[nfbmi-talk] Fw: CIC agenda for April 12, 2012, meeting and draft notes from January 12, 2012, meeting

Marcus Simmons MarcusSimmons at comcast.net
Mon Feb 6 18:29:19 CST 2012

Is the meeting on Tuesday or Wednesday?
Changing what it means to be blind,
Marcus Simmons, vice-president,
Western-Wayne chapter
28179 Brentwood
Southfield, MI 48076-3069
Marcus.Simmons at interbizusa.com
(248) 552-8928
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "joe harcz Comcast" <joeharcz at comcast.net>
To: <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2012 4:33 PM
Subject: [nfbmi-talk] Fw: CIC agenda for April 12, 2012,meeting and draft 
notes from January 12, 2012, meeting

Wish we'd get MCB meeting minutes etc. in a timely manner....

Still haven't received the last two draft meeting minutes and associated 
materials for the last two MCB meetings and still haven't seen an agenda for 
tomorrow's meeting.

Just an fyi here...

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Turney, Susan (LARA)
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2012 4:06 PM
Subject: CIC agenda for April 12, 2012, meeting and draft notes from January 
12, 2012, meeting

Attached and pasted below are the agenda for the April 12, 2012, MCB 
Consumer Involvement Council meeting and the draft meeting notes from the 
January 12, 2012, meeting.  These documents are also posted on the MCB 
website (www.michigan.gov/mcb) in the Events Calendar under April 12, 2012.


Susan Turney

Communications & Outreach Coordinator, Michigan Commission for the Blind

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

desk:  517-241-8631; cell: 517-243-3858; fax:  517-335-5140

MCB toll-free: 1-800-292-4200

201 N. Washington Square, Second Floor,

P.O. Box 30652; Lansing, MI 48909



Michigan Commission for the Blind Consumer Involvement Council

Thursday,  April 12, 2012, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

MCB Large Conference Room, Victor Building, 201 N. Washington Square, 

Telephone Conference Call-In Number: 877-873-8017, Passcode 7085546

1.    Meeting call to order by Chair Phyllis Magbanua (9:00 a.m.)

a.     Roll call and determination of quorum

b.    Review and approval of agenda

c.     Review and approval of January 12, 2012, meeting minutes

2.    Old/New business

a.     Opening comments by CIC Chair

b.    MCB Liaison Report by Susan Turney

c.     Update for Veteran to serve on the CIC

d.    Guest: Mr. Richard Bernstein

3.    Roundtable

a.     Reports: Individual CIC members

b.    Questions, concerns, and comments from CIC members

4.    Public comment/dialogue ( 11:30 a.m.)

5.    Adjourn


Michigan Commission for the Blind

Consumer Involvement Council


Thursday, January 12, 2012, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

MCB Large Conference Room, Victor Building, 201 N. Washington Square, 

Telephone Conference Call-In Number: 877-873-8017, Passcode 7085546

In Attendance

·     In person: Carrie Martin, Susan Turney, Cheryl Wade

·     On the phone: Phyllis Magbanua - Chairperson, Mary Davis, Terry Eagle, 
Marianne Dunn, Joe Harcz, Wayne LePoirs, Jim Moore, Sarah Norwood, Geer 
Wilcox, Fred Wurtzel

Joe Harcz moved that the agenda be approved and Jim Moore seconded it.  The 
agenda was approved.

Jim moved for approval of the minutes, and Fred Wurtzel seconded the motion. 
The minutes were approved.

Old Business

Joe asked about the status of funding for Newsline.  Fred wrote a letter to 
the Commissioners after the last meeting regarding this issue, but Fred 
hadn't heard any updates on the topic.  Susan Turney explained that Pat 
would be joining the meeting and would be the person to answer the question. 
Joe stated that there had been no financial information posted to the 
website since June.  Susan confirmed that everything she has been given to 
post to the website has been posted.

