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Quarterly Meeting Minutes (Wednesday, February 9, 2011)

DoubleTree Hotel
101 S. Adams Street
Tallahassee, FL  32301

MINUTES

Ted Hull, Chair called the meeting to order at 8:30 AM with the pledge of allegiance following.

Council Members Present:  Ted Hull,  Jesus Garcia, Rufus Brown, Paul Edwards, Henry Alexander, Ben Grzesik, Bruce Miles, Joe Minichiello, Dan O’Connor, Sue Townsend, Paul Kaminsky, Sheryl Brown, Dwight Sayer, Sylvia Stinson-Perez, Vicky Magliocchino, Donte Mickens, Michele Polland, Andrew Raines, Christopher White and Joyce Hildreth.
 
Council Staff: Phyllis Dill

DBS Staff: Antionette Williams, John Clarkson, Lynn Ritter, Jerry Edwards, Brian Chambless, Gordon Orr, Beth Crain, Wayne Jennings.

Audience:  Betty Shaheen, Patty Sayer, Bertha Alexander

Interpreters:  Pam Hill and Drew Wann

Before relinquishing his position as Chair, Ted Hull asked Bruce Miles to read the Resolution recognizing Greg Luther’s years of service with the Division of Blind Services.

Motion to accept the Resolution received a second and passed.

Election of Officers

Joyce Hildreth conducted the election for Council Chair. 

Nominations for Chair:

Sheryl Brown nominated Paul Edwards.
Henry Alexander nominated Bruce Miles.

Bruce Miles declined his nomination for position of Chair.

Motion was made and seconded to elect Paul Edwards Chair by acclimation.

Nominations for Vice Chair:

Andrew Raines nominated Bruce Miles.

With no other nominations a motion was made and seconded to elect Bruce Miles First Vice Chair, by acclimation.

Nominations for Second Vice Chair:

Joe Minichiello nominated Paul Kaminsky.

With no other nominations a motion was made and seconded to elect Paul Kaminsky Second Vice Chair, by acclimation.

Approval of October 2011 minutes.

Motion for acceptance of October 2010 minutes was seconded with no discussion.  Minutes were accepted unanimously.

Agenda Items for April 7 & 8 in Miami

  • Legislative update
  • Assistive Technology – Paul Kaminsky
  • Client Satisfaction Survey Contract
  • Needs Assessment
  • Employer in Area
  • Council Position on Moving DBS
  • State Plan
  • VR & DBS Agreement of New Program

On-Going Agenda Items

  • Director’s Report
  • District Administrator’s Report
  • Local CRP Report
  • Committee Break-Outs
  • Committee Reports
  • Approval of previous meeting minutes
  • Agenda items for next meeting
  • Location of the following year’s meeting and date
  • Update of VR Goals
  • DBS Policy Reviews
  • Old/New Business

Location and Date of 2012 meeting

A motion was made, seconded and passed to table discussion until the afternoon.

Bureau of Exceptional Education (IDEA) – Bambi Lockman, Bureau Chief

After Paul Edwards’s introduction, Bruce Miles read a brief Bio of Bambi Lockman.

Ms. Lockman provided hand-outs of her presentation that included a CD, Eligibility criteria and a memo on Service Animals.

Ms. Lockman’s contact information:

Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services
325 W. Gaines Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Telephone:  (850) 245-0950
Fax:    (850) 245-0953

Policy Reviews – Antionette Williams and Lynn Ritter

The following policies were presented and Council members provided input.

Policy 8.19 – Cataract surgery Procedure
Policy 2.25 – Exceptions to policies
Policy 8.18 – Medical Consultation Fee
Policy 2.29 - Timeframes for developing amended plans
Policy 2.26 – Client’s Rights to Records
Policy 2.10 – Self Employment Services
Policy 2.27 – Transporting Clients
Policy 2.30 – Review of Inactive Cases

Break at 10:15 AM

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) – Bill Palmer, Director

After Paul Edwards’s introduction, Bruce Miles read a brief Bio on Bill Palmer.

Mr. Palmer began by thanking Ms. Hildreth for her part in shaping an excellent partnership between DVR and DBS.  He presented the Council with an update of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. 

Lunch Break – 12:50 PM

Meeting resumed at 1:30 PM

District Administrator’s Report – Ana Saint-Forte

Ana Saint-Forte presented the Council with an update on activities in District Two.

Client Satisfaction Survey – Mary Stutzman, PhD

Dr. Stutzman provided hand-outs of her update on CD and hard copy.

She stated that the changes the Council made last October made an improvement with conducting the survey.  She said the changes didn’t change the outcome of the survey but alleviated a lot of client’s frustration with unnecessary questions. .

Volunteer Florida – Paul Martel, Director

Mr. Martel provided hand-outs in CD, Braille, large print and regular print.

Mr. Martell’s contact information:

Paul N. Martell, M.S.
The Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism
  and Community Service, (Volunteer Florida)
Phone:  850-414-0093 voice/tty
Cell: 850-510-4618
E-mail:  paul@volunteerflorida.org

Update on Endowment Fund Foundation – Jesus Garcia

  • A teleconference was held January 27th.
  • The Endowment Fund grew by approximately 12% ($514,000)
  • The next meeting is scheduled March 25.

