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

Hilton
6001 Destination Parkway
Orlando, Florida

 

Thursday, July 26, 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:
Paul Kurtz, Sylvia Stinson-Perez

Council Members Absent:
Lenora Marten, Rose Corny, Nicole Attong

Council Staff:
Selena Sickler, Tami Oates

DBS Staff
Joe Abraham, Leigh Ann Bellamy, Beverly Bennett, Sandra Brown, Nancy Brown, Sheryl Brown, Juan Carlos Diaz, Elly DuPre, Carolyn Eleby, Bruce Emmerton, Genevieve English-Charles, Venus Ethridge, Bill Findley, Kim Galban-Countryman, Jennifer Gainey, Bridget Giles, Robin Goldstone Garcia, Phyllis Heath, Mireya Hernandez, Charlie Hittinger, Lisa Howard, Bobbie Howard-Davis, Wayne Jennings, Samantha Kelly, Michelle Levy, Monica Moye, Pamela Ortiz, Christina Panczak-Smith, Ana Saint-Fort

VR Report
Bridget Giles, Bureau Chief of Client Services presented an overview of the VR Report SFY 2017-2018 Qtr. 1-4.

The division served 4752 consumers; the total number of closed cases is 1984; the number of unsuccessful closures is 1132; the number of unsuccessful closures after receiving services is 652; the number of successful closures is 852; the rehabilitation rate was 57%.  

Common Performance Measures
Bridget Giles provided statistics for SFY2016: Successful VR Closures – 840; Number found Employed 2nd Qtr. after Exit Date – 471(56%); Number found Employed 4th Qtr. after Exit Date – 436(51.9%).

Directors Report
Director Robert Doyle presented a report on Competitive Integrated Employment.
The Council agreed to stand together and advocate against the definition.  The Council suggested the regulations were hostile to blind people.  The Council suggested that some of the people we serve are not ready to be in a competitive integrated environment.  Chair Kelly suggested to further the discussion later in the agenda and work on action steps.

District Administrator’s Report
Ted Pobst presented his report. District 6 is located in The Hurston Towers in downtown Orlando. There are 5 counties that make up District 6. These are Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake and Sumter Counties and The Villages.

In October 2017 staff was presented with a new task of spending time at CareerSource. There are 5 CareerSource locations within the District. In November the managers from all 5 came to DBS to meet with Counselors and Rehabilitation Technicians. In January counselors started their monthly visits to CareerSource.

In April, the DA and Supervisor started visiting CareerSource offices to speak with staff more about DBS services. These were monthly meeting. Two have been completed and they have had follow-up meetings demonstrating CCTVs and Low Vision devices.

Customer Satisfaction Survey
Minna Jia presented a report on the 2017-2018 QTR. 1-4 Survey Results of DBS Employment Bound Clients of cases closed July 1, 2017 – May 31, 2018. She also presented the results of the Open-Ended Responses by Vendor Business Names.

Morning Break

Employer Recognition
Ted Pobst, District Administrator for District 6 recognized Outback Steakhouse Florida Mall and Outback Kirkman Road for the Employer Recognition Award.

Lighthouse of Central Florida / Lighthouse Works
Lee Nasehi, President/ CEO presented a report. Mission: Charting a course for living, learning and earning with vision loss.

Who we are:
Lighthouse Central Florida and Lighthouse Works together employ a total of 95 people (54 at Lighthouse Central Florida and 41 at Lighthouse Works) 50 of our employees are blind or visually impaired.
Our core values are Servant Leadership, Inclusion, Collaboration, Empowerment and Excellence. These values are NOT aspirational; they truly are who we are today. We use these values to guide hires, they form the basis of staff evaluations, of strategic decisions, of preferred business tactics, and evaluating business contracts and goals.   
Service Area: Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties

New Vision for Independence Needs Assessment Update
Chantel Buck, President / CEO presented a report.

