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NC Department of Health and Human Services Division of Services for the Blind
 
 

Commission for the Blind Meeting Minutes

March 13, 2004

Call to Order, Invocation, and Pledge of Allegiance

Chairman John Miller called the meeting of the Commission for the Blind to order at 10:05 a.m. on Saturday, March 13, 2004. A roll call was conducted and the following members were present: Anita Wayne, Norma Krajczar, Kathy Brack, Mary Le O’Daniel, Terry Wethington, Annette Clinard, Tom Winton, Catherleen Thomas, and Ron Huber.

Members not present: Allen Moore with an excused absence.

Others present: Debbie Jackson (ex-officio), Sandy Foster, (ex-officio), Emily DuBois, Mary Flanagan, Sally Syria, David Arthur, Diane Whitley, Dr. Joseph Wiggins, Jan Fesperman, Dr. Daniel Bernstein, JoAnn Strader, and Dr. Michael Holland.

Norma Krajczar offered the invocation.

Appointment of Parliamentarian and Remarks by Chairman

Ron Huber was appointed Parliamentarian.

Mr. Miller indicated that he received a phone call from Ray Dragon regarding misappropriation of funds in the VITP. Mr. Winton, who serves on the VITP Advisory Board, stated that he has not been made aware of this concern. Certainly, the Advisory Board is prepared to discuss this concern. Ms. Thomas stated that Mr. Dragon had been promised an $8,000 raise in 2002, and he did not receive it. Contact was made with the Dean at NCCU and the Dean indicated that the university could use the funds anyway they saw fit. It did not have to be for that program. After much discussion, it was decided that this is a concern that should be taken up with Deborah Hatton, Chairman of the VITP Advisory Board. It is felt that no formal action is needed from the Commission for the Blind. The Advisory Board can in turn report back to the Commission for the Blind.

Approval of Minutes

A motion was made by Ron Huber, seconded by Norma Krajczar, and carried to approve the minutes of the December 13, 2003 meeting.

Committee Reports

Public Relations – Ron Huber

David Arthur attended the Lions’ State Convention with a DSB display. DSB received great exposure.

Mr. Huber asks that DSB continue to forward articles to him for inclusion in the District Governor newsletters.

Inter-Committee Relations – Allen Moore

No Report

Advocacy – John Miller

Mr. Miller stated that a meeting was held yesterday regarding the Wharton Trust. Debbie Jackson, Judy Plymale, Mike Perkins, and John Miller were in attendance. It was decided at that meeting that the Wharton Trust would be dissolved and the remaining $130,000 in this Trust would be moved to the Governor Morehead Foundation for post-secondary educational needs. DSB will provide a list of needs of what expenses were in the previous semester and will be reimbursed the unmet needs. There will be $130,000 that will equal 21.3% in federal match. Thus, there will be $600,000 or so for educational needs.

Director’s Report – Debbie Jackson

New Staff

Mary Flanagan joined DSB on March 1 as Assistant Director. Vickie Garrett has been hired as Human Resources Manager for DSB. Ms. Garrett is with DSB half time until April when she will become full-time.

Budget

Expansion and reduction budget requests have been completed. The plans are being reviewed by DHHS.

In the reduction budget area, DSB was required to submit 1%, 2%, and 3% reduction plans. In the 1% category, the amount was $70,000; 2% $140,000; 3% $210,000. In all of those categories, DSB proposed reducing case service funds reduction in medical eye care.

If we actually have to implement that at the 1% and 2% levels, DSB would no longer be purchasing eye exams. At the 3% level, DSB would no longer be purchasing eye exams or eyeglasses. The things that were left in are the more expensive type services such as surgery, purchase of glaucoma medication, and purchase of prosthesis.

DSB presently has to add money to medical eye care to get through this year.

In the expansion budget area, DSB submitted two items. One was to build into DSB budget, the NewsLine contract costs for the amount of $70,000. The second was additional money for ILR Program in the VR Section for the amount of $800,000. This would include two new counselor positions.

Dorm Renovations

The first round of work will begin before the end of March. An elevator will be installed in Cox. Waterproofing will be completed in Cox and Milsap. Project should be completed in 6 months. The second round of work will begin as soon as contracts are in place.

Retirements

DSB has two Nurses and one Social Worker who will be retiring between now and the end of May. DSB currently has 59 employees who can retire in the 25-30 year range, and 22 employees who can retire in the 30+ year range.

