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November 20, 2008     PDF

Members Present: Milissa Gofourth, Marilyn Burr, Sabrina Ware, Glenda Farnum, Kathleen Kennedy, Sabrina Ware, Cindy Gallup, Sterling Krysler, Linda Parker, Amy Salmon, Katrina Shaklee, Tammie Jones, Sue Williams.

Members Absent:

Cathy Bates, Anita Eccard, Nancy Garner, Doug MacMillan, Jr., Hailey Mathis, Tim Parrish, Jon Ringlero.

Others Present:

Theresa Hamrick, ORC Program Manager; Linda Jaco, Director of Sponsored Programs, Seretean Wellness Center; Nancy Smith; Kim Osmani, Mark Kinnison, DRS DVS Field Services Coordinator; Lori Estep, DRS DVR Field Services Coordinator; Suzanne Randall, DRS Commissioners’ Assistant; Melinda Fruendt, DRS Project Coordinator; Syedah Islam, DRS DVR Administrator, Rod Van Stavern, AWARE Systems Manager, Kathy Reed, DRS Executive Secretary.

Interpreters Present:

Darine Stallings & Patricia Mills

Call to Order and Roll Call:  10:05 AM

Milissa Gofourth called the meeting to order; roll call taken and quorum established.

Approval of Minutes: Corrections: In Jane Nelson’s Report, delete Annual ABLE Tech Program and replace with Annual Able Program.

Under OTHERS PRESENT, add Linda Jaco as present.

Motion to approve as corrected August 21, 2008.

Motion: Sterling Krysler   Seconded: Sabrina Ware

Motion carried.

Introduction of members and guests attending today’s ORC meeting.

Presentation of Commendations:

Kim Osmani is no longer serving as the SDE representative on the ORC since she accepted the Transition Coordinator position with DRS. Replacing Kim in this capacity is Anita Eccard. A commendation from Governor Henry was presented to Kim for her work with Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council (ORC).

Nancy Smith resigned from her position with DRS and therefore is also no longer serving as an ORC representative. Tammie Jones has replaced Nancy as an agency representative. ORC thanks Nancy for her work with ORC.

Director Parker’s resignation from DRS becomes effective at the end of December making this her last meeting. We greatly appreciate all that Director Parker has done with, and for, the ORC and would like to recognize her efforts through this Special Commendation from Governor Henry.  

Consumer Comments/Announcements:

No public comments or announcements

AWARE Presentation:

  • Rod Van Stavern, AWARE Systems Manager presented an overview of the new DRS case management system called AWARE.  It is a web based intranet system, that provides DRS staff up-to-date information on business practices, rule changes, and laws.  Additionally, On-Demand Reports are provided in accessible formats. DRS IS Unit has the capability of producing timely reports by creating various queries. 
  • Information is available on high school transition cases as well as contact information on the schools that currently contract with DRS.   Information regarding a client’s need for assistive technology will be identified.  During the recent closure of all priority groups, there was a post-employment case which needed administrative assistance because AWARE would not allow the case to be reopened. There is a mechanism to rebuild a case when necessary. 
1. Reports:

OklahomaRehabilitation Council

Milissa Gofourth, Chair

  • Re-engineering committee, the department’s committee that reviews policy, has sent recommendations for proposed policy changes to the department. These changes will be presented to the Commissioners for review and informational purposes during December’s Commission Meeting.  
  • The ORC has scheduled a meeting with the new DRS Director, Dr. Mike O’Brien to discuss the Strategic Plan, as well as other ORC activities.
  • Upon completion of the RSA’s Oklahoma review, ORC was asked to participate in an on-line survey; it has been completed.
  • ORC provided a summary of the FY07 Annual Report to RSA. This summary is located on the ORC website. 
  • The FY08 Report is due to RSA by December 30, 2008.

Committee Reports:

Transition & Employment: No report was provided due to committee chair vacancy.  Anita Eccard will become Chair of this committee.