Mission

Provide rehabilitation, community education, advocacy, and support services for people with low vision or blindness and their families to promote independence, acceptance, and self-confidence

About Us

Serving Lake and Sumter Counties and The Villages retirement community which includes a pocket of Marion County
6 full-time and 5 part-time employees, including 3 who are visually impaired
Located on the Lake-Sumter State College campus in Leesburg
Incorporated July 18, 2005 – celebrating 13 years this month

Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA)
Chaz Compton called into the meeting and provided an update on the CSNA.

The meeting adjourned for lunch at 12:00 p.m.

Director’s Report Continued
Director Doyle continued with his report. He spoke about the Disability Employment Incentive Act 2018 introduced by Senator Casey.  The bill would provide incentives for business to hire people with disabilities by increasing the work opportunity tax credit, increasing small business tax credit and removing existing physical barriers.

The Director reported that the rates would not change for the current contracts.

The Council had a discussion regarding services in rural areas.  Juan Diaz reported that the Key Library will give District 12 a space to see clients from Monroe County. 

Sylvia stated that 36 hours of training is too much unless the client has a big problem.

Client Satisfaction Survey - Minna Jia Questions
Minna returned to answer the Council’s questions. The Council expressed concerns that the total number of people being served compared to last year is declining due to a decline in the number of referrals. The Council discussed the number of people that were dropped from the sample list that was sent to Minna.    Klaus Extine called into the meeting to provide input.  It was determined that Minna received all the files that she should have received.  The programmer has corrected the issue.  The corrected files were sent to Minna. 

Director Doyle recognized the accomplishments of the districts for 2017-2018 with the presentation of awards.

University of Central Florida – Student Accessibility Services
Brad Held, Assistant Accessible Technology Coordinator presented a report.
Brad stated the university currently serves 95 students who are blind or visually impaired.  The most common types of services include: testing accommodations, note taking, assistive technology and real-time captioning and sign language interpreting. In 2017-2018, the university had 9301 accommodated tests processed, 2082 e-text request processed, 416 students requested notetaking and 600 course Attendance Accommodations.

Bureau of Business Enterprise
Bill Findley, Bureau Chief, presented a report.  Bill stated in the past year there were 10 vacancies.  He reported that vendor direct sales for 2017 were $22,218,000.00. Sales have continued to increase over the past several years. Last year, the division had 6 first year vendors who stayed in their facility for twelve months and eight vendors who were placed in new facilities. For 2018, seven individuals have been licensed and five have been placed in their first facilities.  BBE has retained the Orange County Courthouse.

DBS Tuition Policy 2.9
Director Doyle stated the goal is to help students get out into the job market and make a living.   The Council suggested allowing the District Administrator to approve in state tuition rate and allowing a student going back to school part time.  The Council asked about the requirements of a student regarding financial aid.  The Council suggested looking at the requirements of applying for a Pell Grant after a student has received their master’s degree.

The Council had a discussion regarding the determination of services and the opportunity for an appeal. 

The Council had a discussion regarding the process of determination of the Client Assistance Program when determining to take a case.

Director Doyle stated that client assistance was covered at the last staff training.
He stated he will invite the Client Assistance Program to the October meeting.

Vocational Evaluation Update
Paul Edwards provided an update.  He spoke about the 2 days of training at the Tampa Lighthouse.  He spoke about the Delphi process.  Paul suggested the vocation evaluation tool would benefit people in Florida and throughout the US. He suggested using Creative Commons.

Competitive Integrated Employment
Paul Edwards recommended waiting for the FRCB to respond until RSA responded.  Mikey suggested forming a committee.  Mikey made a motion to form a committee to begin a discussion and form and outline.  Paul Edwards seconded the motion.  Mikey agreed to chair the committee.  Paul and Robert Kelly will sit on the committee.  The motion passed.

The meeting adjourned at 4:00 p.m.

July 27, 2018

Second Vice Chair, Mikey Wiseman called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m. with introductions and the Pledge of Allegiance. 

