Doubletree Hotel Tallassee
101 s. adams street
tallahassee, FL  32311

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Meeting called to order at 8:15 AM with the pledge of allegiance following roll call.

Council Members Present:  (14)

Bruce Miles, Michael Wiseman, Robert Kelly, Donté Mickens, Sandra Martin, Lenora Marten, Ben Grzesik, Gloria Mills, Sheryl Brown, Dan O’Connor, Vicky Magliocchino, Leanne Grillot, Charles Brooks and Robert Doyle, Director. 

Council Members Present via Teleconference: (4)

Jesus Garcia, Patricia Lipovsky, Joe Minichiello, Sylvia Perez

Council Members Absent: (1)

Dwight Sayer

Council Staff: (1)

Alise Fields

DBS Staff: (23)

Tom Austin, Bureau Chief of Client Services, Wayne Jennings, Michelle Levy, Rashad Morgan, Sandra Brown, April Ogden, Tracey Bradley, Denise Valluerca, Bobbie Howard-Davis, Juan Carlos Diaz, Kristin Panella, Nancy Brown, Mireya Hernandez, Lynn Ritter, Tony Pileggi, Bruce Emmerton, Madeline Davidson, Leigh Ann Bellamy, Tiffany Baylor, Marcia Haye, Bryan Chambless, Brian Michaels, Donna Rhodes, 

Attendees: (5)

Minna Jia, Becki Forsell, Barbara Ross, Paul Edwards, Susan Hoffman, Ronee Silverman

Chairman Miles recognized the following reappointments to the FRCB:

Chairman Miles recognized the following appointments to the FRCB:

A motion to amend the agenda to add Madeline Davidson to act upon Ana Saint-Fort’s behalf was made and seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Elections of Officers: 
Nomination to Chair: A motion was made and seconded to elect Robert Kelly as Chair. The motion was approved by acclimation. Nomination to First Vice Chair: A motion was made and seconded to elect Dwight Sayer as First Vice Chair. The motion was approved by acclimation.
Nomination to Second Vice Chair: A motion was made and seconded to elect Donte Mickens as Second Vice Chair. The motion was approved by acclimation.

Director’s Report

Robert Doyle presented the following:            


Lauren Williams comments that there is about 4.9 million dollars in the fund.

District Administrator’s Report

Ana Saint-Fort, DA provided the Council with the following report prior to the meeting and Madeline Davidson presented the report during the meeting in Ana Saint-Fort’s stead:

The district values and respects all members on its team. However, it is fitting to recognize several outstanding staff members that contributed to our day-to-day success.

The belated Johnnie Slaton who managed a caseload of approximately 70 visually impaired and blind clients in rural counties requiring extensive travel to meet their needs. Her accomplishment in this past fiscal year was the placement of 32 visually impaired and blind clients’ successfully rehabilitated into employment. Her passing was very sad for all who valued her work ethics and strive for success.

Wanda Stokley, Rehabilitation Technician has been with the agency since 1986. Wanda assist the Rehab Counselors And any other staff that requires assistant. She ensures that authorizations are completed timely and accurately. She provides support whenever needed. She is highly dedicated to the mission of the division and to her position.

In addition to Interim Health Care, which will receive an award this morning, this district will also like to recognize several employers that have contributed to our successful placement outcome this past year. They are, US Department of Veterans Affairs, Lighthouse of the Big Bend, New Mexico Commission for the Blind, Bealls Outlet Store, Florida State Legislature House of Representatives, and Zaxby Restaurants.

Lastly, Georgia Industries for the Blind is a long time employment partner of the district, employing over 5 visually impaired clients from Leon County throughout the past year. Georgia Industries for the Blind has been previously nominated and continues to be a great community resources.


Employer Recognition

Madeline Davidson recognized Interim Health Care as the recipient of the Employer’s Award. Interim Health Care has provided successful job placements for DBS clients.

A group photo was taken of Robert Doyle, DBS Director, Robert Kelly, FRCB Chair, Cindy Lavoie, Vice President of Interim Health Care and Duranda Johnson.

