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FLORIDA REHABILITATION COUNCIL FOR THE BLIND
PUBLIC FORUM

Hilton Palm Beach Airport
150 Australian Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
May 3, 2018, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Chairman Robert Kelly called the meeting to order at 5:00p.m. (ET) with introductions and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Council Members Present:
Patricia Lipovsky, Robert Kelly, Bruce Miles, Louise Peyton, Paul Edwards, Denise Valkema, Paul Kurtz, Howard Bell, Robert Doyle

Council Members Absent:
Lenora Marten, Mikey Wiseman, Rose Conry, Nicole Attong

Council Staff:
Selena Sickler

DBS Staff:
Bridget Giles, Ana Saint Fort, Robin Goldstone Garcia, Bobbie Howard Davis, Lisa Montgomery, Christina Panczak-Smith

Chair Robert Kelly thanked everyone for attending the forum. 

Chair Kelly asked for introductions from people on the phone. Three consumers made comments.

Consumer 1 expressed her appreciation for the services at the Talking Library.

Consumer 2 expressed her appreciation for the support she received from DBS while attaining her Bachelor’s degree.  She also stated her desire for DBS consider financial support for attaining a Master’s degree.

Consumer 3 expressed her concern over the distance between the district office and the Treasure Coast area.   She also suggested that DBS consider financial support for a Master’s degree.

Chair Kelly asked speakers to limit their comments to five minutes. He asked for audience introductions.

Nine Consumers Commented

Consumer 1 expressed her appreciation for DBS, Florida Outreach Center and The Lighthouse.  She acknowledged Bobbie Howard-Davis and Christina Panczak-Smith for their support.

Consumer 2 stated that the services she has received recently are the best they have ever been.  She praised Christina and Bobbie Howard-Davis.

Consumer 3 stated that DBS has come a long way.  She expressed appreciation for Zunaira Wasif.

Consumer 4 stated there was the need for representation of the deaf-blind community in Tallahassee. She acknowledged Corey Parker for helping to create a clearer definition of deaf-blind in Florida. She thanked the Lighthouse, DBS and the Florida Outreach Center for helping to improve her self-esteem.  She thanked DBS for their participation in the February 2018 Symposium.

Consumer 5 expressed his appreciation for DBS.

Consumer 6 expressed her appreciation for Palm Tran Connection. 

Consumer 7 expressed her appreciation for learning how to live alone and to have hope again.

Consumer 8 stated he has seen DBS make many positive changes.  He expressed appreciation for the opportunity of going back to school.

Consumer 9 expressed his appreciation for DBS and Outreach Center for the Blind.

Chair Kelly asked if anyone on the phone wanted to speak.

Consumer 3 asked if there are plans to develop job-training programs in Florida similar to Louisiana or Arkansas that assist citizens find government jobs with SSA. Director Doyle stated there have been conversations about similar training programs in Daytona however, the level of outcomes were not what was expected.  He suggested he was willing to hear from companies interested in developing a program in Florida.

Paul Edwards congratulated the West Palm District for their hard work in improving services.

Carolyn Lapp suggested there was a need to reach more people.