Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches
1710 Tiffany Drive East
West Palm Beach, FL  33407

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bruce Miles, Council Chair called the meeting to order at 5:35 PM.

Council Members Present:

Bruce Miles, Paul Edwards, Robert Kelly, Dwight Sayer, Donté Mickens, Sandra Martin, Lenora Marten, Gloria Mills, Dan O’Connor, Ben Grzesik, Christopher White, and  Robert Doyle, Director. 

Council Staff:   Phyllis Dill

DBS Staff:

Antionette Williams, Wayne Jennings, Lauren Williams, Bobbie Howard, Sam Patterson, Stael Exantus, Christina Panczak-Smith, Jannelle Henry, Zunaira Wasif, Sharon Lucas, Grace Golasz

Forty-one consumers were in attendance.

Mary Allen, Director of Vision Services at the Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches welcomed everyone to the Public Forum then turned the meeting over to Bruce Miles, Chair of FRCB.

First consumer Comments:

Second Consumer Comments:

Third Consumer Comments:


Mr. Doyle assured he would get a resolution as quick as possible.

Mr. White informed the consumer that she or anyone who runs into problems with services with DBS or VR could also contact the Client Assistance Program.

Fourth Consumer Comments:


Ms. Martin responded that because the private schools are private they have the right to deny someone being on their campus, but that doesn’t mean the child can’t get services at a public school. 

Mr. White informed the consumer that if there is a problem with access of services or an educational advocate or attorney is necessary, Disability Rights Florida can help with those services and make sure she understands her rights and what can be done.

Fifth Consumer Comments:

Mr. Sayer stated that NFB and AFB both had a strong Braille philosophy.  He mentioned that the State of Florida Law states that if you are legally blind your primary language taught will be Braille.

Sixth Consumer Comments:


Mr. Doyle informed everyone that the sub minimum wage provision is being left in the Act and the legislators on Capitol Hill do not intend on changing the language.  He stated that a number of states are going into what they call “Employment First” where they are encouraging individuals to get jobs rather than being in sheltered workshops. 

Seventh Consumer Comments:

Eighth Consumer Comments:


Mr. Edwards informed the consumer that he doesn’t have to go through MyFlorida.com to get into the DBS website.  He stated that a civil rights complaint has been filed against the State of Florida and MyFlorida.com.

Ninth Consumer Comments:


Mr. Doyle assured that the Chief of Client Services would contact the local office and look over the file and the issues.  He also informed her that the Client Assistance Program was available if she needed to make a complaint.

Tenth Consumer Comments:


Ms. Williams informed her that DBS requires students to apply for other resources that they are aware of in terms of financial academics; however DBS will sponsor her academics as long as she maintains a GPA 2.0 are better.  She stated that she would follow-up with the District Office.

Mr. Doyle informed her that DBS also partners with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, individual organizations or vendors to provide services a client may need.  He also stated that sending a client to a Center out of state would be looked at on an individual basis and if it is determined that that is the only or best avenue DBS would try and make it happen.

Eleventh Consumer Comments: (93 years old)

Twelfth Consumer Comments:


Mr. Miles informed the consumer that the Council conducted meetings quarterly and was appointed by the Governor.  He summarized all that the Council did.

Ms. Martin informed the consumer it was important to get the word out.

Mr. Jennings informed the consumers that DBS was constantly trying to get the word out to eye doctors.

Mr. Kelly stated that as a service provider it has been a challenge to develop relationships with eye doctors so that referrals for service are given. 

Mr. Miles informed the group that he had seven letters from consumers that would be read to the Council sometime during the business meeting.  He thanked everyone for attending and adjourned the meeting at 7:20 PM.

E-mail comments read by Mr. Miles during the business meeting October 17, 2013.

Consumer Comment read October 17, 2013:

Consumer Comment read October 17, 2013:

Consumer Comment read October 17, 2013:

Consumer Comment read October 17, 2013:

Consumer Comment read October 17, 2013:

Consumer Comment read October 17, 2013:

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.