Policy & Legislative: 

Glenda Farnum, Committee Chair

  • Glenda Farnum has participated with the Re-Engineering Committee in order to assist with the process of proposed policy changes for the agency.  She reported her attendance at the fall Council for State Administrator for Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) with Theresa Hamrick and the National Coalition of State Rehabilitation Councils where Theresa presented on the Comprehensive Needs Assessment.  In addition, Glenda, as the SILC representative, also reported on a disagreement between SILC and RSA with regard to engaging in legislative activities. 

Planning & Program Evaluation:

Marilyn Burr, Chair

No report was provided, because the committee did not meet this quarter. 

Department of Rehabilitation Services Update: 

Division of Visual Services (DVS)

Mark Kinnison, Visual Services (VS) Field Services Coordinator.

(See handouts #2 & #3)

  • Mr. Kinnison reported all VS Standards & Indicators were met for FY08.  This is a big accomplishment for DRS.
  • VS as a division exceeded Standards & Indicators. A VS celebration was held at the Oklahoma Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (OLBPH) to recognize this accomplishment.  Dr. Mike O’Brien, DRS Director Designee, attended this event.
  • Interviews to fill the position of Business Enterprise Program (BEP) Coordinator have been scheduled. DRS hopes to have this position filled soon. 
  • The Vinita area position has been filled. The plan is to open a coffee shop in this area to be filled with Java Dave products.  
  • VS advisory team was formed to address areas detailed in the Engagement Survey. 
  • VS Program Managers have scheduled a meeting to include teachers and counselors to establish home based activities.
  • Priority Group1 reopened allowing services to those on the Priority Group 1 waiting list.  Currently there are close to 1600 in active status.

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR):

Syedah Islam, DVR Administrator:

  • Currently, Ms. Islam serves on the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR), Transition Committee.  She has just returned from a CSAVR meeting and reported that Oklahoma VR was mentioned several times during one of the presentations regarding Transition.
  • DRS is pleased to welcome Kim Osmani as the new Transition Coordinator.  Transition has an important part of the DRS VR program.
  • VR Transition is making good strides in developing a model Transition Program Committee.  Ms. Islam and Ms. Osmani will serve on this committee.
  • With the new Federal Administration getting ready to take office, all disability programs will be reviewed closely.  There will be a special interest in Veterans returning home and the aging population.

Lori Estep, DVR Field Services Coordinator:

  • Ms. Estep reviewed the list of questions submitted to DRS by ORC.
  • All VR Standards and Indicators have been passed for the first time. (see handouts #1, #2, & #3). 
  • As reported by Mr. Kinnison, Priority Group 1 reopened in September. VR/VS exceeded the 1.2 standard RSA ratio. The rehab rate ratio is calculated by adding unsuccessful closures to the successful closures and dividing by the unsuccessful closures to get the RSA Standards & Indicators ratio.
  • VR/VS combined have a total of 13,968 active cases.  Priority Group 2 has 1,369 on the waiting list, Priority Group 3 has 870 on the waiting list. 19,598 clients have been served during FY08.
  • Utah and Vermont are two states which have the most successful VR/VS programs; therefore, VR/VS Administrators recently took trips to each of these states to learn how to be more effective in providing services to clientele, in particular those receiving higher education services.  
  • In the past VR/VS had a combined Strategic Plan; each is working on separate Strategic Plans. 
  • The Agency has established a monetary incentives program for Counselors and Rehab Techs serving clients that have achieved Social Security, Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA).  Funds to support this incentive will be supported through SSA reimbursement to the agency.

