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FLORIDA REHABILITATION COUNCIL FOR THE BLIND (FRCB)
QUARTERLY MEETING MINUTES

Double Tree by Hilton Tampa Airport-West-Shore
4500 West Cypress Street
Tampa, Florida  33607

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Chairman Robert Kelly called the meeting to order at 8:30 AM with the Pledge of Allegiance following roll call.

Council Members Present: 9
Robert Kelly, Robert Doyle, Sandra Burke, Bruce Miles, Paul Edwards, Mikey Wiseman, Howard Bell, Patricia Lipovsky, Gloria Mills,

Council Members via Phone: 1
Lenora Marten

Council Members Absent: 2
Jesus Garcia, Charles Brooks

Council Staff: 1
Selena Sickler

DBS Staff:
Walter Blackmon, Jeff Whitehead, Donna Rhodes, Mireya Hernandez, Sandra Brown, Leann Bellamy, Bruce Emmerton, Janet Alterman,  Ana Saint-Fort, Phyllis Heath, Ted Pobst, Juan Diaz, Dacia Drury, Stacy Smith, Madeline Davidson, Bobbie Howard Davis, Nancy Brown, Wayne Jennings, Bertha Hyche, Michelle Levy, Carolyn Narayan, Brian Michaels, Robert Lewis, Stael Exantus

Attendees
Doug Fowler, Kim Carr, Sheryl Brown, Denise Valkema, Sylvia Perez

Adoption of Agenda
Chairman Kelly amended the agenda to include action on a resolution regarding the importance of the Blind Services Foundation of Florida and order change of WINTAC presenters.  Robert Kelly called for a motion to accept the amended agenda.  The motion passed unanimously.

Nominations and Elections of Officers
Chairman Kelly called for nominations for council chair. Bruce Miles nominated Patricia Lipovsky. Sandra Burke seconded the nomination. Ms. Lipovsky elected by acclimation.

Chairman Kelly called for nominations for first vice chair.  Bruce Miles nominated Mikey Wiseman. Mr. Wiseman declined. Patricia Lipovsky nominated Paul Edwards. Mikey Wiseman seconded the nomination.  The nomination was approved unanimously.

Chairman Kelly called for nominations for second vice chair.  Paul Edwards nominated Mikey Wiseman.  Bruce Miles seconded the nomination.  The nomination was approved unanimously.

Paul Edwards nominated Jesus Garcia to remain the cross representative for FILC.  Bruce Miles seconded the motion.  The nomination was approved unanimously.

Committees
Outgoing Chairman Kelly read the duties of the planning committee. The Planning Committee members are: Lenora Marten (Chair), Bruce Miles, Paul Edwards, Robert Kelly, Howard Bell, Jesus Garcia

Outgoing Chairman Kelly read the duties of the Evaluation committee. The Evaluation Committee members are Bruce Miles (Chair), Gloria Mills( until August), Patricia Lipovsky, Mikey Wiseman, Howard Bell, Paul Edwards.

Outgoing Chairman Robert Kelly recognized incoming Chairwoman, Patricia Lipovsky and turned the facilitation of the meeting to her. Chair Lipovsky expressed her appreciation to serve as the chair of the FRCB.

Employee Recognition
District Administrator Mireya Hernandez presented the employer recognition award to Neighborly Care Network.  Peggy Coleman, Nutrition Operations Manager, accepted the award. Mireya Hernandez presented a second award to Lowry Park Zoo.  Deborah Brown, General Counsel and Director of HR, accepted the award.

Adjourn for morning break

Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center (WINTAC)
Barbara A. Butz, WINTAC State liaison to the State of Florida presented an overview to the council regarding the new laws created by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the activities of WINTAC and their role in providing technical assistance and coordination of activities in five general topic areas.  Ms. Butz identified the topic areas as; pre-employment transition services; section 511 (subminimum wage employment); competitive employment; integration of the state vocational program in to the Workforce Development System; and transition to the common performance measures. Ms. Butz stated the creation of several Workforce Innovation Pilot Projects such as the career index plus, SARA and peer mentoring with the goal of demonstrating how VR programs and their partners can effectively respond to WIOA.

