Public Forum (Thursday, October 27, 2011)
Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired
408 White Street
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Paul Edwards, Chair called the meeting to order at 4:05 PM
Council Members Present: Paul Edwards, Jesus Garcia, Henry Alexander, Bruce Miles, Ted Hull, Vicky Magliocchino, Andrew Raines, Christopher White, Donté Mickens,
Dan O’Connor, Joe Minichiello, Paul Kaminsky, Michelle Polland, Sylvia Stinson-Perez,
Sue Townsend and Joyce Hildreth. Gloria Mills represented NFB.
Council Staff: Phyllis Dill
DBS Staff: Antionette Williams, Wayne Jennings, Jim Woolyhand, Peter Cerullo, Mary-Anne West, Mary Dixon, Renea Keough
Interpreters: Grace Daily and Keonna Evans
Sixteen consumers were in attendance.
First consumer comments:
- Case was reopened in 2009
- Has tried to contact Counselor on a number of occasions
- Only had two meetings with her.
- Would like to know if DBS was going to help him.
- Requested a meeting with the District Administrator over a month ago.
- Mr. Woolyhand offered to meet with client anytime and asked him to call the office to arrange a meeting.
Second Consumer comments (deaf-blind)
- She has been a client of DBS since 1986 and seeking employment since 2001.
- Over the past few years has struggled with direction on what to do and where to go.
- She found out she was also hearing impaired so therefore is deaf-blind.
- In January she attended the Helen Keller National Center in New York and came home in September having full confidence.
- There were periodic reports from Helen Keller to DBS and DVR to let them know what her needs were. Among the list of needs was a Braille tape holder for a Perkins Braille writer and a Braille labeling tape.
- She has been home for two months and is still not able to get into her kitchen because it is not set up for her safety wise.
- She has asked for the equipment numerous times over the past few weeks and wants to know what it would take to get the equipment she needs.
- She was asked to give her contact information and the problem would be addressed immediately.
Third Consumer comments:
- She is concerned about her maintenance.
- She didn’t get her scholarship in time this semester and her Counselor asked for a letter explaining she would repay DBS when she received her scholarship.
- She would like to know the procedure when she doesn’t receive her financial aid until a few weeks into semester and can’t purchase books.
- She asked if she had to pay DBS back when she received her financial aid.
- She was informed that when there was a delay in financial aid she should notify the school. DBS will work with her to ensure her studies are not interrupted.
- Emergency Maintenance can be requested based on financial aid being delayed along with proof it is late.
- If the school will allow for left over funds to be used for books in the next semester then funds can be kept and utilized at that time.
- The DA will make sure the Counselor is aware of the situation.
Fourth Consumer comments:
- She is a graduate and seeking employment but lacks experience.
- She asked if DBS would help pay for more training to become certified so her resume will look better.
- If her IPE requires that she obtain additional certifications to obtain employment then DBS can assist her. If not, her plan needs to be amended.
- Council member with certification in social work will speak to the individual on ideas to obtain the certification.
Fifth Consumer comments:
- He asked where he could get books and information.
- He stated he is a veteran.
- His contact information was obtained and given to Mr. Woolyhand, DA and also, Paul Kaminsky, BVA representative on the Council.
Sixth Consumer comments:
- Asked if there were any classes his wife could take to learn how to use a camera on her sewing machine.
- The local CRP information was provided.
- He was informed that LC Industries currently has openings for seamstresses.
Seventh Consumer comments:
- She asked if there are programs to transfer information from a computer to a large screen and if so could it be learned in a computer class.
- She stated that she was previously a client and asked if her membership expired.
- She has an older MAC computer.
- She was informed that the Local CRP would be able to help with the computer.
- If she is interested in applying for services with DBS again, she needs to let them know if she needs help with completing the application.
Additional comments from third consumer:
- She asked if the DBS plan could be sent via an e-mail.
- She asked if DBS could assist with her lease if she gets a job.
- She wanted to know if the job was in another state as well.
- She was informed the plan could be e-mailed.
- According to policy, DBS can assist with relocation for a job, one time. Even if in another state.
Additional comment from second consumer:
- She discovered last year she could change the properties on her computer from the white background to black with white text, and it help tremendously.
- While at the Helen Keller Center she had a chance to experience an SSP (Support Service Provider) and wanted to know if the program will ever be in the state of Florida.
- Vicky Magliocchino explained that an SSP helps an individual when they shop or go to the doctor. They give the individual visual stimulation and explains what their surrounding looks like. They describe items and people to them.
- An SSP keeps the person from depending on their spouses or friends all the time.
- Currently Florida does not receive funding for this program.
- Cecil Bradley, at DVR would be able to give more information.
- Her contact information was obtained to give to Mr. Bradley.
Ms. Magliocchino informed the Council that the Deaf-Blind group explained to the Department of Justice in Washington, DC why they should recognize and add SSPs to the ADA Act. The Department is looking into it.
Additional comment from first consumer:
- Interested in working with deaf-blind and wanted to know where he could obtain a list of contacts on how he could get started.
- He was informed to contact Robert Kelly at the Conklin Center.
Additional comment from third consumer:
- She has had mostly positive experiences with DBS and the main thing she can recommend to everyone is to keep calling, keep e-mailing and keep visiting. Be persistent and know your rights.
Eighth Consumer comments:
- His first week has been a great experience at the Rehab Center.
- His Counselor is great and staff is very helpful.
- He stated that the new apartments were extraordinary.
- He stated he was very grateful for a second opportunity to attend the Center.
Additional information from the Council after consumers’ comments:
Ms. Hildreth informed everyone about Volunteer America (AmeriCorps).
Mr. Minichiello made everyone aware that the Internal Revenue Service has a hiring initiative for people with disabilities. A resource to find out about federal jobs can be found on the USAjobs.gov website.
Ms. Stinson-Perez stated that DBS and the CRPs work collaboratively on job placement for clients. Currently the jobs are through referral.
Ms. Hildreth stated that DBS will refer clients to the CRP to provide placement services and the CRP will focus on placement for clients they receive a referral. DBS expects its district offices and the CRPs to meet frequently to discuss where everyone is on looking for employers and placement for those referred.
Holly Idler, Orientation and Mobility Specialist at the Rehab Center informed everyone that she was honored to be presented with the Hadley Dean W. Tuttle Professional Education Award. She also explained about Hadley and its connection with DBS.
Public Forum adjourned at 5:30 PM