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Quarterly Meeting Minutes (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 8:40 AM with the pledge of allegiance following roll call.

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

Council Members Absent:  Ted Hull, Gloria Mills and Leanne Grillot

Council Staff: Phyllis Dill

DBS Staff:  Antionette Williams, Wayne Jennings, Jim Woolyhand, Phyllis Heath

Attendees:   Robert Kelly, Frank Mercer, Betty Shaheen, Patty Sayer

Mr. Edwards asked if the agenda could be amended to add a discussion about Invision America’s endeavor with pharmacies providing a device called ScripTalk that will read the prescription information on the bottles for individuals who are blind.

A motion to adopt the Agenda as amended received a second and passed. 

District Administrator’s Report

Jim Woolyhand presented the Council with an overview of activities in district five and its relationship

  • The four counties served by the district are: Flagler, Putnam, Volusia and Brevard.
  • In addition to the DA there are: 5 VR counselors, 1 IL/CP, 2 Rehab Techs, 4 support staff, 1 supervisor
  • District Five exceeded its goals for FY 11/12 -  95 VR and 282 IL
  • The number of cases being served:  VR 385, IL 220, BB 40, CP 64, TS 38 and college 39.
  • The current number of closures in VR 18 and IL 54.
  • The District has a strong relationship with the local CRPs – CVI and Conklin Center.

Employer Recognition

Mr. Woolyhand, District Administrator gave the Council a summary of Daytona State College and its relationship with the district.  Frank Mercer, Director, Center for Business & Industry accepted the award on behalf of the college.

Conklin Center Update

Robert Kelly, Executive Director of the Conklin Center gave and overview of the Center.

  • Conklin is a Residential Training Facility for adults who are blind and have some additional disabling condition.
  • Conklin is a statewide program serving adults who are interested in learning to live with some independence and become employed.
  • Conklin serves infants and toddlers who are blind and visually impaired in Volusia, Flagler, Putnam and Brevard Counties.
  • Most of the training at the Conklin Center is one-on-one and very personalized.
  • The last contract period with DBS VR Services was for 15 months covering 07/01/11 thru 09/30/12.
    • Service days contracted for was 5584 and actual performance was 5821 or 104%.
    • Work Experiences contracted for was 40 and actual performance was 49 or 122.5%.
    • Supported Employment Outcomes contracted for was 13 and actual performance was 15 or 115%.
  • Goals for the Contract Period 10/01/12 thru 09/30/12 (12 months)
    • Service days – 4468
    • Work Experiences – 32
    • Supported Employment Outcomes – 10
  • Will provide services for 50 individuals referred by DBS for the coming year.
  • 74 adult graduates received community-based Supported Employment Follow Along and Supported Living Services not funded by DBS.
  • In observance of Disability Awareness Month Conklin had an Employer Recognition Luncheon to express appreciation for the active employer relationship with 25 businesses in the community.
  • Mr. Kelly acknowledged the working relationship with DBS and gave accolades especially to the District Five office.


Rehab Center

Ed Hudson brought the Council up to date on the Center, the new technology building and re-establishing the technology help desk.  He addressed the technology training being offered, future training to be considered and the philosophy on how to train people to utilize it.

VR Goals Update

Wayne Jennings gave the Council current data on the VR goals.

  • Total served – 3580
  • Successful Closures – 127 included:
    • 59 – partially or legally blind
    • 27 – other visual impairment
    • 13 – total blind
    • 28 – due to restoration
    • Also, 27 of the successful closures had a secondary disability.
  • Two closures were veterans
  • Rehab rate the first quarter was 29%
  • Unsuccessful Closures – 314
    • 72 –refused or no longer needed services
    • 66 – other reasons (no break-down available)
    • 46 – unable to locate
    • 35 – failure to cooperate
    • 24 – moved out of state
    • 18 - does not require services
    • 17 – No impediment to employment
    • 16 – disability to severe to benefit
    • 10 – no disabling condition
    • 5 – transferred to another agency
    • 2 – died
    • 2 - institutionalized
  • Districts 5, 7, 9 and 11 met or exceeded their goals for the first quarter.
  • As of September 30th – 16 are in a job and working towards closure.

Policy Review

Antionette Williams informed the Council that DBS was reviewing Policy 6.13, Relocation Expenses, due to a number of clients recently abusing the current policy.


Definition - 

  • Replace the language “a part time or full time job” with “employment”.

General Policy –

  • Letterhead should include vendor FIN #.
  • Include language “only under very exceptional circumstances, the Division will agree to reimburse the client”.

Procedures –

  • #5 – Put an “s” on the end of the word “quote”.
  • #4 – Replace the word “copies” with “vendor quotes”.
  • $6 – insert  language “the appropriate” before word “client’s”

A motion to accept the policy as amended was seconded.  Motion passed by majority.
Joe Minichiello asked if there was a rule or law that DBS VR will provide relocation dollars.  He stated that he thought the policy was flawed and too vague.  He will review the policy and make recommendations at the April meeting.

