[nfbmi-talk] {Spam?} cart of mi silce meeting

joe harcz Comcast joeharcz at comcast.net
Mon Sep 29 13:41:10 UTC 2014







MISILC Council Meeting


11:00 A.M. EDT


Crowne Plaza, Lansing, Michigan


CART Provider:  Annette Blough, CSR, RPR, CCP, CRR














(This text is being provided in a rough draft format.  Communication Access Realtime Translation [CART] is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.)





  09-11-14.  MISILC Council Meeting

   >> Sara:  We can take our seats, please.  You guys are good and I thought I would do it a minute ahead of time and you are already right now, impressive.  Still have a few seconds left, sorry.  There she is.  Hi, Tracy.  

   I will call the meeting to order at -- is that working -- at 11:00 and welcome everybody for taking time out of your day whether you are a Council member or a guest in the room.  And welcome Annette as our CART provider.  And I just want to have Tracy do a roll call then I'll do introductions right after that, so let's do roll call first.

   >> Tracy: Robin Bennett?  

   >> Robin: Here.  

   >> Tracy: Kellie Boyd?

   >> Kellie: Here.  

   >> Tracy: Gabriella Burman?

   >> Gabriella: Here.

   >> Tracy: Lisa Cook-Gordon?

   >> Lisa: Here.

   >> Tracy: Dominic Dennis?

   >> Dominic: Here.  

   >> Tracy: Sarah Grivetti?  

   >> Sara: Here.  

   >> Tracy: Miranda Grunwell?

   >> Miranda: Here.

   >> Tracy: Michael Hamm?

   >> Michael: Here.  

   >> Tracy: Constance Kiggins?

   >> Constance: Here.  

   >> Tracy: Steven Locke?

   >> Steven: Here.  

   >> Tracy: Rebecca Parten?

   >> Rebecca: Here.

   >> Tracy: Dawn Reamer?

   >> Dawn: Here.

   >> Tracy: Mia Smith?

   >> Mia: Here.

   >> Tracy: Madam Chair, you have a quorum.  

   >> Sara: Thank you.  Tracy, if you could pass the mic around here and then we will go to the guests behind us to introduce ourselves.  

   >> Rebecca Parten, Council member.

   >> Miranda Grunwell, Council member.

   >> Collette Bauman, Trustee.

   >> Gabriella Burman, Council member.

   >> Robin Bennett, Council member.

   >> Lisa Cook-Gordon, Council member.

   >> Rodney Craig, staff to the Council.

   >> Sarah Grivetti, Council member.

   >> Michael Hamm, Council member and interim treasurer.

   >> Denise Stark-Philips, ex-officio.

   >> Sue Howell, Michigan Rehab Services.  

   >> Steven Locke, Council member.  

   >> Kellie Boyd, CIL representative.  

   >> Mia Smith, Council member.  

   >> Dawn Reamer, Council member.

   >> Good morning.  Joel Cooper, Presidency of Disability Network, Southwest Michigan; and that is Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Benton Harbor, St. Joe.  

   >> Ms. Moore, the Executive Directors of Michigan for Rehabilitation Services.  

   >> Terry Hida: Assistant Director of BSBP.

   >> Lisa Kieshell: BSBP CC Director.  

   >> Brian Sabourin, Director of the Client Assistance Program.

   >> Sara: Okay, thank you, and welcome everybody.  And we have Annette in the middle here.  

   And okay I need -- we need approval of the September 12 agenda for our business meeting today.  Do I have a motion for approval?

   >> Connie: I'll make a motion.

   >> Sara: Hi, Connie.

   >> Sara: Do we have support for the motion?  

   >> Dawn:  Support.

   >> Sara: Discussion or changes to the agenda?  

   I'm going to recommend the following changes, that at Noon when we reopen the SILC Quarterly Business Meeting after a closed session, I'd like to do our lunch presentation.  I think that appears after some of our other business.  I want to move that directly after 12:00 so if we get our lunch we will do that presentation.  It's going to be Amy Maes from Disability Network Michigan talking about the Independent Living Pilot Guide Project.  

   And to accommodate a couple schedules today, we are going to move MRS and DHS reports after that lunch presentation.  It is a recommendation.  

   And then on the -- under sorry, under G, new business, I would like to add Item E, Council vacancies and process for nominating appointments.  Do we have support for those changes?  

   >> Connie:  I'll make it.

   >> Sara: Second for the changes?  

   >> This is Connie.

   >> Gabriella:  I'll second it.

   >> Sara: All those in favor of accepting the agenda of the changes indicate by stating aye.

   >> Aye.

   >> Sara: Any opposed?  

   Okay, motion carries.  

   In your packet you have the May 16, Quarterly Business Meeting Minutes and I'm looking for a motion to approve those minutes as written and placed on file.

   >> Lisa: So moved.

   >> Sara: Lisa.  

   >> Dawn: Second.

   >> Sara: Dawn supports that.  All those in favor indicate by stating aye.

   >> Aye.

   >> Sara:  Any opposed?  

   Okay, that motion carries.  

   Thank you.  And so now we will move into our first public comment section of the meeting.  And I will read to you the public comment policy before we take input from members of the public.  

   So members of the public who wish to speak will be called on by the Chairperson.  You will be allowed five minutes as an individual and five minutes if you are a designated representative of the group.  The public must address the Council and not utilize this time engaging in dialogue with Council members.  

   During breaks we will have the opportunity to meet and engage in such dialogue.  

   Members of the public are requested to refrain from repetitious comments during this portion of the agenda.   

   Do we have anybody present in this room that would like to make public comment?  Will you come up to the microphone?

   >> Joel: Good morning.  Thank you for this opportunity to be with you today.  Again, my name is Joel Cooper, Presidency of Disability Network Southwest Michigan and also a board of director of Disability Network Michigan and on their executive committee as well.  

  What I want to share with you today is some information that I think you will find very interesting and helpful because I'm asking you to share this with others, okay?  So when we talk about opportunities for employment, for people with disabilities across our state, we identify many different barriers and one of them is transportation.  And one of the barriers that we have been working here this past summer has to do with the driver's license test and the book that you need to study.  

  So I'm going to read you the front page of our July edition of the link.  This is our newsletter that I hope every one of you received.  I know Miranda does.  She helps put it together.  

   So the title of this is:  Advocacy Makes A Difference.  What Every Driver Must Know In Audio Format.  So what started out as an advocacy to help one person access the study guide to take the Michigan driver's license test became a project to ensure access for people with reading disabilities across the State of Michigan.  

   A customer, Andre, who wanted to study to get his driver's license was given the booklet What Every Driver Must Know from a local Secretary of State Office.  Andre has a learning disability and makes reading printed material difficult.  

   Andre asked for the document in an audio format so that he could listen to it.  He was told it was only available in print.  They suggested that he find someone to read it to him.  

   Now, you have to realize this booklet is 148 pages long.  

   You told staff at Disability Network Southwest Michigan about this.  We found out this same situation had been happening to other people with learning disabilities who need to study the driver's license exam.  

   So Disability Network staff knew that under the American's With Disabilities Act, which celebrated, by the way, its 24th anniversary this July 26th, in the State of Michigan is held to a very high standard of accessibility for all citizens; yet the staff at the Secretary of State's Office did not understand their ADA responsibility to provide this essential booklet in a way that was accessible to people with learning disabilities.  

   So with the work of the State of Michigan's ADA coordinator and the staff in the Office of Communications, to get What Every Driver Must Know recorded in audio format.  Happy to announce in this newsletter edition that the audio recording is now available thanks to our advocacy, available free through the Braille and talking book library, part of the National Library For Blind and Physically Handicapped.  

  So, again, we, you here have the opportunity to share this information with many of your colleagues as well as customers across the state.  We want everyone to know how this accessibility opportunity can be made available for more.  

   If you know of transition coordinators working with youth in transition, what an important thing for them to know.  And I can guaranty you that most of them probably do not know.  So we are looking at avenues of outreach so that this information can be provided to more than just what is in our 3,000 mailing of the link.  So thank you for this opportunity.

   >> Sara: Thank you, Joel.  Thank you for your advocacy efforts.  

  Do we have any other members of the public that would like to provide public comment that are in this room?  

   Okay, do we have anybody on the phone that would like to provide public comment?

   >> Joel: Yes, ma'am.

   >> Sara: Please announce and introduce yourself.

   >> Joel Hartz, National Federation of the Blind and member of Michigan Adapt.  

  There is a whole lot going on in compared to what Joel just commented on.  In fact, the Bureau of Services For Blind Persons is not accessible to yours truly and many of you have seen this in accordance with Title 2 of the Americans with Disabilities Act in Section 504.  

   And, as a matter of fact, you have heard the director and you have in your minutes, from last meeting minutes, from the last meeting where he said that FOIA trumps these Federal Civil Rights Laws.  

   I can't get my own records nor can other people.  

   And the consumer satisfaction surveys that were put out, most of the people, most of the people, clients of this program or customers, or whatever they call us nowadays, don't get any information in accessible format.  None.  I repeat, none.  Not even a basic application for services.  

   In the 70B report that was put out, there were no answers, there were no answers, and many of you have seen this, to the very fact that BSBP received in this last fiscal year and have more than $200,000 more for its independent living program and older blind program and serve less than 60% of the people.  It's an outrage, ladies and gentlemen.  It's an outrage that the very system is not accessible and that openly discriminates against us.  

   I want to go into something else here briefly.  We lost a good executive director.  And Valarie and I have clashed on principles and ideas; but she is a consensus builder and always worked to be accessible.  

   My roots go back to major advocacy.  I've been arrested and convicted 15 times in direct actions over the years to liberate our people.  And to not -- to not have us paternalistically controlled and have the principles of empowerment for all people with disabilities -- hello?

   >> Sara: We are here.

   >> Joel: Did I cutoff?

   >> Sara: No.

   >> Joel: And I think we need to go back to our roots, ladies and gentlemen, back to our roots of Justin Darden of Wade Buy and the other founders and Ed Roberts and the other founders of the Independent Living Movement who fought against the charitable model, the medical model and now all I hear is the business model.  They fought for the civil rights model and the independent living, involved people with disabilities.  And all I hear, you know, are agencies and walks and other people taking the money that was dedicated, you know, for us and I see less and less fundamental access.  

   Joel pointed out the ADA is going to be 25 years old.  504 is more than 40 years old.  And yet we openly have discrimination, which I've documented, you know, to many of your members and to MPAS and DOJ, and you name it, where we have major discrimination going on within some of our centers for independent living and within some of our agencies that are -- wouldn't exist without the Rehab Act including BSBP and including MRS.  

   By the way, DHS is still not accessible to people who are blind.  Their website is not accessible.  Their energy fields are not accessible and they don't send yours truly in alternate format and upon continued request, in spite of the fact I have to have a lawyer, all my information in my most effective format.  

   It's a disgrace, ladies and gentlemen.  And we need to rededicate ourselves to getting back to fundamental principles and the mission statement that is in this very agenda, for the full inclusion of all people with disabilities throughout all segments of our society.  

   That was a little bit of an interruption.  I will reserve the rest of my comments until this afternoon.

   >> Sara: Thank you, Joe.  

   Do we have anybody else on the phone to deliver public comment?  

   Okay, we do have receipt of at least one written comment for public comment today.  And, Rodney, would you be willing to read that to us?  

   >> Rodney: This is about a two-page public comment.  I'll go ahead.  This was received on via the SILC website and this came in, so I will go ahead and read this into public comment.  It's also available up on the website as well.  

   The public comment starts as:  The IL movement was comprised of people who experienced discrimination and dependency and who demanded independence and quality.  America's IL centers embody the philosophy and strategy for change.  People with disabilities who understand the problem and were committed to self-determination brought that vision into reality.  

   25 years later Michigan has dismantled the dream of peer support, advocacy, disability equality and integration.  Michigan no longer honors the movement's founding principles which are literally, legally, specifically meant to be consumer controlled.  

   Point one.  Michigan CILs are no longer consumer controlled.  CILs are currently led by people who see their peers as directors of other agencies.  They are no longer part of the movement.  They have become agencies directly controlled by professionals.  They have become providers.  

   My movement has been turned into a business.  Those who staff Michigan CILs have not experienced the problems, do not identify with them and have no need for a solution to them.  

   I understand that sounds harsh but the entire nation is noticing.  

   Point two, who is a consumer should lead and staff the CIL.  People have personal experience with discrimination, exclusion and justice based upon living with a disability in an outless society.  They are individuals who belong to a community and a culture based on shared experiences.  They may have degrees, they may have a professional role in the agency, but first and foremost they are peers of other individuals with disabilities.  

   In the beginning the IL movement was intended to be cross disability.  Diagnosis is not as important as personal experience.  I know that my brother's suffering could easily be mine.  If they send my sister to a group home because she needs in-home support, I know that could be my future.  

   That brings me to the expression used in the law, quote, significant disability, end quote.  CILs should be staffed by people who have a very significant experience with disability and discrimination.  CIL staff, as peers, should understand the enormity of being forced into a dependent ultimately and that expertise cannot be substituted for any amount of, quote, compassion.  

   Having participated in three NICIL conferences over the past five years, I believe Michigan is far removed from the CIL, SILC experience and other states specifically in terms of consumer control.  At the conferences I have attended, Michigan was not represented in any significant way.  Michigan CILs seem to be averse to joining the movement nationally.  

   When one looks at local centers' websites, it's very difficult to find people with significant disabilities leading the movement.  Very few staff descriptions say, quote, I'm a person with disability and I believe, end quote.  

   You can hire capable people but it seems CIL hire people with no disabilities or minor disabilities and recruit people with significant disabilities to volunteer for free.  I don't think that is either the letter or the spirit of the law.  

   I hope to be present here to present my concerns to you in person; however, I fell and broke my leg on August 4th and had major surgery on August 5th, so I'm not able to join you at this time.  

   I claim the IL movement as my own and cannot abandon the purpose and principles for the CILs and SILC become agencies, businesses and service providers, pushing none of its original mission.  

   Disability community, disability culture, disability pride is a message that is important in Michigan in 2014 as it was in the '70s, '80s and '90s.  

   I look forward to continuing conversations about how we can redirect our efforts and reclaim our heritage.  

