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a. 1. Input provided by the State Rehabilitation Council, including input and recommendations on the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan, recommendations from the Council's report, the review and analysis of consumer satisfaction, and other Council reports that may have been developed as part of the Council’s functions;

Current Narrative:

Input of State Rehabilitation Council

The Florida Division of Blind Services (FDBS) partners with the Florida Rehabilitation Council for the Blind (FRCB) in serving individuals with visual impairments. The FRCB is an integral part of helping the Division improve services and achieve its goals by reviewing, analyzing, and advising on policy decisions. The FRCB functions to create a positive impact on the fairness, efficiency, and accessibility of services through the evaluation of consumer feedback and the Division’s performance.

The FRCB voted on officers and nominated members for committees at the first quarterly meeting held on February 5, 2019. On the second day of this meeting, the Council welcomed six newly appointed members and two reappointed members. As of November 2019, the Council has eleven active voting members and eight vacancies. Robert L. Doyle, Director of the Division of Blind Services, serves as an ex-officio member of the Council. Vacant seats include representatives from advocacy groups, business/industry, State Educational Agency, State Workforce Investment Board and the Independent Living Council. The Council continues to encourage appointees to apply and monitors action by the Governor’s office to encourage timely appointments and reappointments. Recruitment of new applicants focuses on individuals who are passionate, dedicated, and interested in improving the lives of Floridians with visual impairments.

The Council held four business meetings during 2019: February 5-6 (Daytona Beach), May 9-10 (Tallahassee), July 25 (Ocala), and October 25 (Jacksonville). The FRCB is required to hold a public forum at least twice a year; three were hosted in 2019. The public forums give consumers around the state an opportunity to provide input that encourages optimal services. The Council continues to focus on increasing awareness during public forums through collaboration with FDBS and stakeholders in each host district.

The FRCB reviews policies and advises on the implementation of best practices. During 2019, the Council reviewed and provided input on Policy 2.09 (Post-Secondary Education), Policy 2.35 (Competitive Integrated Employment), and Policy 2.05 (Informal/Formal Review Process and Mediation). The Council oversees the development and implementation of the Client Satisfaction Survey (CSS). The FRCB contracts with Dr. Minna Jia, Director of the Florida State University Survey Foundry (FSUSF) to conduct the CSS. Dr. Jia provided the Council with quarterly reports and a written annual report for 2018-2019. Results from the annual report were presented at the quarterly meeting in October 2019. The Council also played an essential role in the completion of the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) facilitated by San Diego State University.

The FDBS and FRCB conducted a call on November 6, 2019, to discuss their input for this plan. The Council provided feedback and completed a draft for this section. The dialogue continued at the quarterly meeting on February 6, 2020, with feedback for the rest of the plan. The FDBS values the Council’s time and their review and evaluation of the Division’s services/projects. Their feedback and suggestions are incorporated in each reviewed policy, the CSNA, evaluation tool, and the Unified State Plan.