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

Consumer and Advocacy Advisory Minutes

December 10, 2004

Call to Order and Invocation

Chairman, Tim Jones, called the meeting of the Consumer and Advocacy Advisory Committee for the Blind to order at 1:10 p.m. on Friday, December 10, 2004 .  Invocation was offered by Ms. Hazel Staley.  The following members were present:  Tim Jones, David Alexander, Ron Eller, Hazel Staley, Bill Apple, and Representative Verla Insko. 

Members not present:  Linda Lewis, Brian Lewis, Jim Shuart, Steve Walker, and Jennifer Talbot.

Others Present:  Debbie Jackson, Francine Martin, Mary Flanagan, Pat Robbins, Angela McCants, Alan Casey, Les Seitz, Jim Boehm, and Carla Parker

Approval of Minutes

Motion was made, seconded, and carried to approve the minutes of September 10, 2004 . 

Report of Entities

North Carolina Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped- Francine Martin, Regional Librarian

NLS Related News

NLS Director Kurt Cylke visited NCLBPH October 27.  He met with all staff to talk about the NLS plans for the new digital format.   Mr. Cylke also met with State Librarian Sandy Cooper to discuss the impact of the new digital format on LBPHs.

Ms. Edna White, NCLBPH patron, was presented a plaque by Mr. Cylke as the first charter member of the new NLS 10-Squared club honoring centenarians using NLS services across the country.  Three TV stations—channels 17, 22, and 14 taped and aired the event.  Ms. White and Mr. Cylke conducted a phone interview with a statewide radio station network, and press releases were sent by DCR Public Relation’s officer Brenda Follmer to media across the state.  We have had a down-east radio station contact us as a result.  Gary Ray will do a radio interview in early December.  The station is geared toward older listeners.

Mr. Cylke also presented awards at the NCLBPH volunteer recognition that evening and was honored by the Friends.  A Seagrove pottery vase was presented to Mr. Cylke for his more than 30 years of service to the network.

NLS is sending to media across the country monthly press releases on the progress towards digital book.   The 2-page monthly informational sheet is called NLS FLASH.  It is available on the NLS website, www.loc.gov/nls .

LBPH Volunteer Recognition

The annual volunteer recognition ceremony was held in October.  119 volunteers contributed a combined 7,937 hours to LBPH in State Fiscal Year 2003/2004.

Other News

The NCLBPH Circulation Unit is down to 2 truck drivers in the 3.5 staff remaining in the 6.5 staff unit that receives, inspects, shelves all incoming (1000-3000 items per day) & pulls & checks out 2000 plus items per day.   Brenda Lassiter will return to work part-time 12/10/04 after being out on medical leave for two months.  Summer Roberts has been selected to fill the vacant position in that unit on 12/20/04 .

Terry Jackson, Reader Advisor, retired.   We will be interviewing for that position very soon.

These staffing situations do slightly affect our ability to provide timely service.   All staff have been helping meet the needs in those units so adverse effects on service are minimized. Please bear with us as all staff are working extra duties to keep service as timely as possible.

We are deleting large print titles from the NCLBPH catalog.   Many titles were still listed after all copies had been withdrawn or damaged over the years.  We are up to LT 6500 in this process now.

All items prioritized as Required, Essential, and Important in the LBPH budget request have been approved for ordering.

New shelving has arrived.  It has been installed in annex and will be installed in the moveable shelving units soon.  This shelving should give us room for 9 years worth of growth.

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction—Tom Winton

54th Conference on Exceptional Children – The 54th Conference on Exceptional Children was held on November 1-3 in Greensboro at the Koury Convention Center.  Among the 79 instructional sessions, Maria Delgado of APH gave a web-based presentation on new APH technology products and Julie Kagy and Peggy Holly of Wake County Public Schools presented on using laptop computers with visually impaired students.  Estelle Condra presented to exceptional children directors and principals from throughout the state and received a standing ovation.  In all, more than 2,800 educators attended.  The 55th Conference is scheduled for November 7-9, 2005.

