Quarterly Meeting Minutes (Thursday, April 19, 2012)

Embassy Suites
8978 International Drive
Orlando, FL

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, Andrew Raines, Bruce Miles, Vicky Magliocchino, Ted Hull,  Christopher White, Donté Mickens, Sheryl Brown,  Sylvia Stinson-Perez, Dan O’Connor, Paul Kaminsky, Joe Minichiello, Sue Townsend and Joyce Hildreth.  Gloria Mills represented NFB.

Council Members Absent:  Ben Grzesik and Michele Polland
Council Staff: Phyllis Dill

DBS Staff:  Lynn Ritter, Anthony Pileggi, Brian Michaels, Sue Velasko,

Attendees:  Barbara Chandler, SE Rep for Helen Keller National Center; Lighthouse Central Florida staff:  Lee Nasehi, President/CEO; Keith Gee, Resource Development Director;
Lee Van Eepoel, Program Director; Dylan Buhain, Transition Program Supervisor; and
Joyce Skipper, Executive Assistant

Interpreters: Emily Jones and Jessica Rodas

A motion to adopt the amended Agenda passed.  The addition of Policy 6.22 Purchase of IPads and the use of low vision to determine eligibility were added to the VR Goals Update/Policy Review at 10:45 AM.

District Six Administrator’s Report

Brian Michaels, DA welcomed the Council to the Orlando area.  His report included:

Employer Award

Two Bahama Breeze locations were selected to receive the Employer Award in District Six.  Mr. Michaels also recognized Lee Van Eepoel; Paul Sershon; Chris DeBonis and Ginny Taylor from the Lighthouse Central Florida for their cooperation and working relationship.
On behalf of Bahama Breeze, managers Stewart Wigdor and Craig Barhors each accepted a plaque of appreciation for employing individuals with visual disabilities.

Photos were taken of each presentation as well as a group photo including Ms. Hildreth, Mr. Edwards and Mr. Michaels.

Lighthouse Central Florida (LCF)

Lee Nasehi, President and CEO of Lighthouse Central Florida gave the following update:

Lee Van Eepol gave the Council insight into the new initiative with the CRPs participating in employment.

Morning Break

VR Goals Update/Policy Review
Policy 2.10 – Self Employment

Lynn Ritter informed the Council the change made to Policy 2.10 Self Employment services was under Scope of Services replacing “…the client as sole proprietor.” With  “…the client owning at least 51% of the business.”
A motion was made to accept the policy as changed.  Motion received a second.

After discussion, a motion was made to table Policy 2.10 until the July meeting.  Motion received a second and passed.

 Policy 6.22 – Purchase of iPads

Bruce Miles read Policy 6.22 Purchase of iPads.

After discussion a motion was made to table Policy 6.22 until the July meeting.  Motion received a second and passed.

Policy 8.17 - Low Vision Assistance for Clients

Sheryl Brown questioned the statement in Policy 8.17 that reads…”A low vision examination should not be used to determine client eligibility.”  She suggested it be removed and indicated that a low vision examination conducted by a qualified optometrist or ophthalmologist should be considered appropriate for determining eligibility.

Antionette Williams was in agreement and asked Ms. Ritter to make the change.

Council agreed to the change.

State Plan

Antionette Williams, Bureau Chief summarized the State Plan attachments for this year:

Changes will be completed by the end of May and delivered to the Commissioner the first week of June.

Council requested Ms. Williams to send members the final State Plan by the end of May for Council to review.  Council will give comments via a teleconference call on June 4th.

Mr. Miles questioned the language on page 8 of Attachment 4.10 pertaining to the recruitment strategies.   In first paragraph, last sentence….”beginning salary is set at $2,000 above base based on CRC.”  He asked if it should be based on the VRC instead.

Lunch Break

Meeting resumed at 1:25 PM.

Before the next item on the agenda and after a brief discussion, a motion was made and seconded as follows:

For transition students only a recommendation from a CRP which attests relevance and proficiency goes to a Counselor who then follows up with Rehab Engineering and then a purchase of an iPad can be approved.
Motion passed.

Helen Keller National Center Presentation

Barbara Chandler, Southeast Representative of the Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) provided handouts via email earlier.  (Attached)

Ms. Chandler demonstrated a number of listening devices available for the deaf- blind (DB).  She spoke about the importance and strategies for communicating with deaf-blind.

