Table of Contents

Spotlight

Personnel Actions

Tech Tip

Success Stories

Around the State

End Zone

Spotlight

Williams named Division of Blind Services (DBS) Deputy Director

By JoAnn Carrin

Antiionette WilliamsAs the deputy director, Antionette Williams will provide supervision and oversight to the bureau chiefs of Client Services, Business Enterprise, Rehabilitation Center and Braille and Talking Books Library.

Williams has worked with DBS for nearly 20 years and most recently served as bureau chief for the Bureau of Client Services. She previously served in various capacities ranging from senior rehabilitation specialist in the Vocational Rehabilitation, Independent Living and Children’s programs to senior management analyst, where she worked on projects such as stimulus funding, internal and external audits, federal and state reporting. She holds a bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation services and a master’s degree in public administration and policy, both from Florida State University. She is on track to complete her Ph.D. in educational leadership and human services at Florida A&M University.

Personnel Actions

Meet Our New State Office Staff

Latoya MitchellLatoya Mitchell, executive assistant

Mitchell will provide administrative and executive support to the division director.

Alise FieldsAlise Fields, government operations consultant II

Fields provides administrative support and serves as liaison for the Florida Rehabilitation Council for the Blind.

David DarmDavid Darm, government operations
consultant II

Darm provides administrative support for the Governor’s Commission for the Employment of Persons with Disabilities.

We welcome our newest employees to the DBS family.

Congratulations to employees who received a promotion.

We wish our retirees the best in their future endeavors.

Tech Tip

Personalize Windows 7

By Amanda Freeman

You can personalize your Windows 7 experience by changing the background and other display settings. In order to do this, right-click (use the right button of your mouse) on your desktop and select “Personalize” at the bottom of the menu. This will open up a variety of links and options for you to explore.

On screen menu 

Control panel screen

Success Story

Alton Palmore Moves West

By Janet Chernoff

Alton ParamoreAlton Palmore spent 35 years of his professional life in radio and television. He was an on-air personality and worked on the technical side of television. Previously he was in the Army as an air traffic controller. He also ran a sandwich shop. His background and years of work experience made him a good candidate for the Business Enterprise Program (BEP).

He heard about the BEP program when his vision began to deteriorate four years ago and he became a DBS client. He applied because he believed that being a part of the program would allow him to operate his own business and be productive and an active member of society.

Alton was finishing his on-the-job-training in Tallahassee when an opportunity to run the vending at Federal Correctional Institute in Marianna became available. Although it would require moving from South Florida, Alton did not hesitate; he applied and was awarded the opportunity. With only days to prepare, Alton worked on securing a place to live and an employee. Alton embodies many of the attributes of a BEP trainee and vendor. He is enthusiastic, energetic, takes initiative and is willing to relocate. As a result of all his hard work he is now successfully operating the facility in Marianna.

Around the State

Vision Summit

By JoAnn Carrin

Beth Crain, Walter Blackman and David Herron discuss issuesThe 2014 Vision Summit sponsored by the Florida Legislature’s Vision Caucus and the Florida Association of Agencies Servicing the Blind (FAASB) was held Feb. 13, at the Capitol in Tallahassee. The major themes for the summit were transportation, employment and safety. Ronnie Silverman, FAASB president presided over the event and DBS Director Robert Doyle welcomed the attendees to the summit and made a presentation about collaboration. Other presentations were made prior to work group discussions regarding the summit main themes.

Lauren Williams and Alise Fields attend summit

Cutrera Continues Her Writing

By JoAnn Carrin

Book CoverIn the October 2012 edition of The Visionary we reported that Barbara Cutrera, rehabilitation technician for the District 9 Bradenton office, had released her first publication. She has since released four more books. 

Her third novel, a romance entitled The Healer’s Gift, is the first of her books to be available in audio format as well as in eBook and paperback like the others. “Being visually impaired myself, I want to eventually have all of my works available in audio,” said Cutrera.

Barbara is a former DBS client and has worked for the agency for over seven years.  She has Stargardts, a form of macular degeneration, and utilizes Zoom Text in order to assist her in utilizing the computer to its best advantage - both at work and in her writing efforts. She finds it helpful to use the magnification and especially the speech function in order to proofread her novels. In addition to her five releases, Barbara has seven drafts in queue for publication and is working on an eighth. She writes fiction, mystery and romance, and would like to explore other genres in the future.

Fearless Caregivers

By JoAnn Carrin

Vanessa Media and Hilda Zapata at display tableDBS is participating in a series of Fearless Caregiver Conferences throughout the state in the upcoming months. These events give caregivers an educational environment to learn about resources available to meet their needs and the needs of those they care for. Throughout the conferences, division staff will have the opportunity to discuss and educate attendees about the services the division provides to blind and visually impaired Floridians.

Vanessa Media and Hilda Zapata, District 6, represented the division at the first conference held in Orlando Jan. 30. They set up a display table where they provided educational materials and met with members of the public. Future Fearless Caregiver Conferences in Florida will be held as follows:

For more information about Fearless Caregiver Conferences visit

http://caregiver.com/fearlessconference/.

End Zone

Publication and Submission Information

We hope you found this month’s newsletter interesting. Remember, we need your submissions each month. Let us know what’s going on in your district or facility. The publication date for the Visionary newsletter is the first week of each month. The deadline for submissions is the 15th of each month. Comments, suggestions, and submissions should be directed to:

DBS Communications:  Communications@dbs.fldoe.org

Additional useful links and telephone numbers:

To request a Braille version of this edition of the Visionary contact the Braille and Talking Book Library: al.peterson@dbs.fldoe.org or call 800-226-6075.

MIS Help Desk:
Phone: 850-245-0360
Email: DBS.HelpDesk@dbs.fldoe.org

AWARE Help Desk:
Phone: 850-245-0395 or 866-841-0912
Email: Aware.support@dbs.fldoe.org

Division of Blind Services website (external): dbs.myflorida.com.

Blind Services on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/FloridaBlindServices

Blind Services on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/FlaBlindService


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