[nfbmi-talk] important silc minutes

joe harcz Comcast joeharcz at comcast.net
Mon Apr 11 14:41:08 UTC 2011


Check out the fact that MRS had to return more than $6 million to feds here. How much did MCB have to return? Also note the adjustments to the RSA monitoring report, the transparency, and access issues. Also note  that SILC Chair is Tom Masseau who also is with Michigan Protection and Advocy Services. Oh, yes and note that MRS is moving to consider "order of selection" here. What is MCB doing?

Joe Harcz


February 10, 2011

Radisson Hotel, Lansing


SILC Voting Members Present: Sheila Ashcraft, Norma Bauer, Carol Bergquist, Ron Bower, Kellie Boyd, Miranda Grunwell, Patty Hanley, Constance Kiggins, Steven Locke, Tom Masseau, Renee Louvierre-Mitchell, Catherine Rector, Jacqueline Thomas.

SILC Voting Members Absent: Barb Barton.

SILC Voting Members Excused: Merrill Friedman.

SILC Ex-Officio Members Present: Jaye N. Porter (MRS), Leamon Jones (MCB).

SILC Staff: Valarie Barnum-Yarger, Rodney Craig, Tracy Brown.

Guests Present: Annette Blough, Cheryl Liss (MRS), Reichelle Tucker (Deaf Options), Diamalyn Gaston (MCB), Nick Grunwell.




T. Masseau called the Quarterly SILC business meeting to order at 1:25 p.m.  Roll call was taken and it was determined that a quorum was present.  




The February 10, 2011 quarterly business agenda was reviewed and accepted with one addition to new business – add Transparency Policy. 


A motion was made by S. Ashcraft and seconded by P. Hanley to approve the February 10, 2011 agenda as presented with one addition. Motion carried.


The November 12, 2010 SILC Council Business Meeting Draft minutes were reviewed, one technical correction to MRS Report.


A motion was made by R. Bower and seconded by C. Kiggins to approve the November 12, 2010 meeting minutes with technical correction. Motion carried.




·         None




FY2009 Monitoring Review MRS Action Plan. A Corrective Action Plan with timeline has been written and was submitted to RSA for approval.







SILC Fiscal Reports (watermelon) –Ron Bower

·         FY 10/11 1st Quarter Statement of Fiscal Activity. 


A motion was made by R. Bower and seconded by P. Hanley to accept and place on file the FY 10/11 1st Quarter Statement of Fiscal Activity. Motion carried.


·         FY2010  Financial Review completed by Fairchild, Lebel & Rice PC. 


A motion was made by R. Bower and seconded by C. Kiggins to accept and place on file the FY 2010 Financial Review completed by Fairchild, Lebel & Rice PC. Motion carried.




Office lease renewal approval.


A motion was made by N. Bauer and seconded by R. Bower to authorize SILC staff to negotiate office lease renewal. Motion carried.


Transparency Policy approval.


·         Dialogue.

·         Ad Hoc Committee chaired by S. Ashcraft.

·         Provide staff a timeline for posting material to website.

·         Provide recommendations at May council meeting.


A motion was made by N. Bauer and seconded by R. Bower to form an Ad Hoc Committee to prepare a Transparency Policy for Council consideration at May Council Meeting. Motion carried.




Executive Committee Report, Staff Operations Report and December 2010 ADRC Focus Group Summary.


A motion was made by N. Bauer and seconded by R. Bower to accept and place on file the Executive Committee Report, Staff Operations Report and December 2010 ADRC Focus Group Summary. Motion carried.


SILC MOU & Grant Addendum for FY 2011.


·         Proprietary information dialogue.


A motion was made by P. Hanley and seconded by S. Ashcraft to accept and place on file the SILC MOU and Grant Addendum for FY 2011. Motion carried.




