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

State Rehabilitation Council Meeting Minutes

September 17, 2011

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

Approval of Minutes
A motion was made by Brenda Savage, seconded by Richard Oliver and carried to approve the minutes of the June 11, 2011 meeting.

Committee Reports:

Policy and Procedures Committee
Mary Flanagan gave a brief update on the 2 rules we are making rule changes to.  There is a rather lengthy and involved process to make an amendment to an existing rule.  DSB identified the need to amend 2 of our rules.  One is related to the Economic Need Policy.  DSB put in place a temporary amendment 2 years ago when we received the ARRA funds.  DSB opened the rule up so assistive technology devices, post-secondary education, book and supplies could be paid for regardless of an economic need.  These services were being paid for through ARRA funds.   Now, DSB is in the process of making it a permanent rule change.  DHHS has approved this change but the legislature requires an impact analysis to determine the level of economic impact at the state, county, and local level.  Then, it is sent to OSBM, Office of Administrative Hearings, and rules Review Commission.

The second rule change relates to the Economic Need and the federal poverty level.  Up until now, DSB has not verified income.  As a result of a recent audit, it was recommended that DSB start verifying income. 

Cynthia Speight also commented that our new system, BEAM, will require lots of business practice sessions but very few policy changed.  John Marens also commented that this system is light years ahead of anything anyone is using at this point.

State Plan Committee—Dave Arthur
DSB’s State Plan was submitted by July 1 and it was approved.
Brenda Savage volunteered to serve on the State Plan Committee.

Consumer and Information Committee—Joann Wood and Julie Kagy
Joann Wood explained to the new members that at the end of each quarter, DSB sends a satisfaction survey to every successful employment outcome and to those that were closed without an employment outcome.  Our return rate varies from 21% to 42%.  This information is distributed to our district offices. 

Old Business

New Business
Chair Butler reminded everyone that October is Disabilities Awareness month. 

Adjournment of State Rehabilitation
The State Rehabilitation Council meeting adjourned at 12:20 p.m.


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