North Carolina Conference on Visual Impairments and Blindness – Planning is continuing on the 3rd annual North Carolina Conference on Visual Impairments and Blindness.  This professional conference, which brings together agency and education professionals from across the state is scheduled for March 10-12, 2005.  The Exceptional Children Division looks forward to continue its involvement and sponsorship of this worthy conference.  It will likely contract with NCAER to sponsor a keynote address by Dr. Abraham Nemeth, inventor of the Nemeth Braille Code.

Federal Quota Funds – As of December 10, 54 separate orders had been placed with APH in the Fiscal Year 2004-05 to procure instructional materials with Quota Funds.

NCCU-VITP Advisory Board – The Consultant for Visually Impaired continues to serve as co-chair with Dr. Deborah Hatton on the NCCU-VITP Advisory Board.  The Board meets bi-monthly and is representative of stakeholder schools, agencies, committees, and consumer groups.  The Board is currently working on strategies for student recruitment and publicizing the VITP.  Currently the Board is also addressing issues of appropriate use of funds and positions for the VITP.  The next meeting of the Board is Tuesday, December 14.  It is hoped the program will see increased administrative support with the firing of the Provost at NCCU.  It was believed this Provost caused many of the difficulties with resolving tenure issues, completing contracts and filling faculty vacancies.

Registration of Legally Blind – The Annual Registration of Legally Blind students will begin in early January.  The Consultant for Visually Impaired administers this annual registration.  An official count of the registered students with legal blindness will be available at the next C&A Advisory Committee meeting in March 2005.

APH Educational Products Advisory Committee – The Consultant for Visually Impaired will serve as a member of the APH Educational Products Advisory Committee for the next three years.  This Committee assists APH in continuous improvement to ensure that the educational products APH develops are of high quality and relevance to the needs of students with visual impairments and blindness.

NC Division of Services for the Blind—Debbie Jackson

The Director of GMS, Judy Plymale, has taken a job with Wake County School and they will be in the process of filling this vacancy.  Cyndie Bennett will be filling in the interim.

The General Assembly returns in January.  Expansion Budget request has been submitted to include money for case service funds for people in our ILR Program.  It also includes several new positions that will be used by both ILR as well as our Vocational Rehabilitation (Employment Program).  Positions we have asked for are:  1) Assistive Technology position; 2) support staff/clerical position; 3) deaf/blind position; and 4) field-based computer training position.  This request has been approved by the Department and is now at the State Budget level. 

DSB’s Charlotte District Office will still be moving; although, it hasn’t been as quick as we had hoped.  Space requirements have been developed and bids will go out in January.  DSB’s Wilmington District Office may also be moving. 

Charlotte/Mecklenburg School System--DSB has developed with the Charlotte/Mecklenburg School System a Cooperative Agreement that will allow us to place 2 people in Charlotte/Mecklenburg area to provide services specifically to transition age kids who are blind and visually-impaired.  Federal Rehabilitation money is used and the Charlotte/Mecklenburg school system provides the non-federal match.  Two people have been hired for these 2 positions. 

The Durham County agreement is still not in place.  Agreement has been signed but not returned.  Until DSB receives the signed agreement, hiring cannot take place.  

DSB Funding—As in year’s past, programs are running short.  Program Chiefs will report on how much money is needed to keep bills paid and services continuing.  Money from “Other Vending” and “Social Security Reimbursement” will be moved into the programs as needed. 

DSB Recruitment--DSB will be focusing on improving our recruitment efforts.  We have many staff members nearing the retirement age.  We need to hire people that we can train and move into supervisory roles.   The difficulty is in the Rehabilitation Program.  The Rehabilitation Services Administration has a requirement that staff have a master’s degrees in Rehabilitation.  The colleges and universities are not generating as many people as the Rehabilitation agencies need and private employers can pay more than government.   DSB and DVR will start an internship program.  DSB will begin their paid internship program in January (1 will begin in January for Asheville and possibly another in February for Wilmington).  We hope this will be an ongoing effort so each semester we will be able to offer paid internships. 