VI Conference

The 2nd Annual North Carolina Conference on Visual Impairment and Blindness is in process on the GMS campus. There are 200 participants.

Commission Appointment

Appointment of Russ Stinehour is in process to replace George Murphy.

Mr. Miller asked of the Low Vision Therapist and the O&M positions have been filled. Ms. Jackson responded that the O&M position has been filled and the Low Vision Therapist has not been filled.

Ms. Krajczar shared that she recently became aware of a John Hopkins study relative to the importance of certain supplemental vitamins and minerals in the treatment of age-related macular degeneration. As a result of this study, there seemed to be a significant delay for many of the people in the progress of this disease. Ms. Krajczar suggests that these results be published in the Lions Newsletters and DSB Newsletter as a means of sharing this information. Anyone wanting the supplements and dosages used in this study, see Ms. Krajczar. Dr. Bernstein and Dr. Holland elaborated on the treatments. They both emphasized that it is important that an individual always discuss these kinds of things with their own physicians before they begin any regimen.

Report of the Consumer and Advocacy Advisory Committee – Tim Jones

Mr. Jones indicated that no actions were taken at this meeting. He indicated that a question was asked about the status of the Dare County vendor location. He shared further information with Mr. Miller, who raised the question, that the location was not producing enough funds to support an operator. There are long range plans to tie into other locations in that area to create a triangle of operators in another year or so.

Report of the Professional Advisory Committee – Dr. Joseph Wiggins

Dr. Wiggins indicated that thus far DSB has been able to pay for all required care. Of the 1.5 million dollar budget, 1 ¼ million has been spent. This can be circumvented by moving money around as has been done in previous years.

Old Business

George Murphy has resigned from the Commission. A replacement is being sought.

A resolution was approved and adopted at the December Commission meeting for John B. DeLuca. Mr. Miller shared the resolution that was written with the members present. This resolution was effective December 13, 2003, and will become part of the minutes of that meeting.

New Business

Annette Clinard stated she has good new and bad news. IFB is hiring. Business is booming in the Winston-Salem, Greensboro IFB. The bad news is that IFB cannot find blind people to work and accept these jobs. These jobs are not minimum wage jobs; they are great jobs with benefits. National IFB are once again moving to try to do something about the federal regulations that prevent a rehabilitation counselor from getting credit. IFB is about to hire 10 blind people that nobody will get credit for. Ten numbers convert to dollars when you’re trying to bring down federal dollars. It is very frustrating that this regulation is still in place blocking those kinds of placement credits for counselors. It appears to have come to the point that rehabilitation counselors and HR people are competing for the same people to give them jobs. IFB hired 40 sighted people this month, most of who were referred by ESC. ESC is getting credit for placing people at IFB, but people who are here to serve the blind are not. Ms. Clinard is asking for Commission support to NIFB in being proactive and helping lead this action to get something done about this federal regulation. The Rehab Act needs to include a provision allowing for consumer choice that would cure Ms. Clinard’s concern. Mr. Miller asked Ms. Clinard to provide the Commission a position statement when one is available.

Mr. Miller shared a letter he received from Mary Le O’Daniel announcing her resignation from the Commission.

Adjournment of Commission Meeting

Following an adjournment motion, a second, and a vote, the meeting adjourned at 11:55 a.m. The next meeting of the Commission for the Blind is scheduled for June 12, 2004 at 10:00 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

John T. Miller, III, Chairman
Commission for the Blind
Department of Health and Human Services

Debbie Jackson, Director
Division of Services for the Blind
Department of Health and Human Services


NC DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

DIVISION OF SERVICES FOR THE BLIND

DIRECTOR'S REPORT

MARCH 13, 2004

SECOND QUARTER (OCT NOV DEC 2003)

ACTIVITIES OF THE

DIVISION OF SERVICES FOR THE BLIND

This is an information report to the Commission for the Blind of the Department of Health & Human Services containing the activities of the Division of Services for the Blind during the second quarter,
Oct - Dec 2003. Activities are reported in accessible format/text files on our web site for our users, www.ncdhhs.gov/dsb/. If accessibility problems are detected, please contact our web master at DSB.Webmaster@ncmail.net for assistance.

