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Public Forum (Thursday, October 25, 2012)

Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront resort
100 North Atlantic Avenue
daytona Beach, FL  32118

Paul Edwards, Chair called the meeting to order at 4:05 PM

Council Members Present:   Paul Edwards, Jesus Garcia, Andrew Raines, Bruce Miles, Sheryl Brown, Dan O’Connor,  Paul Kaminsky, Sandra Martin, Dwight Sayer, Christopher White, Vicky Magliocchino, Lenora Marten, Sylvia Stinson-Perez, Donté Mickens, Joe Minichiello, Ben Grzesik, and Joyce Hildreth.  

Council Staff: Phyllis Dill

DBS Staff:  Antionette Williams, Wayne Jennings, Ed Hudson, Ginger Lancaster, Jim Woolyhand, Carlos Montas, Phyllis Heath

Eighteen consumers were in attendance.

First consumer comments:

  • She became a client of DBS the first of July because of cataracts.
  • She had surgery in August and got her life back.
  • She wanted to attend the forum to thank everyone involved.

Second Consumer comments:

  • Attended forum to say thank you.

Third Consumer comments:

  • Thanked everyone at DBS for supporting her through college and helping find a job.
  • She commented that when meetings are held after 4:00 it was excluding clients because of transportation issues.
  • She stated that Deltona was a more populated city than Daytona Beach.

Fourth Consumer comments:

  • She attends the Rehab Center.
  • She has a concern with her technology classes.
  • She feels she is not receiving computer education needed because it is very minimal and she gets a new teacher every 2 weeks.

Response:

Ms. Lancaster informed the client that her door was always open and she would meet with her and look at her schedule.

Fifth Consumer comments:

  • She gave accolades to the Conklin Center for giving her opportunities.
  • She would like to know that DBS and Conklin will continue keeping their doors open to assist her and others with life.
  • She lost her vision at a late age and she recently learned she had Usher Syndrome.
  • She said that some of the training she received was sign language, computer, Braille and cooking.

 Sixth Consumer comments:

  • She stated that she was a successful closed case and that she owed it to DBS.
  • She attended CVI and is now working there.
  • She is working to be a licensed social worker.
  • She wanted everyone to know that they are doing a good job.

Seventh Consumer comments:

  • She tried to get her son in a program at the Conklin Center.
  • She wanted to know why he has to turn over his entire Social Security check to get trained.
  • She receives his Social Security check because it is based on her wages.

Response:

Mr. Kelly informed the consumer that the Conklin Center does not request or have an interest in receiving social security funds from clients but asked that clients have access to their own social security funds.

Eighth Consumer comments:

  • She had praises for the Conklin Center for giving her confidence in herself.
  • She is now able to do things and go places by herself.

Mr. Miles read the following letter from a client sent via e-mail.

I have three subjects that I want to comment on.

1)  First, I want to thank Division of Blind Services and all who helped to get my transitioning resources moving last year.  I have been very fortunate to have a wonderful counselor, Terri Titus, who is supportive and always open and ready to do what she can to help me towards my employment goals.  Recently, I thought I had a position with the Florida Deaf-Blind Association for their Florida Support Service Program, unfortunately, the grant proposal was denied.  While waiting for the results of this grant proposal, I was able to take some courses to prepare me for the role as Program Administrator:  Microsoft 2007 Office Access Database Design/Management; Grant writing; and ASL Courses.  I hope to complete the second part of the ASL course next semester.  Since this job is no longer a possibility, I am back to working with DBS and VR for job placement.  I have also requested to pursue my Master’s Degree to double my chances of becoming employed within the next two years.  Again, thanks to all who have been working hard for me and allowing me to continue to advocate for myself and for others like me; I can’t do it without you.

2) The second subject that I would like to share is the Florida Deaf-Blind Association’s Florida Support Service program (FSSP) and its mission to provide Support Service Providers (SSPs) to Deaf-Blind Floridians.  Please be sure to visit our website www.fldeafblind.org for more information.  Florida Deaf-Blind Association believes this program will bring self-sufficiency to the Deaf-Blind population.

3) Florida Deaf-Blind Association is also asking for help in distributing information about our Registry.  This registry is strictly for statistical purposes only and we are hoping to approach the state legislatures with a clear view of how Deaf-Blind Floridians are in need of effective laws and resources.  How can you help?  By sharing with Deaf-Blind clients the link to our registry and helping them to register.  That link is: http://fldeafblind.org/registryform.html

Mr. Edwards asked the audience what change they would most like to see the Division of Blind Services make.

Consumer response:

  • She used to be able to walk in without an appointment and meet with her counselor.  Now she is told she must have an appointment.

Public Forum adjourned at 5:30 PM