St. Petersburg Marriot
12600 Roosevelt Blvd
St. Petersburg, FL 33716

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Meeting called to order at 8:30 AM with the pledge of allegiance following roll call.

Council Members Present:  (13)

Bruce Miles, Dan O’Connor, Robert Kelly, Donté Mickens, Sandra Martin, Gloria Mills, Jesus Garcia, Sheryl Brown, Vicky Magliocchino, Paul Kaminsky, Patricia Lipovsky, Joe Minichiello and Robert Doyle, Director. 

Council Members Present via Teleconference: (3)

Dwight Sayer, Lenora Marten, and Leanne Grillot

Council Members Absent: (4)

Ben Grzesik, Paul Edwards, Christopher White and Sylvia Stinson-Perez,

Council Staff: (1)

Alise Fields

DBS Staff: (2)

Antionette Williams, Lynn Ritter and Wayne Jennings.

Attendees: (5)

Becki Forsell, Mireya Hernandez, Bryan Funk, Cory Parker and Beverly Bennett.

A motion to adopt the Agenda was made and seconded. Motion passed.

Director’s Report

Robert Doyle presented the following:           

DBS General Update

Gifts and Donations


Job Placement Overview/Supported Employment Workgroup

Legislative Session

Council Travel


District Administrator’s Report

Mireya Hernandez, DA provided the Council with the following report: Attached

District 7 is comprised of a main office in Tampa and a satellite office in Lakeland.

The district participated in quarterly marketing and outreach campaigns to increase referrals as well as reach underserved populations in rural areas.  They focused on marketing to eye physicians, hospitals/clinics/medical centers, schools, churches, and other social/community programs.  District 7 has seen an increase in referrals in most of the counties. 

The district collaborates with three CRP’s. 

Employer Recognition

Mireya Hernandez, DA recognized Tomlinson Adult Learning Center as the recipient of the Employer’s Award. Tomlinson Learning Center has provided technology, equipment assessments, and employment needed for clients.

A group photo was taken of Bruce Miles, Robert Doyle, Mireya Hernandez, and Debby VanderWoude, Ed.D, Director.

Morning Break

Lighthouse of the Pinellas Report

Beverly Bennett, Director of Programs Lighthouse of Pinellas provided the Council with a copy of her report.

The mission of the Lighthouse of Pinellas is to advance the independence and quality of life for individuals in Pinellas County who are blind or visually impaired.

The Lighthouse of Pinellas has provided ongoing programs and support for the blind and visually impaired in Pinellas County for 58 years.

Population Density is 3,300 people per square mile, making Pinellas County the most densely populated county in Florida, more than double that of Broward County, the next most densely populated. (2010 census)

The Lighthouse of Pinellas has been continuously accredited by NAC since 1994.

Current Programs provided by the Lighthouse of Pinellas include:

Service Provision:

Services are provided in the home, at the agency, and in the community dependent upon the needs and goals of the client as well as the nature of the particular class. Transportation to and from the Lighthouse of Pinellas, Inc. for training is available through a rate agreement with a local cab company. 

The Lighthouse of Pinellas has 27 employees, 13 full time, 14 part time and also has one contract worker.  Three individuals employed by the Lighthouse are blind or visually impaired.  Three individuals employed by the Lighthouse have worked at the agency for over 20 years.

Upcoming initiatives:

Lighthouse of Pinellas is working towards reintroducing programing for individuals who have graduated from our adult IL and VR programs.  We plan to create a Lighthouse Alumni Program that will meet once a month on Fridays at the agency.  Various classes and seminars will be offered.  The purpose of this program will be to provide access to social, educational, leisure and wellness opportunities for our graduates. The Lighthouse hopes to begin this program in October of 2014.

VR Goals Update

Wayne Jennings provided the Council with his report and data as part of the meeting materials.  

New Committee Appointments

The Council was provided with the list of committees and duties previously as part of the meeting materials.

Chairman Miles reviewed the list of committees. All committees meet as needed.