   And that was the end of the comment.

   >> Sara: Okay, thank you.  

   Okay, we are at the end of our public comment period.  I'm sorry.

   >> Steve: Is there an indication on who that was from?

   >> Rodney: Yes.  It was Darma Cantor is the individual that it's from and the complete document in its whole is on the SILC website as well.

   >> Sara: Thanks, Steve.  

   So we are at the end of public comment at -- and we will be doing another public comment this afternoon.  

   I do want to share, and we can resend this out to the Council, we do have an established process or logic model for following up with the public comment that we receive to this Council.  And so what we will do is get that back out to you guys and then we will list the public comment this afternoon.  And then I think staff -- it starts with staff helping to establish as the next steps based on the logic model.  So we will get that out to you guys so you can be refreshed on that.  I think it was approved last February if I'm recalling.  So thank you.  

   And what I want to do now is the SILC needs to go into a closed session of the Council.  And those members that are allowed to stay in the room at this point from 11:20 until 12:00 are members that have been appointed by the Governor as either Council members or ex-officio members or staff of the Council at this point.  

   So we ask that all of our guests step out to grab a cup of coffee, maybe grab a coffee here before you walk out.  But are going to be hanging up on the phone line and then we will have this closed session from 11:20-12:00.  If we do end it early we will open the doors back up and everybody can come back in, then we will have lunch right at 12:00.  And if lunch is served before we end and you want to help yourself to it, but I don't think the silverware is out, never mind, forget that one.  I'm trying to accommodate the guests so you don't feel lost in the next 40 minutes.  So if we can take a minute to clear the room of all of our guests and we will let you know when the meeting resumes.

   >> Joe: Madam Chair, can I present a point of order?

   >> Sara: No.  I think only Council members are allowed to put in a point of order.

   >> Joe: Well, ma'am, under the Michigan Open Meetings Act the expressed purpose -- 

   >> Sara: Again, at this point -- 

   >> Joe: It needs to be announced.

   >> Sara: What was that, Joe?  It is on the agenda.

   >> Joe: I think the Michigan Open Meetings Act, the express purpose for the closed session needs to be announced.

   >> Sara: Yes.  And on our agenda it's addressed as an employment issue.

   [Closed session meeting begins at 11:28 a.m.]

   [Public meeting continues at 12:26 p.m.]

   >> Sara: Back to order at 12:26 and I would like to welcome our lunch guest, our presenter for lunch is Amy Maes from Disability Network of Michigan.  And Amy is going to present on the Independent Living Guide Project today.  And we are 11 1/2 months into this pilot project for the Centers for Independent Living and it's a very appropriate time for Amy to come and share information with the Council and for our guests because it's an exciting project.  And, I don't want to spoil the good news, but it has been fun to be engaged in such an exciting project.  So Amy take it away.

   >> Amy: All right.  So as I wait for my computer to update so convenient at this moment, so real quickly I will start with the idea that many of you know me through my work with the disability community.

   >> Sara: Microphone working, hold it closer to you.

   >> Amy: I will hold it closer.  Okay, so I'm the IL guide project manager.  And what that means is I thought a year ago I would have a lot of tasks and a lot of things that I had to coordinate and take care of.  And, though I did, I had a super opportunity to pull together a think tank from our leadership teams, from the SILC staff and certainly from MRS and project excellence specifically to bring about what I consider to -- be we are only at 5% updating -- what I consider to be somewhat of a blooming plant, you know, just a seedling.  And we ended up having a chance to be funded and when it was funded we hit the ground running last October.

   And, again, it was not something that I anticipated it to be as fulfilling as I thought and it was great to work with the network.  And, as you will see in my presentation, we had some amazing and growing moments as a network both from a communication level, we had to launch a program that involved at times communicating up to 70 people throughout the network across Michigan.  And it was humbling.  We had a lot of moments where we had to standardize the data and we had to help coordinate that communication.  

   And so those were growing pains for us to kind of have a check in to see how as a network are we doing with our own communication internally, many times we can see as a barrier in our partners perhaps and the other agencies we work with; but it's been a good mirror for us to see where we can potentially grow in our communications.  

   So launching a program of this magnitude within the network really was a great opportunity, not only with the collaborative efforts of SILC and, again, highlighting our leadership teams, program evaluation committee, and then also working with Tom Jones and the project excellence staff to bring about an evaluation piece.

   A lot of this stuff is new to the network in the sense that it's never been so formally developed and developed in a way that we are excited to see what kind of results we are going to have at the end.

   Give me just a second.

   I've got the blue screen, that is all I have.  Patience, there we go.

   >> Sara: I apologize.  I didn't realize.

   >> Amy: You are okay.  You are all eating and that is important too.  I'm just a side show.

   >> Amy:  An overview of the IL guide program and a snippet of different data, we are certainly in what I consider to be preliminary, deep preliminary reports in terms of the quantitative data and I will also share with you some snippets of the qualitative data.  And then just really talk -- take you back a little bit and talk to you a little bit about some of the two major objectives of the pilot program, the individual and service outcomes that we are going to hope to measure as a benchmark and see how we have done both with individual services as well as community.

   And then just give you some highlights in terms of trends we have seen with our consumers in terms of barriers and then also with the system barriers and then on both on the system and individual side we will talk about barriers that we have had.  

   We sort of discovered, I'm not going to say, I'll tell you a trend in terms of it frequently shows up in their quarterly reports.  We have not got quantitative data to back that up at this point, but I will certainly share because it's worth sharing some of the barrier identification that we have had.

   All right.  The long awaited.  Anybody looking up there, it's the dog that I drew and my last name is Maes.  So it's kind of entertaining at times.  I do apologize.

   >> Sara: No.  I apologize.  I thought you were ready.

   >> Amy: We turned it on and it updated.

   This has been a common theme and I had a learning curve in terms of using constant contact and the webinar, Go-To Webinar, I had to learn not to say to myself any questions?  Can everybody hear me because they were all on mute and as much as I stared at the mute button I still asked the question.

   I think we are ready.

   Okay, so we have two major objectives with the IL guide program going in and these are things that we are discussed with our legislatures before the program was funded.  Helping state systems be more accessible, efficient and effective when serving people with disabilities by developing seamless comprehensive integrating services removing barriers creating systemic change and expanding the various systems capacity to serve people with disabilities and the second is increase efficiency and effectiveness by assisting people with disabilities at the front end of services by identifying and removing barriers early in the process of accessing assistance for employment education community living, et cetera.  And we did this with Tom Jones specifically and with MRS and we came up with some outcomes.  And, again, as I mentioned earlier, these were benchmarks by which we were going to measure how close we came to those objectives.  And I think in hearing them for the first time you certainly would see that they are pretty lofty, right, and certainly given this is a pilot program.

   So here are the outcomes we identified, that people have easier access to services with agencies.  Less frustration in accessing servicing.  Greater chance of success in accessing services.  Increased customer satisfaction.  They will progress on a path to financial self-sufficiency and increased likelihood of achieving financial self-sufficiency.  And I will talk quite a bit of the path to self-sufficiency because it's very critical to this pilot program.

   So then when it comes to system outcomes we have providers have expanded capacity, knowledge and effectiveness in serving people with disabilities.  Agencies are more efficient due to early attention to barriers and agencies have a go to organization to address issues and questions about disability and independent livings.  And there is movement towards a seamless system of accessing assistance for personalized support.

   So having both these objectives and then bringing them down to an individual and systemic outcome level, we move forward with a lot of our infrastructure and that not only included designing our customer service delivery model, but also included our capacity to meet those objectives of effective and efficient and what we decided to do, very early on, was to engage in the process of motivation and interviewing, and it has been really key to the quality of this program and for several reasons.

   Number one, it gave us a chance to have over 70 people within the network trained in motivational interviewing.  So we range between 255 to about 260 in terms of staff statewide and 70 is pretty good.  We have some good emergent in the network to motivational interviewing.  Of those 70 people we had several individuals, 30 who went through six, four-hour practice sessions.  And from that now we are continuing on with an MI practice group.

   And so I wanted to share that information with you because it was very key to our infrastructure development.  We had a group of individuals that were hired on, whether they were new or they were coming from a different position, and immediately we started in October and the first week in November we had focus starting in motivational interviewing.  So we were excited about that timing coming together and we had full participation in those motivational interviewing sessions.

   And so it really set the stage for us to talk about independence and the idea of the IL guide program and the idea of self-sufficiency, and, as you call it, the motivational interviewing the top of the mountain, is that independence, is that well-being.  

   And so we looked at our approach to say, look, we are going to have a very comprehensive way of working with the IL guide consumers and of course what we are core and known for is independence.

   And so financial self-sufficiency, though it's not necessarily one of those core values, it's certainly along the path to get to that core value.  So it fit really well within that program.

   And then as we move forward, we -- I asked staff to sort of give me a taste of how they put these skills to work because motivational interviewing, when I first went into it, I thought, well, all right, we have four sessions and then we have six sessions and then at the end I'm going to click my heels and I'm going to be content in motivational interviewing.  But it just comes down to practice, practice, practice; awareness of the tools and having those available to work with.  So I thought it worthy to share a quick story with you about one of our IL guide staff and her experience in motivational interviewing just to give you, again, sort of a context for how critical this work is for us.  And, again, it ties back to that effectiveness that efficiency that we are striving for.

   So this person said I was having -- I was working with a consumer who was struggling with deciding whether or not to get a payee to help her with finances.  She did not want to lose her independence but she was greatly struggling to pay her own bills.  I used motivational interviewing to explore her values and strengths.  I used many reflections to give her the confidence to decide on what to do.  We used the decisional balance scale, which is a tool that you can use when your communication skilled motivational interviewing and to explore the positives and negatives of each decision.  Getting a payee, or not getting one.

   In the end she decided to get a payee because she realized the stress of not paying bills outweighed the desire to manage her own money.

   So this just gives you a sense of how the staff are approaching working with consumers who choose to come go this guide program.

   So that is motivational interviewing.  And that is how it started to play out in our network.  And, again, it's practice, practice, practice.  And we are so excited and a real earnest group of people have continued to come to the practice group meetings.  We like to have those face-to-face.  They are a much more richer discussion and I think experience when it comes to practicing.

   Okay, so once we got our motivational interviewing up and running, we wanted to look at ways in which we were going to standardize this program.  You know, as a network, we respond as each CIL member to our local needs.  And so many times we don't have a chance to have a real standardized program.  And so we work with that certainly with the nifty program with some of our veteran program work.  But this was something that was all new in terms of its development.

   So we set to work on some standard services.  What we knew as a CIL, one of the core services we had was helping people navigate those systems, helping them find local resources and helping them connect with the assistance they need to complete applications and learn the IL skills to perhaps have computer skills.

   And so we looked at ways in which all of us provide a service that is very discernible and that we knew we were going to be using with the IL guide consumers.

   And then from there we allowed folks, again, to have that local need approach to their target population and then as well to the systems that they wanted to identify.

   And, just to give you a quick demographic view, I'm going to throw up a range and we serve 25-59 and 13% served, 20-24 and 1% between 5 on 19 and 3% at 60 range.

   So, again, we wanted to folks to have the opportunity to respond to their local needs so that target population, whether that was working with young adults, that was working with older individuals, that was working with youth and transition we wanted them to have that idea or ability to do that locally to make a successful program.

   So, once we got that all in place, and folks started working with their IL guide consumers, we had to hit the ground in terms of practices and guidance in the daily operations.  And one of the things that immediately came to light is the idea that we weren't getting the referrals we thought we would get, right?  And so we had to take a lot of steps back to say how are we describing this program to individuals?  How are we offering this as a resource to our state partners so that they see us really as a resource and wanting to do this work?

   So we had some give and take and we had some CIL sharing in terms of best practices which was beautiful, and a question presents itself and then we find a solution within the network.

   And so we started looking at ways in which we could hit that referral through presentations and otherwise and I'll talk about that in a minute in terms of some of the preliminary results we had.

   So once we got to the point that we were up and running and we were plugging along in terms of staff being hired, staff starting the motivational interviewing skills, having some guidance on what their job role was going to be, we wanted to look at ways in which we were truly going to measure this information because it's an opportunity for us to formally evaluate a program within the network with some real good collaboration with MRS and project excellence and most certainly and I -- if I only thank him ten times, it's 100 times I want to thank him, Rodney's assistance with data, because we would not be here today nor would I be confident that we could work with project excellence if we did not have the opportunity and the capacity to hand over data that they said, yes, we can work with this.

   And so we set out to standardize our data entry.  And it took a lot of information for us to share in terms of completing certain data modules.  And our goal there was to look at a measurement tool that made sense.  And what we decided on -- there is an awkward pause in the middle -- a self-sufficiency matrix.  And we decided on this because we felt the domains really kind of captured the essence of what we are doing.  We are seeing a lot of people in crisis and we want to move them along to financial self-sufficiency and that could be stable and thriving and one would hope we all wanted to get towards that thriving threshold.  But this fit.  This fit within our IL guide program and the vision of how we perhaps wanted to gather the data and also present it and measure it.

   So Rodney behind the scenes took this information and we have certain modules in our database where he was able to plug in a number and he was able then to have as a backdrop the ability to pull that data and see network wide where people are in crisis when it comes to perhaps, and I'll just throw this one up at an example, education.

   All right.  So we were able to take all the data we collect in our education module and we are able to then map that out and say, for example, high school diploma, GED on the self-sufficiency matrix, that is stable.  Right.  So we can say 31% of the individuals we work with so far perhaps might rank at that stable category in terms of where they are along the line.  So we are excited to see how that plays out.  Again, it would not be without the effort of Mr. Rodney to get us there.

   All right.  So, beyond that, then we look to some program highlights, as I said earlier.  And our first objective, it really was to look at helping systems improve, become more effective, more efficient, comprehensive, seamless services.  A lot of that, of course, depends on how well we have a relationship with individuals at the local level; how well are we able to communicate to them both local needs and perhaps discern what is a statewide policy; what is a statewide issue that we could both take forward.  

   So, again, I can't emphasize this is preliminary data and in total our agency visits were about 215.  And that included many presentations, collaborative meetings, discussing different policy issues or several trends, delay in services and not understanding perhaps the process of the department or agency that they are working with.

