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

Hilton Palm Beach Airport
150 Australian Avenue
West Palm Beach, Florida

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Chair Robert Kelly called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m. with introductions and the Pledge of Allegiance.

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

Council Members via Phone:
Rose Conry

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

Attendee
Victoria Gaitanis representing Florida Department of Education

Council Staff:
Selena Sickler

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

Adoption of Agenda
The Council discussed changing lunch to 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Paul Edwards moved to adopt the amended agenda. Howard Bell seconded. The motion passed.

Director’s Report
Director Doyle recognized Rose Conry, CEO of Staff Time, who gave a brief introduction. Rose stated she was running for City Council.  Director Doyle introduced Deputy Director Robin Goldstone Garcia and gave a brief overview of her responsibilities.   Director Doyle recognized Bobbie Howard Davis and Christina Panszak-Smith.  He announced that Annah Wolf completed her CNC.

Director Doyle gave a brief overview of the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA).  He introduced Chaz Compton with San Diego State University who called into the meeting.  Chaz stated the focus areas of the CSNA included the General Performance of the Program; the rehabilitative needs of the most significantly disabled; the rehabilitative needs of minorities; rehabilitative needs of youth with focus on pre-employment transition services;  Workforce Development System is meeting the needs blinds and visually impaired; Assessment of establishment or improvement of Community Rehabilitation Programs.

Chaz encouraged input from the FRCB.  Paul Edwards stated his concern to the degree to which clients are technology ready for work.  Paul proposed incorporate components three years.  Director Doyle stated the report would be ready to present to the FRCB February 2019.

Director Doyle stated one of the accomplishments this year was the passage of the workers comp bill in the legislature. 

Director Doyle stated that DBS was working to complete a Fiscal Forecast.  He stated that he would welcome the Council’s input on utilization of the extra dollars.

Director Doyle stated that DBS was looking into possibility supporting the Youth Leadership Network.

Director Doyle stated the focus of the DBS reorganization was counselors and supervisors.  He stated there was a challenge with available funds for the Employment Placement Specialist. 

Director Doyle stated that DBS has begun looking at the quality of deliverables in the Adult Programs under contract.  He stated that noticeable abuses had become known.  He stated that DBS was looking to tighten the definition.

Robert Kelly asked about available workers compensation materials.  Director Doyle stated that DBS would be sending them out to the employers.

VR Report – Bridget Giles
Bridget Giles, Bureau Chief presented an overview of the VR Report SFY 2017-2018 3rd Quarter. A complete copy of the report is available upon request.

Common Performance Measures
Director Doyle presented a report on the new Common Performance Measures under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) that would apply across all six core programs:

  • % in unsubsidized employment at some point during the second quarter after exit from the program;
  • % in unsubsidized employment at some point during the fourth quarter after exit from the program;
  • Median earnings of those in unsubsidized employment during the second quarter after exit from the program;
  • % of participants who obtained a recognized postsecondary credential or secondary school diploma or equivalent during participation in, or within one year of, exit from the program;
  • % of participants, who during a program year, are in an education or training program that leads to a recognized postsecondary credential or employment and who are achieving measurable skill gains toward such a credential or employment; and
  • Indicators of effectiveness in serving employers.

Morning break at 10:00 a.m.

Employer Recognition
Bobbie Howard Davis, District Administrator for District 10, recognized Stuart Lodge for the Employer Recognition Award.

Sunshine Laws / Rules
Brent McNeal, General Counsel Department of Education, presented a report on the Sunshine Laws.  Brent defined Fla. Stat. 413.011(8), which created the FRCB.  He reviewed Fla. Stat. Section 286.011 and Chapter 119. A complete copy of the report is available upon request.

Director Doyle provided an overview of the Innovative Project Program.  He outlined the timeline, which is available upon request. 

Director Doyle reported that a new software program has helped to capture data and increase the amount of social security reimbursements.

Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency

Nick Uhren, Executive Director, presented a report.  Mr. Uhren stated the Palm Beach TPA plans, prioritizes and funds transportation projects and programs. He stated the vision of the agency is to provide a safe, efficient, and connected multimodal transportation system.  Every five years, the TPA updates a Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) that forecasts transportation demands and identifies cost-feasible projects for the next 25 years. The TPA then annually adopts a 5-year funding program that allocates federal and state transportation dollars to the projects in the LRTP that are most important to our communities. A complete copy of the report is available upon request.

The meeting adjourned for lunch at 11:50 a.m. The afternoon session began at 1:00 p.m.

DBS District 10 Report
Bobbie Howard Davis, District Administrator, presented a report on District 10 located in West Palm Beach that serves five counties, Indian River, Martin, Palm Beach, Okeechobee and St. Lucie.  She reported on staffing, programs and open cases, successful closures, expenditures and occupational placements and activities of the District.  A complete copy of the report is available upon request.

Lighthouse for the Blind of Palm Beaches
Mary Allen, Director of Vision Services, of the Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches presented a report.  She provided an overview of the services offered, program statistics, achievements and challenges.  A complete copy of the report is available upon request.

Florida Outreach Center for the Blind
Carolyn Lapp, Executive Director, of the Florida Outreach Center for the Blind presented a report.  Carolyn highlighted the client services and training programs, workshops and leisure time activities offered.  She spoke about the many outreach programs they participated in such as health fairs and Kids’ Club Holiday Party. A complete copy of the report is available on request.