Council asked that the phone number be sent out for Foundation teleconferences.

Ms. Hildreth described the history of the Foundation and its relationship with the Division.
She explained that the Endowment Fund Foundation and Gifts and Donations Funds are not a responsibility of the Council. 

Director’s Report – Joyce Hildreth

Strategic Plan

  • John Clarkson and staff are working on the Strategic Plan.
    • There has been a subsequent review of the Plan.
    • Consolidation of the projects that were identified.
    • Projects have been aligned.
    • The time schedule will be through 5 years and will be updated as it changes.
    • The Strategic Plan will be posted on the DBS web site.
    • DBS will give regular updates related to the projects.

DBS has received three audits.

  • Inspector General’s report on DBS contracts.
    • In 2008 there were 17 findings.
    • This time findings were greatly reduced and fairly insignificant.
  • Auditor General’s Program Audit
    • The primary finding was related to paying invoices without prior authorization.
  • Security Follow-up audit
    • Encrypted e-mail to protect client confidentiality has been implemented.

RSA Monitoring

  • There were several significant findings.
  • Cost allocation with personnel.
  • Funding for individuals under the age of 55.

Rehabilitation Center Update

  • In response to the talk of discontinuing academics at the Center.
    • Ms. Hildreth informed the Council that she and Ms. Williams met with adult educators at DOE and they committed to help support accessible adult education in technical schools and community colleges. 
    • DBS staff and Paul Edwards will meet to develop guidelines to be distributed by DOE to technical schools and community colleges that provide instruction to the blind and visually impaired population.

Mr. Edwards stated that there needs to be a differentiation between accommodations for testing and an accommodation for training.  He questions how the training programs are administered and if there were federal guidelines that created requirements to GED outside of the K-12 environment and if community education funds were received they would have to be in compliant with regards to accessibility.

Ms. Hildreth responded to a question concerning Braille business cards and informed the Council that the DBS Districts would be authorized to purchase the APA Braille device that is capable of putting Braille on business cards if funds were available.

Ms. Hildreth explained what the stimulus was used for.

  • DBS received approximately $8 million in stimulus funds and used it as follows:
    • Purchased equipment for CRPs to teach technology.
    • Produced an Independent Living contract that allows CRPs to serve 25% over the regular contract.  
    • Purchased job readiness training.
    • One provider received job development funding.
    • Initiated public awareness and internal infrastructure things such as providing update.
    • Conducted a review of business practice in relation to the client data base (AWARE) to learn what is required and what is needed.
    • Contracted with Hadley School.
    • DBS will have all ARRA funds encumbered no later than September 30.

Ms. Hildreth informed the Council that Mississippi State University (MSU) will not be able to conduct the Needs Assessment this year.   DBS is looking at someone from FSU and TACE (technical assistance unit) to frame it out.  She would like to have a representative from the Council committee that Needs Assessment falls under to assist in the planning with FSU, TACE and DBS staff.  The person at FSU said she would be able to start in May.  Ms. Hildreth would like the Council to be actively involved in the Needs Assessment.  She stated that whatever is drafted from the planning would be shared with the Council.

Location and date of 2012 meeting (tabled from earlier)

Motion to meet in Tallahassee received a second.

A call of hand vote:  9 yes  5 no   Tallahassee will be the location in 2012 with the date to be determined after FAASB has set a date for the Vision Summit.

Mr. Miles moved for the Chair to author a letter to the Governor on behalf of the Council over its concern with timeliness of appointments.

Motion died for lack of a second.  It will be readdressed at a later meeting.

Agenda Items (tabled from earlier)

Note that Joyce Hildreth abstained from participation in the following discussion and action.

Mr. Minichiello moved that the Council give permission to Paul Edwards to prepare a letter to the Governor expressing the Council’s support of separate and distinct services for blind individuals should it be determined to be appropriate.  The Motion received a second and passed.

New/Unfinished Business/Open Discussion – Phyllis Dill

Action Items:

October meeting Action Items were completed.

Committee Assignments:

Committee responsibilities were sent to the new members earlier.  Mr. Miles read them to the Council.

After discussion Needs Assessment was removed from the Planning Committee and added to the responsibility of the Evaluation Committee.

Evaluation Committee

Sylvia Stinson-Perez
Henry Alexander
Rufus Brown
Jesus Garcia
Bruce Miles, Chair
Donte Mickens
Dan O’Connor
Dwight Sayer
Sue Townsend
Vicky Magliocchino

Planning Committee

Sheryl Brown, Chair
Ted Hull
Ben Grzesik
Christopher White
Paul Kaminsky
Andrew Raines
Joe Minichiello
Michelle Polland

Executive Committee

Paul Edwards, Chair
Bruce Miles, 1st Chair
Paul Kaminsky, 2nd Chair
Sheryl Brown, Chair of Planning Committee
Bruce Miles, Chair of Evaluation Committee
Joyce Hildreth, DBS Director

The local CRP report was given at the Public Forum on February 8, 2011.

Meeting adjourned at 4:45 PM.

Respectively submitted,
Phyllis Dill