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

State Rehabilitation Council Meeting Minutes

September 12, 2009

Call to Order of the State Rehabilitation Council Meeting

Directly following the Commission for the Blind meeting, Chair Beth Butler opened the State Rehabilitation Council meeting. 

The following members were present in the conference room:  Debbie Jackson and Julie Kagy.  Others present were Mary Flanagan, Joann Wood, Cynthia Speight, David Arthur, and Carla Parker.

Members connected by conference call were:  Beth Butler, Allen Casey, Graham Watt, Tommy Jenkins, Ruth Haines, Kim Lambert, Kathy Brack, Richard Oliver, Terri Meyers, and Eddie Weaver.  Debra Wilson was also on the call.  Ms. Wilson is an advocate and parent of a GMS student. 

Approval of Minutes

A motion was made by Allen Casey, seconded by Graham Watt, and carried to approve the minutes of the September 12, 2009 meeting.

Committee Reports:

Policy and Procedures Committee—Terri Meyers/Joann Wood

Joann Wood introduced a minor change to an academic policy.  The policy now reads “For undergraduate studies, the agency will provide support up to 10 semesters for the attainment of Bachelor’s degrees.  For graduate studies, the agency will provide support for no more 1 semester beyond the specified time identified in the institutions publication for that particular program at the time the student enters the program” with an exception that the supervisor can approve more time if justified.   A motion was made by Julie Kagy, seconded by Kathy Brack, and carried to approve this policy change.

Rule Change—Mary Flanagan presented an emergency rule change in June regarding the economic needs test.  The approved rule was submitted to the Department and then we were asked to add it as a special provision to the budget.  Unfortunately, this special provision did not get attached to the budget so DSB is back at getting the rule changed through an “emergency” process.  Legislature did pass a bill that allows for any department to pass an emergency rule if it relates to spending of ARRA dollars. 

For emergency rules, the Commission members must vote on acceptance of the rule change.   A motion was made by Kathy Brack, seconded by Graham Watt, and carried to pass the emergency rule regarding ARRA funds and the economic needs test. 

State Plan—Mary Flanagan

The contract with ECU regarding the comprehensive statewide needs assessment that was initially to go into effect May 1, has been delayed.  The original project director is no longer at ECU.  Because of this the new project director is Dr. Steven Sligar.  The contract now is effective September 1, 2009 through February 28, 2010. Ms. Flanagan will be e-mailing each member a guide and other relevant information regarding this assessment. 

Susan Stoddard, President of InfoUse in California, joined the conference call to further explain the guide for the comprehensive assessment.  Ms. Stoddard has been working closely with RSA on developing this model.  The guide is broken down into 6 steps and each step is fully explained and consists of gathering information, analyzing results, developing conclusions and making recommendations.  The role of the State Rehabilitation Council is defined in each step. 

East Carolina University will be doing the survey on-line and a letter will be sent to a random sample of our consumers asking for their input.  Consumers can go on-line and complete the survey or call ECU and the survey will be read to them and consumers input entered electronically. 

Chair Beth Butler encouraged the members to review the guide and be able to provide valuable feedback.

Old Business


New Business

Debbie Jackson reported that a temporary part-time position has been filled to work with people who are receiving SSI or SSDI to try to help DSB and encourage those folks to apply for our services. 


Following an adjournment motion by Graham Watt, seconded by Julie Kagy, and carried the State Rehabilitation Council meeting adjourned at 11:45 a.m.


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