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Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council  Minutes 

November 15, 2007

Members Present: BJ Nevels, Marilyn Burr, Kim Nickerson, Sabrina Ware,

Glenda Farnum, Cindy Gallup, Milissa Gofourth, Kathleen Kennedy, Ellen Kimbrell, Sterling Krysler, Hailey Mathis, Tim Parrish, Katrina Shaklee, Nancy Smith, Sue Williams, Director Linda Parker

Members Absent: Cathy Bates, Doug MacMillan, Jr., Jon Ringlero,

Others Present: Syedah Islam, DRS VR Administrator, Jane Nelson, DRS VS Administrator, Melinda Fruendt, DRS Project Coordinator, Lori Estep, DRS VR Field Coordinator, Mark Kinnison, DRS VS Field Coordinator, Suzanne Randall, Assist to Commissioners, Jean Jones, DRS Legislative Liaison, Goli Dunkle, DRS MDS Administrator, Rose Malone, Iowa Tribe, Marcey Tosto, DRS Scribe

Interpreters Present: Darine Stallings

Certificate of ORC Service presented to Pat Casey

Call to Order and Roll Call:  10:00 am, roll called, quorum established

Approval of Minutes: 11-15-07 minutes approved.  Marilynn Burr motion, Sabrina Ware second.

Committee Reports:

Policy & Legislative Committee: Milissa Gofourth, Chair,

  • Met with CSI (Customer Services Improvement Committee) in Mid October; DRS has proposed Policy changes. The ORC flyer on the Public Hearings would include language stating what proposed policy issues and ORC comments will be posted on the ORC web site
  • Reviewed P& L activities on the ORC strategic plan
  • Attended the Optional Hiring Process Conference for HB 1340 and National Philanthropy Day – Working with Volunteers
  • Rehabilitation Act in US Congress has stalled again. 

Program and Planning Committee: Doug MacMillan, Chair

  • No report at this time.

Transition and Employment Committee:  Kim Nickerson, Chair

  • The OK Transition Council received a Sub-Grant of $45,000 to provide Regional Transitional Meetings that will start in January 2008 and conclude in April 2008.
  • T&E committee will need to meet before February. 

Department of Rehabilitation Services Update:

Linda Parker, Director,

  • Attended a workshop conference at the invitation of the White House; it was to pull together a variety of people to support a National Initiative that affects all youth. They have a website – www.helpingamericasyouth.gov , with a mapping service and you set –up your own website with your own group and plug in a city, county, or a specific address.

Jane Nelson, VS Division Administrator,

  • Attend the NCASB (National Council of Administers for Blind Agencies) had the same discussion about the monitoring from RSA. 
  • Transition was discussed; there is a move in Washington to change some of the rules. To prioritize all transition students in Group I; it could mount to serve only Transition Programs.  
  • Discussed at NCASB were the Military contracts for the Randolph Shepard Program and JAOD Programs.
  • Purchased a franchise from Java Dave’s; location is on the first floor of the capital building.
  • Production goals exceed last year’s goals; it closed at 528 cases in employment. Our rate on closures went up from last year to 255.8%.

Syedah Islam, VR Division Administrator,

  • Attended the NSTAC (National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center) in October; worked on the State Plan for Oklahoma.
  • Working on a grant for “Train the Trainers”
  • Attended CSAVR.  DRS will be monitored in 2008.  Rehabilitation Services Administration has a team that will come and monitor all state VR programs in May 2008 for one week. That will include ORC, SILC, and CAP.  This is a different process they are using and will take from 6-12 months.

Jean Jones, DRS Legislative Liaison:

  • Update for House Bill 1804; an attempt to prevent the expenditure of any state money on services for people who are in the country illegally. It contains provisions that stipulate any state agency or any public services that service people age 14 and up, must assure that they have legal status in the country.
  • DRS have access to a Federal Database to verify whether the applicant is a lawful resident. 

Lori Estep, VR Field Coordinator:

  • AWARE has been implemented within the agency; things are improving and have far less complaints and requests for assistance with the system.
  • We had seventy-two people within the agency from all different departments that participation in the Adaptation Team; they took a system off the shelf and adapted to our needs. Alliance is the software company that we purchased the program from. Oklahoma has the highest success rate of conversion on date of all the other states that are using that system.
  • HRD is currently developing a new Academy for new Program Managers as we have several new Program Managers in the field.  We are taking a new approval to the PMP process by developing a Professional Development plan for each staff person.  These plans will also be used by the HRC unit to develop plans for agency training needs. 
  • DRS will host a Customer Service Training for all Program Managers, Field Coordinators and Administrators to take place in December.  Dr. Regina Robertson from East Central University will provide the training.

Susan Hawkins, VS Field Coordinator: (as read by Jane Nelson)

  • Visual Services Center in OKC – open house in August with over 100 people in attendance.
  • One O&M instructor resigned; new hire will start in December and that will be a total of four for the state, that will be full staff for VS. One vacancy for a teaching position.
  • New short video that showcases are ABLE training; this was taped at OSB during the summer. Copies are being made and will be able to show it at the next ORC meeting time permitting.

Unfinished Business:

  • Question #4:  What percentages of job placement services are sub-contracted out to PWI, Goodwill and etc?
  • Question #2: What was the average salary wage at the end of the year?  

New Business:

  • Kim Nickerson nominated Vice-Chair.
  • Milissa Gofourth nominated Member-at-Large