   And, so as this plays out, several of these agencies, of course, you can see Department of Human Services, 60; Michigan Rehab Services, 39; Community Mental Health, 16; ISD, 14; and then other, which really ranged from Department of Corrections to several local agencies that individuals were able to present, again, as they looked at ways in which they could get referrals and not just relying on that system's agency sometimes with their case load and inability to sort of look to the resources that they could take advantage of.

   So, with that, we are strengthening, I would say, our relationship and certainly that will play out as we look forward to increased referrals.  And going forward this next year that is something we will have the capacity to do and really pleased to say so.

   Then we have barrier identification.  And I just want to give you a quick trend.  For instance, with DHS, we identified at this system's level that for someone that is signed up for temporary employment agency it affects the eligibility for a bridge card.  And it's an extra step in employment verification and delay in services and perhaps that could be looked at.  So, certainly, just an example of a barrier and no privacy at local DHS offices and it creates barrier to access, certainly for folks who have some anxiety, other types of issues, or mood disorders.  

   Then a trend.  This was big.  This was big throughout all the CILs, the level of evidentiary paperwork, difficulty in accessing and navigating online applications across the board.  Individuals are overwhelmed sometimes with paperwork that gets spit out from DHS, from medical review teams and they might have it or they might know where it is; but to get to the information and get it within a timeframe that makes sense -- that is a trend.

   So, all right.  And then, of course, on the other side of that coin we are looking at ways in which we can offer solutions.  And so, just an example, DHS can develop policy around regular employment verification as it relates temporary employment agencies.  They could also develop a practice of using take a number system similar to the Secretary of State's Office or create a sign-in space similar to model used within hospitals.

   And so a part of our job, even though it's initial and some of these things may not pan out to be something that we do or have the impact that we want to have, but it helps us understand whether or not we are gathering that information and how we are doing so and how we will verify it and take it forward.  Because, again, we have quantitative data and we have qualitative data we are looking at and we want to make a very credible program to present.

   Okay, and then we switch to the individual side.  And I think you will see sort of the flip side of the coin with some of these, certainly the lack of IL skills needed.  But things that are not surprising to you, lack of affordable accessible housing; lack of transportation and employment services available in the community.  And these are barriers of identification that we have seen so far.

   And then, finally, and working with private landlords and economic development efforts in the community, educate individuals on the front end about all the employment services available.  And this, again, really relates to back to that wanting and needing for us to meet that objective of working with individuals in a real comprehensive way so that they are ready for the services they are hoping to choose to go to.  And so in order for us to do that we have to get those referrals and we have to build that relationship to get those referrals.

   And so refer individuals to CIL, IL skills really or other community IL skill building and a lot of chances for folks coming in who through our IL guide program we take a real comprehensive look and require information about domains and their education, transportation, income, employment.  So we get a lot of information from them and we are looking to address, if they want to, all of those IL skill-building efforts along the way, again, to that financial self-sufficiency.

   Okay, that is what I have in terms of this program.  I don't know if anybody has any questions.  Yes, please.

   >> Lisa: My question is when you look at the agencies you spoke of, did you talk to the local health departments?  The reason I ask is when you look at independent living skills, health is a skill, whether someone can take their own medicine or make their own appointment; and it's one of the things that is in the report for Independent Living Services.  So I don't know if the health departments are grouped into other or not.

   >> Amy: What I gave to you is a snippet of the different types of barriers we identified and the solutions.  And, I will tell you, there absolutely is a trend of healthcare, the need for education around nutrition and healthy decisions.  And I have no doubt, given that trend they have been in in communication or collaborating with path and perhaps the health department agencies because it very much is a trend in the healthcare domain.

   >> Lisa: If not, I would recommend making an effort to do that because a lot of the local health departments are looking to refer individuals.  And, as I've always said, since I got on this Council, Centers For Independent Living is one of the best kept secrets in local communities.  So I'm not quite sure, you know, if that relationship is there.  And I wouldn't assume because there is 83 counties and there is 83 local healthcare.

   >> Amy: Here is the beauty, we are doing this another year.

   >> Sara: Would I put you on the spot if I asked you to share all of the modules, the different modules we are tracking through the self-sufficiency matrix and crisis depriving?  And if I'm putting you on the spot -- 

   >> Amy: You are putting me on the spot in terms of whether or not I can operate my own computer.

   Patience, is that why you're looking at me?  It's up on this screen.  

   Here are the domains that we are collecting data in and we are hoping to measure again along that line or that movement towards financial self-sufficiency with housing and then across there, of course, we have descriptors or indicating if someone is in crisis or stable and/or thriving, then we have education.  Although I will note that with education we are certainly maybe looking at that as more of a demographic value to the program because with education many times if it's getting into college or finishing an education program, not necessarily going to be something we see movement only, that perhaps is meaningful.  But for now we are still collecting that data and it certainly has value in the demographic area as well.

   And then, of course, employment, is there -- looking at from not having any source of income to certainly being able to work certain hours without the risk of losing benefits but losing their job but not having benefits.  And so we kind of discern different situations where someone might be, and, again, qualifying that as either thriving or in crisis.

   We have healthcare, again, for no healthcare to limited healthcare, all the way to all the medical attention that you might need to your satisfaction; transportation and then, finally, income, which being able to collect income data on a network-wide basis is certainly powerful in and of itself.  And so we are excited to have this as a piece of this; but, absolutely, it's going to help us flush out a story when it comes to that path to financial self-sufficiency.

   Is that good?

   >> Sara: Thank you.

   >> Robin: In terms of referrals, would you say though you had a targeted type of organization that you thought where you get the most referrals from or did you just kind of blanket the area?

   >> Amy: That is a great question.  And in the beginning we absolutely determined what they would get and based on need and what the relationship was and it's a pilot and we had a time to work it and wanted to see success in getting individuals through our door.  So that was our focus initially.  So even though we had targeted focuses, they may have been DHS, MRS for another, Community of Mental Health and Community ISD and that is how that played out.  And we very much have seen a majority of folks who targeted DHS, and I think a lot of that was not only

-- perhaps, I don't think it was necessarily driven on the strong relationship they had at the local level but more so on the need, right, knowing what the conditions are within DHS and the staffing levels and the case loads and knowing that these are individuals who absolutely, perhaps are in crisis and somebody we could look at comprehensively to get them on that road.  Proving a little more difficult early on and certainly as we move forward to look at best practices, but I don't think it's impossible for us to really make a difference in getting those referrals and working with DHS.  So if there was one that I would highlight I would say DHS.

   >> Sara: We have a time constraint for Sue Howell.

   >> Denise: I'm Denise from DHS.  So I was just curious as to when you think you are going to have your report done so we can take a look at it and see what we can do to solution some of the issues.

   >> Amy: Wonderful question.  Certainly a next step.  So, right, we are right now, as of Wednesday, we launched the consumer satisfaction portion of this program.  And that is not only with our consumers but it's with the IL guide staff and directors, that is open for consumers until November 10th.  And so after that we anticipate probably a month.  I'm looking at Rodney and Sara.

   >> Sara: Promised in December.

   >> Amy: Let's just say that.

   >> Sara: We will hold them to it.

   >> Amy: My attorney way and talk a long way around it and hopefully by December.

   >> Sara: Okay, I do want to say, having been the primary carrier of this project message to legislature to get it funded as a pilot project, it has been very exciting to watch how it has evolved from an implementation standpoint.  And Amy with her long history of working with CILs as a former executive director and CIL, she is a natural fit for being the project manager on this.  And I want to thank you Amy for taking her time and presentation to you.  And we will share the findings of the report with the Statewide Independent Living Council and we hope it can be incorporated into consideration to future development because it will have vast information of independent living and self-sufficiency and are trying to address in the plan.  And I thank you for taking your time today.

   >> Amy: Two more seconds.  I think you could see the love affair I have of motivational interviewing and I kind of do and let me say this, moving forward for organizations like DHS and otherwise, we are coming up with some really cool ideas, and, through the help of Luke Zelly out of the Disability Network in Flint, on ways that we can use our motivational interviewing skills and awareness to help get that relationship stronger with those departments.  

   And so it's been just a good mesh and coming together and thank you guys for your time.  And, any questions, Sara knows how to get ahold of me and I'm happy to share what I have given you today, thanks.


   >> Sara: Reminder, we do a deviation on the agenda and Sue Howell, then Denise Stork-Phillips.

   >> Sue: Thank you for accommodating my schedule and happy to be here on the job this month.  I have been here seven months and learning a lot and really enjoying the opportunity that I've been given as Director of Michigan Rehab Services.

   I do want to bring you up to date.  As my boss said when we came on board, you are not getting the honeymoon period and he was truthful about that and hit the ground running.  Most recently, I want to do this chronologically, we have just been through a reorg process, and that reorg was approved.  It will be going to affect October 12.  And basically what that means is that we are going to be kind of realigning some of the duties of staff.  And so consequently Marty Hatsell who had central office duties and Jim Bunton will be more field focused and we will be moving to a more central office  and those initiatives consequently that come with that will be under her direction as well as mine.  

   We are looking to also in alignment with the department where it makes sense and where it is efficient to move to a mobile worker concept.  And as a pilot we are starting in our Detroit area with 13 of our staff out of the Wayne County office.  We are very excited about this because we are looking at rehab in a new way and that means that we are going to be going to where the customers are more located.  We are also going to be working more closely on exporting more services to the field for Michigan here at a technical institute.  

   I do want to make you aware of what we did in Benton Harbor.  We had individuals involved in the CMA program who were in danger of falling out of the program because of reading and literacy program, so MCTI went in and brought in the CNA instructors, provided literacy support.  These are also instructors that wrote the certification for CNA and they were very helpful.  And out of the 13 that originally started, 12 of those ladies graduated.  We had a nice celebration in Benton Harbor and eight of those people before graduation had jobs.  So we are going to continue to use that as a template to work closer with Michigan Works.  And, again, it's all about creating access, isn't it?  I think the presentation that Amy did just really harkens all that.

   Another thing we are really focused on is alignment.  We want to be in alignment and to work closer together so that MRS is involved in gaining more knowledge relevant information from our customers.  And so what we are hopeful and looking for is working closely with SILC and with the Rehab Council, as well as the directors of the Independent Living Centers, so we can begin to work together as one entity and come together to support those customers that need us.

   We know that is where the strength is.  We know we are our greatest resource.

   As well as we are talking about that, I want to mention too, that we have started a strategic planning committee or commission.  When I came in, one of the things that has always troubled me a little bit about rehab in our state, and I've been in rehab for 35 years, 29 of those with MRS, is that our business, the way we manage rehab, I didn't think was as well developed as it could be.  So I began to look at more statewide programming where we had the concept that you mentioned that early Lisa and the we concept is we bring our partners, are CROs, Community Rehab Organization, CILs together with other state agencies and ourselves and the strategic planning commission is to work on looking as money is coming into MRS, we are formulating together strategic plans for programming.  

   And the programming currently that we are working on right now falls into four different areas.  One is benefits counseling and financial planning for customers.  We want to enhance that and take it to a next step for customers.

   The other is a swift and sheer program coming to us from the state legislature.  We are really honored to get and we are really, really proud to be working with the Office On Aging, and Wendi is here and with Kerry Cedarburg, on long-term care activities and really looking forward to that.

   And, last, something that is known wide and far for being a barrier to employment and to everything in general, that is transportation.  Director Corrigan has a statewide transportation committee and I'm very happy to be part of that.  This committee too will work off of that committee to identify resources and other kinds of benefits that we can hopefully bring more to the field.  And this is to enhance the transportation experience for our customers and we feel that we can do that.  We will be looking for mass transit representation as well.  

   And also we want to be looking at really getting to the bottom of what are the real challenges in both urban and rural areas.  So those are the things we are looking at from the strategic planning.  And this is another level that we can enhance and develop Voc Rehab Services for people in Michigan.

   Last, I want to mention, as we are talking about efficiencies, we are looking at really how we can become more efficient in the delivery of services.  And so when we talk about the mobile worker and moving people out, we are talking to MRS staff about consolidation of offices and moving more into offices with Department of Human Services, that kind of level of collaboration is helpful to both of us because it breaks down silos, which is a key focus of Director Corrigan and we are really in support of doing that.  

   But I also want to commend SILC because the membership also is looking at ways to become more efficient and to look at how you can do things a little bit differently.  We are very supportive of that and we want to be innovative in looking at how can we sustain and review our systems and become more collaborative where it makes sense, but also where we can streamline and come together to use resources so that we are not duplicating them, so we are very appreciative of SILC for that.

   Let me just say that you're going to be hearing more too about our vision statements, values.  We want to really hit the values hard and so we are going to be looking for help from SILC and from the Rehab Council to bring more information to us from our customers and from the IL directors, and we consider it an honor that we have the proposition.  So thank you very much.

   >> Sara: Thank you, Sue.

   >> Denise: I did want to mention though one thing that Sue didn't mention is there is a statewide cross state agency transportation work group being formed that will report.  And the focus is age and disabilities and improving transportation about that and you may be hearing more to participate in that.

   I am going to focus on our strategic plan with regards to disability and working.  We launched a report recently, in August, Called Better Off Working.  As it sounds, we think that everybody is better off working.  And we looked at very specific ways to get people into the workforce and help them stay in the workforce and help employers work with people so that they can work.

   I want to thank MRS Disabilities Determination Services and Disability Network for helping us and other people on the SILC Council such as Collette helped a little bit.  I also wanted to apologize for anyone that we left out.  We did do a very good job of getting rid of silos on this particular project, but we will be reaching out to everybody for implementation and we really look forward to your participation.

   The plan is available now.  If anyone is interested in receiving a copy, let me know.  E-mail me and I will send it out.  I think, Sara, you mentioned you will be sending it out.

   >> Sara: To Rodney this morning to send out to the Council.

   >> Denise: If anyone else is interested, let me know.

   >> Joel: I will.

   >> Connie:  Me too.

   >> Denise: What I will go through is a quick overview of what our focus areas are.  First we want to assist individuals to enter the workforce.  This section is focusing on helping people to get past their barriers and supporting planning.  I think the lunch presentation we heard is a big part of that.  So we, you know, would like to work with other groups that are helping people with barriers.