 


BUSINESS ENTERPRISES PROGRAM

FY 2004 BOARD REPORT

Second Quarter - October - December, 2003

Gross sales from all food service facilities amounted to $2,834,620 during the second quarter of fiscal year 2004; for the same period last year gross sales were $2,650,207. The gross profit percentage for this quarter was 50.5% compared to 49.4% for the same period last year. Net proceeds distributed this quarter were $732,798 compared to $670,326 during the second quarter of SFY 03.

Calendar year gross sales for 2003 were $11,728,482 compared to gross sales of $11,745,845 for calendar year 2002. The gross profit percentage for 2003 was 50.4% compared to 49.6% for 2002. Net proceeds for calendar year 2003 were $2,997,672 compared to $2,866,855 for 2002.

Minor renovations were completed at the Archdale Building, the Womack Army Medical Center and at the Asheville City Hall facility. The Guilford County Courthouse facility was relocated to a more desirable location. Preparations for the move to the new space provided at Industries for the Blind, Winston-Salem also continued.

The DART-Cherry and the Nash/Fountain facilities were awarded and the Caswell Center facility in Kinston was closed. There were 83 facilities at the end of the quarter. One operator left the program for a total of 79 operators at the end of the quarter.

There were vacancies at the Justice Building, Raleigh, the Compound Café, Fort Bragg, the Raleigh Federal Building, DART-Cherry, Goldsboro and the Nash/Fountain DOC facilities.

Vending machine repairs for this quarter totaled $21,473.


INDEPENDENT LIVING SERVICES PROGRAM

SECOND QUARTER 2003/2004

OCTOBER, NOVEMBER, DECEMBER 2003

During the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2003-2004, the Independent Living Services Program served 4351 people and they received one or more of the following services: Adjustment Services for the Blind, Health Support Services, Family Adjustment Services, Employment and Training, Housing and Home Improvement.

Chore Services for the Blind were provided for 399 people and enabled them to continue living in their homes and/or communities.

Information and Referral Services were available in all 100 counties.

Orientation and Mobility Services were provided for 476 individuals.

Special Assistance for the Blind was provided each month for an average of 113 people who reside in domiciliary care facilities. The average monthly payment for rest home clients was $580.


MEDICAL EYE CARE PROGRAM

SFY 2003/2004

The following information regarding services is posted by quarter followed by annual total.

Eye Examinations, 1,283; 1141; Annual, 2,424

Surgery Treatment, 759; 665; Annual, 1,424

Pharmacy, 276; 251; Annual, 527

Corrective Lenses, 459; 403; Annual, 862

Children Screening, 3,331; 1258; Annual, 4,589

Referred, 133; 43; Annual, 176

Glaucoma Screening, 1,344; 1857; Annual, 3,201

Referred, 124; 65; Annual, 189

Number of Mini Centers Held, 9; 7; Annual, 16

Number Attending Mini Centers, 105; 66; Annual, 171

Group Trainings Held, 14; 7; Annual, 21

Number Attending, 63; 29; Annual, 92

Public Awareness Events, 12; 19; Annual, 31

Diabetic Education, number served, 94; 36; Annual, 130

Number of Group Sessions, 49; 24; Annual, 73

Number of Low Vision Evaluations; 684; 728; Annual, 1,412

Follow Up Training, 87; 62; Annual, 149

CCTV Evaluations, 279; 36 Annual, 315


MEDICAL EYE CARE PROGRAM

OCTOBER, NOVEMBER, DECEMBER 2003

SECOND QUARTER 2003/2004

The primary focus for the Medical Eye Care Program is the prevention of blindness and restoration of sight. A total of 4,256 people received services which addressed this goal during the second quarter of 2003/2004. This total includes 1,141 eye examinations, 1,857 people screened for glaucoma, and 1258 children screened for amblyopia and other vision defects. These screenings resulted in 65 adults being referred to eye doctors as glaucoma suspects with 43 children being referred to eye doctors for follow up. With regard to restoration of vision, 403 pair of eyeglasses were purchased. The Division sponsored 665 treatment/surgeries which prevented blindness and in many cases restored sight.

The 9 Nursing Eye Care Consultants also provided low vision assessments for 728 people.

The following information regarding morbidity is posted by quarter followed by year to date totals.