DSB had the opportunity to participate in both consumer conferences—the Federation and the Council--and the VIP Fishing Tournament.  All were very well attended. 

State Council of NC Lions – Jame Boehm

There are 10,000 North Carolinians in the Lions Club in NC and there are 400 clubs in NC.  The State Council of the North Carolina Lions established the Capsule Program for 2004-2005.  This program is requesting each Lions Club to contribute $50.  These funds will be used for three purposes:  1) help furnish rooms for the new building at Camp Dogwood; 2) sponsor one guide dog from Southeastern Guide Dogs; 3) establish an diabetes educational program. 

The VIP Fishing Tournament was very successful with over 500 participants. 

The Lions were able to give the Radio Reading Program their full request for funding in November.

A new club in Charlotte has been chartered with all of the members of that club being blind.  Also, a new club has been chartered in Fayetteville with all of its members being Korean.  

Representative Verla Insko—The Joint Legislative Select Committee on Electronic Voting will be meeting on December 20 in Room 643 of the Legislative Office Building from 10 a.m. til 1 p.m.  Anyone from the blindness community is welcome to attend.  The issue is how North Carolina can have a voting system that the public is confident in and meets the needs of various communities. 

Prevent Blindness of North Carolina

No Report

NC Council of the Blind—Ron Eller

The NC Council of the Blind Convention was successful and well attended.  The highlight of the convention was two educational seminars—1) Diabetes and Blindness and 2) Telemarketing fraud. 

The Council is now getting ready for the legislative seminar in mid-February. 

National Federation of the Blind—Hazel Staley

The National Federation of the Blind had a very good State Convention in September.  The agenda was timely and informative.  Allen Harris, Director of Services for the Blind in Iowa, was the national representative. 

At our September meeting, a report was made regarding science camps for junior and senior high school students who are interested in science.  These meetings were held at the Research and Training Institute in Baltimore with activity in the surround area.  These training sessions will become a permanent part of the summer agenda and will not be called camps.  These sessions offer students a hands-on experience in lab work which is denied to them in public school settings.  NASA and other organizations and colleges will lend personnel to assist with the training.

IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) was recently renewed by Congress.  A section that the National Federation for the Blind has been working on for a long time was included in the bill this time.  Beginning with the 2005-2006 school year, blind students will receive books and materials at the same time their classmates receive theirs and in the medium needed.  The American Printing House for the Blind will be the repository for these books and materials and will be responsible for the distribution. 

Chairman Tim Jones personally thanked Ms. Staley, David Alexander, and Ron Eller for the advocacy they do for blind people in North Carolina. 

North Carolina Association for the Education and Rehabilitation (AER)—Bill Apple

AER is an organization for professionals in the area who work in the field of blindness.  AER is independent and not state agency connected.  Membership is approximately 100 people.  A website for NCAER is in the process of being developed.   Funds have been approved and a webmaster has been identified to develop and maintain the site.

The NCAER is planning for the upcoming “North Carolina Conference on Visual Impairments and Blindness”.   The 3rd annual North Carolina Conference on Visual Impairments and Blindness will be March 10-12, 2005, and held on the campus of the Governor Morehead School.  Topics will center on assistive technology, daily Living skills, literacy and recreation.   Dr. Abraham Nemeth, inventor of the Nemeth Braille Code, will hopefully be the keynote speaker. 

Elected Committee of Vendors—Tim Jones

The average operator income is above $36,000.  In early 2005, several blind vendors will attend the Sagebrush Convention and the Blast Convention which are two national conferences where blind vendors across the country meet together to share ideas.  

The Statewide BE Conference is the last week in February at the Hotel Europa in Raleigh.  

Old Business

Discussion was held that all consumer groups and representatives on the Consumer Advocacy and Advisory Committee need to attend these meetings regularly.  

