Table of Contents

Spotlight

Personnel Actions

Success Stories

Around the State

End Zone

Spotlight

Miles Named Contract Supervisor

Elizabeth MilesElizabeth Miles has been named the division contract supervisor. Prior to joining the Division of Blind Services (DBS), she served as an auditor and statewide trainer for the Florida Department of Financial Services and in contract administration at the Department of Health. Elizabeth brings to DBS more than six years of government procurement and contract administration experience and holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University.

 

Personnel Actions

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.

Success Stories

Hard Work Not Background Makes the Difference

By Janet Chernoff

Will GrignonWill Grignon is a man with an impressive resume. He has a master’s degree of fine arts in movies and television and a law degree from Pepperdine University. He was a senior law associate in California for five years and taught at three law schools. Will began exploring other options when he determined that opportunities in the legal profession were limited in part due to his blindness and age. He applied to the Bureau of Business Enterprise (BBE) program because it provided an opportunity for long-term employment and he was impressed by the professionalism of the staff and operators.

Will received his license in November 2012, and was awarded his first vending route in Ft. Myers in April 2013. Sales have since tripled in part due to the addition of the Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic at Cape Coral on his route, but mostly due to his hard work. Will’s regular visits to all the locations on his route ensure that all his machines are full, clean and operating.

Operators in the BBE program have come from a variety of backgrounds. Applicants have worked in business, restaurants, vending, construction, law, massage therapy and call centers. No matter what the background, to be a success, an operator needs to be hardworking, conscientious and have the drive to make their business grow.

Work Experience Creativity

By Mary Ann Hastings

Susan building the GazeboSarah Harris and I had been talking about her getting a job this summer while she was on break from her first year at Santa Fe College in Gainesville. Initially, the intent was to overcome the transportation problem faced in the rural area in which she lived by looking for part-time jobs at stores that would be on her parents’ way to work during the week. Since that did not work out and Sarah’s goal is to become a vision teacher, our attention shifted to setting up a work experience in the vision clinic at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital.

Susan standing the GazeboNot one to sit around as details of the position at the Veterans Affairs were being worked out, Sarah engineered a plan of her own: she asked her father to hire her to help him design and build a gazebo in their backyard. Just like she would have on a “real” job, Sarah kept track of her hours and not only ended up making $750 on the deal, but also ended up with contributing to this beautiful addition to their home. Sarah began her work experience at the Veterans Affairs optometry clinic Aug. 25, the same day she started back to Santa Fe College for her sophomore year.

Around the State

Lighthouse of Collier Appoints Executive Director

By Kathleen Peck

Kathleen Peck Welcomes Robin Goldstone GarciaLighthouse of Collier’s board of directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Robin Goldstone Garcia as its executive director. Robin has more than 20 years of successful business experience as vice president in the software industry and as a financial adviser. She has been active in the Naples and Bonita Springs community and is currently involved in Leadership Bonita through the Bonita Chamber of Commerce.

She graduated from the State University of New York College at Oswego majoring in both business administration and psychology. In addition, Robin has served as a volunteer for the Lighthouse of Collier. She currently resides in Naples, is married and has a son. In her role as executive director, Robin will offer visionary leadership through long range strategic planning that builds upon the Lighthouse of Collier’s existing programs and mission.

Art Bookbinder, president of Lighthouse of Collier, said, “We are fortunate to have someone with Robin’s expertise, commitment and passion to take over the operational Leadership of Lighthouse of Collier and to lead us forward toward meeting our future strategic goals.”

Belk Dresses Blind High School Grads for Interviews

By Chantel Buck

Anthony Martinson and Deanne Harvey model Belk clothingBelk department store in Leesburg styled and donated interview attire to New Vision’s high school program in support of the “Attire for Hire” project.

Anthony Martinson, 18, and Deanna Harvey, 20, are participants in New Vision’s Visually Impaired Teens Accessing Life. In this program, they have received life-skills training in areas like money management and budgeting, cooking skills, time management and planning. They participated in several mock job interviews, two overnight apartment-living simulations and a summer internship. They graduated from high school this spring and will graduate from the VITAL program this month.

“What a great way to boost the confidence of these young adults as they prepare to transition into adulthood and the workforce,” said Chantel Buck, president/CEO of New Vision. “Thank you to the team at Belk for helping us launch ‘Attire to Hire’ and supporting these grads.”

Lee County Elections to Demonstrate Voting System for Visually Impaired

The Lighthouse of SWFL

Voting machineThe Lee County Board of Elections staff demonstrated and provided training on the iVotronic touch-screen voting system at the Lighthouse of SWFL's Lunch & Learn Monday, Sept. 15. Clients of the lighthouse and the public learned how to use the machines in the upcoming election cycle.

The touch-screen system is ADA compliant, multilingual and is equipped with an innovative audio ballot feature combined with braille-embossed navigation buttons, enabling visually impaired voters to vote efficiently with complete privacy and is wheelchair accessible. The ballot formats are clearly displayed in large fonts.

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.


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