Phyllis Magbanua asked about whether anyone had had any luck finding a 
veteran to serve on the CIC.  Wayne LePoirs has made a few phone calls 
trying to locate a vet and hasn't had any response, but he will continue 
working on it.  Marianne Dunn offered to try and locate a vet.  Fred stated 
that it should be someone from a veteran's organization rather than an 
individual vet.

Susan reviewed the CIC Roster, made updates, and confirmed terms.  Susan 
shared that there are vacancies on the roster.  Positions on the CIC 
currently vacant are the Michigan Association of Centers for Independent 
Living (MACIL) representative, a current MCB client representative, and a 
representative from the Michigan Association of Parents of the Visually 
Impaired.  There are two positions that are designated in the bylaws for 
parent representatives - one from the National Federation of the Blind 
Parents Division and one from the Michigan Association of Parents of the 
Visually Impaired.  Susan asked to clarify if Marianne was the NFB parent 
representative.  Marianne stated that she's affiliated with several 
organizations but would like to be an independent parent representative.  It 
was decided that the bylaws would have to be changed in order to include an 
independent parent representative.  Fred suggested that the organizations 
would need to appoint their representative.  Fred suggested that Marianne 
serve as an ex-officio member.  Joe made a motion to have Marianne act as an 
ex-officio member. Fred seconded the motion.  The motion passed.  Marianne 
thanked everyone for that vote and suggested the bylaws should be changed. 
Susan volunteered to contact Joe Sibley to find out who they wanted as their 
MCBVI representative.  [Correction to the minutes by Susan Turney: The 
current bylaws call for a parent representatives from the National 
Federation of the Blind Parents Division and a parent representative from 
the Michigan Association of Parents of the Visually Impaired, which is not 
affiliated with MCBVI.  Susan will contact MPVI.]

Susan also gave an MCB update from items in the December 2011 MCB Report. 
MCB completed the client internship program this September.  A number of 
clients from that program are now employed full time. Several of them were 
hired by the people they were interning for including the Department of 
Community Health.  There was a mini adjustment program in Gaylord October 
9-14 with 20 MCB consumers participating.  There was also an employment 
readiness seminar on October 13 that had a good response.  A number of MCB 
staff attended the Michigan Rehabilitation Conference this past fall.  A 
number of staff also attended the MCBVI and NFB Michigan state conventions. 
MCB had a number of summer youth programs during 2011 with a total of 115 
participants.  The Braille and Talking Book Library reported circulation 
statistics of about 18,000 items in circulation for November.  They have an 
ever-increasing number of patrons using electronic formats and downloading 
the BARD books.  The training center renovations are coming along and staff 
are excited about the new improvements.  Susan stated that she does not 
believe staff have started moving back in yet but that it was originally 
scheduled to begin later this month.  There have been a few construction 
issues.  Marianne stated that she spoke with Christine Boone recently, and 
Christine felt that things were progressing nicely and that the next 
Commission meeting would be able to be held there in March. The new BTBL 
brochure has been distributed to MCB offices.  It is on the MCB website in 
multiple formats, and it is available in alternative formats upon request.

Fred expressed his gratitude for the information shared about the BTBL.  He 
asked if it was possible to have statistical information about the library 
listed on our website.  Susan stated that there are regular reports on that 
information contained in the patron newsletter titled In Focus, which is 
online.  She said she could post a link to the In Focus newsletters in the 
MCB documents and Reports section.