SFY 2003/2004

Diagnosis:

1. Amblyopia, 12, 6, ; Annual, 18

2. Aniridia, 0, 0, ; Annual, 0

3. Anophthalmus/Enuclueation, 3, 3, ; Annual, 6

4. Aphakia, 8, 34, ; Annual, 42

5. Arthritis, 0, 0, ; Annual, 0

6. Blepharitis/Conjunctivitis, 18; 23, ; Annual, 41

7. Cataract, 24, 248, ; Annual, 272

8. Chalazion, 2, 1, ; Annual, 3

9. Choroid Disease, 16, 13, ; Annual, 29

10. Coloboma, 3, 2, ; Annual, 5

11. Detached Retina, 59, 36, ; Annual, 95

12. Diabetic Retinopathy, 210, 181, ; Annual, 391

13. Ectropion/Entropion/Ptosis, 1, 4, ; Annual, 5

14. Exophthalmos, 2, 2, ; Annual, 4

15. Glaucoma, 270, 274, ; Annual, 544

16. Hypertensive Retinopathy, 3, 5, ; Annual, 8

17. Iritis, 18, 8, ; Annual, 26

18. Keratitus, 10, 10, ; Annual, 20

19. Keratoconus, 13, 12, ; Annual, 25

20. Lacrimal Disease, 7, 5, ; Annual, 12

21. Macular Degeneration, 25, 40, ; Annual, 65

22. Microphthalmus, 0, 0, ; Annual, 0

23. Neuritis, 1, 2, ; Annual, 3

24. Nystagmus, 3, 4, ; Annual, 7

25. Optic Atrophy, 14, 17, ; Annual, 31

26. Other Muscle Disorders, 1, 1 ; Annual, 2

27. Other Retinopathy, 12,18, ;Annual, 30

28. Papilledema/Papillitis, 0, 0, ; Annual, 0

29. Phthisis, 2, 1, ; Annual, 3

  1. Pterygium, 13, 9, ; Annual, 22

31. Retinitis Pigmentosa, 9, 4, ; Annual, 13

32. Retinopathy of Prematurity, 0, 1, ; Annual, 1

33. Sclera Disease, 11, 11, ; Annual, 22

34. Strabismus, 3, 6, ; Annual, 9

35. Subluxed Lens, 0, 2, ; Annual, 2

36. Vitreous Disease, 47, 39, ; Annual, 86

EVALUATION UNIT

Number of Persons Receiving Low Vision Exams, 22, 16, ; Annual, 38

Number of Low Vision Aids Dispensed, 28, 16, ; Annual, 44


COMMISSION REPORT OF THE DIVISION OF SERVICES FOR THE BLIND

October 1, 2003 - December 31, 2003

REHABILITATION SERVICES

The accomplishments of the Rehabilitation Program of the Division of Services for the Blind during the October - December 2003 quarter are as follows:

Clients served, current quarter, 2,666; same quarter last year, 2,576; year to date, 2,749.

Severely disabled, 2,471; same quarter last year, 2,319; year to date, 2,531.

Clients rehabilitated, 216; same quarter last year, 167; year to date, 235.

Severely disabled, 200; same quarter last year, 144; year to date, 219.

Wage earners, 201; same quarter last year, 159; year to date, 220.

Non-Wage earners, 15; same quarter last year, 8; year to date, 15.

Average Earnings of Persons Rehabilitated as Wage Earners, week before acceptance for services, $151.57; same quarter last year, $158.00, year to date, $150.65.

Average Earning of Persons Rehabilitated as Wage Earners week before closure, $330.77; same quarter last year, $313.86; year to date, $342.68.

Forty-six (46) consumers received services at the Rehabilitation Center for the Blind during the quarter. Twenty-nine (29) of these individuals were served in the Regular Personal and Social Adjustment Program, none were served in the Summer Transition/College Bound Program, three (3) received training in the Business Enterprise Program, and fourteen (14) received training in computer/word processing Technology.

The Division of Services for the Blind Evaluation Unit provided comprehensive evaluation services for twenty-two (22) persons during the quarter. They were evaluated in the following areas: medical, ophthalmological, psychological, educational, and vocational. The purpose of this evaluation process is to assess the abilities and limitations of each individual so that the individual and the counselor can jointly work together in the development of an Individualized Plan for Employment leading to suitable and satisfactory employment. Eight (8) individuals who received services at the Evaluation Unit were rehabilitated during the quarter.

Our Rehabilitation Program continues to emphasize the mandate as set forth in the 1973 Rehabilitation Act As Amended to serve the most severely handicapped individuals first, so that they may prepare for and engage in gainful employment or productive activity.

 

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