   The second area is to make work pay.  This one is probably going to be the more difficult section for us to implement because it's going to take a lot of Congressional changes.  We are looking at doing things to help people be able to earn more income and assets and get rid of some limitations that are out there, that keep people out of the workforce.  

   I personally think this is one of the most important areas of this report.  We do have some support on the Federal level and we have the secretary in the group, which is a group of 21 human service directors that are going to be talking to ways and means in November and we will be discussing a lot of these suggestions with them and how we can help individuals to make more money to keep more assets and to have less limitations.

   The fourth area is to help the business community hire 18 workers.  We had a lot of employers come to us and say what are the rules, what are the regulations, what can we do.  This would be dealing with employers and giving them some navigating tools, actually putting navigators out there so they can work with individuals.

   Also, we are going to be working closely with employer resource networks, which are groups of businesses that get together and have been putting DHS employees in a joint location so that their employees can go to them with any barriers that occur.

   Other things are vocational specialists to help employers locate, accommodate and retain employees.  

   The fourth major part of this report is to assist youth to overcome barriers and transition successfully to higher education and the workforce.  This section is focusing on using cross-agency employment, teams, work experiences and communicating strong messages about how youth with disabilities can succeed.

   There is a few other portions I'm not going to go over today.  They are a little bit more legally based, but I personally -- I am very excited to see this plan move forward and working with your agencies to implement it.

   We are really going to start the implementation phase in the next couple weeks with a plan, so we are not quite into the implementation stage yet.  But I will look forward to talking to all of you and hearing your comments and suggestions.

   >> Sara: Thanks, Denise.  I had a chance to finally read the report this morning and it was really impressed with it because I think it's the first time I have seen a State group be willing to take on some Congressional changes that have to occur to really help people and removes some of the disincentives to employment.  So I was excited about it.  So when you get a chance to read it, read it.  And I'm excited also to hear about the implementation of it and see whether there are places for Centers For Independent Living can help and other partners.  And the Council can maybe make some considerations for future state plan, too.  So thank you.

   Okay, I am going to just recommend we take just a very short seven-minute break because after lunch people need to use the restroom.  Seven minutes.  And I'm going to stick to that seven minutes.  So as soon as we get back we are going to continue with the rest of the business meeting.  And our goal is to get you out of here by 3:00 today; but we are running up against a little bit of a timeframe on that, so seven minutes.

   (Recess taken at 1:18 p.m.) 

   (Proceedings resume at 1:25 p.m.)

   >> Sara: Okay, I'm going to call tell meeting back to order and I'm going to make -- if you don't mind, make one more accommodation to an individual's schedule with an updated report and then we will get into the operations.  So, if I could, everybody back to the table almost?  If I could invite Wendi Middleton from the Office of Services on Aging to come give a quick update report before we move into the rest of the agenda.

   >> Wendi:  Thank you very much.  I know it looks like all the state people come and bug out as quickly as they can; but I actually have a meeting this afternoon.  Usually I stay until the bitter in.

   I wanted to talk to you about a couple of projects we are working on and a couple of grants we are waiting for that affect the CIL through their participation in ADRC, Aging Disabilities Resource Collaboration.  And it is a partnering project at the local level and at the state level so that persons who are seeking long-term supports and services have a place to go to get options, counseling or person-centered counseling in the future and can make informed decisions based on getting information about what is available, how it works and then getting connected to resources regardless of where they entered the system and a no wrong door approach.

   So let's talk about that first.

   One of the -- for the past 7-8 months at the State level, and Director Howell referred to this, we have been looking at state-level long-term supports and services.  Part of the ADRC process requires at the Federal level for us to streamline access and eligibility and all that sort of thing.  And, as we were trying to force people at the local ADRC level to do, that we realized that the barriers were at the State level and not the local level.  So we decided to take a look at all of that.  And, using the lean process improvement method, which is originally an automotive engineering process that is worked into healthcare and human services, we spent six months or so basically looking at where term supports and services are, policy and program wise at the state level.  And I can tell you there are 21 of them and they are sprinkled across nine different departments, bureaus and agencies.  And many of them never talked to each other until we started the process.  

   And we got in a room together for six days, not all at one time, but one after the other over a month, and started looking at what services are where, how much do all of us know about each of them and also started a process of looking at where do we have redundancies, where are -- do we have very complicated systems that maybe are not necessary.  

   And what we did the first -- the most eye opening thing we did is we charted out how a person accesses a service, so it's all about access.  What is the customer experience?  What is the client experience?  What is the participant experience because we all have ways of referring to the people who come through the system so we will also look at definitions.

   But we charted out adult home help and we did Meals On Wheels.  So, from our network, Meals On Wheels and adult home health and we saw adult home help, we call and they send you information and if you get an application back in, then things start to happen.  In our network you call, you need services, and assessment is done and someone helps you there through the process.  

   We learned there are a lot of different approaches to how much do you have to do versus how much assistance do you receive if you want it.  And that was the big eye opener for everybody.  And DHS at that meeting, they said we know; we wish we could do this differently.  And we said, well, and we can because of our funding, et cetera, et cetera.  

   So we applied for a grant called No Wrong Door Transformation Grant that the Feds put out in the summertime, which is to actually do this very thing that we have already started.  And they were expecting 35 applications and they got 11.  And the reason is that the level of partnering and relationship development that had to be in place in order to successfully apply for this grant was huge.  But since we spent eight months or so working together already, it was easy to apply for that grant.  

   And, in our grant world, if they call and ask you a question about your budget, that is usually an indicator you will get the grant because they don't call you and ask you anything if they are not going to fund you.  So we are pretty sure we will get the grant and it will pay for a year long, 12-month process to come up with a three-year plan to transform services in terms of increasing access and streamlining access at the state level and plus it would support our ADRCs.

   So that is a very long winded way of saying help is on the way.  And we are very excited that we are going -- we might get some help to do this process.  We were going to do anyway, but with the appropriate help, some more lean process improvement help, some professional management, because this is all supposed to be done by people who have full-time jobs, and this gets voted on top, but with help we can get it done faster.  And I know we can develop a fabulous plan because we already started it.

   There will be spots along the way and focus groups out in the field, so everybody can have access and input.  But the first thing we had to do and still doing is what is there?  What is all of it?  How does it work together?  Does any of it work together?  How many redundant practices do we have?  And start looking at that, consumer input.  And some of it will be, you know, focus groups on it will be special facilitated conversations, all that kind of stuff, so that we can talk to everybody and not do this in a closet, all by ourselves, which is what State Government has done in the past and we are not going to do that.  So that is one grant.

   Then we have we applied for a Dementia Capacity Building Grant that would provide training to ADRC options Counselors and information assistance workers to try and identify people who might be having issues with dementia quickly and then get them to services quickly, which is also a goal of the Governor's, so that it's nice.

   The other one is MIPA.  So, yeah, sorry.  I'm sorry.  MIPA is the Medicare Improvement For Patients And Providers Act.  And it doesn't say what it is that you do.  But, in this, grant folks who may be eligible for Medicare and Part D, like who may be low income, and there are subsidies and things, they can get that, help them apply for it.  Because the Federal Government wants everybody on Medicare and Medicare Part D.  So this is to do outreach and find folks who may be eligible, that don't know they are or know there is special assistance.  

   Last year we got $700,000 split between Medicare and Medicaid ADRC and Area Agencies On Aging and we are looking to get that again next year.  We thought it was not going to be funded ever again, but it's funded for next year or maybe two more years after that.  

   The bottom line is almost everything that is coming to us now requires partnership between our network and the ADRC and the SILC.  It's all ADRC focused.  CILs are involved in everything.  And it has become routine to say get a letter of support for a grant where we will all be working together, which is great.  That is really great.  So I think that is the top three.

   So for the past year, well, more than a year, several years, we have been working very hard to support the ADRCs, train option Counselors and get them ready for a deadline of September 30th for being fully functional.  

   So the Feds have set criteria for what that means.  The parts of it that we can do, that don't require us to make changes at the state level, we can do.  And ADRCs are sending in a fully functional checklist saying they have done what needs to be done and certain things in place.  And we had two meetings now of ADRC advisory committee, that is CIL directors and AAA directors, and can have a designee to be their alternate.  

   That is really a change in how we have run this program so far.  So far we have been saying do this and then, you know, it either happens or doesn't.  And this group now is talking about all the policy issues and all the implementation operation issues and coming up, with recommendations for how they think it should be done.  And they come to us and we have a discussion and it's promulgated and that has been a great, wonderful thing.  And Sara is cochair and Mary of the Area Agency On Agency Association is her partner and cochair and that has been a really great collaboration.  And we already had some and had our first successful counseling agreement last meeting about reporting, which we have been talking about for two years.  And it's nice to put that to bed and it's a great group and we can move faster and more efficiently with that as well.

   >> Sara: Any questions of Wendi?

   >> Wendi: It's kind of boring, I know, it's okay.

   >> Joel: When will you know the answer on the grant?

   >> Wendi: September 30 and it will start October 1st.

   >> Joel: We will help you with the start.

   >> Wendi: Yes, thank you.

   >> Sara: Thanks, Wendi.  Appreciate your report.  Now you can go have your meetings.

   >> Wendi: Thank you very much.

   >> Sara: You are welcome.  Okay, so now we will move in the operations portion of the agenda.  And first thing on that, that section of the agenda is transition plan.  Essentially what we wanted to report to you under the section is due to the resent change in leadership at Statewide Independent Living Council I wanted to share with you that executive committee named Rodney Craig as the interim director of the Statewide Independent Living Council for the next several months.  And the Executive Committee has also talked to the Council about or is talking to the Council, I should say, about a not rushing into or replacement of the executive director position on a permanent basis due to several variables that are -- that we are really juggling around the structure of the Statewide Independent Counsel, the relationship with the My SILC Corporation, the changes to the workforce.  I should say Rehabilitation Act, which is now the Workforce Innovation Opportunities Act.  

   And so Executive Committee will be sharing with the Council on an ongoing basis thoughts and ideas and findings and recommendations for consideration of this Council.  So, in the meantime, Rodney and Tracy have really stepped up to support us.  My colleagues on the executive committee have really done a fabulous job in doing some more hands-on work.  And so right now I think we are safe to say we are okay for this period of time and we will continue to evaluate and report back to the Council as things progress.

   So any questions on that?

   Okay, the fiscal report is next and I'm going to turn it over to Mike Hamm.  And it may be a bit of a team approach on this, but we will start with Mike and at the end we are looking for a motion to place the financial fiscal report on file.

   >> Michael: First of all, I want to let you know I'm not contagious or dying.  I caught this a couple weeks ago and it's more irritating than anything else.  

   If you look at the watermelon of your agenda packet, you see this June and July of fiscal activity.  And where the red money is we are in debt or over budgeted.  But we are actually under budgeted and it probably should be green and not red.  But whatever.  Are there any questions on the financial activity of June and July?

   If you look at the next page, or the last page, you see an estimated budget for 2015.  Pretty similar of this, Rodney, isn't it?  

   >> Rodney: Yes.

   >> Michael: And what was on the table when you came in is your budget for actual contracts from October 13th to the end of June 2014.  And I will try to bring you the rest of the fiscal year at the November meeting.  Any questions on any of that?

   >> Sara: I just happened to notice that we didn't include an expense total column yet.  But I could be -- I think we are assured the expenses match the revenue coming in and we will provide you a spreadsheet at the next meeting that will show the total column so you can see that.  At least on my copy it's not on there.

   >> Michael: Any other questions?  Thank you.

   >> Sara: Thanks, Mike.  Can I get a motion for placing the fiscal year is 14, 14 SILC disclosure reports on file?  

   >> Robin: I make a motion.

   >> Sara: Connie, will you support the motion that Robin just made?

   >> Connie: Yeah.

   >> Sara:  Thank you.  Okay, any discussion?

   >> Gabriella: I have a quick question.

   >> Sara: Yes.

   >> Gabriella:  The budget I can see is projecting there may be a third staff member, there is still room in the budget for a third staff member.

   >> Sara:  What we had a discussion with MRS, we have not had an opportunity to have this discussion with the Director of the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons yet, but we did have a discussion that, due to the timing of the changes and when the budgets were submitted for our grants to be -- grants and contracts to be renewed, we shared with them that we would like to keep the budget as is at this point.  And, as executive committee continues to evaluate our expenditures, we may make, you will see that, maybe we spent under spending in some areas or spending differently in other areas; but we will keep you up to date on what our findings are and share with you if there is any budget amendments we need to make or for fiscal '16 of the budget changes we need to make.

   Any other discussions?

   Okay, all those in favor of placing a fiscal report on file indicate by stating aye.

   >> Aye.

   >> Sara:  Any opposed?

   Motion carries.

   Steve, I will put the next agenda item on your lap.

   >> Steve:  Thank you.  I'm trying to find it in the packet and I thought I had it right here.

   >> Sara: It was right behind the fiscal, the watermelon section.

   >> Steve: Yes, if you flip two pages past the projected fiscal '15, the work plan that has been submitted to MRS in August is the same similar work plan that follows along with the SPIL, the three-year SPIL that plan that we are in, this is for the second year of the SPIL.  This has been reformatted for easy use.  And thank you Sara and Rodney for doing that for us.  And last year included some work items that were from the previous SPIL and those have been removed so that this work plan that has been submitted now reflects the actual work plan for the second year of the SPIL that we are currently in.

   So we are looking for a recommendation as to authorize Council staff to make expenditure encumbered funds and details in MRS and BSBP operational agreements for the limitation of this work plan.  And I don't know Rodney if you have any more comments or Sara on this.

   >> Rodney: I would just like to thank Kevin Green.  He did a great job getting that work plan changed and inserted into that contract and everything.

   >> Sara: I think the only addition I have is what you will see is that a fourth column added, when we do our reporting, which will be progress towards these outcomes and we think it's a format that would be much easier for us to follow to ensure we are adhering to the grant requirements of the funding we get from both DSUs.

   Do you want to call a motion, Steve?  Do I have a motion to authorize the council staff to make expenditures, encumber funds, and participate in activities as detailed in MRS and BSBP operational agreements?

   >> Connie: I'll make a motion.

   >> Sara: Do I have support?  

