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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Meeting called to order at 8:30 AM with the pledge of allegiance following roll call.

Charles Brooks, Sheryl Brown, Leanne Grillot, Ben Grzesik, Robert Kelly, Patricia Lipovsky, Lenora Marten, Sandra Martin, Donte Mickens, Bruce Miles , Dan O’Connor,  Michael Wiseman and Robert Doyle, Director 

Council Members Present via Teleconference: 3
Jesus Garcia, Gloria Mills, Dwight Sayer

Vicky Magliocchino, Joe Minichiello, Sylvia Perez,

Janice Hameline

DBS Staff:

A motion to adopt the Agenda was made. The motion passed.

Council Business

Approval of May Minutes –

A motion to approve the May minutes was made.  The motion passed.

  • A motion to accept the dates for the October FRCB Meeting October 21-23, 2015.  The motion passed.
  • Council Meeting location is Jacksonville, Florida at the Lexington Hotel & Conference Center Jacksonville Riverwalk
  • Council travel is 10/20/2015
  • Council Meeting and Public Forum are 10/21/2015
  • Last day of Council Meeting is 10/22/2015

Report on FRC Meeting
Bruce Miles and Mikey Wiseman attended the FRC meeting on behalf of the DBS Florida Rehabilitation Council for the Blind.  The FRC has been discussing the idea of maybe changing their meetings to one day and half of meeting.  This item will be discussed at the next meeting in West Palm Beach. FRC holds all of their subcommittee meetings during the full group and then they are voted on.

Mikey Wiseman stated the VR Director's report is very extensive.  It is broken down by categories one, two, three.  Most of VR’s money is spent on home modifications in removing that first barrier to employment.  There was an in depth discussion regarding the preparation of WIOA dealing with transition which will be handled through their vendors.  VR is very focused on client choice. They are putting together and outward facing portal. The best way to describe that is, when a client comes in for intake and they have their plan, the computer screen would be turned around to the client and it would show the available list of vendors.

From the FRCB side, Bruce and I both extended an invitation for information sharing.  We talked about our method of procedures as far as making a subcommittee and how we address WIOA. Also, how we handle those specific task which they seem to have been interested in. 

Becki stated that at VR we have so many different types of disabilities and it is very hard to serve those with multiple disabilities. As an advisor on this committee we have fought to make sure that the person who needs the assistance gets the choice. I am proud of the work we have done, especially the legislative work.

Robert Kelly – Thank you Bruce, Mikey and Becki for your report on the FRC meeting.
Location and dates of July 2016 meeting –

  • A motion to have the July 2016 meeting in Ft. Myers, Florida, motion passed.
  • Proposed date for Council travel is July 27, Council Meeting and Public Forum is July 28, Council Meeting July 29

Leanne Grillot – I checked on the May 2016 meeting to be held at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind on May 11-13 in St. Augustine, Florida. I was able to arrange the dates we had proposed and it works for the school.  The president is very excited to be working with us.

Sheryl Brown – Did you want to discuss Tallahassee in February?

Robert Kelly – We are having trouble coming up with a date for the Vision Summit location.  I understand the Double Tree is not available to us in February in Tallahassee.  The February 9-11, 2016 lodging is at the Hampton Inn Central by Hilton and the rates are $159.00.  The rates are high due to the legislative session starting in January 2016.  The FRCB meeting will take place for the one day in the Turlington Building on the 17th floor and transportation will be provided.

Sheryl Brown – There is a committee meeting regarding the Vision Summit with the feeling it needs to change formats and because they are meeting early, the lobbyist thinks that we should do something with the legislators in November.  I guess the question has to be, if there is not a vision summit in February, do you still want a February meeting in Tallahassee?

Robert Kelly – There will be a meeting in FAASB today regarding maybe polling a new location for the summit.

Bruce Miles – Are we looking for another location for February?

Robert Kelly – Do we want to have a meeting in February in Tallahassee?

Robert Doyle – The hotel agreement has not been signed yet.  Do we want to have the meeting somewhere else?  We also need to talk about the meeting a year from now.

Paul Edwards – I would like for us to consider some advantages of being in Tallahassee when the legislature is in session.  There is an opportunity to hear from other state agencies and the Tallahassee based groups on what's happening.  There is a new initiative that the foundation is funding that we can get details on.  I am also wondering maybe if there is an approach that we ought to take to issue an invitation to specific legislatures to come and talk to us about the rehab council rather than relying on the Vision Summit or the Vision Caucus.

There was a motion to keep the meeting in Tallahassee. The motion passed.

Location of next meeting in July 2016
Discuss having the meeting in Ft. Myers, Florida.

Robert Doyle – Do we want to the DA's to continue to join in the meetings? 

Robert Kelly – I would like to continue have the meetings with the DA's.  It's good for us to be in the same place a couple times a year.  We can look at July being one of the meetings that they can join in.

Dan O'Connor – If there can be a set a side time on the agenda for some actual dialog with them and the council.  We might have some questions on the district level and vice versa.

Robert Kelly – Maybe we can look for an agenda item where we can ask someone from the DA's community to make a presentation.

Mikey Wiseman – My question to Director Doyle, could we recommend that they have a roundtable or conference call prior to, and solicit a designated speaker?

Robert Doyle – Yes.

Robert Kelly – Let's give it some thought to figure out how we can engage.

