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

Commission for the Blind Meeting Minutes

December 13, 2003

Call to Order, Invocation, and Pledge of Allegiance

Vice Chairman Tom Winton called the meeting of the Commission for the Blind to order at 10:10 a.m. on Saturday, December 13, 2003. A roll call was conducted and the following members were present: Allen Moore, Mary Le O’Daniel, Ron Huber, Terry Wethington, and Kathy Brack.

Members not present: John Miller, Norma Krajczar, Annette Clinard, Catherleen Thomas, Anita Wayne, and George Murphy. All were excused absences.

Others present: Debbie Jackson (ex-officio), Emily DuBois, Sandy Foster (ex-officio), David Alexander, Tim Jones, Dr. Joseph Wiggins, David Arthur, Sally Syria, Dr. Michael Holland, and John DeLuca.

Allen Moore offered the invocation.

Appointment of Parliamentarian and Remarks by Vice Chairman

Sandy Foster was appointed Parliamentarian.

Mr. Winton stated that Chairman John Miller could not be here today due to having the flu. Mr. Winton further stated that there are only 6 voting members present which does not represent a quorum. If anything develops that requires a vote today, phone contact will be made with members not present to get a vote following the meeting.

Mr. Winton shared comments from Chairman John Miller as follows:

Congratulations to Debbie Jackson on her appointment as Division Director for DSB. I was appointed to the Commission shortly after Ms. Jackson arrived and can attest to her capability to perform her new position. During the re-organization, merger issues, Ms. Jackson was in the forefront obtaining information, meeting with legislators, and fighting the good fight. We will be well served with her as Director.

Next, I believe a resolution for John DeLuca would be in order for his years of leadership. Mr. DeLuca will be missed and the Commission wishes him success in his new position.

Dr. Christopher Fleming and Dr. Alex Martin were reappointed to serve on the Professional Advisory Committee. Dr. Raynor Casey was appointed as the successor to Dr. Robert Patrick Yeatts.

Mr. Miller commends the Public Relations Committee for sending information to the NC Lions State Council of Governors. The information has been used in some of the newsletters, and hopefully, it will catch on with all before the Lions yearend.

This concludes comments from Chairman John Miller.

Mr. Winton then entertained a motion that a resolution be written for John DeLuca honoring his leadership and service to DSB. Motion was made by Mary Le O’Daniel, seconded by Terry Wethington, and carried.

Approval of Minutes of December 13, 2003

A motion was made by Ron Huber, seconded by Allen Moore, and carried to approve the minutes of September 13, 2003.

Committee Reports

Public Relations – Ron Huber

Mr. Huber asked that DSB continue to send articles for Lions newsletters. The next newsletter will go out in January.

The Lions would like DSB to have a booth or table at the State Convention scheduled for March 5, 6, 7 in Fayetteville. Ms. Jackson asked David Arthur to follow up with this.

Inter-Committee Relations – Allen Moore

SILC has changed the meeting schedule to the months of November, February, May, and August. Debbie Baldwin is the new SILC Chair. Pat Yarborough is the new Vice Chair.

Carol Potter discussed the reorganization of DVR.

PATHWAYS have received a transportation grant for rural areas.

GACPD has filed and received a board of confidence from the SILC to apply as a non-profit organization.

Advocacy – John Miller

No Report

Director’s Report – Debbie Jackson

Ms. Jackson reported the following:

Joann Strader is not with us today because she has the flu. Jan Fesperman is not here due to a death in the family.


John DeLuca has accepted a position at the Industrial Commission. Ms. Jackson indicated that she has been selected as the new Division Director for DSB.

The Assistant Director position has been posted and will close on December 15. Interviews will begin the first part of January. It is hoped that this position will be filled in 4-6 weeks.


DSB is making efforts to improve the conditions of Cox and Milsap dorms. Previous funding was taken by budget cuts. It is has been determined that DSB will use federal grant money via a RSA and DVR arrangement. The first round of work will begin in the first of 2004 with waterproofing. Elevators are needed to be ADA compliant, and that will be pursued as well.

District Office Meetings

A series of district office meetings were conducted in late November, early December. The purpose of the meetings was to sit down with cross programs to discuss issues. Another series will take place in the spring of 2004.

Outreach Activity

DSB has been involved in a workshop with the Community College System, consumer conferences, as well as the VIP Fishing Tournament.


At this point, money is tight is all DSB programs. With vending money and social security reimbursements, it is hoped that DSB can manage.