   >> Mia: I'll support.  

   >> Sara: Any discussion?  

   >> Gabriella:  A quick question:  In the interim, will the acting director be able to sign off on expenditures without getting it from the executive committee?

   >> Sara: Yes.  We are adhering to the same policies that had been in place prior and Rodney and Mike Hamm are now on the My SILC Corporation checking account as signatories.  And so I believe our policy projects under $5,000 and Rodney can assign on that and over $5,000 require dual signature.  But the answer is, yes, we have that authority without executive committee having to get engaged in that.  

   Okay, I have a motion on the table with support.  Any other discussion?  

   Okay, all those in favor indicate by stating aye.

   >> Aye.

   >> Sara: Any opposed?

   Okay, that motion carries.

   Next thing on your agenda is the consent agenda and I'm looking for a motion to accept and place on file the SILC consent agenda.

   >> Gabriella:  So moved.

   >> Sara: Support?

   >> Miranda: I second.

   >> Sara: We will let Miranda second the next one.  And because it's a consent agenda I don't think there is any discussion; is that correct?  All those in favor indicate by stating aye.

   >> Aye.

   >> Sara:  Opposed say no?  Or nay.  

   That motion carries.

   Okay, Kellie, I'm going to turn it over to you for the next portion of the agenda regarding the state plan.

   >> Kellie: Under the peach tab in your packet you will find the fiscal year 2014-2016 state plan for independent living and communication dashboard.  And this just outlines the different SPIL objectives and the indicators that we measure in and the status as to where we are so far in the plan.

   And it was just placed in your packet for information.  And if there are any questions I believe maybe Rodney would be the appropriate person to ask if there is any questions on that.  And if there are no questions, I will pass on the mic to Steve who can give us an update on our SPIL workgroups.

   >> Steve: Sure.  And we are going to go over to Lisa for children youth and family service and for the service delivery workgroup we will have Rodney report on that.

   >> Lisa:  The children youth group has been meeting, we have been working on developing links for the SILC website so it's more user friendly and so people that are getting there can look to see that there are resources listed.  And so Rodney has -- I don't know if anybody has been on the website lately, but Rodney has put those resources up there and they include such resources as education, early intervention, transition, family support.  And they are broken down into the various categories that people will receive services so I invite anyone to take a look at them.  

   When we got to transportation we thought we needed to go to the transportation workgroup so the two workgroups came together and transportation recommended links to go on there.  And so today what we did is when the two workgroups met we then looked at the second item that we decided to work on and that was the -- a document that introduced what Centers For Independent Living were and what they did as well as these resources.  

   Because I will continue to tell you in my life and in my work centers for independent living are the best kept secret especially for families of young children.  And so what we are going to be doing is partnering with Disability Network to develop this document and between now and November we will have something put together for you to review at the November meeting.  Any questions?

   >> Rodney: And I can give the report out for the workgroup that is focused on data and underserved areas.  What we are taking a look at now is we have been able to map out the data in the ways that we had planned early on.  So now that we have one complete year of data, and we noticed that is from fiscal 2012 so we are going to be working with the agencies that we receive data from to get updated data hopefully for fiscal 2014.  And at that point we can take a look at those on top of each other and see if any service areas are shifting or if any other relevant information is going to come out of that.  We are also going to do a comparison with that data regarding census data as well to see where things are.

   Then we are going to begin the process of preparing the report on what we are seeing and bring that back to the Council for -- to take a look at.

   We have also kind of been interacting with the program evaluation team of Disability Network Michigan.  Some of this information is coming on the barrier of discussion from the independent guide -- Independent Living Guide Program.  And what we are discussing is ways to take a look at barriers.  Amy highlighted some of that at the lunchtime discussion.  We are trying to take a look at how communities are operating through the barriers that the consumers are telling us.  So that the vision here is to take a look at these barriers through the consumers' goals and outcome statements and their identified barriers and move towards we are almost looking at a constant needs assessment process with this data that we are going to be able to identify what the barriers are and specific communities.  That information we could hopefully use in local outreach-type information, further SPIL planning and other activities involving their own CILs.  

   So it's a pretty ambitious task we are taking on there; but it has the ability, I think, to have a huge benefit down the near future.  I can take any questions on that if you would like.

   >> Robin: Hello.  This is Robin Bennett.  On transportation workgroup, we met this morning with Gabriella Berman and I was in the workgroup and we joined with children, family and youth services where groups talk about one more we could add in the transportation menu to what they are working on on the SILC website.  But then we also got involved with their conversation, I think it was a beautiful match up of, you know, one workgroup, you know, we are not constrained necessarily just talking about our one thing, all issues related to independent living kind of flow into one another.  So it was a very enlightening group meeting.

   I know that you all have the Michigan Statewide Independent Living Council transportation position paper that we have worked on over the summer.  Our committee, Valarie, when Valarie was with us, she really worked with me on putting this together because it was my first position paper that I really ever worked on, so she worked on giving me kind of the framework.  And then between myself and the workgroup members we changed what we wanted to change, we asked questions, we edited and moved things around and then in the end we kind of all agreed that this draft kind of matched closely, close enough to what each one of us thought was ideal.  

   So, help me on this Sara, are we asking for an approval of this by the Council today?

   >> Sara: I believe we are asking for acceptance of the position paper as the position of the Statewide Independent Living Council as recommended by the transportation workgroup on the Council.

   >> Robin: Okay.

   >> Sara: So that is the request, so I will call that request in to request a motion on that request.

   >> Michael: So moved.

   >> Sara:  Miranda, are you going to support this one?

   >> Miranda: I will support.

   >> Sara: I have a motion and support.  Do we have any discussion?

   >> Gabriella: I have a question as usual.

   >> Sara: Yes.

   >> Gabriella: Will this be available to our CILs and other partner agencies?  I think especially I'm quite interested in MRS and DHS.  They both mentioned transportation projects and I'm sure there is Synergy.

   >> Robin: I can answer that.

   >> Gabriella: I would like to invite them both as they make progress to report back to us.

   >> Robin: Actually, a few weeks ago I believe it was Denise from DHS who said that she would want to share it more widely with the people that they are working with in terms of transportation.  So and we didn't get talking about it today, but I think over the coming weeks, in between this meeting and the next, we will reconnect with our workgroup members who were unable to be here and talk about next steps with this paper.  But I do believe it's already going to some of our DSU partners.

   >> Sara: And with regards to the CILs, we have our public policy strategy meeting and we have a strategy meeting every year, and it's being held this Monday so this will be provided to them.  They also have a transportation position paper of their own.  And in my dream world it would be nice to have a joint position paper so like to present that to them and see if it's something they would be willing to adopt.  And it would be a joint position paper.  First, we are going to steal all of your workgroup's hard work but that is part of collaboration, isn't it?  

   So, yes, definitely, it's been -- the network has three tiers of policies or, I'm sorry, three tiers of -- when we look at ranking our priorities around public policies, we have three tiers, and transportation and supports are in the top of the issues, we look at annually in a deliberate approach.  And it's exciting hearing Denise and Sue talking from a state level they would be engaging in more strategic transportation.  And we can certainly provide consumer voice through the Council and CIL and other advocacy organizations, so it's really exciting.  

   I do have one suggestion.  It's more a formatting issue, is we add the CIL logo to it and add the purpose of mission of SILC to the paper so as it's being put out there, people know what the purpose of the mission of SILC is and what the position is and it is more credible.

   >> Robin: I think the transportation group would be fine with that.

   >> Sara: And I may have contact information as well in the SILC Council office.

   Any other discussion?

   Are we confident that all the sources that we cite that we have a complete list of citations of the sources?

   >> Robin: That I didn't follow-up on.  Each cite, as I said, Valarie provided me with a lot of this information.  I did not follow-up on each cite.  If you would like to accept it, you know, on the basis that all of them are checked and made sure they are correct, I would be willing to.

   >> Sara: Okay, so we have a motion and support and discussion?  Is there any other discussion?

   All those in favor of accepting the transportation position paper as the State For Independent Living Council's position on transportation indicate by stating aye.

   >> Aye.

   >> Sara:  Any opposed?  

   Okay then, motion carries.  

   And I really want to thank and members of the transportation workgroup.  Raise your hand.

   >> Sara: And Nick Dennis I think is on the phone and he was also a member of your group as well.  So thank you, Nick, as well.

   Okay, so moving on, I'm going to turn the next portion of this over to Lisa regarding the common disability agenda.

   >> Lisa: If we last recall at the last meeting in May the issue was brought up about the disability agenda needed to be updated and the work to be started.  And at that meeting I volunteered to co-coordinate it.  At this time, because of Ken not being here any longer, it's me and it's such a task that I'm willing to do more and at the same time the Disability Network has a policy committee that will also be taking a look at the disability agenda.  So I will be working with that group, liaison from this Council, so the work will get done.  

   And I'm pretty excited about it because it's been a few years since the disability agenda has been done and there is new partners and players and that are coming on board that we can connect with.  

   And the one thing that I noticed, when we do the state plan, and I noticed this yesterday, in your booklet you have acronyms and abbreviations that some of them may or may not be updated and maybe some that need to be added such as our state PTI is the former one and not the current one.  And I think we really need to take a look at that.  So if anybody has taken a look at it and new terms come to mind or new organizations, please let us know so we can make sure that this is accurate and in the current time.  Because the first thing that popped out at me was PTI and I thought, oh, no, we need to add Michigan alliance here, so that is it.  

   Do you have anything to add, Sara?

   >> Sara: No.  I think just referencing the public policy strategy meeting for the network on Monday.  Just to reiterate, I put this on the agenda for that meeting for the network to talk more strategically how they want to engage and then we will be working back with Lisa on how really logistically how we can get this done.  And I think most important too is this isn't just an effort of the SILC or the network, this is really an effort of all of our partners that we work with.  So it was many people that help put together the first common disability agenda and we are willing to take an initial stab at getting this reenergized and we don't want to exclude anybody in this process.  So we will figure somebody has to start and we will be willing to start it.  Any questions on that?

   Okay, the next thing on here is State plan fiscal year 14-16.  The next Committee Of the Whole meeting is November 20th and the next Council meeting following on November 21st.  The Executive Committee and their meeting yesterday talked through the use of that time on Thursday night and all day Friday or in the morning on Friday.  And you're going to hear me in a minute talk about changes to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and the need to do more collaboration with the CILs.  

   So while we will still have the Committee Of the Whole meeting on the 20th, we are going to probably use that evening a little differently and we have to work out the details.  But we are going to invite the CILs in again in the morning of the 21st.  Instead of doing workgroup meetings, we would like to use that time as well and not interfere with our regular business meeting.  We know it's hard to get a large group of people together, but at the same time we have important work ahead of us and we want to make sure we are setting some time to do that.  

   The Executive Committee will look at a structured agenda for that Committee Of the Whole meeting.  We decided yesterday and we decided, Kellie just said to us yesterday, as the Chair of that committee, she is tired of chairing a COW, so I think she is looking for a recommendations of a different name.  It was just kind of a moment of laughter yesterday.  So if anybody would like to help us structure some -- those meetings, that time together, and you will hear me in a few minutes talk about ideas and strategize about ideas, but we are very open for additional help from Council members on structuring some of that time to engage with our CIL partners.

   Any questions on that?

   Okay, now we are at working lunch.  Do you want to eat again?  Okay, next thing on the agenda is old business.

   >> Gabriella: I have a question before you go.

   >> Sara: You want to eat again?

   >> Gabriella: I ate plenty.  Are you saying that at the November Committee Of the Whole or to be named with the CILs that that becomes kind of like a working meeting for the next to start thinking about the next SPIL?

   >> Sara: Yes, I'm kind of like skipping ahead to an agenda item and skipping backwards.

   >> Robin: A COW SPIL, you are the manager of the COW SPIL.

   >> Sara: Looking for some ideas on how to put together an agenda.  And I think there is wonderful opportunities ahead of us, and looking for some more collaborative work.

   Okay, so the next thing on the agenda is the SILC structure workgroup report.  This is actually under old business, but this is technically ongoing business.  

   And the SILC structure workgroup, if you recall, this is the workgroup that is looking at structure of the Statewide Independent Living Council, and at the request of the Governor's Office.  And we had a meeting August fourth, I believe it was, our first meeting; and we had another meeting again yesterday.  And in our meeting yesterday we invited a member.  Is Bill here?  No.  Sorry, I knew Bill was going to try to make it.  We invited Bill Mazarski, part of the My SILC Corporation directors to that meeting because while we have no formal recommendation to the Council at this point and we are researching a lot of our options, we tend to keep leaning more towards the 501(C)(3) concept we have with our current My SILC Corporation.  We have options to be structured as a governmental entity or independently housed in the State Department.  Some SILCs are structured that way, but about 25 SILCs are structured through a 501(C)(3) nonprofit entity like My SILC.  

   The only nuisances between those 25 states and Michigan, and RSA confirmed this for me this week, is that Michigan is unique in the fact that of those 25 states, whether SILC, are structured at 501(C)(3).  All Governor appointed members are board members of that 501(C)(3).  In Michigan you guys are appointed as Council members, but there is a separate board of directors for 501(C)(3).  And so that was really the issue that created questions for the Governor's office.

   So recently we have been really diving more into that relationship and have identified some exposure to risk.  And we have got -- actually yesterday a lot of questions emerged that we're going to do some follow-up on and then -- but it was really helpful to sit down with Bill.  And he posed a couple of ideas.  And, while he is going to take it back to a couple of the members of the board, one of the ideas was in the short term we would bring on -- they already brought Mike on as a board member to the My SILC Corporation, they would bring on two additional executive committee members.  And based on the composition of the My SILC Corporation, it would put the Council, Council-appointed members would have majority vote on the corporation.  And then maybe we will be able to start making some further changes to meet the request for the Governor's Office.  And that is really where we are with that.  

   I don't know if other members of the workgroup would like to share their thoughts, share if I missed something.  Dawn sits on that workgroup and Steve, Lisa, Mike, Connie.  Anything you guys want to add?

   Okay, so we will continue to report back to you on any changes or recommendations that continue to occur.

   >> Michael:  We did talk about, just quickly, possibly a couple more subcommittees sometime in the future for more Council members getting involved.