New Business

Joe made a motion that information relevant to the state plan including 
financials, intakes, and closures be sent to the CIC members in their 
preferred format.  Fred seconded the motion for discussion purposes.  Fred 
wanted to clarify with Joe that he meant that all the information that was 
sent to the board members also be sent to all of the CIC members.  Joe 
agreed that Fred's understanding was correct.  Cheryl Wade asked Susan if 
there was some kind of deterrent keeping the information from being 
available. Susan asked for clarification regarding what information they 
were referring to. Cheryl clarified that she was talking about the state 
plan.  Joe stated he was referring to all the intakes, all the closures, all 
the financials, everything that the MCB board approved as part of the 
director's objective for this year.  Susan stated that she hadn't seen the 
commission board packet, and therefore couldn't state that all of the 
commission board packet documents could be posted to the website. 
Discussion ensued to clarify what information was being discussed.  Susan 
stated that the commission board packet is not currently posted on the 
website.  Joe amended his motion adding that he wants the information posted 
to the website as well as the listserv.  Fred seconded the original motion 
and is favor of sharing information far and wide.  Fred called for a vote. 
The motion passed.  Joe made another motion to require the director and MCB 
to follow the effective communications requirements of the ADA including 
timely delivery of information related to all activities of the commission 
board.  Phyllis stated that if a person were to call in and request the 
information, it would be made available.  Joe argued that this wasn't the 
case. Fred seconded the motion.  Cheryl felt that the members needed to 
differentiate what kind of things are allowable for members to know and what 
conflicts with confidentiality requirements.  She said she felt  strongly 
that the boundaries should be clearly identified and said that it may be 
more of a communication issue than a procedural issue.  Fred stated that the 
motion doesn't include the sharing of any confidential information. Fred 
also felt that there was a lot of commentary that was included in the motion 
that was off the point but he would like to think that the basis of the 
motion is something he would support.  Phyllis asked Pat Cannon to comment 
on the motion.  Pat asked for clarification since he had just joined the 
meeting in the middle of the discussion.  Joe stated that he had moved that 
all public information related to MCB meetings be routinely sent to members 
of the public in their most effective modes of communication.  Pat commented 
regarding Joe's statement about sending everything to the public and pointed 
out that we don't have email addresses for every person and asked if he was 
talking about posting on websites.  Pat stated that we are increasing the 
amount of information that we post to our website and adding additional 
information, and that we do send out information upon request with the 
exception of draft minutes.  We do not routinely send out or distribute 
draft minutes.  In checking with the LARA director's office, they too 
believe that it's not appropriate to distribute draft minutes until they are 
approved as final minutes, and then they are broadly distributed.  Joe 
stated that it went against the Open Meetings Act.  Pat explained that the 
Attorney General's office disagreed with Joe's opinions on the issue.  Pat 
stated that the draft minutes are completed within eight days and available 
for inspection as required by the Open Meetings Act.  They are not required 
to be posted, distributed or otherwise sent to lists and so forth.  Joe 
restated that he felt draft minutes should be posted.  Pat advised him that 
the Deputy Director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs 
says no, we are not going to send out or post draft minutes.  Joe stated 
that Pat was standing in defiance to the law, to which Pat replied "not at 
all."  Phyllis restated what Pat had said previously, that a lot of the 
information has been posted on the website, which is easily accessible, and 
that whenever she had called the office for various things she hasn't had 
any problem getting the information she has requested, with few exceptions. 
Fred proposed a motion about finding out what the facts are regarding this 
topic by seeking advice from an open meetings law specialist with the AG's 
office. Pat said that the facts are not in dispute - under the open meetings 
act, draft minutes are to be completed and available for inspection within 
eight working days following the meeting.  There's another threshold for 
finalized minutes.  Joe asked about the accessibility of the printed draft 
minutes.  Fred stated that he felt if one document is appropriate to be 
published then all documents should be published.  Pat explained that Tom 
Quasarano of the AG's office said that there is a difference between draft 
proposed minutes and final approved minutes.  Joe refuted Pat's statement as 
untrue and said he would pull out the tapes to prove it.  Fred addressed the 
chairperson to point out that the discussion had pulled the meeting off 
track.  Fred reiterated that the motion on the floor was to make documents 
available upon request and for them to be posted to the commission's 
webpage.  The motion was called and passed.  Fred made a motion that the CIC 
write a letter to the Attorney General who deals with the Open Meeting laws 
and ask if there's any kind of restriction on posting or publicizing draft 
meeting minutes.  The motion was called and passed.  Fred stated that if 
there's a dispute about a certain document, then he will seek something in 
writing from the Attorney General's office that helps us to understand the 
appropriateness of posting whatever document it is.  Fred then asked for the 
meeting to move forward.  Phyllis agreed to move the meeting forward. 
Cheryl asked if the CIC had ever looked into a mediation process to iron out 
these issues. Joe responded by saying that there are a lot of entities but 
that they don't listen.