Brenda Birmelin retired at the end of November. Barbara Hansen will be retiring at the end of January.

Mr. Winton asked about the progress on the Low Vision Therapist vacancy. Ms. Jackson said that it is still vacant, and DSB is getting almost no applicants for it. There is also an O&M position at the Rehab Center, which has been vacant for some time.

Mr. DeLuca added that the first edition of the DSB Newsletter went out on September 30, 2003.

Report of the Consumer and Advocacy Advisory Committee – Tim Jones

Mr. Jones indicated that the meeting was not well attended, and no actions were taken.

Report of the Professional Advisory Committee – Dr. Joseph Wiggins

Dr. Wiggins indicated that DSB has been able to provide services even though the money is very tight. No one has been denied services. Funds were used from "other vending" to help fund this area.

Dr. Holland shared that he has practices in Raleigh on New Bern Avenue and Durham on Duke Street.

Old Business

VITP Update

DPI continues to participate in the Advisory Board with Tom Winton serving as co-chair. The Board is seeking ways to support the program and is looking at strategies for recruiting more students and finding additional funding incentives for them. Dr. Walker has been granted tenure.

Wharton Trust Update

The Wharton Trust was discussed at great length at the Governor Morehead Foundation meeting on November 20. A meeting will take place with John Miller, Judy Plymale and Chairman Mike Perkins to structure a resolution that would dissolve the original trust and set up a new one with the remaining funds (approximately $130,000). This new fund would likely make a one-time pay out to DSB to assist in the matching funds that are available with the remainder to go towards post-secondary educational needs of Morehead graduates.

2nd Annual North Carolina Conference on Visual Impairment and Blindness

This conference is scheduled for March 11-13, 2004 on the GMS campus. Everyone is invited to attend. The keynote speaker is Estelle Condra from Tennessee.

New Business

Mr. Winton reminded everyone to make sure that students who are eligible to be registered as legally blind be done so. This will maximum the amount of funds that DPI can receive to assist these students.

Mr. Winton asked if Mr. DeLuca had any parting words. Mr. DeLuca stated he appreciates all the support he has had during his tenure at DSB.

Adjournment of Commission Meeting

Following an adjournment motion by Allen Moore, a second by Kathy Brack, and a vote, the meeting adjourned at 11:10 a.m. The next meeting of the Commission is scheduled for March 13, 2004 at 10:00 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Tom Winton, Vice Chairman
Commission for the Blind

Debbie Jackson, Director
Division of Services for the Blind




DECEMBER 13, 2003





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 first quarter,
Jul - Sept 2003. Activities are reported in accessible format/text files on our web site for our users, If accessibility problems are detected, please contact our web master at for assistance.



First Quarter – July - September, 2003

Gross sales from all food service facilities amounted to $3,249,213 during the first quarter of fiscal year 2004; for the same period last year gross sales were $3,197,180. The gross profit percentage for this quarter was 51.1% compared to 51.2% for the same period last year. Net proceeds distributed this quarter were $862,216 during this period compared to $846,506 during the first quarter of SFY 03.

During this quarter operations began at the new facilities in Goldsboro (DART-Cherry) and the DOC facilities in Nash county. The Department of Revenue opened a new call center in the vicinity of the Nash county facility and it was added as well. A major renovation was completed at the New Hanover county courthouse. The storage room at the I-40 Duplin county RA was renovated. Minor renovations were completed at the Yadkin county RA, ITS-Raleigh and at the Naval Hospital, Cherry Point. The facility located in the Forsyth county courthouse was relocated from the fourth floor to a basement location.

The VA-Outpatient Vending was combined with the Winston-Salem Federal building and the State Controllers Office vending was combined with the Caswell Building snack bar. There were 82 facilities at the end of the quarter. There were 80 operators at the beginning and end of the quarter.

There were vacancies at the Mecklenburg County DSS, The Compound Café, Mount Mitchell State Park and DART-Cherry in Goldsboro.

Vending machine repairs for this quarter totaled $17,438.




During the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2003-2004, the Independent Living Services Program served 3141people 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 419 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 529 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 $548 .