   >> Sara: Are we talking about -- 

   >> Michael: You talked about maybe having another committee in the future, and we have not gone there yet; but more activity and more members.

   >> Sara: Yes.  Gabriella?  

   >> Gabriella: I remember, I don't have it in my notes today, but I remember it in an earlier meeting, it seems like the Governor's Office had strong feelings one way about the way My SILC was structured and making changes to that.  Are they now comfortable with us having our executive committee members join My SILC as a kind of solution or are we still definitely going to have to pursue the 501(C)(3)?

   >> Sara: I want to make sure.  It can be rather complicated.  We are not pursuing a 501(C)(3) because we already have a 501(C)(3).  The My SILC Corporation is 501(C)(3) nonprofit charitable organization.  What we have done with the Attorney General's Office and the Governor's Office is we put a request in for legal opinion on whether Michigan could have a model similar to Wisconsin.  

   So in Wisconsin their executive order that creates their State Independent Living Council states that members -- appointed members of the State for Independent Living COUNCIL are also board members of -- I forget what their 501(C)(3) is.  I think it's WISILC and ours is my SILC and theirs is WISILC and their executive order spells that out.  

   We put that request in, I think it was August 22nd.  We had correspondence back from Susan and the Attorney General's Office that clarified a couple points on what we were asking for and assigned the Attorney General to pursue this and provide a legal opinion back to us.  

   So from Lisa and mine, meeting with the Governor's Office and Attorney General, it sounds like they would be most comfortable with an approach where all of the Council, similar to Wisconsin, all of the Council was appointed to the My SILC Board.  I want to say, too, that the members of the My SILC Corporation Board of Directors, some of you may have met John Victory and Mike Hamm and John Sanford and then Karen Kraft was on it but recently resigned, have been extremely committed to the work that we do in Independent Living and really want to find a way to help us transition.  We don't want to be a barrier to transitioning.  

   We had to overcome some communication challenges where we just want to make sure we are on the same page and why yesterday's meeting was so beneficial to us.  But we invited them.  And I made a verbal invite to Bill, and I'll make it to John and John Victory and John Sanford, that we can invite them to apply new members of our Council because we don't want to lose their knowledge and their commitment to Independent Living.  And we want to able to build an approach where we are all working together and not lose some of that institutional knowledge that they can bring to us.  

   So it's really still very much a -- there is still that research mode and talking things through.  And then we -- once we get that legal opinion from the Attorney General's Office on the structure workgroup, and we will talk that through and see if that is the direction we want to go, but we may in the short term issue putting a few of us on that board and will help with that transition and it will be a necessary step to do that transition.  So I would call that all intermediary steps.

   >> Steve: The issue lied in the way the 501(C)(3) was set up in the first place.  And we used to have a State match agreement with the State and for SILC to receive those funds and not have it be a situation or reversion to donor, which is what CILs faced also during that time the nonprofit had to be set up with its own board.  It's an antiquated setup and there is a board acting as the fiduciary for funds that the Governor-appointed Council is tasked with overseeing.  

   So it's that loss of control by having non-governor-appointed board members acting as that fiduciary in the board.  The way it's structured with non-Council members as majority could actually act independently and use those funds in ways that are not directed by the Council.  Not saying that could happen, but the potential lies there.  And that is the real concern of the Governor and the Attorney General.  

   So, to correct that, the first step is to, and the current board members have volunteered to do this, put a majority on that board of Governor-Appointed Council members, whatever mix that is.  The ideal scenario is that that board is 100% seated with Governor-appointed Council members.  

   The first step we came to last night with Bill is they are going to go back and rewrite the bylaws over the next 90 days to give a majority of that board to Governor-Appointed Council members, so that is the first step we will move toward to correct this and satisfy the Governor's Office as well.

   >> Sara: I think it also enhances our level of protection.  I think that is how the Governor is looking at it, and looking at it as there is some exposure to risk for us as Council members and they want to try to protect it and are able to fulfill the statutory responsibilities of the SILC.

   Any other questions or comments?

   Okay, if something comes up around this or you feel like you need some more information to understand the issue, I understand then.  Unless you are deeply involved in it, sometimes it can feel confusing.  Don't hesitate to contact any members of us on that workgroup.  We think we can probably explain it to you well.

   Okay, moving on, we have new business.  We did have a -- with Ken Browde's resignation, we do have a vacancy on a treasure position.  And the executive committee moved our member at large, Mike Hamm, into that treasure position on an interim basis.  And then what we are looking for from the Council is an affirmation from this Council to accept Mike Hamm to fill that treasure vacancy.  So I'm looking for a recommendation.  I'm looking for a motion to -- 

   >> Dawn: I move that Mike Hamm be placed as treasure for the Executive Committee.

   >> Sara: Thank you, Dawn.

   >> Gabriella: I'll second.

   >> Sara: Two seconds.  Thank you, guys.  Any discussion?  

   I simply want to say thanks, Mike, that is a big role to fill.

   >> Michael: A year and a half ago I didn't even know what SILC was.

   >> Sara: He did pretty good on his first financial report today.  

   So, okay, all those in favor of accepting the motion please indicate by stating aye.

   >> Aye.

   >> Sara:  Any opposed?  

   Okay, motion carries.  

   We do have now, as a result of Mike Hamm moving in the role, we have a member at large vacancy.  We have received -- I had some conversations with Gabriella Burman about being willing to fill that role.  And Gabriella is fairly new to our Council; but, as you can tell, she has got quite a bit of energy and is always engaging with us.  The other positive thing about Gabriella is she is eligible for reappointment when her term expires.  And I know we have interest.  And I want to say thank you to Connie Kiggins who also did volunteer for that role, and we appreciate Connie's desire to fill that role.  Connie and I spoke this morning and the only issue that was created with this is Connie's term expires in December and she is not eligible for reappointment.  And so I think that it would be beneficial for us, given all of the transition we are going through, it would be beneficial to have a member at large that is able to sit on that role for a longer period of time and be able to dive into this work deeply with us.  

   And I did talk to Connie also about another area I think she would be very helpful in the next few months, too.  So I wanted to make sure I recognize Connie for her energy and trying to support the work of this Council.

   So I do think that, I also have to ask other members of the Council if they would be willing to serve in that capacity as well.  So if there is any nominations from the floor, I would be happy to entertain those as well.  And we can have a dual on who gets that job.  

   So we do know that Gabriella is willing.  So but if anybody else would like that position too feel free to nominate yourself or if somebody else wants to nominate somebody feel free.  

   So I have to ask three times.  That was the first time.  So, second time, are there any nominations from the Council on the member at large position?

   Gabriella and Robin are arm wrestling for it.

   >> Robin: I didn't totally understand and she was filling me in.

   >> Sara: I will ask one more time:  Are there any nominations for the member at large position for the executive committee?


   >> Michael: I will make a motion for the nominations at large, and they be closed with unanimous vote be cast to Gabriella.

   >> Gabriella: I second.

   >> Sara: Gabriella, do you want to give a speech on why people should vote for you?  

   >> Michael: No more than a half hour.

   >> Gabriella: I'm flattered I was approached and I'm very curious and I have a lot to learn, but I couldn't think of better people to learn from than members of the executive committee.  And I hope that I am -- as I learn and through my curiosity that I help further the work of the SILC and help us achieve all of our goals.  Thank you for the opportunity.

   >> Sara: Thank you.  Okay, any further discussion?  Okay, all those in favor of accepting Gabriella as the new member at large for the executive committee indicate by stating aye.

   >> Aye.

   >> Sara: Any opposed?

   Okay, thank you.  Congratulations!

   I do want to share with you a conversation that a couple of the Executive Committee members had last night at dinner, and that was succession planning.  And Robin is getting a funny look on her face.

   >> Robin: Must be a hard conversation.

   >> Sara:  It's one of those things where, you know, our terms are, we are term limited.  Our terms will expire and -- but I don't have a list of everybody's terms and when they expire right now.  The key thing is for us is that you don't want your chair in me in this role all the way through my whole six years.  You really want to look at probably the end of my second term, assuming I'm reappointed, and looking at the end of my second term, that another person is elected to be chair and I can mentor that individual, same thing with the other executive officer positions.  That is really the key to stability long-term with this Council is that we are having this turnover and this support and this leadership development for people to fill our seats at some point.  And so that requires some of us stepping down from our executive committee officer positions a little earlier just to bring somebody else in.  We are all willing to do that.  The key thing is the stability.  

   So I know that the Executive Committee, that a few of us were having dinner last night said let's get through some of the current challenges with the structure and the Council structure and the Corporation and really get through the next few months and then really take a hard look at where we should bring in other people into this position, these positions.

   That leads to the fact we do have a couple Council vacancies.  And I want to have Rodney give a quick update on his conversation with the Governor's Office.  And that will lead to a discussion about -- I want to talk to you about accepting a process for nominating appointees moving forward.  So Rodney.

   >> Rodney: Last week I had a quick conversation with the Governor's Office and introduced myself to our contact person, which is Scott Wagner, that is handling our appointments at the Governor's Office.  We spoke about essentially a couple things at the Governor's Office.  One was the ex-officio position for the MRS seat and the MSHDA seat for the ex-officio seat on that.  

   We had a brief conversation on the two open seats that are now here.  I informed him of Ken's resignation at that time.  We also talked, he said at that point, obviously, he could not make appointments before today's meeting.  It would be just too short of a time.  But we are going to be communicating.  He is going to try and have a lot of these, if not all of them, handled by the November meeting that we have.  So at that point we would have everything in position for that.  

   As of right now there is no applications there for the SILC Council, for them to review.  So we had some conversations, some very preliminary conversations, on a process that we could use to forward recommendations at the Governor's Office for their vetting at that time.  

   So it was a really good, brief conversation but a very good conversation, looking forward to kind of changing how we are doing the appointments and working a little closer together.

   >> Sara: So, with that said, I have done some research on other states' Councils and they actually have nominating committees of Council members.  Is that not working?  So they actually have nominating committees of Council members.  And what I would like to propose to you is 2-3 of you volunteer to serve on that nominating committee and develop a process for nominating future appointees.  Not that we have the final decision in appointees; but, as Scott indicated to Rodney, it's welcome if we vetted potential Council members and really had a cafe of individuals that they could choose from at such a time that when an appointment or vacancy occurs, they can just pull from that cache of applications they have.  And we as Council members and our respective work and our relationships and affiliations really have more connections than a Governor's Office would have on potential appointees and good people for the Council.

   I talked to Connie this morning of being part of the nominating committee and get the process rolling because she was willing to dive in and help with a few things.  But I'm looking for two more, assuming you would like to go that route, looking for the establishment of a nominating committee and two more volunteers to serve in that capacity.  Miranda?  

   >> Miranda: I'd be happy to.

   >> Sara: Thank you.  Dawn?  

   >> Dawn: I would be happy to as well.

   >> Sara: Thank you very much.  So Connie, Miranda and Dawn, thank you for your willingness to serve in that role.  And if you would like to follow-up later with Rodney and a little bit more of where to find the application and the terms or the vacancies we currently have, and just maybe just use Rodney for a little bit or Tracy, and Scott has access to that information, too.  And if you need any help from executive committee, let us know as well.  So thank you very much.

   Okay, so moving on to the next part of the agenda is the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act of 2014.  And at the last Council meeting we talked about the prospect of this act being passed and the fact that there was some pretty significant changes in it.  And what I wanted to do today is just provide you with highlights.  And I know -- I know Val sent out this summer a frequently asked question statement and another really good summary piece that the National Council on Independent Living put together.  But I wanted to, for the purposes of our Council today, just kind of hit on a couple of things and then talk about some ideas, just have a brief strategy discussion about some ideas.  And during the strategy discussion I do invite our guests to participate in this because the next SPIL development is going to have to be a much more collaborative process from Council members and guests in the room as well.

   But on October 1st the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act will go into effect.  And it's the guiding piece of legislation for Statewide Independent Living Councils, Centers for Independent Living, Michigan VR program, MRS and BSBP program, Michigan Council on rehabilitation, yeah, MCR, Michigan Council Rehabilitation Services, and the Michigan Work System.  And there is a lot and others, but those are the major programs.  

   This bill impacts and allows for a two-year transition period after the Federal regulations are developed.  So during the first year of the bill, so this really is going to be year 2015, they are going to be essentially promulgating the rules, writing all the regulations.  And oftentimes in the -- we refer to a book called Edgar on our Federal Regulations.  I don't know what the new book will be called.  But it will be, for CILs and SILCs, it will be some other form of regulations.  Because we are moving from the Rehabilitation Services Administration to Health and Human Services Administration and different rules and the indicators for CILs and SILCs.  It's likely going to be close to what they are now, but it's just different process for who we report to, what those reports would look like, et cetera.

   One of the key changes with SILC was, while it didn't change significantly our mandated duties, it did change one of them.  So our mandated duties are to develop the state plan as provided in Section 704.  So, again, develop a State plan.  We have to monitor, review and evaluate the implementation of that State plan.  We have to meet regularly and ensure that such meetings of the Council are open to the public and there is sufficient advanced notice of such meetings.  And we have to submit to the administrators such periodic reports as the administrator may reasonably request.  And these are typically what we call 704 reports in our world.  And this is where the change occurred.  

   The new regulations state:  As appropriate, coordinate activities with other entities in the State that provide services similar to or complimentary to Independent Living Services, such as entities that facilitate the provision of or provide long-term community-based services and supports.

   What it previously said was coordinate activities with the State Rehabilitation Council.  And if the state has such a commission and they can -- that addresses the needs of specific disability populations and issues under other Federal laws.  

   So it's not mandating we coordinate with the State Rehabilitation Council, but I argue it's still important for us to coordinate with them and other Councils.  But it really changes the emphasis from coordination on employment stuff to coordinating on long-term services and supports, which is not surprising since we are moving to administration on community living which is long-term community-based services and supports.

   The major changes that impact SPIL's development include currently our State plan assigned by the SILC chair and the designated State units.  And in our State that is MRS and the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons, BSBP.  