Rehabilitative Services Administration (RSA) Monitoring Report- FY 2017
Director Doyle highlighted results of the report determined by RSA in six areas.   Section 1-Executive Summary; Section - Performance of the vocational rehabilitation Program; Section - Transition Services, Including Pre-Employment  Transition Services for Students and Youth; Section 4- State Supported Employment Services Program; Section 5- Allocation and Expenditure of State Vocational Rehabilitation Services and State Support; Section 6- Joint Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Final Rule Implementation.  RSA review resulted in three observations and five findings.  Recommendations and corrective actions were documented along with a section on agency response.

The Council discussed not being interviewed by RSA as indicated in parts of the monitoring report.

The Council had a discussion regarding RSA requiring prior approval for expenditures over $1000 and the negative impact of slowing down delivery of services to clients.

The Council had a discussion regarding the DBS cost study.  The Council suggested coordinating with the Contract Subcommittee.   Director Doyle agreed to a dialogue.

The Council discussed the data errors noted in the report.  Director Doyle stated from the Supported Employment side, the issue had been corrected.  Director Doyle stated there was a problem with the lack of feedback from RSA. He suggested a “checker” would be helpful.

The Council discussed the Adware’s systems ability to handle data sets.   Director Doyle stated it had been fixed.

The Council applauded DBS for its 60-day window to determine eligibility.

Director Doyle stated that corrective actions were due to RSA by May 30.

Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services (BEESS)
Victoria Gaitanis, State Program Specialist on Sensory Impairments, provided an update on student populations, teacher populations, student performance data and transition.  She spoke about updates to the Rule Revision for 6A-6.0314, Braille/ Federal Quota Funds and State-Funded Discretionary Project Support.  A complete copy of the report is available upon request.

Client Satisfaction Survey Subcommittee Update
Bruce Miles stated the subcommittee was formed to address the problem of participants who were taking part in the survey could not determine if they were answering questions about DBS or CRP’s. Bruce stated the subcommittee has met for a total of 22 hours since December 2015. He stated the rewrite of the Client Satisfaction Survey was approved by the FRCB on October 16, 2016. He stated the Rehab Center Survey was approved February 2017.  Bruce stated the subcommittee plans to meet again after the first year report of this year.

Florida School for the Deaf and Blind (FSDB) - Blind Babies Program
Carol Fratti presented a report on the Blind Babies Program. Carol stated that the Early Intervention Program serves children Birth-5 with visual impairments.  She stated that FSDB has the Blind Babies Contracts with the Division of Blind Services that serve children in Jacksonville, Gainesville, and West Palm Beach.  Carol highlighted the different training programs such as SKI-HI, VIISA and INSITE offered throughout the year.

Contract Subcommittee Update/ National Coalition of State Rehabilitation Councils (NCSRC) / Vocation Evaluation Update
Paul Edwards stated that a Contract Subcommittee meeting had not been scheduled but one was in the works.  Paul stated the subcommittee had more work to do and was working to determine how to move forward.

Paul thanked DBS for allowing him to attend the NCSRC in Maryland.  Paul stated that compared to other states, the FRCB is doing far better than other state councils in terms of the number of respondents to the Client Satisfaction Survey and the depth of the involvement of the FRCB  allowed by the Division of Blind Services.

Paul stated the Blind Services Foundation is working with Dr. Karen Wolffe who is helping to work on developing new vocational evaluation assessment tool.  Paul stated that a meeting is scheduled for next week in Tampa for two days of training on how to validate test components.  Paul stated this phase was part of the larger two-year project being determined in May.

Director Doyle stated the possible need of looking at protecting the intellectual product.  Paul stated he would put the topic on the next DSO meeting.  Paul suggested meeting with Legal.

The meeting adjourned at 3:30 p.m.

May 4, 2018

Chair Robert Kelly called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m. with introductions and the Pledge of Allegiance.

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

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, Lisa Montgomery, Bobbie Howard Davis.

Approval of February 2018 Meeting Minutes
Paul Edwards made a motion to approve the minutes.  Patricia Lipovsky seconded the motion. Motion passed.

Agenda Items Orlando, July 2018

  • Public Forum
  • Needs Assessment
  • Client Satisfaction Survey 1st year Review
  • Gifts & Donations Update
  • DBS Policy Regarding Master’s Degree
  • Blind Services Foundation Vocational Evaluation Update
  • DBS Corrective Action Plan Regarding RSA
  • University Central Florida Disabled Services
  • DA Report – Include CareerSource

Location & Date of May 2019 Meeting
Paul Edwards made a motion for Tallahassee.  Paul Kurtz seconded. Paul Kurtz requested a report from FSU regarding disabled student services. Paul Edwards requested to hear from the Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged.  The motion passed. 

Paul Edwards suggested May 8,9,10.  Paul Kurtz seconded. The motion passed.

Old Business- none

New Business – February 2019 Meeting- Daytona
Selena proposed the following: February 4 as a travel day, May 5-6 full day meetings, May 7 travel day; meetings and public forum held at the Rehabilitation Center; tours scheduled for the Library, Rehab Center, Conklin Center and Center f/t Blind and Visually Impaired.  Paul Edwards made a motion to accept the plan.  Director Doyle agreed with the general parameters.  Patricia Lipovsky seconded.  The motion passed.

Open Discussion
The Council had a discussion regarding the interaction between DBS district offices and CareerSource Centers as outlined in WIOA.  Director Doyle stated that some districts had progressed farther than other districts.

Robert Kelly expressed concern over getting a return on investment.  He asked that District Administrators include placement information in their reports.

Bobbie Howard Davis stated that she could report on one placement.  She stated there is communication with the district and there was a specific person for disability.

Paul Edwards asked that a report from the Workforce Representative become a standard agenda item.

Howard Bell made a motion to adjourn.  Bruce Miles seconded. The motion passed.

The meeting adjourned at 10:30 a.m.