Sheryl Brown will remain Chair of the Planning Committee and all members will also remain.

Paul Edwards will remain Chair of the Evaluation Committee and all members will also remain.

Jesus Garcia has been appointed to the Evaluation Committee.

Patricia Lipovsky and Robert Kelly have been appointed to the Planning Committee.

FRC February Meeting Report

Becki Forsell discussed the following information:

Lunch Break

Meeting resumed at 1:05 PM

DOE Deaf Blind Specialist Update

Cory Parker, Vocational Rehabilitation Senior Consultant, presented the following:

State Plan Update


- Paul Edwards provided his comments to the Council prior to the meeting

***No other comments***


-Bruce Miles asked was the employment consultant to increase the employment outcomes still occupied.

Deputy Director Williams responds:

-There have been some positive outcomes and the incumbent is becoming acclimated with the processes and procedures. Partnerships on a Statewide and National level have increased.

-There has been training to assess caseloads and roles and responsibilities of the EPs in the districts.

-On behalf of Paul Edwards, Bruce Miles asked that Deputy Director Williams elaborate on the Homemaker Policy.

Deputy Director Williams responds:

- The service interruption protocols and the homemaker policy are referenced in this section.  DBS is aligning to implement the service interruption protocols to address the medical and personal issues as they relate to premature case closures.

- On behalf of Paul Edwards, Bruce Miles asked for clarification on the exclusion of Florida State University for the certification for the CRC.

Deputy Director Williams responds:

-Colleges are listed because they provide the certification for the CRC. Florida State University courses do not qualify as preparation for the CRC however they do offer accredited courses.

            -It is recommended that an amendment be made to show that FSU can assist with the courses for the CRC but not the certification.

- On behalf of Paul Edwards, Bruce Miles says that there needs to be clarification on the time frame of certification for the CRC.

Deputy Director Williams responds:

            -This is an error and will be corrected.

-Donte Mickens on specific recruitment strategies, will the salary increase be an annual increase or a one-time award?

Deputy Director Williams responds:

            -This will be an increase to the base salary of the CRC eligible counselor other language will be reviewed.

***No other comments***

4.11 (A)

-On behalf of Paul Edwards, Bruce Miles too was under the impression that transportation will be removed from consideration and the technology component and the needs assessment will remain. It appears that these portions have been removed. It appears that the only elements that remain are the gathering of data as it relates to unsuccessful closures. There is a benefit to be gained from interviewing closed clients.

Deputy Director Williams responds:

            -Decision was to focus on the five primary plus one additional area as identified during the fall FRCB meeting.

4.11 (B)

- Paul Edwards previously provided his comments.

***No other comments***

4.11 (E) (2)

- Paul Edwards previously provided his comments.

-Bruce Miles asked is the nationality Native Hawaiian Pacific Islanders covered under the terms.

-Bruce Miles states that the Asian population is growing rapidly and that there is a tremendous influx in his area and that DBS should take into consideration interpreters for this population.   

Deputy Director Williams responds:

            -All nationalities are served under our outreach. Currently the numbers for the Native Hawaiian Pacific Islanders reflect zero, but there are efforts to better serve under-served populations.

Deputy Director Williams states that there will be some additional items included because of the State Plan input. The theme that was rising from the State Plan involved improvements to our Vocational Rehabilitation Center in Daytona Beach with emphasis on training and additional outreach.

Further discussion and revisions will take place during the Final Review of the State Plan Revisions Meeting scheduled May 15, 2014.

Afternoon Break

Meeting resumed at 2:45 PM

DBS Policies

Lynn Ritter provided the following information:

Policy 6.07 Purchase of Access and Rehabilitation Technology –


Homemaker Guidelines


Employment Initiative and Cooperative Agreement

Director Doyle presented the following information:

Transportation Ad Hoc Committee

Gloria Mills presented the following information:



Bruce Miles presented the following information:

Director Doyle presented the following information related to the Spring NCSAB/CSAVR meetings:

Meeting adjourned at 4:00 PM.

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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.