Linda Parker, DRS Director

  • Director Parker related highlights from the CSAVR meeting.  She reported  the State Plan will be automated and will include many checks and balances. The narrative will be streamlined, and standardized for all states.  The impact to ORC is yet unknown. 
  • The RSA 911 is being redesigned.  Further Linda reported the RSA 913, and RSA 2 are being redesigned for FY10.
  • Standards and Indicators were due November 11, 2008.
  • RSA’s new website is www.RSA.ed.gov.  All reports for FY09 will be located on this website and will focus on performance related data.
  • There is a renewed focus on Ticket-to-Work. The emphasis will once again be on DRS to network with private employment entities so that both can be reimbursed for services. 
  • Congress may have increased interest in passing the Workforce Investment Act.  There is large interest from the disability community in having The Rehabilitation Act (Title 4) remain in the WIA.
  • At the CSAVR meeting RSA presented a Model Comprehensive Needs Assessment Executive Summary.  Director Parker will provide copies for the agency to utilize in preparation for the upcoming Comprehensive Needs Assessment.
Legislative Update

Jean Jones, - DRS Legislative Liaison

  • Legislative matters were covered satisfactorily by Linda Parker.  There will be transitional changes through out the Federal government and State legislature. Republicans now lead the Oklahoma Senate and Glen Coffee will serve as the Senate President Pro Temp.  Federal legislature is now led by Democrats.  The ORC website will be updated to note these changes. 
  • Priority for State legislation will focus on Workers Compensation reform, Tort reform, lowering of taxes, and greater accountability for agency spending.
  • Priority for the Federal level will be Health Insurance Legislation. Changes should be on the fast track once Congress reconvenes in January, 2009.
  • Proposed changes to the Rehabilitation Act focuses on changes in serving youth in transition, and supported employment services for adults.  
  • The Surface Transportation Act will enhance public transportation for people with disabilities in mid-size cities.

Council Member Reports

Theresa Hamrick, – ORC Program Manager

  • The fall CSAVR meeting was very informative.  A few of the discussion items included the submission of the State Plan, how SILCs should be utilizing state and federal funds, and the reauthorization of the Rehab Act. 
  • Theresa Hamrick made a presentation at the National Coalition of State Rehabilitation Council (NCSRC) meeting on how to effectively partner with the State Rehabilitation Agency on the development, implementation and evaluation of the Comprehensive Needs Assessment.  
  • The ORC 2009 meeting dates will be submitted to the Secretary of State by December 30, 2008. Once approved, they will be posted on the ORC website.
  • The appointment of SILC members must be made by the Governor.  The SILC is awaiting the Governor confirmation for several new appointments.
  • ORC has a contract with ABLE Tech to utilize Brenda Dawes to make updates on the ORC website. With Brenda’s assistance, website updates will be more current.
  • The ORC Annual Report is being created for submission to RSA by December 30, 2008.
  • New ORC member orientation will be scheduled for Anita, Amy, and Tammy.  Once the Governor’s confirmation letter is received a date will be set.
  • Projects for Optimal Emergency Medical Services developed the EMS- Med-File.  The magnetic files can be attached to a refrigerator door.  EMS staff across the state have been trained to look and grab these files when responding to an emergency. Theresa has them available for anyone interested.
  • ORC created a template for the Division Administrators and Field Coordinators to report back to the ORC on how many clients are being served, how many are on the waiting lists, and how many cases are being closed. 
  • Included in the meeting packet for your review, is an October 2, 2008 report from the Assistive Technology Committee made up of representatives from VR and VS Assistive Technology Specialists, ORC members, and consumers. (See handout #4). The AT Committee is discussing the development of a survey which would first be reviewed with Division Administrators before dissemination would be considered.
  • Three success stories were included in the meeting packet.  Success stories provide a mechanism to report client highlights to Congressional and State Legislators.  These stories are available on the ORC website.

2. Other Business:

Milissa Gofourth appointed the following individuals to fill mid-term vacancies.  

ORC Vice-Chair – Sterling Krysler

Transition & Employment Chair – Anita Eccard

3. Action Items:  No new Action Items

4. New Business:      No new business at this time

Adjournment:  11:50 am

ORC Members Training Module 1.

ORC held a web based training on the roles and responsibilities of the State Rehabilitation Council designed by the Rehabilitation Service Administration. 

Kreed 11.20.08