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

State Rehabilitation Council Meeting Minutes

June 9, 2007

Call to order of the State Rehabilitation Council

Following the Commission for the Blind meeting, Chairman Tom Winton opened the State Rehabilitation Council meeting at 11:30 a.m.  The following members were present:  Tom Winton, Debbie Jackson, John Miller, Jay Williams, Kathy Brack, Kellie Hightower-Spruill, Sandy Foster, and Graham Watt.

Others Present:  Jan Fesperman, Julie Kagy, Dave Arthur, Mary Flanagan, Gary Ray, and Carla Parker

Approval of Minutes

A motion was made, seconded, and carried to approve the minutes of the March 10, 2007, meeting. 

Committee Reports

State Plan—Graham Watt, Dave Arthur, and Mary Flanagan

Public Hearings and Focus Groups:

There were 2 public hearings.  One being held in Greensboro and the other in Wilmington.  Anita Heath Cunningham, Sandy Foster, Kellie Hightower-Spruill, and Dave Arthur attended the public hearing in Greensboro.  Unfortunately, they were the only 4 that attended.

Dave Arthur attended the Wilmington public hearing but no one else attended. 

There were two focus groups.  One being held in Boone and the other in Hendersonville.  For both focus groups, transportation remained an issue.  They were also interested in training and support groups. 

Since attendance at the focus groups and hearings have been low, it was suggested that these be held at larger functions such as the VIP Fishing Tournament, ACB Conference, NFB Conference, Super Conference with AER, etc.  This will be discussed in greater detail later.  For now, it was agreed to start compiling a list of dates that the above-mentioned conferences will be held next year. 

State Plan: 

The State Plan was e-mailed to members prior to the meeting for their review.

Evaluation of goals from last year were reviewed.  One question was raised regarding is each objective measurable.  A motion was made Graham Watt, seconded by Kathy Brack, and carried to approve the plan but address the measurability of the goals before submitting to RSA.   Any technical changes/amendments need to be sent to Dave Arthur by Tuesday, June 12. 

Policy and Procedures—Tom Winton

Jan Fesperman presented a policy change regarding purchasing computers so Rehabilitation Counselors can purchase computers and technology assistance for their consumers in post-secondary education through the University.  When computers are purchased through a University, the school offers updates and repairs.  A motion was made, seconded, and carried to approve the change in this policy. 

Mary Flanagan presented information on a DHHS on-line system (SurveyMax) that allows agencies to develop a satisfaction survey that can be sent out to customers/consumers/staff.  DSB does send out quite a number of surveys.  DHHS is at the point of testing the system for accessibility.  The draft policy has been written that all Divisions must use this survey tool unless the Director writes a request with a justification about the additional costs that would be incurred by not using this survey tool. 

DSB’s main concern is will it be user-friendly with adaptive technology.  Another concern is there are many people across the State that are not computer-literate and do not have access to computers.  One suggestion was to have the survey available on the telephone similar to the system retail stores and restaurants use. Mary Flanagan will keep the Council members informed about the status of this policy.   

Old Business

There is a series of conference calls developed for SRC chairs that are specific to States that have separate SRC’s for their blind agencies such as North Carolina.  Tom Winton participated in one of these calls this week.    Approximately 10 States were represented.  One issue discussed was agency mergers that many States are facing where the VR agency and Blind agency are proposed to merge and the SRC’s are defending against this from happening.   

Also, discussed was NIMAS (National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard).

New Business

Graham Watt made a motion for a resolution thanking John Miller, Tom Winton, Russ Stinehour, Sandy Foster, and Kathy Brack.  This motion was seconded by Kellie Hightower-Spruill and carried.


With no further business, a motion was made, seconded and carried that the meeting be adjourned.  The meeting adjourned at 12:30 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Tom Winton, Chairman, Commission for the Blind                  
Debbie Jackson, Services for the Blind         


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