Morning Break

Lighthouse of the Big Bend Report

Barbara Ross, Executive Director of Lighthouse of the Big Bend provided the Council with a copy of her report.

The Lighthouse of the Big Bend (LBB) was founded in 1983 and is the sole non-profit in 11 counties of the Big Bend specifically serving people with vision loss (Franklin, Gadsden, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor, and Wakulla). The agency’s mission is to assist people with vision loss in their pursuit of independence.

LBB serves children age 0-5, teenagers age 14 – 19 and all adults and seniors. Last year LBB served over 350 clients, the majority of whom were DBS clients. Most clients served lost their vision as an adult (working age or retired), and therefore need to re-learn how to function independently.
The Lighthouse has twenty staff positions, six of which are part time. Four individuals employed by the Lighthouse are blind or visually impaired. Longevity of staff is high, with seven full time staff members who have worked for the agency for 10 - 27 years. Staff members teach clients skills in the home, at work, on campus, in the community, and we have several classes at the Lighthouse. Supervisors are ACVREP Certified and LBB has been continuously accredited through the National Accreditation Council (NAC) which ensures quality services for clients, our top priority.

LBB has five contracts with DOE / DBS to provide services to individuals who are blind or visually impaired and their families, in four program areas:
(a) Early Intervention/Blind Babies Program for infants and toddlers from age 0 - 5 to teach developmental milestones and increase their opportunities for success in school, at home, and later in life;
(b) Transition Program for teens and young adults ages 14 until graduation from high school to teach vocational and independent living goals empowering them to become self-sufficient members of society;
(c) Vocational Rehabilitation Program for adults seeking to obtain, retain or regain competitive employment; and

(d) Independent Living Program for adults and seniors to remain independent in their homes, travel safely and independently in the community and improve their quality of life.

Contract Age
Deliverable # served
in 2013-14
DBS rate per client Annual Contract
EI/BB 0 - 5 34 38 $2,691 $91,494
TS 14 - 19 24 23 $9,600 $230,400
VR 18 - 55+ 109 110 $3,442 $375,168
ILAP 18 - 54 16 22 $2,100 $33,600 
ILOB 55 - 105+ 98 123 $2,100 $205,800

The Lighthouse of the Big Bend’s main program services within the five contracts include:

Employment Skills: For those interested in gaining employment, Lighthouse of the Big Bend can assist with resume writing, job searching, developing resources for job leads, completing job applications, interviewing techniques, professional work skills, self-advocacy with employers, transportation issues related to jobs, and other training to help you find employment or start a career.

Orientation & Mobility: Lighthouse of the Big Bend’s Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist can help individuals learn how to move safely and confidently at home or travel in the community. Learn to navigate stairs, find your way around open spaces, walk on campus or in the workplace, cross streets, use community transportation, instruct and follow a sighted guide, locate dropped objects, use a cane, learn about guide dogs, and other aspects of personal safety.

Computer and Assistive Technology Skills: Whether individuals need screen enlargement or speech software to access a computer, Lighthouse of the Big Bend teaches everything there is to know about adaptive computer software. Clients learn keyboard skills, Internet access, email, word processing and spreadsheet skills. Individual instruction or small classes are offered on a variety of computer programs and technology including smart phones. The Lighthouse of the Big Bend facility also has an employment computer lab.

Daily Living Techniques: A whole new set of skills are taught to help with daily life. Methods for personal and home management techniques include cleaning, cooking, hygiene, clothing identification, telling time, eating, food identification, using tools, lawn maintenance and others can all be learned.

Communication: Specialists can help with reading, writing checks, signing one’s name, typing, dialing a phone, finding phone numbers, and all other aspects of communication. Lighthouse of the Big Bend also offers beginning and Grade 2 Braille classes if desired.

Blind Babies Program Services: Lighthouse of the Big Bend offers an Early Intervention program for babies and young children (age 0-5) who are blind or visually impaired and their families, to teach developmental milestones and increase their opportunities for success in school, at home, and later in life.

Transition Program: Services for teenagers ages 14 until graduation from high school are provided to teach vocational and independent living goals, to empower teens in transitioning to live on their own and go to work or college.