Agenda Items for October 2015 meeting

  • Talked about restructuring or revising the committee on the Client Satisfaction Survey (members are Bruce, Mikey, Charles, Jesus, Sandra and Sylvia)
  • Robert Doyle – stated it is important to have the CRP participation.  It gives us an opportunity to look at questions and have direct contact in terms of when the surveyors reach out to consumers.  May be they can have a list from the CRP’s and possible change some of the contract requirements.
  • More formal presentation on the outreach initiative that the DSO paid for last year (the video)
  • Specific discussions about the State Plan
  • Robert Doyle – The goal is to have the state plan out of DOE by mid to late November. We will need to have some discussions and public hearings around the state.  October will be the time to get ready to finalize with FRCB input.  I think there will be a need to have some calls in between that time.
  • Gifts & Donations – There is $5 Million in that account.
  • Update on LCF – New Initiative Program Approach with the District Office
  • Vermont Model
  • WIOA updates –
  • Status update on the implementation of the Children’s Program
  • Public Forum – how clients are notified
  • Disabled Services – ADA  Coordinator can give a report on some of the exciting things they are doing

Mikey Wiseman – Would we expect any information from you regarding the specific blanket under transition with WIOA?  Vocational Rehabilitation has a very specific plan. New billable obviously, using their vendors for training equivalent to a pre-placement training and finding volunteer opportunities.  How is DBS looking at that specific piece of the puzzle?

Robert Doyle – Very briefly, we are transitioning the contract to a pre-employment transition services contract.

Mikey Wiseman – Would like some thought on how we are notifying the consumers regarding the public forum to let them come and be heard.

Sheryl Brown – We all represent some entity and it is our responsibility to send out to the CRP's.

Robert Kelly – We do not have a coordinator in place to handle this position.

Donte Mickens – This has been an issue for years.   I would not put it on the position as much.  I think that whether it is the local office or the other networks that we are involved in, we need to make sure the clients know it is for them to have an opportunity to be heard.

BBE Update
Bill Findley
We have made a lot of positive changes to the program.  Our staff is about 80 percent new.  It has changed over the last four years and we have worked to bring the program up to a quality program.  We get very excited when someone comes into our program and they are trained, licensed and placed.  We work with them as best we can to secure their success.  A lot has transpired over the years since the inception of the Randolph Sheppard Act in the mid 1930's.  The expectation of what a person in this program is can do has become far more demanding.  The opportunities have expanded to large food service, cafeterias (snack bars).  But, they are more like sandwich and coffee shops, as well as large vending routes with multiple locations in many metropolitan areas.

The Bureau of Business Enterprise (BBE) provides entrepreneurial business opportunities in food and vending service for legally blind and visually impaired individuals. Individuals who want to apply to independently operate a food service or vending location must meet certain requirements to be accepted into the program.  For the State Fiscal Year (SFY) ending June 30, 2015, this program comprised 120 Facility Managers (vendors) employing a total of 180 people (includes people who are visually impaired or have other disabilities, and nondisabled individuals). Taxable gross sales generated are expected to approach $21 million for the SFY. (Taxable gross sales for the 11 month period (July 1, 2014 – May 31, 2015) are $19,083,210. June’s sales are expected to be $1.8 million.
Average vendor income reported on the annual RSA 15 federal report for Federal Fiscal Year 2013-2014 was $60,000.
146     Number of blind vending food service facilities supported currently.

* As of July 20, 2015

Calendar Year Licensed Awarded Facility Current Operator Actively Pursuing Inactive Deceased Comments
2011 9 7 4 0 5 0 3 resigned, 2 never applied / home life changed
2012 19 17 14 0 4 1 1 removed
1 resigned, 1 passed away, 1 not awarded and stopped applying. 1 never applied but worked with and married a vendor
2013 11 9 6 0 4 1 2 resigned
1 passed away, 1 not awarded / health problems. 1 never applied / family issues
2014 12 7 7 2 3 0 1 awaiting military contract, 2 not awarded / do not want to move. 2 never applied
*2015 9 4 4 4 1 0 5 not awarded / 4 of which were licensed within last two months
TOTAL 60 44 35 6 17 2  

Through 2014, licensure/placement rate was 78%. Excluding those who chose not to participate it was 91%.
Through July of 2015, the vendor retention rate, excluding those who passed away, is 83%.

At the present time, three individuals are involved in On the Job Training and four others are currently in training at the Daytona Rehabilitation Center where Business Enterprise training is conducted.

What is the training process for the vending program?

Bill Findley - We have a training program in Daytona at the rehabilitation center.   We had one classroom when I first started.  We now have three classrooms. Two of the rooms are for actual sit down training with a computer.  We have a third classroom devoted to vending machines.  We have six basic modules of training.  They are:  (1) Three weeks of food service, (2) Safe serve certification training, (3) A live open to the public training food facility, (4) Record keeping, (5) Business startup, and (6) Business management.  We have 16 weeks of training in Daytona.

Patricia Lipovsky – In the vending program, if a cash register is broken, are they responsible for the repairs or do you provide assistance for that and how quickly?

Bill Findley – Yes, as soon as possible.  The local consultant will take care of the repair of the equipment.

Society is changing and we are trying to learn more and educate our vendors about healthy products in over the counter facilities.  Thank you for the opportunity to speak to the rehab council.

Term Vacancies/Appointments
Discussion was held regarding board members’ terms and those members who are leaving and potential replacements for Dwight Sayer, Sheryl Brown, Joe Minichiello and Dan O’Connor. 

  • Council will need one VR counselor and three Business & Industry members
  • Need to make sure there are an adequate number of “visually impaired” on the board

Old Business
It is very important that we work on getting the information out to the public regarding the Public Forum.  Everyone should take the initiative to advertise the public forum.

New Business
No new business.

Open Discussion
Discuss the filling of DBS vacancies in District 2 and 3.

Motion to adjourn the meeting at 10:30 a.m., motion seconded and passed.