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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Public Forum Teleconference
August 16, 2016
2:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Meeting called to order at 2:00 PM

Council Members Present: 10
Robert Kelly, Mikey Wiseman, Sylvia Perez, Patricia Lipovsky, Bruce Miles, Donte Mickens, Robert Doyle, Sandra Burke, Jesus Garcia, Howard Bell

Council Members Absent: 4
Paul Edwards, Charles Brooks, Gloria Mills, Lenora Marten

Council Staff: 1
Selena Sickler

DBS Staff: 4
Tom Austin, Walter Blackman, Leigh Ann Bellamy, Bruce Emmerton

Attendee: 9
Chuck Carter, Sandra Dillon Lyons, Doug Fowler, Chuck Fickett, Mary Carlson, Mike Brust, Amy Turner, Paula Haltaman, Paul Lewis

Chairman Robert Kelly stated that the Florida Rehabilitation Council for the Blind was a group of volunteers whose function was to assist the Division of Blind Services with its State Plan and to assist DBS in evaluating its services. Mr. Kelly stated his apologies to the attendees who did not get a chance to speak at the July 28, 2016 Public Forum.

There were 5 consumers in attendance.

Consumer 1 asked for an administrative transfer to another vending location, adaptive equipment and evaluation and training.


  • DBS stated their first concern was the recovery and health for the client.
  • DBS suggested the client continue to go through the process and consider on another vending location.
  • The consumer was provided with the phone number for Disability Rights Florida if they remain dissatisfied with the progression of services. 
Consumer 2 asked about the status of her evaluation.


  • DBS will follow up on status.

Consumer 3 asked for computer equipment.


  • DBS will follow up with client.

Consumer 4 asked to come back as a DBS client.

Consumer 5 stated his concern over lack of access to job training and equipment and lack of services for people in rural counties.

Chairman Kelly asked if there were any more speakers.

The council had a discussion about the challenges faced by clients in rural communities where there was a lack of transportation to job opportunities.

Director Doyle stated that contractors provided services not only in the city where they are located but other counties also.

The meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m.