Sarah Norwood brought up the issue of transportation in Detroit again.  Joe 
moved to have the ADA coordinator and department of transportation director 
invited to the next meeting. Fred suggested that the commission board should 
be the one to address the issue.  Wayne seconded the motion.  The motion was 
voted on and passed.  Joe moved that the chair of the CIC send a letter to 
the commissioners to address this issue.  Fred explained there wasn't a 
motion needed and that Phyllis could just write the letter.

Mary Davis asked what the best way is to access services from MCB.  She has 
heard people complain that they've had a hard time receiving services from 
MCB.  Fred stated that this issue has been addressed at nearly every CIC 
meeting for the past five years.  Fred feels that there is a lack of concern 
from the MCB administration concerning this issue.  Marianne commented that 
her children's counselors have been very good about responding to phone 
calls and she has never experienced such difficulties.  She asked Pat to 
comment on the issue.  Pat responded by stating that he is very concerned 
about this issue.  Pat suggested that when members hear of these types of 
situations they can feel free to give them his name and number and call him 
directly and provided his contact information.  Fred stated that he could 
explain the discrepancies in the services Marianne had received versus the 
experience of other consumers.  He stated that he knew who Marianne's 
children's counselor is, and that the counselor was very responsive and 
responsible about the way they do their business.  He stated that this 
counselor, among others in the agency, is exemplary.  However, there's no 
emphasis to make sure a similar standard is upheld by other counselors.  He 
felt that there were difference response rates in different areas of the 
state.  Jim stated that when he was an employee of MCB his supervisor would 
require them to return calls before they left the office.  He feels that if 
someone calls on a Tuesday, they should receive a call back by Wednesday 
morning.  Cheryl stated that she has heard that some MSU students have been 
having a hard time receiving reimbursements for their classes and that the 
disability office at MSU has stated that they would advocate on behalf of 
these students.  The issue of customer satisfaction surveys was raised.  Pat 
stated that the most recent survey was conducted by MSU and that Bob 
Robertson could address the CIC at the next meeting about the survey.  Fred 
asked if the results of the survey would be posted.  Pat said he was unsure 
of the timeline but would look into it.  Marianne asked if the survey was 
the one that Bob had developed related to training.  Pat said no, that the 
survey she referred to was for staff.  The survey Pat was referring to was a 
customer satisfaction and needs assessment survey.  Joe moved that the CIC 
recommend to the board that they explore a mystery shopper program like the 
one that was conducted by MRS in the past.  The motion was seconded.  The 
motion was called and passed.  Mary asked if there were any opportunity to 
learn Braille locally.  She was informed about Hadley School for the Blind. 
A comment was also made that depending on a person's status - whether the 
person is an IL client or VR client - a consumer can receive Braille 
training from the Association for the Blind in Grand Rapids or someone can 
come to your home and do instruction in your home.  It can be included in 
the consumers IPE.  Cheryl asked Pat Cannon if there are any opportunities 
for peer counseling through MCB.  For instance, a person could be paired 
with another person who needs to learn Braille.  Pat stated that there could 
be, but that it is not currently formally done.  There are MCB offices 
statewide that work with local support groups, and usually those groups are 
the ones who coordinate such things.  MCB also had rehab teachers who can 
provide Braille instruction in various parts of the state.  In addition to 
our training center there's also Visually Handicapped Services in Detroit 
and local centers in Grand Rapids and maybe Flint.  Sarah commented that she 
has heard people complain about the Braille program offered in Detroit, that 
they don't get enough time in their classes - they no longer have the 
three-month training program that they once had, and that it's hard to learn 
Braille in five weeks.

