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

Consumer and Advocacy Advisory Minutes

September 8, 2006

Call to Order

Since the NFB of North Carolina State Convention is this weekend, September 8-10, and many of our members are involved with it, the Consumer and Advocacy Advisory Committee will be reporting via a conference call. 

The following members were connected by conference call:  Tim Jones, Debbie Jackson, Jennifer Talbot,

Martha Butler, Gary Ray, Steve Walker, Angela McCants, Francine Martin, Tom Winton, and Hazel Staley.  

Approval of Minutes

Motion was made, seconded, and carried to approve the minutes of the June 9, 2006.

Report of Entities:

North Carolina Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped—Francine Martin

Projects and Service News

  • The LBPH reception and office areas have a brand new look!
    • New carpet was installed in June 2006 in all front office and lobby areas.  New tile was installed in the breakroom used by staff and volunteers.   All services other than access to our in-house
    • New reception desk furniture was also installed in June 2006, replacing the hodge-podge of pieces of furniture of varying types and finishes that formerly comprised the reception desk furniture.
  • Volunteer/Outreach Unit Director and staff are working with NLS on making the electronic files for the NCLBPH volunteer-produced Braille books available as Web-braille files available as any other NLS web-braille file.   This was recommended by the NLS Consultant during her visit in May 2006.   Other recommendations will be included in her report due in the next few weeks.   She has commended the high level of service provided by NCLBPH.
  • Circulation Unit Supervisor Steve Maupin has been communicating with the US Post Office local representatives to try to resolve concerns with slow deliveries of tape books recently experienced.   The LBPH has received an unusually high number of calls from patrons who have not received books that were mailed to them by the library more than a week prior.  This problem existed from July 31, 2006 through mid-August and appeared to be intermittent.


The 2006 NCLBPH Volunteer Recognition is scheduled for Thursday evening, November 16, 2006 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Round Clarion in Raleigh.   This event is funded by the Friends of NCLBPH.

Friends of NCLBPH Raffle

The drawing will be held November 16 at the Volunteer Recognition.    Tickets are being sold wherever Friends are found, including upcoming conventions and the VIP Fishing Tournament.   Tickets are a dollar each, or $10 for 12 tickets.   

The prizes are: 


Refurbished Telesensory Chroma full color CCTV with 13" monitor, valued at $900. 


Iriver MP3 Player ($175)


Panasonic Cordless Phone with Talking Caller ID


$100 Gift Certificate from Wal-Mart


$75 Gift Certificate for Outback Steakhouse


$50 Gift Certificate for Cracker Barrel


Talking Caller ID ($30)

 Staff News

  • Jan Reagan is the new Library Services Section Chief, the position to which the Head of the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped reports.   Jan was the head of the State Documents Branch at State Library for the last five years and is nationally known for her work in preparing for the preservation of born-digital documents.
  • Carolyn Clay retired September 1, after 30 years of service with the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.  Carolyn served as the Library Technical Assistant responsible for preparing catalog records and barcodes for new books.   Her position will be advertised internally.
  • Tamara Merritt accepted the LBPH Receptionist position.   Tamara’s previous position in Patron Processing was advertised and interviews conducted.

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction— Tom Winton

To date, 231 orders have been placed with the American Printing House for the Blind through the Federal Quota funds.

The Advisory Board to the Visual Training Program at North Carolina Central will be meeting on September 12.  Dr. Diane Wormsley has joined the program at NCCU.  She brings a wealth of expertise to the program. 

The 56th Conference on Exceptional Children will be on November 6-7 in Greensboro.  Two instructional sessions are specifically devoted to visual impairments. 

The National Conference on Deaf Blindness was held in July.  Dr. Jan van Dijk from the Neatherlands was the keynote speaker.  Approximately 150 people attended this conference. 

Pilot Project for recording for the blind and dyslexic is continuing.  This project improves the provision of recorded textbooks to students in the State. Thirteen school systems are participating in this pilot project. 

Tom Winton is now a Section Chief within the Exceptional Children’s Division.  Until a replacement is found, Mr. Winton will maintain VI Consultant duties. 

Question was asked about the planning stage of this year’s Exceptional Children’s Conference.  Last year, some parents were not aware of the conference until after it was over.  The information has been sent to a variety of organizations, mentioned in many meetings, and registration is on the Exceptional Children’s website.

Division of Services for the Blind—Debbie Jackson

Renovations—Hopefully, the Cox Dorm will be complete by mid-October and work will then begin on Milsap Dorm. 

Crockett-Peeler will be having heating and air-conditioning repairs.  Staff will have to vacate the building for approximately 2-3 months.  DSB will be working with GMS to find space for classes while renovations occur. 

Newsline did get continued funding this year.  It is again non-recurring money. 

DSB has 2 of 4 agreements signed for a new Eastern area Transition Program.  It is a 4-county program that includes New Hanover, Brunswick, Onslow, and Pender Counties.  The goal is to have all agreements signed and in place so recruiting may begin for the 2 positions that will serve those areas.

The Division will be looking the economic needs scale for all of the programs to determine how we can go to the general assembly and ask for a change in the funding.  We are in the early planning stages and will have more information at the December meeting. 

State Council of the North Carolina Lions—Martha Butler

The Council of Governors is working very hard with the North Carolina Lions Foundation. 

