Hilton University of Florida Conference Center Gainesville
1714 S.W. 34th Street
Gainesville, FL  32607

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Meeting called to order at 8:35 AM with the pledge of allegiance following roll call.

Council Members Present:  (15)

Bruce Miles, Dan O’Connor, Robert Kelly, Donté Mickens, Sandra Martin, Gloria Mills, Sheryl Brown, Leanne Grillot, Lenora Marten, Sylvia Stinson-Perez, Paul Kaminsky, Paul Edwards, Christopher White, Joe Minichiello and Robert Doyle, Director. 

Council Members Present via Teleconference: (4) Dwight Sayer, Patricia Lipovsky, and Jesus Garcia, Ben Grzesik

Council Members Absent: (1) Vicky Magliocchino  

Council Staff: (1) Alise Fields

DBS Staff Present via Teleconference: (3)

Antionette Williams, Lynn Ritter and Wayne Jennings.

Attendees: (5)

John Henry Douglas (FRC), Bill Findley (BBE), Tom Spiliotis (BBE), Don Toole (BBE), Robin Whiteley (Florida Center for the Blind), Tracey Bradley, April Hogden, Madeline Davidson.

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

Director’s Report

Robert Doyle presented the following:


Employer Recognition

Tracey Bradley, DA recognized MammaCare Corporation as the recipient of the Employer’s Award. MammaCare Corporation has provided technology, equipment assessments, and employment needed for clients in detection of breast cancer...

A group photo was taken of Bruce Miles, Robert Doyle, Tracey Bradley, and Dr. Mark Goldstein

District Administrator’s Report

Tracey Bradley, DA provided the Council with the following report: Attached
District 3 is comprised of a main office in Jacksonville and a satellite office in Gainesville.

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. 


Morning Break

DSO Update

Bruce Miles discussed the following information:

Paul Edwards discussed the following information:

The DSO approach in the report required by new legislation is to provide basic information along with a three year set of goals.


FRC May Meeting Report

Paul Edwards discussed the following information:

VR Goals Update

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

Successful Closures


Lunch Break

Meeting resumed at 1:05 PM

Florida Center for the Blind Report

Robin Whiteley, Executive Director of the Florida Center for the Blind provided the Council with a copy of her report.

The mission of the Florida Center for the Blind is where loss of vision does not mean loss of independence!

To provide free services for people who are visually impaired; empowering them to live safely, productively and independently.

We were nonprofit agency incorporated in 1989. Providing service to the following counties: Marion, Alachua, Bradford, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Levy and Union.
We provide center-based and in-home services to any individual who is blind or visually impaired. It is the client’s choice.
Florida Center for the Blind has 12 employees – 6 full time and 6 part time. All the professional staff have Master’s degrees. In 2013, we added a Social Worker.
We received DBS contracts for
Transition, Year round and extensive summer program
Vocational Rehabilitation,
Adult Program, non-vocational under 55
Older Blind, over 55

Services provided under each Contract:
Transition Program
Information and Referral
Case Management
Assistive Technology Training including but not limited to computers and iPads
Job Readiness Training
Work Experiences
Orientation and Mobility
Personal/Home Management
Low Vision - Magnification, Lighting, Eccentric Viewing
Counseling and Adjustment to Vision Loss training
Self Advocacy 
Vocational Rehabilitation Program
Information and Referral
Case Management
Orientation and Mobility
Assistive Technology Training including computers, IPads and IPhones
Assessment and Instruction for adaptive software
Job Readiness Training
Personal/Home Management
Communications (includes Braille and keyboarding)
Self-Management of Diabetes
Low Vision - Magnification, Lighting, Eccentric Viewing
Counseling and Adjustment to Vision Loss training

Adult Program and Older Blind Rehabilitation Program
Information and Referral
Case Management
Orientation and Mobility
Personal and Home Management
Communications (includes Braille and keyboarding)
Self-Management of Diabetes
Low Vision - Magnification, Lighting, Eccentric Viewing
Assistive Technology Training including computers and IPads
Counseling and Adjustment to Vision Loss training
Community Resources

Funds to prove the above services come from DBS Grants as well as Corporate, Business and Individual grants and donations. We receive funds from Churches and many Lion’s Clubs. We have been fortunate to benefit from Bequests. We also do annual fundraisers such as Dining in the Dark and a Spring Luncheon.

Major Challenges
The majority of our clients live in rural areas and it takes staff time to get to and from in-home lessons.

In Marion County, the Marion County transportation will only bring clients to FCB either on Mondays or Wednesdays.

Transition – we pick up students from the 8 counties every day in the summer and take them home at the end of the day. We have to utilize FCB’s vehicles to accomplish this.

The Future
Florida Center for the Blind has outgrown our facility on 60th Ave. so we purchased two building in November 2013 and they are being remodeled to be a state of the art rehabilitation facility. The estimated move in date in October 2014. We plan to have a store to sell low vision products and we will have room to have community events.

Comments/ Questions

BBE Update

Bill Findley, Tom Spiliotis provided the following information.

The Bureau of Business Enterprise creates business opportunities for visually impaired and blind people through the Randolph Shepard Act.

Tom Spiliotis, Chairman of State Committee presented the following

  Comments/ Questions

Client Satisfaction Survey

Minna Jia, Director, Survey Research Laboratory College of Social Sciences and Public Policy
Florida State University provided the final report of FY 13/14 to the Council prior to the Quarterly Meeting. Report is in the attachments related to the July 2014 Business Meeting. 

Afternoon Break

Meeting resumed at 3:00 PM

DBS Policies

Antionette Williams provided the following information:

Draft Self-Employment Policy has been provided to the Council prior to the July Business Meeting.


FILC Update

Patricia Lipovsky presented the following information.

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.