   Now the -- the next State plan needs to be signed by the SILC chair on behalf of the SILC and at least 51% of the CIL directors.  The designated state unit is now going to be referred to as the designated state entity.  And the State plan identified who that designated state entity is.  And the DSE will always sign the plan as the fiscal intermediary.  And it changed really in essence.  In past SPIL writings, it's MRS, BSBP, SILC and representatives from the CIL Network sit down and write the State plan.  Now it's going to be CILs, SILC, and other partners as needed.  And then the DSE will only sign based on -- they will sign it, and maybe part of the writing; but they are only signing it stating that they agree with the fiscal and funding sources.  

   So I think a good example would be there are times where we would suggest a goal and MRS would say we can't support that in the State plan.  Now, if MRS doesn't support a goal that is okay.  They are only signing it and providing us funding for SILC.  And they were never big issues, and usually we work through the different wording that would be a compromise for us.  So I don't want this to sound like they were serial in that, but they would have more of an equal say of what goals were listed in there.

   I want to make sure I hit the highlights for you guys.  The changes in the bill do not impact any funding.  All funding sources are still able to come through the State as they currently are as long as they are designated in our State plan.  So the Act specifies, or summary of the Act, specifies that SPIL is our roadmap.  And it describes how funds will be distributed regardless of what the source is.  So whether they are Federal funds or State funds, they have to be accounted for in the State plan and how we are going to be using those.

   I think really where I want to focus is our conversation is on two critical questions.  Because of the fact that the CILs have to be a more integral part in development of the State plan because they will have to sign it, and actually there is more of an emphasis on consumer input through public forums, I wanted to pose questions to the Council members, and guests in the room, too, is what ideas do we have on how we can build stronger relationships between SILC and the CIL and the knowledge of the CIL programs in the coming months so we can engage in SPIL development in a more collaborative and informed manner?  

   And the next part is at this point we obtained public comment through -- primarily through our public comment portions of the fourth quarterly business meetings every year, but we need to look at other methods for obtaining public comments and input.  So the question is:  What other method should we be considering and other organizations we should partner with to assist in that.  

   So I just really want to open this up to two things:  How do we build our relationships so we are coming from an informed perspective collaborating with CILs and how do we get public input for SPIL development?  

   >> Dawn: In terms of being collaborative, have we ever reached out to the CILs to find out where in the past year, during the development, what they have liked and where there have been pain points or where they think, you know, we can improve?

   >> Sara: Well, I have firsthand experience with that.  But I think that, Steve, you were on a SPIL writing team before.  I know Joel is in the room and can probably speak from a director perspective on just what has worked in the past and what has been a challenge in the past for us.

   >> Steve: For myself the challenge has been getting information from a grass roots level.  And really knowing that our SPIL is speaking to the service needs in our State, I would task the -- our appointments committee, that is newly formed, to reach out to CILs; to reach out specifically to consumers that CILs serve to serve on this Council.  We need that kind of input.  

   Last night we were talking about the ILRU introduction to Independent Living DVD that is out there.  The whole reason Centers for Independent Living were started, the premise of being consumer controlled, this Council was created for consumer control for Federal funds that flow into this State, at a state level, and not at a CIL level.  And so this Council was put in there as an intermediary.  And control is kept under Part B funds that come in the State and populate this Council with consumers, is direct input there and what is my suggestion for the next SPIL as we have vacancies that occur on this Council.

   >> Joel: Like anything that is that big of a project, it requires quite a bit of a significant involvement beyond just the SILC and the designated state units that have been more actively involved.  And I know that from a CIL network perspective, there have been opportunities for directors from time to time to have an opportunity to be involved.  

   I know, seems like two SPILs ago we had more engagement, if I remember right.  And we actually had meetings together and we actually broke into workgroups.  But I would like to see more sophisticated structured process that would include to what the state speaks to and that is we have to have a consumer involved, that means customers of CILs that might actually have an interest in participating and discussions and roundtables around input.  

   I certainly, from my perspective, would like to see more CIL employees that are actually, everyday immersed in service delivery with customers from a variety of perspectives to have opportunities for input.  So it's a process that has to have well-structured timelines as well as how that would come about.  

   So, again, the value of the plan has to have -- is only there if there is engagement from a larger number of folks across all 83 counties in Michigan.

   >> Gabriella: As a communications professional, I have many ideas like spinning around in my brain right now about how to engage consumers.  

   First of all, I feel perhaps does every CIL website have a link to SILC or consumers can place public comment?  If not, let's add a button tomorrow or for IT people.  I'd love to have more of like Donna, I think the person who gave the public comment today, that beautifully written piece, whether or not you agree, that kind of input I think is very useful.  

   I don't know if Rodney and Tracy can pull this off, but if you get recommendations from every CIL, get five people from every CIL, five consumers from every market, invite them to the November meeting and let's hear from them, let's have our own forum, community education events that partner agencies or CIL are hosting in the next month or two.  And I don't know what the policy is.  Maybe we can cosponsor and get our logo and mission statement out there and capture them and invite them to contact us to provide the data.  

   I mean really it's all data.  This all gives us data we would need for the next SPIL.  There are so many things.  All of us in this room who use social media can leverage our accounts to reach out and put our website out there and invite people to give public comment.  There is a million things that you could do.  And some we could do tomorrow and some of them honestly take more thoughtful planning.

   >> Joel: One more thought.

   >> Sara: After Dawn.

   >> Dawn: One question I have is it didn't seem to me other Councils were really involved with the development of the SPIL either.  But you have the Development Disability and Autism Council.  I'm sure you have other Councils that have relevant input, that have very important views and maybe we need to engage them more as well.

   >> Sara: And all those Councils have state plans that it would be nice to research those and read those, too.

   >> Dawn: Yes.

   >> Joel: This is Joel again.  And my other thought, when Gabriella was speaking about communications, I know that, I can't remember when, but I bet it was four or five years ago, the CILs and members of SILC got together for a retreat.  And in that retreat we had very specific recommendations as part of different workgroups that had assignments.  And I remember the workgroup that I was on.  One of the assignments was how do we -- one of the outcomes was trying to address how do we improve communication.  And one of the suggestions in our workgroup, because it was my suggestion, and I'm still remembering it, I said we need to have every CIL newsletter get to every SILC member on a regular basis.  So that is a question I'm asking.  And whether or not that is even happening, I question it myself to even write a note whether or not you see it.  Early in my public comment I made the note of I hope you are getting the link from Disability Southwest Michigan, but I have to think about whether or not that is true.  Miranda might be able to know if that is true.  

   But I think that is one example.  So there is a lot of publications, some of them are electronic in nature.  And, certainly, from our organization, that makes it easy for you to receive that and whether or not that is happening on any regular basis.  So that is one thought.

   >> Sara: There has been so much turnover.  The old Council members are getting them.

   >> Lisa: And, Sara, I think you just hit it on the point as you talk about turnover.  And that is why I think it's so -- it to have a sustainability plan.  So, regardless of who is turned over, it continues and there is not a gap and information is continually shared.

   >> Sara: Collette?  

   >> Collette: Thank you.  Lisa and I were talking earlier this morning about the importance of early on and being involved.  And actually I was surprised as I speak with people in the Department of Ed that really are on the CILs, and I feel like it's my responsibility to really get the word out to the Department of Ed people because obviously we know it starts early and it makes a huge difference, so that is one of my personal goals.

   >> Dawn: In terms of the nominating committee, I mean, one of the things that is important, too, is how we onboard.  And maybe we need to have a checklist so things like newsletters and immediately we know we need to give them access to newsletters and point them to resources and we need to make sure that people coming on board have more information.  I mean, it's a lot of information and it's overwhelming.  But, you know, I think that if we put together a checklist, maybe that will help make sure we kind of follow through and on some of these things.

   >> Rodney: We did talk yesterday at the Executive Committee meeting about a method for this exact, not necessarily a checklist, that is a great idea, but ideas for giving this to SILC members.  And we will do a much better job than that.

   >> Sara: The request was CILs take the initiative to add the Council members to their mailing list.  And we had a turnover of Council.  When we talked about that four or five years ago, I think there only is two people, I think three, Miranda, Steve and Kellie, that have been on here for quite some time, and Connie.  I'm sorry, Connie.  I'm looking at faces around the room to jog my memory.

   The other thing too, Rodney, can we get out to the Council members, and maybe it was, but resend it the comprehensive statewide needs assessment?  Have any of you heard or seen this report?  It is a multi-agency, well, multi, multiple agencies help develop this comprehensive statewide needs assessment, MRS, BSBP, Michigan and NCRS, SILC did, MARO.  Michigan State Project Excellence led this and it's a wonderful report, a lot of wonderful content that if Rodney could link, it's on the website.

   >> Rodney: It's on the front page of the website.

   >> Dawn: I have to be back on that.  And I did look at it and intending to fill it out, but it wasn't really relevant to younger children.

   >> Sara: That is the kind of feedback we need because we have talked about the future when Sue Howell was here to hear that and we will take that back to her.  The report has been compiled, but you are absolutely right.  It did not include -- there was some groups that were really left out and didn't make sense, so it's work in progress.  And the next one is, what, three years?

   >> Rodney: I believe so.  Brian is not here; but three years, I believe, is the process.

   >> Sara: Yeah.  So we know there is a gap in information of that CSNA.  And at the same time there is good, relevant information we may want to take the time to read.  It's 130 pages.  But I think part of it is just going into the SPIL writing process informed.  And I think that is, for me, one of the key things.  

   And, as we are feeding on your idea, Dawn, about when somebody joins the Council, how to orient them to the work we are doing, there is some really good resources that I think we should have people read and review and watch videos on their own time because I know when I joined the Rehab Council I got this whole education e-Learning program about how we learn about different councils and rehab councils.  And I still have not got through it.  And I have been on the Council for several months.  But there is a lot of stuff.  But it's informative, if you learn your role as a Council member.  And I think with SPIL development there is really good best practices out there, and so just kind of using the next several months for us to get informed.  I like the idea, is that yours, Miranda, about getting five, or is that Gabriella, five consumers for some future engagement?  I think that is very doable.  Is that doable, Joel, for you guys, CIL identify consumers and bring them to a forum at some point?

   >> Joel: Yeah.  Absolutely.  Miranda can probably think of ten people like that.  I can think of five.

   >> Sara: So other people, anybody else have some ideas?  Brian, you are back.  Do you want to talk about -- is he gone?  Can you share as how you, as a Rehab Council, get feedback from customers and use that?

   Brian is on the Rehab Council with myself.

   >> Brian: I happen to be the vice chair.  The main way we get feedback, well, there is a couple ways.  We do get it through our web page.  People through the web page will make comments to the Council.  And but the main way is through the comment section at the Council meetings.  And we have two of those each or two public comment portions of our meeting, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  Very similar to here.  So that is how we get them basically.

   >> Sara: Just looking at the time, I feel like -- I feel obligated to not give much more time to this conversation even though it's a really critical conversation.  But I want to be respectful of people's time, and so I think you gave us some really good ideas and how we can start looking forward to do some planned facilitation, planned facilitated conversations over the next several months.  And I think we will get some resources out to you.  And if you could just commit to some time to just learn about some of the things that are out there for the resources and then maybe we can talk about some of the things we have been doing at our next gathering.

   I want to switch to the finish up the reports and then on each section on public -- another public comment section.  So if we could have -- Leamon, are you giving the report for Mike Pemble or is Lisa doing it?

   >> Lisa: I'm doing it.

   >> Sara: If you want to come up here, you are more than welcome to.

   >> Lisa: We thumb wrestled and I lost.  Thank you for the opportunity to talk with you today.  Mike was unable to be here today.  I'm Lisa Kieshell, the Training Center Division Director for Division of Services for Blind Persons in Kalamazoo.  And I think, as most of you know, Ed Rogers is our official director who is out on sick leave today for the rest of the month until October.  He had a knee replacement.  All indications indicate he is recovering well.

   Just real quick update:  Obviously, as you all know, we are nearing the end of our fiscal year and we are doing well regarding closures and making our numbers this year so we are excited about that.

   And I think the last time I heard we had 99 people closed and another 100 or so in status 22.  That is a quiz.  Status 22 means employed and hoping for 26, which means successfully closed and by September 30.  Our training center is moving along and we are putting forward a program starting in September that will be really dedicated to increasing the skill development of individuals in the adaptive computers technology area.  So we are excited about that.  

   Our business enterprise program is looking for opportunities for new operators as we are having some retirements, people moving forward in their lives, in other directions, so definitely recruiting for that program.

   Braille and talking book library is working towards rolling out a currency identifier through the mint.  I guess it's coming forward from the Government.  And if you have someone that you know, is a participant with the Braille and talking book library, you are able to receive one of those currency identifiers free of charge when they start rolling those out.  And they are about $150-$200, so it's a pretty awesome thing.

   Let's see.  I also wanted to mention that we are looking forward to another good fiscal year with more work with our Centers For Independent Living.  We continue to do that.  We are involved in several different programs around the state where we are doing employment readiness programs, job clubs, benefits planning.  I do want to give a shout out to Jules, since he is here, and our training center did some cooperation with Disability Network Southwest Michigan.  And he may not even know this.  We had a customer come to the center who needed a power chair and their family was not able to bring it with them and he was actually from Marquette and it was quite a distance and he really needed the chair.  And we did outsourcing and looking around and our friends at Disability Network were able to help us to provide that to him so he could participate in a summer program at our center and do that in a way that was appropriate for him and his needs, so that was awesome.

   Am I for getting anything, Leamon?  We appreciate the opportunity to be here.  And you may see Leamon or myself or others presenting during the time Ed is gone, and we appreciate that opportunity.

   >> Sara: Thank you, Lisa, appreciate it.  We have several representatives for BSBP today, don't we?  Thank you guys so much for coming.

   We have an update from the 121 Project from Mia Smith.  And welcome in person today.  Love to see you in person.

   >> Mia: No snow on the ground.  For the first time in over 12 years we had some staff changes in our office.  There is only two full-time staff and two half-time staff.  I'm the last remaining full-time staff that held down the fort until we just made a new hire, so we now have two Counselors and our rehabilitation assistant.  And, I don't know, she has like got two hats.  But, anyhow, our assistant to our program is also new.  So that took a big toll on how our case load was handled because I was just juggling a lot.  

