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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, 2012

The Commission for the Blind met in the conference room of the Fisher Building on Thursday, December 13, 2012, from 4 p.m. to 5:20 p.m.   The budget now allows for out-of-town members to attend in person if they wish and get reimbursed.  If not, members may join the meeting by conference call.

Call to Order, Invocation, and Pledge of Allegiance
In the Chairs absence, Vice Chair John Marens called 312th meeting of the NC Commission for the Blind to order at 4 p.m. on Thursday, December 13.  The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Present in the Conference Room:  Carla Parker, Julie Kagy, Cynthia Speight, Dave Arthur, Gary Ray, John Marens, Brenda Savage, Eddie Weaver, Erica McMahan, Dr. Chamblee

Connected by Conference Call:  Brenda Montforti, Dorothy Frye, Tony Ferrita, Lin Taliaferro, Steve Harris, and Dr. Bernstein.

Julie Kagy was appointed Parliamentarian.
Vice Chair Marens welcomed everyone and reminded members of the Ethics Awareness and Conflict of Interest order.  If any board member has any known conflict with respect to any matters coming before the Board, please identify the conflict or appearance of conflict and refrain from any undue participation in the particular matter involved. 

Approval of Minutes:

Motion was made by Julie Kagy, seconded by Brenda Savage and moved to approve the minutes of the September 15, 2012, meeting. 

Committee Reports:

Public Relations Committee—David Arthur
Since October 1, DSB participated in 49 outreach events across the State.  We reached out to 1 individual of latino descent, 6 veterans, 10 older blind and many others scattered throughout the State.  DSB participated in several career days held at middle schools.  DSB also participated in the “Superconference”.

Intercommittee Relations Committee—Dorothy Frye
SILC participated in the “Superconference”.  They had a good turnout. 

Advocacy Committee—Steve Harris
Everyone is at a stand still waiting on the new Governor and new cabinet members to be sworn it. 

Disability Rights of NC is moving forward in assuring closed-captioning and headphones are available in theaters. 

Personnel Development Committee—Julie Kagy
North Carolina Central University VIP continues to exist.  Because of their small and unique program, they are always on guard but they are still very much active and registering students for the Spring quarter.

Director’s Report—Eddie Weaver
All departments were asked to create a document with priorities, challenges, and services that they provided.  DHHS submitted this document to the Transition Team.  One of the members on the Transition Team was announced today as the new DHHS Secretary, Dr. Aldona Wos.  We do not know much about Dr. Wos but as I learn more I will share this information to you.

Sequestration—DSB created a document that provided information on how a 7.8% reduction would DSB’s services.  It would definitely have an impact on ILS and ILR.  We are waiting to see if and when this happens.   

David Arthur replaced Joann Wood as the Chief of Rehabilitation Field Services and Patricia Sikes replaced Cynthia Speight as Chief of Rehabilitation Programs and Facilities.  Cynthia Speight moved into the Assistant Directors position in October. 

A comprehensive needs assessment is required every 3 years so this is the year for it.  A RFP will be done.  Some of the SRC members may be interviewed. 

Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) conducts program monitoring for our VR Program.  This is done every 5 years and DSB’s scheduled date is 2014.   This is a tool to ensure we are in compliance with all of their requirements.

Consumer and Advocacy Advisory Committee—Gary Ray
The CAAC is in a holding pattern until the Governor makes his appointments.  All exempt employees were required to re-apply for their current job. 

Senator Allran attended the CAAC replacing Senator Purcell. 

Common Core is a new consolidated way of testing the knowledge of young kids.  This is an effort to standardize what we expect our kids to learn.  There is question on how we are going to test our visually impaired kids. 

The CAAC was successful with every one of our legislative initiatives.  We have great hope that we will be able to work with the legislature and Governor to assure the needs of the blind people are met. 

Professional Advisory Committee-Lin Taliaferro

Total MEC Budget                           $2,313,334
Expenditures as of 12/3                        990,071
Encumbered                                           897,465
Balance as of 12/3                                 425,797

There have not been any changes to the MEC Policy since our last meeting.

Old Business

New Business
Several terms are going to expire in June.  At our meeting in March, Eddie needs to know if you are willing to serve another term.  Beth Butler and Julie Kagy are not eligible as they have already served two (3) year terms. 


Dorothy Frye made a motion to adjourn the Commission for the Blind; it was seconded by Julie Kagy and carried. 



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