Fall)
  • 6. To help deaf-blind individuals be aware and provide information about the different kinds of communication access and the different options.
  • Types of Communication for the deaf-blind include: Text; computer, TTYs, Relay Operators, Black Berry, assistive listening devices, communication cards, Video Phone (VP), Video Relay Service (VRS), CapTel, Deaf Blind Communicator (DBC), iPhone, wireless Braille displays.
  • Sign language can be provided through:  close vision, tactile, finger spelling, print on palm and other Braille technology.
  • The Communication Video Access Act (CVAA) was recently passed that will distribute $10 million annually for equipment for deaf-blind individuals.  It’s called the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP).  Florida Telecommunications Relay Inc. (FTRI) has applied to serve as the manager of NDBEDP and is expected to receive approximately $450,000. 
  • CVAA also requires that all communication technology to meet the needs of the deaf, blind and deaf-blind individuals.
  • The deaf-blind community believes that neither agency (DBS or VR) truly understand deaf-blind individuals.

Client Satisfaction Survey Update

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.