   But right now, and I know that all of the data isn't entered because I've been on travel, but we are looking at, we had served 82 people this year.  29 have been 26 closure statuses, which she was talking about earlier.  So we have about 35% success rate for employment in our program, which is really good for us.  

   Our numbers are a little lower; but, like I said, everything is not entered yet.  

   The other big project we had that opened in April is the Independent or the Supportive Housing Program, which is the collaborative effort of our behavioral health and mental health services and vocational rehabilitation.  So not quite a treatment center, or halfway house type; it's just to gain skills on living independently.  And right now we have 13 apartments and 10 of which are finally occupied.  So by the end of October we are looking to have 12 occupied.  So we are moving along really well.

   >> Sara: Thank you.  And so we will see you in person in November because there is not going to be any snow in November, right?  

   >> Mia: I'm flying in November.

   >> Sara: Okay.  Collette?  

   >> Collette:  Hi, everyone.  I'm just going to give you a few highlights from Michigan Department of Ed in the moments of outreach.  As you know, we service students that are blind, visually impaired and deaf hard of hearing, their families, professionals that work with them in the local school districts and any paraprofessionals or any person that is interested.

   We provide lots of professional development opportunity statewide.  We have Braille classes, independent living skill classes and assertive technology classes.  In addition, we offer workshops in critical, visual impairment and do technical assistance to districts, quality programs for the visually impaired and whatever people need we come and we assist.

   I wanted to make an announcement regarding the Braille code is changing.  And it has been adopted in Australia and in Europe and Canada, England.  And it is going to be officially -- according to the Braille Authority of North America, it will be in effect here in the U.S. in January of 2016.  

   So, in preparation of that our agency, we are doing regional workshops, eight regional workshops, starting in the UP next month.  And the code, all of the books that are in existence today will still be valid books; but there are some changes that will be implemented, that like students that will be learning the code, it will be a little bit different.  So we need to make sure that teachers, para pros, family members, transcribers, of course, get the information.  And this is a big effort on our part and what the office will doing across the State.  And I think that is something that really needs for people to be aware of.  And, obviously, it affects adults, too, because the new codes, they may not know it, so consumers are also invited to join us.

   We have an expanded core curriculum workshop being held October 10 at our camp in Greenville, Camp Tuhsmeheta.  And it's going to include a lot of independent living skill training.  And it's for anyone interested, but we are focusing on teachers, para pros, orientation mobility instructors and family members.  And it's $10 all day.  And we are going to have giveaways, independent living skill, things like, you know, tongs to take to the toaster, tongs, and things that are really appropriate for students to be able to be independent, our goal.

   In terms of deaf, hard of hearing, we have a lot of educational interpreter performance assessments set up statewide.  And that is so that our interpreters are really up to par for our students and so we are the agency that sets those up.  We also provide sign language proficiency interviews for students and for adults and those are set up also through our agency.

   So that is it in a nutshell.  We do lots of things, but that is the highlights.  Thank you.

   >> Sara: Thanks, Collette.  Good deal for Independent Living Schools.  And, Kellie, Disability Network of Michigan.

   >> Kellie: Thank you, Rodney.  Just two quick updates.  As far as our funding, the CILs have submitted all of our budgets, our work plans and all of our required documentation for Federal and State funding for 2015, I assume.  So, Kevin, thumbs up.  So we will be ready to go October 1st.

   >> Kevin: Yes.

   >> Kellie: The second thing I wanted to update you about, there are some changes with CIL directors.  In May Angela Hoff retired from the Blue Water CIL and Jim Waylen has taken over as the new director.  And in late April Mark Pierce took over the Capitol Area Center for Independent Living in Lansing.  And we have another retirement coming up in the near future.  In January Sue Myers will be retiring from Disability Connection in Muskegon.  So if any of the CILs are in your area, please stop in the near future sometime and say hello to the new directors.  And also wish Sue a happy retirement.  And that is all I wanted to update you on.  

   And Wendi Middleton will talk about the ADRC and CIL is working with the Office of Services to the Aging to make those happen at the end of the month.

   >> Sara: Thanks, Kellie.  Rodney, can you send a job posting for Susan's job out to Council?

   >> Rodney: I have not received it yet, then I will make sure it gets out.

   >> Sara: Then you can forward it on to your connections, too, and get it out before she leaves in January.  He has a board member due.

   >>  Michael: We are taking applications until the 29th of this month.  We started them.

   >> Sara: We just got it.  I just got the job posting.  Okay, do you want to extend that?  

   >> Michael: We may.

   >> Sara: I'm teasing you.  Okay, next on our list is Brian from Michigan Protection Advocacy Services.

   >> Brian: Good afternoon, everybody.  First of all, being the CAP director, I, when I first took this position, when I came to my first meeting as the director, I told you one of my first things I was going to try to do is get to all the Center For Independent Living Centers and do a CAP outreach.  And I was happily -- I'm happy to report that I was able to do another one with Mark Pierce and Kasel, just about two weeks ago, had a great turn out.  They gave us 30 minutes and we used 90.  And but -- 

   >> Sara: It was only 30 minutes.

   >> Brian: Only 30 minutes, but there was a lot of questions and a lot of feedback and it went very well.  So I encourage all the CIL directors, again, if I have not come out, if we have not come out to your center, that I encourage you to give me a call.  I think I have been to most of them in my two years as the CAP director, but I can't think of one I have not been to.  I know staff changes.  So I was thinking about doing the rounds again.  And because my staff has changed and I only have two advocates at this point, Alham-Shahan and Charlie Rose, and Alham has been on the team for -- she has been -- I think she is 12 years and Charlie he has been with us just about a year.  

   Other than that, I'd like to encourage our new MPAS newsletter for summer of 2014 is out and I just checked on our website and it is also there.  So you can -- if you are on our mailing list, you get it in paper format or if you have access to the Internet I encourage you to go look at that.

   And, speaking of our website, and it's here in the newsletter, I've always said our original web page was created the day after the worldwide web was created by Al Gore, because it was.  I didn't even tell people we had one.  But now that we have got this new one, which has been new and improved and it's been up and running for a year now, I encourage you to go visit our website.  It has a lot of good information on all types of information with regarding people with disabilities including employment, independent living, education, and community access and information on seclusion and abuse and neglect.  So I encourage you to look at that.

   One of the things that is in here, that is -- it's not in here, but it talked about executive director, Almer-Sorono, talks about the Employment First report, which is about employment first of trying to get people with disabilities into competitive employment at, above minimum wage or competitive wages.  

   And on September 2nd or September 22nd at the Capitol at 10:00, we are going to be having a press release regarding our first our employment first initiative.  So I encourage anyone that is available to come to the Capitol on September 22nd and learn more about our employment first initiative.

   Other than that, again, just a lot of the information I was going to talk about is now out, available in our exchange, especially the first article that is on the front page was written by me, so please read that.  Any other questions?

   >> Sara: Okay, before you ask your question, I've got a compliment to your website.  The second motion is that is one of the best websites I have ever seen.  If you have not had a chance to look at their website, it's so informative and so educational.  They are top notch in putting policy stuff up there.  I learn so much from your website.

   >> Brian: I will.

   >> Sara:  I do have a question, but I'm going to let Joel ask his question first.

   >> Joel:  This is Joel.  A follow-up question, Brian.  When you visited us it was a tremendous training that you provided, so I will reinforce that for those that have not had Brian and his staff attend staff meetings, need to do it.  I encourage Brian that he needs to be at every MRS site office at staff meetings as well as BSBP site office as well.  And I hope you are doing that too.

   >> Brian: We try to get to all the district meetings of both BSBP and MRS.

   >> Joel: That is a long list.

   >> Brian: Yes, it is.

   >> Sara: Brian, in reviewing the Work Course Innovation  and Opportunities Act, I may have missed something or the authors of that act may have missed something, and that is when the IL program moves over to the administration on community living, I don't think there is a provision for client assistance programs.

   >> Brian: Well, the VR Act is under the Workforce Investment Act.

   >> Sara: We will not be affiliated with VR anymore.

   >> Brian: Under the -- that is a good question.

   >> Sara: Something somebody missed.

   >> Brian: We always said we never have any cases.

   >> Sara: Essentially so you understand what the impact of that is for individuals that want to be able to, maybe you can describe it, the value of client assistance program for client assistance is.

   >> Brian: Especially when it comes to Centers For Independent Living, Centers for Independent Living receives funds under the Rehabilitation Act.  If they are having problems with the Center for Independent Living, they can contact the Client Assistance Program, we can advocate for them and be their voice and try to help them solve those problems that they have with the Centers For Independent Living, like MRS and BSBP, because you receive funds from those agencies, which receive funds from the VR under the Rehab Act.  That is why we can assist people that are clients of Centers For Independent Living.  So, again, if you are receiving any funds from MRS or BSBP grants.

   >> Sara: The Act is not going to require it anymore, so I think the authors of the Act missed something.  And I think it's going to get addressed.  And, if it doesn't get addressed at a Federal level, I think there needs to be some addressing at a State level.

   >> Brian: I agree.  And thank you for bringing that up.  I completely missed that.

   >> Sara: So did they.

   >> Brian: Yeah, any other questions?

   >> Sara: Okay, thank you, Brian.

   >> Brian: You are welcome.  Thank you.

   >> Sara:  Okay, I have to apologize.  I know we are going over 3:00 and I want to thank you for being able to stick around for a little bit longer and thank members of the public that have stayed in the room or stayed on the phone as we have worked through as exciting meeting.  

   I need to find my public comment statement.  It's somewhere in my file and we will do our second public comment.  

   And I just wanted to state that members of the public who wish to speak will be called on by the Chairperson.  You be allowed five minutes as an individual or an organization that represents a group of people.  The public must address the Council and not utilize this time engaging in dialogue with members of the Council.  

   During breaks we will have the opportunity to meet and engage in such dialogue.  

   Members of the public are requested to refrain from repetitious comment during this portion of the agenda.  

   So I will ask do we have anybody in the room that would like to give public comment today?

   Okay, do we have anybody on the phone that would like to give public comment?

   >> Joe: Yes, Joe Hartz.

   >> Sara: Thank you, Joe.  Please go ahead.

   >> Joe: Yes, I didn't hear you.

   >> Sara: Please go ahead, Joe.

   >> Joe: Okay, first order of business is the Open Meetings Act and what the requirements are on that.  One, is while there are legitimate reasons for meeting in closed session, all final decisions must be made in public.  A better example would be if there is a severance package with an executive director that the details might be hashed out in closed session.  But the decision must be made by a motion in the public and the details of that are public record.  That is point of the information, that is the law.

   Second, and this dovetails with a few other things; but with some of the stuff mentioned this morning, someone can control and consumer driven is by nature following the law.  We do not follow the law about the ADA in Section 504 throughout this State.  And I want to go into a few basics on that, not to be condescending.

   One, the Americans with Disabilities Act is a Civil Rights Law.  And, like all Civil Rights Law, it has as the core mission that no person with disabilities shall be denied access solely on the basis of their disability; in other words, illegal discrimination.

   Part of that goes to CIL operations.  Part of that is inclusion in meetings, advisory committee, et cetera, et cetera.  

   I have been denied access to the full meetings of TDN, full meetings, and I've made these complaints.  Don't tell me, Brian, that you haven't heard about complaints, about a Center for Independent Living, that is core discrimination.  I've been denied access to the meeting minutes, period.  End of story.  Documented.  It's a fact.  It's an act of discrimination against a person with disabilities.

   Three, what I want to go into, and this dovetails on this morning, and this goes to all Title 2 entities, Title 2 entities are public entities.  They are all entities that are with our State Government, the MRS, they are DHS, BSBP, they are their parents.

   Four, I want to go in the basics of effective communications requirements.  All public entities, and that is all of them, were required to have in place the means, methods and protocols for effectively communicating with people with disabilities.  And those specifically go to people with visual impairments, people with hearing impairments, people with speech impairments, people with reading disorders such as what was discussed in this day.  Those were supposed to have been in place, the means, methods and protocols, for effective communication, January 26, 1992.

   Now, this is not to dump on the good advocacy that Mr. Cooper brought up this morning.  We had a person with a reading disorder and nobody knew at the Secretary of State's Office.  You know how to accommodate them, that has affected communications.  And, ladies and gentlemen, this is quite a few years later than the drop dead deadline.  

   Joe Hartz on a daily basis gets discriminated against in these regards and against and by, by very agencies that were supposed to have those means, methods and protocols in place.  

   Which the other thing that is supposed to have been done is that these were supposed to have been in place affirmatively, not having Joe Hartz ask for each piece of paper relative to the activities of his Government on a case by case, ad hoc basis.  And I'll cite the law, that is Tyler v. Manhattan, that is the Court case.  And these go into fundamental principles of inclusion.  

   When Amy was talking about today, you know, that the problems of people navigating DHS and their delivery to service and the reams of paperwork that are involved with that, imagine if that paperwork isn't made accessible.  And that must be made accessible based upon what is called primary consideration, the most effective means of communication for that person with disabilities.  

   If you are a newly-deaf person and you don't know ASL, supplying an interpreter doesn't work.  If you are a newly-blinded person and you don't know Braille, of course, nobody would give out Braille because they don't even give out e-mail without $8 gazillion-FOIA charge and people have seen -- 

   >> Sara: Joe, you reached your five-minute limit.

   >> Joe: How can BSBP do this?  

   >> Sara: Joe, you reached your five-minute limit.  Thank you.

   >> Joe: Thank you.

   >> Sara:  Thank you.  Do we have any members, other members of the public on the phone, that would like to issue public comment?

   Okay, thanks again for everybody and their time commitment to today's meeting and their involvement.  And thanks to members of the public that participated and thanks to guests that came today and devoted their day here.  

   I am calling this meeting, wait, I can't call the meeting, no.  I don't think I have a motion if I finished the agenda, but I did because there are two other things, one being Rodney has to tell you about your expense reports.

   >> Rodney: If we could please get your expense reports as soon as possible so we can get those processed before the end of the fiscal year, we would greatly appreciate that.

   >> Sara: Okay, Lisa had something she wanted to say last night today but she forgot what it was.  There was too much Moscato.  Just kidding.  

   We are adjourned and we will see you all on November 20th.  Thank you.

   (Meeting concludes at 3:21 p.m.)

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