New Business

None

Adjournment of Meeting

With no further business, a motion was made, seconded, and carried that the meeting be adjourned.  The meeting adjourned at 2 p.m.  The next meeting is scheduled for March, 11, 2005 at 1 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted

Tim Jones, Chairman

Consumer and Advocacy and Advisory Committee for the Blind

Call to Order and Invocation

Chairman, Tim Jones, called the meeting of the Consumer and Advocacy Advisory Committee for the Blind to order at 1:10 p.m. on Friday, December 10, 2004 .  Invocation was offered by Ms. Hazel Staley.  The following members were present:  Tim Jones, David Alexander, Ron Eller, Hazel Staley, Bill Apple, and Representative Verla Insko. 

Members not present:  Linda Lewis, Brian Lewis, Jim Shuart, Steve Walker, and Jennifer Talbot.

Others Present:  Debbie Jackson, Francine Martin, Mary Flanagan, Pat Robbins, Angela McCants, Alan Casey, Les Seitz, Jim Boehm, and Carla Parker

Approval of Minutes

Motion was made, seconded, and carried to approve the minutes of September 10, 2004 . 

Report of Entities

North Carolina Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped--Francine Martin, Regional Librarian

NLS Related News

NLS Director Kurt Cylke visited NCLBPH October 27.  He met with all staff to talk about the NLS plans for the new digital format.   Mr. Cylke also met with State Librarian Sandy Cooper to discuss the impact of the new digital format on LBPHs.

Ms. Edna White, NCLBPH patron, was presented a plaque by Mr. Cylke as the first charter member of the new NLS 10-Squared club honoring centenarians using NLS services across the country.  Three TV stations—channels 17, 22, and 14 taped and aired the event.  Ms. White and Mr. Cylke conducted a phone interview with a statewide radio station network, and press releases were sent by DCR Public Relation’s officer Brenda Follmer to media across the state.  We have had a down-east radio station contact us as a result.  Gary Ray will do a radio interview in early December.  The station is geared toward older listeners.

Mr. Cylke also presented awards at the NCLBPH volunteer recognition that evening and was honored by the Friends.  A Seagrove pottery vase was presented to Mr. Cylke for his more than 30 years of service to the network.

NLS is sending to media across the country monthly press releases on the progress towards digital book.   The 2-page monthly informational sheet is called NLS FLASH.  It is available on the NLS website, www.loc.gov/nls .

LBPH Volunteer Recognition

The annual volunteer recognition ceremony was held in October.  119 volunteers contributed a combined 7,937 hours to LBPH in State Fiscal Year 2003/2004.

Other News

The NCLBPH Circulation Unit is down to 2 truck drivers in the 3.5 staff remaining in the 6.5 staff unit that receives, inspects, shelves all incoming (1000-3000 items per day) & pulls & checks out 2000 plus items per day.   Brenda Lassiter will return to work part-time 12/10/04 after being out on medical leave for two months.  Summer Roberts has been selected to fill the vacant position in that unit on 12/20/04 .

Terry Jackson, Reader Advisor, retired.   We will be interviewing for that position very soon.

These staffing situations do slightly affect our ability to provide timely service.   All staff have been helping meet the needs in those units so adverse effects on service are minimized. Please bear with us as all staff are working extra duties to keep service as timely as possible.

We are deleting large print titles from the NCLBPH catalog.   Many titles were still listed after all copies had been withdrawn or damaged over the years.  We are up to LT 6500 in this process now.

All items prioritized as Required, Essential, and Important in the LBPH budget request have been approved for ordering.

New shelving has arrived.  It has been installed in annex and will be installed in the moveable shelving units soon.  This shelving should give us room for 9 years worth of growth.

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction—Tom Winton

54th Conference on Exceptional Children – The 54th Conference on Exceptional Children was held on November 1-3 in Greensboro at the Koury Convention Center.  Among the 79 instructional sessions, Maria Delgado of APH gave a web-based presentation on new APH technology products and Julie Kagy and Peggy Holly of Wake County Public Schools presented on using laptop computers with visually impaired students.  Estelle Condra presented to exceptional children directors and principals from throughout the state and received a standing ovation.  In all, more than 2,800 educators attended.  The 55th Conference is scheduled for November 7-9, 2005.