Lunch Break

Meeting resumed at 1:10 PM

State Plan 2012 Submission Report

Antionette Williams informed the Council that DBS received approval of the State Plan from RSA in early September. 

Ms. Williams suggested having a briefing on the State Plan in the month of January 2013 with the Planning Committee and have a draft by the end of March.  The Council could review it at the April meeting.  The State Plan is submitted to the Commissioner on May 1st. 

A motion to adopt the procedures suggested received a second and was approved with no additional discussion.

Tabled from the July meeting, the Council asked Ms. Williams to go over the goals that were not successful.

Ms. Williams informed the Council that DBS met 5 of the 6 goals set by RSA.

1.2 Of the Closed Cases that received services, the percentage with an Employment Outcome.

  • Standard  - 68.9%   DBS - 47.9%

1.3 Of the Closed Cases with an Employment Outcome, the percentage that has a wage greater than or equal to the Minimum Wage.       

  • Standard goal-  35.4%  DBS – 97.6%

1.4 Of the Closed Cases with an Employment Outcome, the percentage that has a wage greater than or equal to the Minimum Wage and have Significant Disabilities         

  • Standard goal – 89%   DBS – 100%

1.5 Ratio of Average State Wage to the average wage of Closed Cases with Employment Outcome that have wages greater than or equal to Minimum Wage 

  • Standard goal - .59%  DBS 74%

1.6 Difference between the percentage of Closed Cases with Employment Outcomes that have a wage greater than or equal to the Minimum Wage that are Self-Support at Application and the percentage of Closed Cases with Employment Outcomes that have a wage greater than or equal to the Minimum Wage that are Self-Support at Closure.

  • Standard 30.4%  DBS 35.7%

Procedures and Policies for Needs Assessment

Ms. Williams informed the Council the next Needs Assessment should be developed by September 30, 2014.  She presented the Council with six steps to prepare for the Needs Assessment:

  1. Clarify and identify those involved with the process.
  2. Identify time-line and determine what should be done to meet the due date.
  3. Define and establish NA goals.
  4. Develop a plan to gather information and data.
  5. Identify the external contractor.
  6. Analyze the results.

A motion to adopt the process received a second.  Motion passed.

The Council decided to select an Ad Hoc Committee consisting of:
Paul Edwards, Joe Minichiello, Bruce Miles, Dwight Sayer, Sheryl Brown and Jesus Garcia.

A motion that DBS hire FSU again received a second.  Motion passed.

Director’s Report

Joyce Hildreth asked Phyllis Vaughn to give an overview of the DBS budget.  Ms. Vaughn joined via teleconference.


Ms. Vaughn explained the process of obtaining budget approval.

There are two Funding sources:

  • General Revenue – primarily from state sales tax
    • $14 million - $8 million has to be used for Match
    • $6 million left goes primarily to Blind Babies, Talking Books Library, Children Program and Older Blind.
  • Federal Grant – gives authority to use the funds - $32 million
    • Basic 110 Grant
    • Independent Living Grant
    • Supported Employment Grant
    • In-Service Training Grant
    • Appropriated categories:
      • Salaries and benefits
      • OPS – Other Personnel Services
      • Expenses – utilities, rent, office supplies, travel, etc.
      • Contracted services – FedEx, postage, etc.
      • Client services – Client technology devices, contracts with community rehab providers and authorization funds.

Budget amendments are used to move funds from one category to another.  After the legislature approves the budget, it is allotted down to the Bureaus and District levels.  A budget tracking system is in place to make sure Bureau’s stay within their budget.

Additional comments and information from Ms. Hildreth:

  • DBS request for an additional $500,000 for older blind this year did not go through. 
  • DBS is looking at a continuation budget.
  • The Governor and his staff have put forth initiatives to all state agencies.
  • One of the initiatives is that vendor contracts statewide will be cut by 5%.  This is not limited to DBS but other state agencies as well.
  • There is an effort by the Governor’s office to no longer have an exemption from competitive bidding.
  • This is an attempt to insure good stewardship of state tax payer dollars, and it will have an effect on the way DBS does business.
  • Due to some criticism towards CRPs that there has been some favoritism, it has been suggested that even if the exempt stands the Division should go ahead and move to some type of competitive bidding.
  • The standards are very high for CRPs.
  • DBS has three contract managers in DBS to manage close to 90 CRP contracts.
  • There is legal counsel on the Governors committee to represent DOE.

Strategic Plan

Robin Frydenborg went over the Accomplishments and Initiatives Ranking documents sent to the Council prior to the meeting.  

