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

State Rehabilitation Council Meeting Minutes

March 10, 2007

Call to Order of the State Rehabilitation Council

Following the Commission for the Blind meeting, Chair Tom Winton opened the State Rehabilitation Council meeting at 11:25 a.m.

The following members were present:  Tom Winton, Debbie Jackson, Stacey Milbern, Anita Heath-Cunningham, Sandy Foster, Graham Watt, Kathy Brack, and Kellie Hightower-Spruill.

Others Present:  Carla Parker, Julie Kagy, Mary Flanagan, and Dave Arthur.

Members Not Present:  John Miller, Jay Williams, and

Cheryl Whitley (unexcused absences).  Russ Stinehour (excused absence).

Ethics Liaison:  There is a mandate that each Commission/Council have an Ethics Liaison.  Graham Watt has agreed to serve in this capacity for our Commission for the Blind/State Rehabilitation Council.  Mr. Watt will attend a series of training sessions.  The most critical aspect now is the “Statement of Economic Interest” forms must be completed, notarized, and returned to the Board of Ethics by March 15.  If these forms are not returned, a fine of $250 will be enforced.  Members should have received them in the mail.  If not, members should call the Board of Ethics at 919-807-4620 or the forms are available on line. 

Approval of Minutes

A motion was made by Graham Watt, seconded by Anita Heath-Cunningham, and carried to approve the minutes of the meeting on December 9, 2006 meeting.

Committee Reports:

Policies and Procedures—Tom Winton

No report—The committee has not met. 

State Plan--Dave Arthur

The State Planning Committee participated in a conference call with RSA on March 6.  The purpose of this call was to discuss the format for this year’s State Plan.  In the past, a complete State Plan was submitted once every 3 years—for 2 years, amendments are submitted.  This year, RSA is requesting a new State Plan. 

On March 7, the State Planning Committee met to begin the process of writing a new State Plan.  Public hearings and focus groups are being planned.  Locations for focus groups will be in Boone, Hendersonville, and Goldsboro (focus groups are by invitation).  Public hearings will be held in Greensboro and Wilmington.  Definite locations and times of each have not yet been determined.  For the public hearings, legal notices must be advertised in the newspaper. 

Announcements will be sent to organizations such as CILS, NFB, Radio Reading Service, Alliance for Disability Advocates, Library for the Blind, Workforce Development, Listserv, Exceptional Children, and Council of the Blind.

Members of the State Rehabilitation Council should attend the focus groups and public hearings.

The State Plan must be sent to RSA by July 1 so we must have a quorum at the next meeting (June 9) so the State Plan can be approved.  Please plan to be in attendance and the meeting may last longer than usual. 

Consumer Information Committee:  Tom Winton

The Annual Report was distributed and looks very good--  Many thanks to Dave Arthur and staff. 

Tom Winton and Julie Kagy will be compiling information about scholarships available through different organizations (NFB, Council of the Blind, Lions Foundation, etc.) and sending this information to school systems and others on the Listserv.  Anyone wishing to be on the listserv, please advise Tom Winton or Julie Kagy. 

Old Business

There was some confusion about training for new members.  Commission for the Blind/State Rehabilitation Council training will be planned for September—new members will be on board. 

New Business

Tom Winton participated in a conference call of the SRC chairpersons.  This involved States that have separate SRC’s for the Blind as North Carolina does.  Discussion centered on creating a network of just those SRCs so collaboration with other States can exist.     

Adjournment of Meeting

Following an adjournment motion, a second, and a vote, the meeting adjourned at 12:15 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, June 9, 2007. 

Respectfully submitted,

Tom Winton, State Rehabilitation Council DHHS                               
Debbie Jackson, Director, Division of Services for the Blind DHHS/DSB     


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