Common Performance Measures Data for Council Considerations
Terry Donovan, Subject Matter Expert for the WINTAC Team presented a report on the development of six Common Performance Measures under WIOA.  Mr. Donovan stated the reason for developing new performance measures was the comparison of statistics such as employment, annual earnings and the poverty rate of people with disabilities was significantly less than the population who did not have a disability. Mr. Donovan stated the focus was to shift from a perspective of job attainment to career for economic success. 

Career Pathways
Nikki Powis, Subject Matter Expert for the WINTAC Team presented a report on the six key elements in Career Pathways developed under WIOA.  Ms. Powis stated the new framework involved shifting away from disconnection between education and workforce services to integration into one system by combining resources, funding, policies, data and shared performance.  Ms. Powis stated the six elements identified in creating integrated career pathways are; building cross-agency partnership; identifying industry sector and engage employers; designing education and training programs; identifying funding needs and source; aligning policies and programs and measuring system changes and performance.

DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Robert Doyle presented an update on the status of DBS. 

  • Director Doyle recognized the passing of DBS employee Shakira Webster from the Orlando district office.
  • Dr. Antionette Williams accepted a promotion with The Department of Education.
  • DBS is working steadily to fill vacancies within the division.
  • Director Doyle has held meet and greets with applicants to look for qualified candidates.
  • DBS has identified an individual to fill the Program Consultant position.
  • Contingency budget cuts for DBS to the legislature is a million and half-general revenue dollars.
  • Current DBS legislative bill would provide liability insurance coverage for transition students and adults looking for work experience.
  • DSO is under sunset as of October 2017 unless saved by repeal of the legislature.
  • DBS is working to strengthen benefits counseling to IPE clients.
  • DBS researched data to look at possible trends of dollar expenditures of significantly disabled clients compared to clients labeled as most significantly disabled. Data was reviewed with the Council.
  • DBS has targeted July 2017 to launch RFP or similar process for the sustainability study.

DSO Resolution
Robert Kelly moved that the Rehabilitation Council create a resolution in support of renewal of the Blind Services Foundation of Florida. Howard Bell seconded the motion. Paul Edwards presented the draft resolution and moved for its adoption.  Mikey Wiseman seconded the motion. The resolution was adopted unanimously. 

District Administrator Report
Mireya Hernandez presented a report.  A summary is below.

District 7 has two office locations.  The main office is located in Tampa and our satellite office is located in downtown Lakeland, FL.  District seven covers counties:  Citrus, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk County.  Current open cases: 532 VR Program, 208 Children’s Program, 244 Independent Living.  The district’s assigned goal for SFY 2016-2017 is 100 successfully rehabilitated cases.  The district has successfully closed 48 cases and has placed 23 cases in employed status.  The district expects to meet and slightly exceed the goal this year.
Tampa Lighthouse for the Blind-
Sheryl Brown presented a report.  A summary is below.

Our purpose is to maximize independence and provide employment opportunities for persons who are blind or visually impaired. Service Area covers Hillsborough, Polk and Hardee counties. The Tampa Lighthouse fulfills its purpose by providing well-maintained physical facilities in Tampa and Winter Haven, up-to-date equipment, trained staff, and accurate information systems. In addition to a comprehensive Rehabilitation Program and Service Contract Program, the Lighthouse acts as a referral source of information, operates a retail store with adaptive products and offers public education programs designed to build positive attitudes toward persons who are blind or visually impaired.    

Lighthouse of Pinellas-
Beverly Bennett presented a report.  A summary is below.

The Lighthouse of Pinellas provides comprehensive rehabilitation training for individuals of all ages in Pinellas County who are blind or visually impaired.
Last year marked our 60th anniversary of providing services in Pinellas County.   Annually, the Lighthouse of Pinellas provides services to over 500 individuals and our community outreach and education reaches approximately 900 individuals.   

Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired
Sylvia Perez presented a report.  A summary is below.

The Lighthouse began serving Pasco in 1983, Hernando in 1993 and Citrus in 2009. The Lighthouse operates four facilities: the main office in Port Richey, the “Opportunity Center” in Pasco County, a three-acre property in Brooksville and a facility in Citrus County. Plans include building a 15,000 square foot building on a recently purchased nine-acre property to accommodate the needs of a growing population in Pasco County.  There are also plans of collaborating with Respect of Florida to create a temporary employment program statewide for blind or visually impaired individuals.