Ms. Butler and two other members of the Council attend the executive committee meetings with the Foundation and are looking forward to working them this year. 

 The Council of Governors now has a privacy policy.  Several requests have been made for release of personal information on some of the Lions.  The policy states what information can and cannot be released. 

The Council of Governors are also working closely with Lions International to raise money. 

We have a spokesperson for the Lions of North Carolina.  Kiley Kay Odom is the reigning Mrs. North Carolina International 2006.  She has a six year old daughter who suffers from PHPV, congenital cataract, glaucoma, amblyopia, and strabismus of the eye.  This child has had pressure in that one eye of 38.  After visits to Duke, the pressure is down to 15.  Mrs. Odom will be making appearances and speaking at meetings across the State. 

North Carolina Lions Foundation—Steve Walker

Approval has been obtained to replace the Shaw Brown Dormitory at Camp Dogwood.  Demolition will start after October 1 and that building probably will not be completed in time for camp next summer; however, staff hope to able to accommodate all the campers who wish to attend.  The new building will be similar to the Lineberger Dorm which was completed a couple years ago.

Summer camp was very successful with 789 campers attending. The Deaf Blind Retreat is being held this weekend.  

Prevent Blindness North Carolina—Jennifer Talbot

Prevent Blindness was opposed to the mandatory eye examination because of its language and the wording of the law.   Currently, we there is a “screening” bill rather than an “exam” bill.  Details are still be worked out by the Eye Commission that is yet to be appointed.  Prevent Blindness will continue to work with DHHS and Commission members to assure improvements are functional to everyone participating. 

Congratulations to Debbie Jackson for a wonderful performance on UNC-TV recently on Adult Eye Screening and Vision Problems.

Prevent Blindness is beginning to receive calls regarding the new breakthroughs on macular degeneration drugs.  Medicare will cover these drugs and help is available to get the co-payment paid for if the person has an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less a year.  

National Federation of the Blind of North Carolina—Hazel Staley

The NFB’s national convention was held in Dallas, Texas, the first week of July.  Twenty-two people from North Carolina attended.  The Kurzweil National Federation of the Blind Reader and a new compact CCTV were the two major items shown at the convention.  Several of the little reading machines have been distributed around North Carolina so that a number of people have had an opportunity to have hands-on experience with it.  It will be on display at the State Convention which will be held this weekend in Fayetteville. 

On August 23, A new chapter in Forsyth Co. was organized with eleven enthusiastic members.  Four others had planned to attend but were unable to get there that day.

Newsline is doing well.  In August, there were 47,756 reading minutes and a total of 1,890 phone calls.  Currently there are 1964 users.  The Associated Press of North Carolina was added this summer.  We are currently working on adding papers in Asheville and Greenville.  A few people have filed applications with the Federation and also with the library.  We are checking files to avoid any duplications.  Plans are to have the grocery ads back on the local channel this Fall.  Newspapers can now be e-mailed to readers every morning.  This requires special software.  Contact Gary Ray at the Library for more information. 

From Hazel Staley:

“This is my swan song with this committee.  I have been a member of the committee since its inception.  I am not seeking the position of Vice President of the Federation this year so I won’t be on this committee.  I have enjoyed my association with all the members and hearing the reports of the fine work you are doing.  Thank each of you for the service you are rendering to the blind of our state.  Just keep up the good work.  I’m not dropping out.  I’m just letting up a little now that I’m ninety years old.  I’ll still be around if I can ever help in any way.”

Tom Winton thanked Ms. Hazel for all of her contributions she has given the blind community. 

North Carolina Association for Education & Rehabilitation of the Blind & Visually Impaired—Gary Ray

Just in case there are new members who are not familiar with AER, the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, and is the professional organization for folks who work in the field of blindness and visual impairment.

New officers have taken office as of July 1, 2006.  The members of our Board are:

2006-2008 NCAER Board Members:

Gary Ray
Work: (919) 715-6667

Kathy Davis

Joy Fleming

Nancy Massengill

Members at Large
Sandy DeLuca

Dion Ousley

Susan Purdy
Chapel Hill

William Tubilleja

Immediate Past President
Bill Apple

We are working on the next Conference on Blindness and Visual Impairment, which we call the Super Conference.  This conference brings together professionals in the field of blindness and visual impairment.  The Conference dates are Thursday through Saturday, March 22, 23, and 24, 2007.  The conference will be held on the Governor Morehead School campus.  Visit the NC AER website at for more details.

Angela McCants inquired more about the planning of the “Super Conference”.  Gary Ray invited Angela McCants or someone from her committee to attend the next planning meeting which will be October 5 at 1:00 in the Penland Building conference room on GMS. 

Tom Winton left the conference call.

Elected Committee of Vendors—Tim Jones

The Business Enterprises Program in NC is going well.  The average operator income is in the mid $40,000.  A couple of smaller locations that were not lucrative have either been dropped or attached to someone elses location.  On the Federal level, the Randolph Sheppard Program may be getting ready to take a hit regarding the priorities on military bases.  Mr. Jones will keep the committee posted on any concerns. 

Old Business


New Business


Adjournment of Meeting

With no further business, a motion was made, seconded and carried that the meeting be adjourned.  The meeting adjourned at 10:50 p.m.  The next meeting is scheduled for December 8, 2006 at 1 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted

Tim Jones, Chairman

Consumer and Advocacy Advisory Committee for the Blind


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