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

State Rehabilitation Council Meeting Minutes

June 10, 2006

Call to order of the State Rehabilitation Council

Following the Commission for the Blind meeting, Chairman John Miller opened the State Rehabilitation Council meeting at 11:00 a.m. The following members were present:  John Miller, Debbie Jackson, Cheryl Whitley, Stacey Milburn, Anita Cunningham, Kellie Hightower-Spruill, Ron Huber, Angela McCants, Tom Winton, Kathy Brack, Sandy Foster, and Russ Stinehour.

Not Present: Graham Watt (excused absence)

Others Present:  Carla Parker, Jim Irvin, Mary Flanagan, Dave Arthur, and Joann Samuels.

Approval of Minutes

A motion was made by Tom Winton, seconded by Kathy Brack,   and carried to approve the minutes of the March 11, 2006 meeting. 

Committee Reports

Policy and Procedures—Tom Winton

No official policy and procedures committee meeting was held this quarter.   

Consumer Information—Angela McCants

The Consumer Information Committee met on June 9.  Discussion centered on lack of employment for visually impaired and blind individuals.  Angela McCants and Mary Flanagan attended the April 18 public hearing meeting.  Five consumers at this public hearing expressed concern about employment.  Even though each of these consumers had a bachelor’s or master’s degree, they were having difficulty obtaining a job.  The consumers did not feel they had adequate support and communication from their case manager.  

Angela McCants and Kathy Brack attended a consumer information meeting and they plan to work more closely with the Professional Committee to encourage more consumers and parents to attend the Annual Conference on Visual Impairments “Super Conference” on March 22-24, 2007. 

State Plan—Dave Arthur

Public Hearings and Focus Groups

Public hearings were held in Durham and Charlotte.  Focus groups were held in Lenoir, Jacksonville, and Roper.

For the public hearing in Charlotte, 6 people were in attendance with 1 of those being a consumer.  Concerns were centered on obtaining employment. 

For the hearing in Durham, 5 consumers attended. These consumers were also concerned with the difficulty of obtaining a job. 

For the focus groups, 100 people were invited to each focus group.  These names were randomly selected.

For the group in Lenoir, 5 people attended.  The consumers were concerned with the high employment rate in the area.  Transportation was also a big concern in Lenoir. 

For the focus group in Jacksonville, 1 consumer attended.  This consumer came to say “thank you”.  DSB assisted with her eye surgery and she was able to transition into another job.

For the focus group in Roper, Joann Samuels and John Miller attended along with six other consumers.  One of the main concerns again was transportation. 

Getting the word out about DSB and the services that are available is another common problem across the State.  Visually impaired people need to know the services that are available and how to ask for the services that they need.  Technology is constantly changing and consumers need to know what is available. 

Adding a class at the Rehabilitation Center was also suggested on how to advocate and ask for what one may need. 

State Plan 

The State Plan along with evaluations and goals were distributed to the Council members. 

The State Plan committee consisted of Dave Arthur, Tom Winton, Kathy Brack, Sandy Foster, Graham Watt, and Russ Stinehour.  This was a very active committee this year and Dave Arthur thanked the committee for all of their hard work. 

Dave Arthur e-mailed the State Plan to the members prior to today’s meeting so members would have time to review the materials. 

The State Plan consists of goals, objectives and strategies. 

The Council read each goal, objective, and strategy carefully.  Suggestions were made to clarify all goals, objectives, and strategies. Questions were asked about goals, objectives, and strategies and answers were provided to the Council members. 

Minor wording was corrected. 

After a lengthy discussion of the State Plan, a motion was made by Russ Stinehour, seconded by Angela McCants, and carried to approve the State Plan with the discussed adjustments.

Old Business

None

New Business 

None 

Adjournment of Meeting

Following an adjournment motion, a second, and a vote, the meeting adjourned at 12:30 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, September 9, 2006. 

 Respectfully submitted,

John Miller, III, Chairman, State Rehabilitation Council DHHS             
Debbie Jackson, Director, Division of Services for the Blind DHHS/DSB              

 

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