  • Accomplishments for FY 2011-12 Strategic Plan
  • Accomplishments DBS Projects October 2 2012
  • Senior Management Team Prioritize Initiatives for FY 2012-13
  • Strategic Plan Initiatives SMT Priorities 10-2-2012

Ms. Williams informed the Council that there was a team to expand DBS Quality Assurance efforts specifically to VR and all the programs. 

Ms. Hildreth stated that DBS was looking into implementing satisfaction surveys for Blind Babies and Older Blind.  These would need to be purchased because there’s not enough staff to do them.  The surveys would be able to evaluate better the satisfaction of the clients that DBS serves. 

Ms. Hildreth informed the Council that DBS received less than $250,000 for supported employment.  She stated that federal funds could not be used for open-end supported employment.  Vendors do not want to be supported employment vendors. Because when they take on a supported employment client they commit to the client for the lifetime of the job and even when the case is closed they are still responsible for that client.

Ms. Hildreth addressed Ted Hull’s question concerning Gifts and Donations.

  • Robin Frydenborg is working on procedures.
  • DBS will be getting legal review in DOE and the grants person.
  • DBS will be notifying the opportunity for grants to FRCB, DBS staff, CRPs.
  • A notice will post on the DBS website and in the newsletter.
  • The procedure will be shared with the Council.
  • Ms. Hildreth asked if the Council saw a role in the grant process.
  • The review committee would consist of key members of the senior management team and a representative from the Council.
  • The Division will be administering the grants and providing the funds. 
  • The funds would total $150,000.
  • Ms. Hildreth would like to limit awards to 501 (c3) clients.

A motion for the Director to consider appointment of no more than 3 members of the Council to serve with the management team for evaluating the grants that are submitted and in addition the Council will add an agenda item at each meeting to discuss needs that should be considered for a grant that is being offered from Gifts and Donations.  Motion received a second.

After discussion, motion passed.

Ms. Hildreth will send the Council the policy and grant process procedure to be discussed at the February meeting.

Ms. Hildreth informed the Council that some of the Gifts and Donations funds have been used to pay for the oversight of the mold situation because the budget  is extremely tight.

Meeting adjourned at 3:20 PM

Quarterly Meeting (Friday, October 26, 2012)


Paul Edwards, Chair called the meeting to order at 8:40 AM.

Council Members Present:   Paul Edwards, Jesus Garcia, Christopher White, Andrew Raines, Bruce Miles, Donté Mickens, Sheryl Brown, Dan O’Connor,  Paul Kaminsky, Joe Minichiello, Sheryl Brown, Lenora Marten, Sandra Martin and Joyce Hildreth.   

Council Members Absent:  Ben Grzesik, Vicky Maglicchino, Leanne Grillot, Gloria Mills, Dwight Sayer and Ted Hull
Council Staff: Phyllis Dill

DBS Staff: Antionette Williams, Wayne Jennings, Center for the Visually Impaired (CVI)

Ronee Silverman, Executive Director of CVI gave the following update:

  • CVI began in 1988 serving only seniors in Volusia County.
  • CVI now serves 4 counties, Volusia, Flagler, Putnam and Brevard.
  • CVI serves approximately 400 clients per year.
  • There are 4 programs at CVI: Independent Living, Assistive Technology, Orientation and Mobility and Transition.
  • Staff at CVI include:  3 O&M specialists, 2 CRC’s, 3 Rehab Techs, 2 special education teachers, 1 MSW.
  • Two MSW interns from UCF are doing their clinical experience at CVI.
  • All of the Assistive Technology instructors are certified through the state of Florida.
  • The seniors program serves over 300 per year.
  • The transition program serves about 28 students per year in the four counties.
  • The assistive technology program has 6 computer teachers teaching the latest technology.
  • CVI has job readiness training classes and a job placement program.
  • Several hundred clients attend monthly support group meetings.
  • CVI recently had its first Dining in the Dark event where over 200 people attended.

Council Business

The motion to approve the 2012 Annual Report received a second and passed.

The motion to approve the July minutes received a second and passed.

The Council agreed to conduct the October 2013 meeting in West Palm Beach.
The dates agreed upon were:  October 16, 17 & 18, 2013.

Agenda Items for the February 2013 meeting in Tallahassee.

Election of Officers
Needs Assessment
Digital Learning
Gifts and Donations

The Council decided not to conduct a Public Forum in Tallahassee.

Bruce Miles moved that a certificate be sent to Henry Alexander in recognition of his service on the Council.  Motion received a second and passed.

Sheryl Brown moved to recognize FSU & O&M program for its 50 year anniversary at the Vision Summit with a certificate.

Motion received a second and passed.

Andrew Raines informed the Council his boss offered the use of their facility, if needed, when the Council meets in Pensacola.

Joe Minichiello reminded everyone of the NFB convention cruise  February 7 – 10, 2014 on the Norwegian Sky.

Meeting adjourned at 9:25 AM.

Respectively submitted, Phyllis Dill, AAII