Self-Advocacy, Adjustment to Blindness Counseling, and Support Groups: Talking about how to deal with vision loss, how to advocate for ones needs, and discussing a visual impairment with others are important in being able to cope with vision loss. Several discussion forums are available through Lighthouse of the Big Bend. Individuals can attend a group in person or call in to a phone group from your home or office. All community groups are encouraged to utilize the facility for any groups or meetings related to blindness. Currently the Tallahassee Chapter of the NFB and a Family Support group meet at the Lighthouse monthly. 

LBB gains additional revenue to support programming and services for individuals who are blind through grants and donations, such as:

For more information, please visit our website at www.lighthousebigbend.org.


Special Diplomas

Leanne Grillot presented the following:

Judy White with the Department of Education is a great contact for more information regarding the special diploma.


Sunshine Laws Overview

Brent McNeal presented the following information:


Lunch Break

Meeting resumed at 1:05 PM

VR Goals Update

Wayne Jennings provided the Council with his report and data prior to the meeting.

Wayne discussed the following information for the second quarter:


Needs Assessment

Deputy Director Antionette Williams provided the following update:


FRC November Meeting Report

Bruce Miles discussed the following information:


New Committee Appointments

Robert Kelly confirmed and discussed the following:

Planning Committee

Bruce Miles, Chair
Sheryl Brown
Ben Grzesik
Joe Minichiello
Vicky Magliocchino
Lenora Marten
Jesus Garcia

Evaluation Committee

Donte Mickens, Chair
Dan O’Connor
Sylvia Stinson-Perez
Leanne Grillot
Gloria Mills
Dwight Sayer
Sandy Martin
Patricia Lipovsky
Charles Brooks
Michael Wiseman

Executive Committee

Robert Kelly, Council Chair
Dwight Sayer, First Vice Chair
Joe Minichiello, Second Vice Chair
Bruce Miles, Chair, Planning Committee
Donte Mickens, Chair, Evaluation Committee

It is suggested that the committees meet semi-annually and/or as needed.

Replacement of FRC cross representative

Terms are annual and are a quarterly commitment.

Children’s Camp Ad Hoc Committee

Lenora Marten provided the following updates:

Sub Committee developed to explore options in developing a Children’s Summer Camp. Committee is composed of the following individuals:

FILC Update

Patricia Lipovsky provided the following update:

Client Satisfaction Survey Review

Dr. Minna Jia and Senior Analyst with The Florida State University Survey Research Laboratory (SRL) provided the council with a full report prior to the meeting and discussed the following:

The report summarizes the data collected for the first three quarters of the 2014-15 fiscal year. The Florida State University Survey Research Laboratory (SRL), College of Social Sciences and Public Policy, conducted a telephone survey of former Division of Blind Services (DBS) clients on a monthly basis.  This report includes cases closed between April 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014 and comprises the population surveyed for this 3 Quarters report. DBS provided the names, addresses, phone numbers and demographic information for 970 former clients.  Case closures are classified into two major groupings, those with successful and unsuccessful closures. 

Successful Closure: 529 Clients

Unsuccessful Closure: 441 Clients

Copies of the report can be obtained from Alise Fields


Afternoon Break

Council Business

Robert Kelly reminded the FRCB of the Vision Summit reception to be held at Andrew’s at 5:30 PM.

Robert Kelly reminder the FRCB that the Vision Summit welcome breakfast will be held on 2/12 on the 22nd floor of the Capitol from 8-9AM.

Robert Kelly reminded the FRCB Vision Summit will begin at 9AM-12PM. 

Robert Kelly thanked Bruce Miles for serving the FRCB as Chair and his distinguished tradition of service.

Approval of October Minutes -

Location and dates of April 2015 meeting – agreement with the chosen contract was deemed null in void and there are some scheduling conflicts.

Robert Kelly proposed to move the date to May 2015.

The proposed date for the Public Forum is May 7th, with the Council Meeting taking place from May 7-8. May 6th would be the travel day.
Location and dates of February 2016 meeting -

Agenda Items for May 2015 meeting

Previous/New Business/Open Discussion

Meeting adjourned at 4:30 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.