North Carolina Conference on Visual Impairments and Blindness – Planning is continuing on the 3rd annual North Carolina Conference on Visual Impairments and Blindness.  This professional conference, which brings together agency and education professionals from across the state is scheduled for March 10-12, 2005.  The Exceptional Children Division looks forward to continue its involvement and sponsorship of this worthy conference.  It will likely contract with NCAER to sponsor a keynote address by Dr. Abraham Nemeth, inventor of the Nemeth Braille Code.

Federal Quota Funds – As of December 10, 54 separate orders had been placed with APH in the Fiscal Year 2004-05 to procure instructional materials with Quota Funds.

NCCU-VITP Advisory Board – The Consultant for Visually Impaired continues to serve as co-chair with Dr. Deborah Hatton on the NCCU-VITP Advisory Board.  The Board meets bi-monthly and is representative of stakeholder schools, agencies, committees, and consumer groups.  The Board is currently working on strategies for student recruitment and publicizing the VITP.  Currently the Board is also addressing issues of appropriate use of funds and positions for the VITP.  The next meeting of the Board is Tuesday, December 14.  It is hoped the program will see increased administrative support with the firing of the Provost at NCCU.  It was believed this Provost caused many of the difficulties with resolving tenure issues, completing contracts and filling faculty vacancies.

Registration of Legally Blind – The Annual Registration of Legally Blind students will begin in early January.  The Consultant for Visually Impaired administers this annual registration.  An official count of the registered students with legal blindness will be available at the next C&A Advisory Committee meeting in March 2005.

APH Educational Products Advisory Committee – The Consultant for Visually Impaired will serve as a member of the APH Educational Products Advisory Committee for the next three years.  This Committee assists APH in continuous improvement to ensure that the educational products APH develops are of high quality and relevance to the needs of students with visual impairments and blindness.

NC Division of Services for the Blind—Debbie Jackson

The Director of GMS, Judy Plymale, has taken a job with Wake County School and they will be in the process of filling this vacancy.  Cyndie Bennett will be filling in the interim.

The General Assembly returns in January.  Expansion Budget request has been submitted to include money for case service funds for people in our ILR Program.  It also includes several new positions that will be used by both ILR as well as our Vocational Rehabilitation (Employment Program).  Positions we have asked for are:  1) Assistive Technology position; 2) support staff/clerical position; 3) deaf/blind position; and 4) field-based computer training position.  This request has been approved by the Department and is now at the State Budget level. 

DSB’s Charlotte District Office will still be moving; although, it hasn’t been as quick as we had hoped.  Space requirements have been developed and bids will go out in January.  DSB’s Wilmington District Office may also be moving. 

Charlotte/Mecklenburg School System--DSB has developed with the Charlotte/Mecklenburg School System a Cooperative Agreement that will allow us to place 2 people in Charlotte/Mecklenburg area to provide services specifically to transition age kids who are blind and visually-impaired.  Federal Rehabilitation money is used and the Charlotte/Mecklenburg school system provides the non-federal match.  Two people have been hired for these 2 positions. 

The Durham County agreement is still not in place.  Agreement has been signed but not returned.  Until DSB receives the signed agreement, hiring cannot take place.  

DSB Funding—As in year’s past, programs are running short.  Program Chiefs will report on how much money is needed to keep bills paid and services continuing.  Money from “Other Vending” and “Social Security Reimbursement” will be moved into the programs as needed. 

DSB Recruitment--DSB will be focusing on improving our recruitment efforts.  We have many staff members nearing the retirement age.  We need to hire people that we can train and move into supervisory roles.   The difficulty is in the Rehabilitation Program.  The Rehabilitation Services Administration has a requirement that staff have a master’s degrees in Rehabilitation.  The colleges and universities are not generating as many people as the Rehabilitation agencies need and private employers can pay more than government.   DSB and DVR will start an internship program.  DSB will begin their paid internship program in January (1 will begin in January for Asheville and possibly another in February for Wilmington).  We hope this will be an ongoing effort so each semester we will be able to offer paid internships. 

DSB had the opportunity to participate in both consumer conferences—the Federation and the Council--and the VIP Fishing Tournament.  All were very well attended. 

