Florida School for the Deaf and Blind
207 San Marco Avenue
St. Augustine, Florida  32084

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Meeting called to order at 8:44 AM with the Pledge of Allegiance following roll call.

Council Members Present: 14
Robert Kelly, Mikey Wiseman, Sylvia Perez, Victoria Magliocchino, Patricia Lipovsky, Lenora Marten, Bruce Miles, Donte Mickens, Robert Doyle, Gloria Mills, Sandra Burke, Jesus Garcia, Benedict Grzesik, Charles Brooks

Council Members Absent: 1
 Leanne Grillot

Council Staff: 1
Selena Sickler

DBS Staff: 6
Tom Austin, Robert Lewis, April Ogden, Mireya Hernandez, Brian Michaels, Madeline Davidson

DBS Staff via Telephone: 1
Bobbie Howard Davis

Attendee: 3
Paul Edwards, Howard Bell, Kim Carr

Attendee via Telephone: 1
Victoria Gaitanis

Mikey Wiseman made a motion to approve the Agenda. Sylvia Perez seconded the motion.  A vote was taken and it passed unanimously.


Robert Doyle presented the following:

Division of Blind Services (DBS) General Update:



Robert Lewis presented the Casa Monica Hotel with the Employer’s Award. Kimberly Wilson, General Manager accepted the award and recognized DBS client Carlos Tavarez for being an exceptional member of their team.

Morning Break (take photos)

VR Goals Update

Tom Austin provided an update on VR goals for the 3rd quarter. A summary of the report is below.

The division served 3763 consumers;  The total number of closed cases is 503; the number of unsuccessful closures is 309;  the number of unsuccessful closures after receiving services is 162; the number of successful closures is 194; the number of partially or legally blind consumers successfully closed is 84; the number of other visually impaired individuals closing successfully is 50; the number of totally blind individuals closing successfully is 24; the number of clients closing successfully as a result of restoration is 36.  This brings our Rehabilitation Rate to 54%.

Career Source:

Lisa Parlipiano, Disability Program Navigator presented a report to the council. 

Career Source serves Baker, Clay, Duval, Putnam, Nassau and St. John counties. Career Source serves veterans, provides training scholarships, administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program and works with The Department of Children and Families.  Career Source reaffirms its commitment to work together by providing training opportunities and maximizing resources while ensuring collaboration with core partners as set forth in Governor Scott’s Executive Order 13-284. Career Source created an Integrated Resource Team which works collaboratively with local agencies like DBS.

Camp Group Report

Tom Austin presented a report to the council. A summary of the report is below.

The idea of a camp for The Children’s Program was raised because of the lack of services for clients in the program. Ronnie Silverman suggested instead of having one central camp we could work with the CRPs through the new contracts and develop a sustainable children’s camp model that would be somewhat consistent across the state. All members were in agreement. A major concern was how to run a children’s camp that doesn’t overlap or duplicate what the CRPs will be doing under contract. Brian suggested using this camp as a feeder for the CRPs.  A survey was developed and sent out and we are currently waiting on the results.

District Administrators Report

Robert Lewis presented a report to the council.  A summary of the report is below.

District 9 is comprised of the main office in Jacksonville, Florida and a satellite office located in Gainesville.  The District serves 13 counties.  The district has implemented monthly meetings with Florida State College at Jacksonville and Career Source in order to strengthen alliances and meet the needs of clients efficiently. The District has reached out to Teachers of students with Visual Impairment (TVI) teachers and City Government officials in an effort to establish partnerships in the community. District 3 collaborates with four CRP’s which include The Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Elder Care of Alachua County and The Florida Center for the Blind in Ocala. The district has consistently put in place a plan where every CRP will be visited by the District Administrator every month to continually keep strengthening those relationships.

Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind

Cindy Day introduced the staff from Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Kim Carr presented a report to the council. A summary of the report is below.

FSDB school campus serves the entire state of Florida. The Parent Infant Program/DBS Blind Babies has two contracts; West Palm Beach and Jacksonville/Gainesville. The Parent Infant Program is a home based program in which Parent Advisors make regular visits to the family’s home to determine goals and priorities. As part of the Parent Services Program at FSDB, The Parent Infant Programs (PIP) offers early intervention, family-centered services for children ages 0-5 who are deaf/hard of hearing or blind/visually impaired, free of charge.  Currently, FSDB serves about 600 students on campus in Pre-K and K-12 academic programs, as well as about 400 infants and toddlers and their families across the state of Florida through Parent Service Programs. Of the 400 infants and toddlers, 250 have been seen in the FSDB PIP Blind Babies Program since July of 2015. As of July 2015 there were 74 closures, of those 74 closures only 6 were goals not met.


Dr. Minna Jia, Director of Florida State University Survey Research Laboratory presented a report to the council on the results of the Client Satisfaction Survey for Quarters 1-3 of FY 2015/16.  A copy of the report is attached.

The report summarizes data gathered for the first three quarters of FY 2015/16.  The report includes cases closed from July 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016.   The Customer Satisfaction Survey gathers perspectives of former DBS clients concerning program services, levels of satisfaction, and areas for program improvement. 

Client Satisfaction Subcommittee Survey Review

Bruce Miles presented a report to the council. A summary of the report is below.

Bruce reported to the council the main intention of the subcommittee is to clear up any confusion by clients on whether they are answering questions about DBS or a CRP or both.  The subcommittee categorized every question and rewrote many questions. The committee will be prepared to submit the entire report at the October meeting.  Bruce stated the committee would have report available for the council to review within 30 to 40 days before the July 21st teleconference.

Florida Deaf Blind Association

Vicky Magliocchino presented a report to the council.  A summary of Ms. Magliocchino’s report is below.

There is currently 1.214 million Deaf/Blind people in the United States. The biggest barrier is communication as well as mobility. The Deaf Blind Association’s mission is to enable the Deaf/Blind community to achieve their potential through independence, productivity and integration.  The Florida Deaf Blind Association’s goals is to increase outreach, to increase Deaf/Blind awareness, to create social events, to provide workshops for people interested in the Support Service Provider program, to host an annual meeting, to increase awareness within the Deaf/Blind community regarding different communication options and technology that is available such as sign language, tracking, and the tactile mode.

Protocol for Promoting the Forum

•    Send meeting info by the 15th of the month prior to the meeting month

•    Send notice at least 1 month before the meeting

The 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.