SFY 2003/2004

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

Eye Examinations, 1,283; Annual,

Surgery Treatment, 759; Annual,

Pharmacy, 276; Annual,

Corrective Lenses, 459; Annual,

Children Screening, 3,331; Annual,

Referred, 133; Annual,

Glaucoma Screening, 1,344; Annual,

Referred, 124; Annual,

Number of Mini Centers Held, 9; Annual,

Number Attending Mini Centers, 105; Annual,

Group Trainings Held, 14; Annual,

Number Attending, 63; Annual,

Public Awareness Events, 12; Annual,

Diabetic Education, number served, 94; Annual,

Number of Group Sessions, 49; Annual,

Number of Low Vision Evaluations; 684; Annual,

Follow Up Training, 87; Annual,

CCTV Evaluations, 279; Annual,




The primary focus for the Medical Eye Care Program is the prevention of blindness and restoration of sight. A total of 5,958 people received services which addressed this goal during the first quarter of 2003/2004. This total includes 1,283 eye examinations, 1,344 people screened for glaucoma, and 3331 children screened for amblyopia and other vision defects. These screenings resulted in 124 adults being referred to eye doctors as glaucoma suspects with 133 children being referred to eye doctors for follow up. With regard to restoration of vision, 459 pair of eyeglasses were purchased. The Division sponsored 759 treatment/surgeries which prevented blindness and in many cases restored sight.

The 9 Nursing Eye Care Consultants also provided low vision assessments for 616 people.

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

SFY 2003/2004


1. Amblyopia, 12, ; Annual,

2. Aniridia, 0, ; Annual,

3. Anophthalmus/Enuclueation, 3, ; Annual,

4. Aphakia, 8, ; Annual,

5. Arthritis, 0, ; Annual,

6. Blepharitis/Conjunctivitis, 18 ; Annual,

7. Cataract, 24, ; Annual,

8. Chalazion, 2, ; Annual,

9. Choroid Disease, 16; Annual,

10. Coloboma, 3, ; Annual,

11. Detached Retina, 59, ; Annual,

12. Diabetic Retinopathy, 210, ; Annual,

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

14. Exophthalmos, 2, ; Annual,

15. Glaucoma, 270, ; Annual,

16. Hypertensive Retinopathy, 3, ; Annual,

17. Iritis, 18, ; Annual,

18. Keratitus, 10, ; Annual,

19. Keratoconus, 13, ; Annual,

20. Lacrimal Disease, 7, ; Annual,

21. Macular Degeneration, 25, ; Annual,

22. Microphthalmus, 0, ; Annual,

23. Neuritis, 1, ; Annual,

24. Nystagmus, 3, ; Annual,

25. Optic Atrophy, 14, ; Annual,

26. Other Muscle Disorders, 1 ; Annual,

27. Other Retinopathy, 12; Annual,

28. Papilledema/Papillitis, 0, ; Annual,

29. Phthisis, 2, ; Annual,

  1. Pterygium, 13, ; Annual,

31. Retinitis Pigmentosa, 9, ; Annual,

32. Retinopathy of Prematurity, 0, ; Annual,

33. Sclera Disease, 11, ; Annual,

34. Strabismus, 3; Annual,

35. Subluxed Lens, 0; Annual,

36. Vitreous Disease, 47; Annual,


Number of Persons Receiving Low Vision Exams, 22,; Annual, 112

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


July 1, 2003 – September 30, 2003


The accomplishments of the Rehabilitation Program of the Division of Services for the Blind during the July – September 2003 quarter are as follows:

Clients served, current quarter, 2,340; same quarter last year, 2,367; year to date, 2,340.

Severely disabled, 2,133; same quarter last year, 2,111; year to date, 2,133.

Clients rehabilitated, 19; same quarter last year, 28; year to date, 19.

Severely disabled, 19; same quarter last year, 28; year to date, 19.

Wage earners, 19; same quarter last year, 28; year to date, 19.

Non-Wage earners, 0; same quarter last year, 0; year to date, 0.

Average Earnings of Persons Rehabilitated as Wage Earners, week before acceptance for services, $140.50; same quarter last year, $117.64; year to date, $140.50.

Average Earnings of Persons Rehabilitated as Wage Earners, week before closure, $473.00; same quarter last year, $330.21; year to date, $473.00.

Seventy-nine (79) consumers received services at the Rehabilitation Center for the Blind during the quarter. Forty-three (43) of these individuals were served in the Regular Personal and Social Adjustment Program, fifteen (15) were served in the Summer Transition/College Bound Program, one (1) received training in the Business Enterprise Program, and twenty (20) received training in computer/word processing Technology.

The Division of Services for the Blind Evaluation Unit provided comprehensive evaluation services for twenty-four (24) 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. One (1) individual who received services at the Evaluation Unit was 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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