State Council of NC Lions – Jame Boehm

There are 10,000 North Carolinians in the Lions Club in NC and there are 400 clubs in NC.  The State Council of the North Carolina Lions established the Capsule Program for 2004-2005.  This program is requesting each Lions Club to contribute $50.  These funds will be used for three purposes:  1) help furnish rooms for the new building at Camp Dogwood; 2) sponsor one guide dog from Southeastern Guide Dogs; 3) establish an diabetes educational program. 

The VIP Fishing Tournament was very successful with over 500 participants. 

The Lions were able to give the Radio Reading Program their full request for funding in November.

A new club in Charlotte has been chartered with all of the members of that club being blind.  Also, a new club has been chartered in Fayetteville with all of its members being Korean.  

Representative Verla Insko—The Joint Legislative Select Committee on Electronic Voting will be meeting on December 20 in Room 643 of the Legislative Office Building from 10 a.m. til 1 p.m.  Anyone from the blindness community is welcome to attend.  The issue is how North Carolina can have a voting system that the public is confident in and meets the needs of various communities. 

Prevent Blindness of North Carolina

No Report

NC Council of the Blind—Ron Eller

The NC Council of the Blind Convention was successful and well attended.  The highlight of the convention was two educational seminars—1) Diabetes and Blindness and 2) Telemarketing fraud. 

The Council is now getting ready for the legislative seminar in mid-February. 

National Federation of the Blind—Hazel Staley

The National Federation of the Blind had a very good State Convention in September.  The agenda was timely and informative.  Allen Harris, Director of Services for the Blind in Iowa, was the national representative. 

At our September meeting, a report was made regarding science camps for junior and senior high school students who are interested in science.  These meetings were held at the Research and Training Institute in Baltimore with activity in the surround area.  These training sessions will become a permanent part of the summer agenda and will not be called camps.  These sessions offer students a hands-on experience in lab work which is denied to them in public school settings.  NASA and other organizations and colleges will lend personnel to assist with the training.

IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) was recently renewed by Congress.  A section that the National Federation for the Blind has been working on for a long time was included in the bill this time.  Beginning with the 2005-2006 school year, blind students will receive books and materials at the same time their classmates receive theirs and in the medium needed.  The American Printing House for the Blind will be the repository for these books and materials and will be responsible for the distribution. 

Chairman Tim Jones personally thanked Ms. Staley, David Alexander, and Ron Eller for the advocacy they do for blind people in North Carolina. 

North Carolina Association for the Education and Rehabilitation (AER)—Bill Apple

AER is an organization for professionals in the area who work in the field of blindness.  AER is independent and not state agency connected.  Membership is approximately 100 people.  A website for NCAER is in the process of being developed.   Funds have been approved and a webmaster has been identified to develop and maintain the site.

The NCAER is planning for the upcoming “North Carolina Conference on Visual Impairments and Blindness”.   The 3rd annual North Carolina Conference on Visual Impairments and Blindness will be March 10-12, 2005, and held on the campus of the Governor Morehead School.  Topics will center on assistive technology, daily Living skills, literacy and recreation.   Dr. Abraham Nemeth, inventor of the Nemeth Braille Code, will hopefully be the keynote speaker. 

Elected Committee of Vendors—Tim Jones

The average operator income is above $36,000.  In early 2005, several blind vendors will attend the Sagebrush Convention and the Blast Convention which are two national conferences where blind vendors across the country meet together to share ideas.  

The Statewide BE Conference is the last week in February at the Hotel Europa in Raleigh.  

Old Business

Discussion was held that all consumer groups and representatives on the Consumer Advocacy and Advisory Committee need to attend these meetings regularly.  

New Business

None

Adjournment of Meeting

With no further business, a motion was made, seconded, and carried that the meeting be adjourned.  The meeting adjourned at 2 p.m.  The next meeting is scheduled for March, 11, 2005 at 1 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted

Tim Jones, Chairman

Consumer and Advocacy and Advisory Committee for the Blind

 

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