Rehab Center Questions/Client Satisfaction Survey
Bruce Miles called for a motion to accept the rewrite of the Rehab Center questions.  Paul Edwards moved and the motion was seconded.  Chairwoman Lipovsky moved to amend question 7 to read, “The dormitory and surroundings were comfortable and clean.” Paul Edwards seconded the motion.  The motion was approved as amended.    

Paul Edwards moved to request that DBS keep the Rehab Center questions separate from the Client Satisfaction Survey, to administer them to students upon exit from the center by administrative staff and to share the results with the council annually.  There was a second by Robert Kelly.  The motion passed unanimously.

Vocational Evaluations
Paul Edwards moved for the FRCB to recommend to the Division of Blind Services that they consider the three evaluation instruments that were discussed at the teleconference on January 12, 2017 with Dr. Karen Wolffe. The motion was seconded and approved.

Paul Edwards moved to accept the July 2016 meeting minutes and Gloria Mills seconded the motion. The minutes were approved unanimously.

Paul Edwards moved to approve October 2016 meeting minutes. The minutes were approved unanimously as corrected.

Chairwoman Lipovsky called for ideas for agenda items for May 2017 meeting.

Agenda Items

  • State of Budget and Legislature – Paul Edwards
  • Paul Edwards Document Regarding the Rehab Center– Bruce Miles
  •  FRCB/DBS Subcommittee Taskforce– Mikey Wiseman
  • Client Satisfaction Survey Report 3rd Quarter – Bruce Miles

Discussion
The council had a discussion regarding specific ideas the FRCB could implement that would help DBS directly achieve its goal. The council shared ideas of looking at Councils in other states and creating relationships such as the State Workforce Board. Director Doyle suggested establishing a subcommittee to spearhead the initiative.  Members of the council who volunteered are Mikey Wiseman, Paul Edwards, Gloria Mills and a DBS representative. The subcommittee will hold a teleconference before the next meeting and share their ideas at the next meeting.

Paul Edwards moved to adjourn.  The motion passed unanimously.

The meeting adjourned at 3:48 p.m.

Friday February 10, 2017

Meeting called to order at 9:01 with the Pledge of Allegiance following roll call.

Council Members Present: 9
Patricia Lipovsky, Mikey Wiseman, Paul Edwards, Howard Bell, Gloria Mills, Sandra Burke, Robert Kelly, Robert Doyle, Bruce Miles

Council Members Present Via Telephone: 1
Lenora Marten

Council Members Absent: 2
Charles Brooks, Jesus Garcia

Council Staff: 1
Selena Sickler

Attendees: 4
Doug Fowler, Stephanie Grier, Kim Carr, Denise Valkema

Council Business
Agenda Items for May 2017 Tampa

  • State of Budget and Legislature – Paul Edwards
  • Paul Edwards Document – Bruce Miles
  • FRCB Subcommittee Taskforce Report– Mikey Wiseman
  • Client Satisfaction Survey 3rd Quarter
  • Local Transportation Provider
  • Independence for the Blind of West Florida
  • DA Report

Location and Date of February 2018 Meeting
Paul Edwards moved to have the meeting in Tallahassee. Mikey Wiseman seconded the motion.  The motion passed.

Old Business
The council had a discussion regarding the status of DBS reorganization.  Director Doyle stated no progress had been made.

Paul Edwards asks about reclassification effort of DBS field staff. Director Doyle stated that the proposals that were submitted, but the agency continues to review options.

Report on Florida Rehab Council Meeting
Mikey Wiseman reported on the VR meeting held in Orlando.  Mikey stated the introduction of Succession planning that was designed to keep and retain key employees. Moving forward with the Student Transition Activities Record (STAR) program, and attending the legislative session.

Director Doyle stated RSA’s encouragement to align ages for Pre-emploment transition services. 

Discussion
The council had a discussion regarding the National Coalition of State Rehabilitation Councils meeting April 1 and 2 in Washington DC.  The council discussed that typically the Chairperson from the FRCB attends the meeting. Patricia Lipovsky stated she would confirm if she is able to attend but requests for a backup if needed.  Mikey Wiseman stated that he will be in DC during the meeting and will fill in if needed. 

New Business
No new business was discussed.

Paul Edwards moved to adjourn and Gloria Mills seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.
The meeting adjourned at 9:34 a.m.