Joe brought up the issue of subminimum wage waivers.  He stated that the NFB 
and ACB along with 80 other organizations representing people with 
disabilities are opposed to the subminimum wage waivers of programs like New 
Horizons or Peckham or Goodwill or the ARC.  Joe made a motion that since 
all of the organizations oppose subminimum wage and promote section 504 and 
all its applications that we recommend to the board that they direct the 
director not to contract with any of these services.  Fred seconded the 
motion.  Marianne shared with the members that there is currently a bill 
being discussed in the House of Representatives, 3086, which is intended to 
do away with subminimum wage clauses.  She encouraged members to disseminate 
the information and contact their representatives to support that bill. 
Susan mentioned that information on the bill is in the December MCB Report, 
which is online on the MCB website. The motion was called but several people 
abstained due to lack of information on the topic.  Joe restated that the 
CIC recommend to the board that they demand from the director that we do not 
contract for services with any agency that offers subminimum wage and does 
not follow section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.  Joe stated that it's 
really a simply motion.  Cheryl commented that there are lots of blind 
people who have other disabilities and are very limited as to what they can 
do.  By voting for this bill to pass they would be essentially taking away 
opportunities from people who would not otherwise have them.  Fred felt that 
there's no way to rationalize the subminimum wage waivers.  He shared that 
NFB has worked with sheltered workshops for blind people all across the 
country to get everyone up to minimum wage and has been successful in doing 
so.  He stated that it's been shown that when you pay minimum wage you 
increase the number of people who can be served and improve the productivity 
of those facilities because you get equipment in there that helps people be 
productive.  He feels the subminimum wage idea is an archaic concept that is 
a civil rights issue and cannot be supported factually.  Cheryl wanted to go 
on record saying that as a rehabilitation counselor in training she does 
support competitive wages and withdrew her discussion.  Joe stated that one 
of the commissioners shared that her daughter has not received Braille or 
talking technology at a Peckham program.  He stated that the Passport 
program has refused accommodations to make those programs accessible to the 
blind.  Cheryl stated that Peckham does have an embosser and she has seen 
the documents they have produced.  Joe responded by letting Cheryl know that 
there will be a lawsuit pending because people were refused accommodations 
on the job and that was at noncompetitive wages.  The motion was called 
again and passed.

Fred shared that the NFB passed a resolution at their fall convention 
regarding the fact that Gwen McNeal sits on the board of New Horizons.  NFB 
considers this to be inappropriate since she has signed an agreement with 
New Horizons to contract with them and she oversees people who send people 
there.  It's NFBs opinion that that constitutes an inappropriate 
relationship. After the resolution was passed, NFB received a letter from 
the attorney of New Horizons threatening NFB to withdraw their resolution. 
Fred stated that it's inappropriate for the attorney from New Horizons to be 
attacking the NFB.  He's not asking for any action from the council but 
wants to make everyone aware of what's going on.

Public Comment

Terry Eagle commented on the transportation issue.  Raymond Roberson 
(313-581-0888) is a person that attends transportation meetings and may be a 
resource to discuss what they're working on in regards to transportation 
issues.  He also commented on the lack of response from emails from 
commission staff.  He wants to recommend that people who do not perform 
their duties be subjected to sub-minimum wage.

Schedule of upcoming meetings

Fred suggested that the July meeting be held toward the end of the month due 
to conventions being held.  The remaining 2012 meetings will be April 12, 
July 19, and October 11, followed by a meeting on January 24, 2013.

Marianne asked how the information discussed today will be communicated to 
the board.  Pat stated it will be sent via email from the central office. 
Phyllis plans to be at the commission meeting in March, but Pat isn't 
certain that there will be a spot on the agenda for her at that time.  He 
pointed out that it's the chairperson's decision regarding what goes on the 


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