DSU Reports


MRS- J. Porter


  a.. At the national level, first round budget cuts entail a $2 billion dollar reduction to workforce job training programs. National and state level Vocational Rehabilitation Program awards may be reduced.
  b.. This fiscal year the expectation is that MRS would contribute to the cost reductions by way of not filling all staffing vacancies.
  c.. FY2012 budget deficit may be worse, so that is the reason why MRS is trying to be pro active and look at what ways to reduce expenditures, two major principles guiding us.  One is with minimal disruption and impact on customers and second about trying to avoid staff layoffs.
  d.. There is concern at the national level about the ten states that returned money this year, because they didn't have enough match, four of those were in region five. Region five includes Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Michigan returned $6.7 million dollars. Illinois was among the states accessing these returned funds. Funds were reallocated to other states not returned to the federal treasury.
  e.. MRS is currently operating under a Continuing Resolution, with a possibility that the funding may be cut.  The continuing resolution only goes until March 4, 2011.
  f.. Another prime issue for the Voc Rehab program is appropriate use and spend out of American Reinvestment and Recovery funds.
  g.. Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies need to start working more effectively with the One Stop System to make sure that they are prepared to serve more people with disabilities because as MRS funding gets reduced, more people are likely going to be referred to the One Stop Centers.
  h.. Key current MRS vacant positions are a Policy Manager position,  Staff Development manager, the CIL position vacated by Ted Haworth, Business Network Unit Manager and several Counselor vacancies. The Commission on Disability Concerns recently transferred to MRS, has one vacant Deputy position.     
  i.. MRS is preparing to place in State Plan for 2012 a request to establish Order of Selection.  and then evaluate thereafter on an ongoing basis whether there is need to implement it.  

MCB- L. Jones


  a.. MCB Annual Report that will be out shortly and all of our partners will receive a copy to  give you a snapshot of the activity that the Commission for the Blind has had for the past year.  
  b.. MCB is focusing on expanding our transition opportunities with the school districts to work more effectively.
  c.. MCB is working with the Michigan Works and the One Stops seeking ways to increase employment outcomes.
  d.. MCB is looking at organizational structure and how to continue to make sure there is staff in strategic places in order to continue to provide services.
  e.. MCB Rehabilitation Center is under renovation and are in a temporary home  at the Clarion Hotel in Kalamazoo until October.
  f.. ARRA funds are being utilized to expand opportunities to gain valuable work experience in the area and continue to look at and work with community partners to expand other opportunities so that the services that the commission for the blind provides individuals will be aware of them, that more referrals can be made, and hopefully we will be able to serve those people.
  g.. MCB continues to work with the community to look at developing agreements and cash match programs.
  h.. MCB staff continues to have a weekly presence at Michigan Works One Stops to make sure adapted equipment is functioning properly.
  i.. MCB is working with Area on Aging Offices to provide accessible technology stations for persons that are blind and vision impaired to access e-mails and learn how to send e-mails and many other activities.



Report on January 2011 meeting with Governors staff


  a.. V. Barnum-Yarger, T. Masseau , C. Bergquist, C. Cagle, and M. Malloy met with the  Director of External Affairs and the Appointments Manager  to educate about the SILC Council and Michigan Rehabilitation Council.
  b.. One issue that was resolved during this meeting was an accessible appointments application for individuals with visual impairments. This application can be located at www.misilc.org or www.michigan.gov.
  c..  One thing C. Bergquist took away from this meeting was how much education needs to be done and the need for a unified voice.
  d.. The Governor's Office was very responsive and is working to make both Councils more involved in what they are doing.

IL Strategy update


  a.. As part of the MRS long-term, MRS and CIL partners were brought together  as a Strategic group to discuss enhanced relationships and how to provide a more effective rehabilitation for persons with disabilities. The Vision, Values and Charge were created and given to the Operational group to develop a work plan.
  b.. A meeting is scheduled  for next week with  both groups to discuss the work plan and next steps.
  c.. MRS anticipates a closer alliance at the local level between the Network of CILs and MRS district offices and  are encouraging innovation, creativity, and hoping to identify some outcomes as a result of these initiatives. 


  a.. None







Committee of the Whole (COW) will be May 12, 2011 beginning at 5:00pm - location TBD

 The next SILC Council Business Meeting will be May 13, 2011 - location TBD
























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