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

Council Members Present by Phone:
Paul Kurtz, Sylvia Stinson-Perez

Council Members Absent:
Robert Kelly, Lenora Marten, Rose Conry, Nicole Attong

Council Staff:
Selena Sickler, Tami Oates

DBS Staff:
Monica Moye, Bridget Giles, Ana Saint Fort

Approval of May 2018 Meeting Minutes
Paul Edwards made a motion to approve the minutes. Bruce Miles seconded the motion. Motion passed.

Agenda Items Miami, October 2018

  • Miami Lighthouse Report – Include plans to serve Monroe County
  • Outreach to Monroe County – DA Report
  • Competitive Integrated Employment Committee Update
  • Needs Assessment Progress Report
  • Client Satisfaction Report Annual Report
  • Gifts and Donations Update
  • Client Assistance Program Update – Howard Bell
  • Policy Issues
  • Workers Compensation Update – Director Doyle
  • Prior Approvals – Director Doyle
  • RSA Monitoring & Action Plan- Director Doyle
  • New Contract – Director Doyle

Location & Date of July 2019 Meeting
The Council discussed keeping the July meeting in alignment with the District Administrators meeting in the central part of the state.  Louise Peyton moved to have the meeting in Ocala.  Bruce Miles seconded the motion. The motion passed. Selena will advise the council with an update on travel accommodations.

Bruce Miles moved for July 24, 25, and 26.  Louise Peyton seconded the motion.
The motion passed.

Old Business
The Council had a discussion regarding the Policy 2.9.  Director Doyle stated he would include the topic in the Staff Training and provide a report to the Council in October.  Howard Bell agreed to notify the FRCB if he became aware of any issues.

The Council had a discussion regarding communication with clients and consumers on participation in the CSNA.  Selena provided an overview of the process.  She will send the recruiting materials to the FRCB.  Selena will invite Chaz to present an update at the October meeting.

New Business
The Council had a discussion regarding absenteeism of Council members. 

Selena Sickler read aloud Section 7B of the FRCB Bylaws.  The Council agreed to add the discussion of Council member attendance as an agenda item to the second meeting day.

Paul Edwards made a motion that the Chair reach out to the Governor’s Office to report on the full attendance record of Nicole Attong and request her removal from the Council and include a copy of the Bylaws as written. Patricia Lipovsky Seconded the motion.

Mikey called for the question.  Selena called role: Howard Bell – Yes, Louise Peyton – Yes, Patricia Lipovsky – Yes, Mikey Wiseman - Yes, Bruce Miles – Yes, Denise Valkema – Yes, Paul Edwards – Yes, Paul Kurtz – Yes, Sylvia Perez – Yes, Rose Conry – Absent, Lenora Marten – Absent, Nicole Attong – Absent, Robert Kelly – departed early and did not vote.

Sylvia asked about the status of a CRP appointment.  Mikey stated that he was aware of two submissions.

Vice Chair Mikey Wiseman recognized the attendance of Paul Kurtz and Sylvia Perez by phone.

Paul Edwards made a motion on behalf of the Council to thank Lenora Marten for her service and acknowledge her absence for this meeting.  Patricia Lipovsky seconded the motion.  The motion passed.

The Council discussed the attendance of Rose Conry. Selena stated Ms. Conry had not communicated with her regarding her attendance for this meeting. The Council agreed that this meeting would be Ms. Conry’s first absence.  Patricia Lipovsky motioned that Ms. Conry’s absence was unexcused.  Bruce Miles seconded the motion.  The motion passed.  

Paul Edwards stated that it is the responsibility of Council members to read the minutes.  He stated the FRCB takes the issue of attendance seriously.

Open Discussion
Paul Kurtz stated that public forum speakers could not be heard over the phone and suggested having the speakers move closer to the phone.  Paul suggested using a podium. Director Doyle stated DBS would work to improve the logistics as well as the sound system.

The meeting adjourned at 10:30 a.m.