Ms. Chandler informed the Council of Diz Wiz which is an App for an iPad that will allow the person to take a picture of an item and it will let them know what it is. 

Ms. Chandler shared what the Helen Keller National Center does and her position as the Southeast representative.

Ms. Chandler informed the Council she would provide training in an office or the region.  She stated she would like to conduct a coordinated effort between DBS, DVR and the CRPs.

Director’s Report

Ms. Hildreth’s requested Ellen McCarron, JoAnn Carrin and Erica Hicks to report on the DBS Strategic Plan, Virtual Learning and a Legislative Update.

Strategic Plan - Ellen McCarron, Deputy Director 

Virtual Learning -  JoAnn Carrin, Communications Director

Legislative Update – Erica Hicks, Operations & Management Consultant II

Ms. Hicks gave the Council a quick overview of the legislative process before providing the status of DBS Bills tracked during the 2012 session:

Meeting adjourned at 3:00 PM

Florida Rehabilitation Council for the Blind
Quarterly Meeting


Friday, April 20, 2012

Paul Edwards, Chair called the meeting to order at 9:00 AM.

Council Members Present:   Paul Edwards, Jesus Garcia, Henry Alexander, Andrew Raines, Bruce Miles, Vicky Magliocchino, Ted Hull, Donté Mickens, Sheryl Brown, Dan O’Connor, Sylvia Stinson-Perez, Paul Kaminsky, Joe Minichiello, and Joyce Hildreth.  Gloria Mills represented NFB.

Council Members Absent:  Ben Grzesik, Michele Polland, Christopher White and Sue Townsend
Council Staff: Phyllis Dill

DBS Staff:   Anthony Pileggi

Interpreters: Emily Jones and Jessica Rodas

Attendees:  Dan Hicks

Update on Appointments

Ms. Hildreth summarized the status of appointments and the meeting with the Chester Spellman, Director of the Appointments Office.

Ms. Hildreth informed the Council of the regional meetings being conducted around the state with employees to involve them with the Strategic Plan.  The one day meeting included the morning session dealing with the history and culture of the Division and the afternoon session dealing with the Strategic Plan.

The Council requested DBS to send out the schedule of the regional meetings.

Ms. Hildreth informed the Council that the Office of Inspector General was conducting a Management Review of the Division and  are looking at the processes with communication, contracts and personnel. 

At the conclusion of the review the Council will be provided the information.

Mr. Edwards read the Strategic Plan to the Council.

Mr. Edwards asked if there were any projects or objectives that included the Council.

Ms. Hildreth responded she would be interested in adding something if the Council would like.

Approval of January 2012 Minutes

A motion for acceptance of the January 2012 minutes was seconded with no discussion.  Minutes were accepted unanimously.

Location and Date of January 2013 Meeting

Mr. Garcia’s recommendation for Ft. Lauderdale received 6 votes.
Ms. Perez’s recommendation for West Palm Beach received 5 votes.
Mr. Raines recommendation for Pensacola received 1 vote.

A motion to conduct the April 2013 meeting in Ft. Lauderdale received a second and passed.

The Council agreed on April 18 and 19, 2013 with April 17 as travel day.

Agenda Items for July 2012 quarterly meeting in Jacksonville

 Strategic Plan Projects Update
Client Satisfaction Survey Report
Client Satisfaction Contract for FY 2012/2013

Other on-going items:

Director’s Report
Local CRP Report – ILAB Becky Simpson
District Administrator’s Report
Update of VR Goals and review of policies  (tabled policies 6.22 and 2.10)
Employer Recognition
Approval of April minutes
Location of July 2013 meeting
Agenda items for October meeting

The Council decided to conduct a Public Forum in Jacksonville.

Meeting adjourned at 10:15 AM.

Respectively submitted,
Phyllis Dill, AAII


Helen Keller National Center Presentation
Florida Rehabilitation Council for the Blind
April 19, 2012  1:00 pm

Presenter:  Barbara Chandler
                  SE Regional Representative
          Atlanta, GA

Overview of HKNC Programs and Services

Deaf-Blind Perspectives

Communication Assessment and Devices

Challenges to Serving those who are Deaf-Blind in Florida




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