March 2019 Meeting Minutes

State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) March 19-20, 2019 Quarterly Meeting
Day One Minutes
Hilton Garden Inn-Albany Medical Center, 62 New Scotland Ave., Albany, NY 12180

Topic/Key Points

Call to Order (Roll Call-In Person and Via Phone):  Tonya Robinson-Mayer, Alan Gallagher, Angela M. Lockhart, Bryan Baszczuk, Ceylane Meyers-Ruff, David Morgan, Ellice Switzer, Erica Molina, Gregory Lau, Hillary Nichols, Jennifer Machucki, Jennifer Semonite, Jim Barron, Joseph Delgado, Laura Hartmann, Liam McNabb, Lindsay Miller, Lynn Thibdeau, Megan Brown, Melinda Dolezal, Melissa Schindler, Michelle Barlow, Paul Czech, Peter Herrig, Rachel Jones, Robert Leiter, Sebastian Chittilapilly, Susan Scheer 

Absent: Lynette Torgalski, Helene Fallon, Melissa Campbell, Michael Godino, Joanie Parker

Guest Speakers: Ray Pierce, Anne Sternbach

Welcomed: Martha E. Mock, Ph.D. Professor (Clinical) Director, Center on Disability & Education, Warner School of Education; Dr. Christopher Rosa, CUNY Vice Chancellor

Review & Approve December Minutes

  • December 2018 minutes reviewed.  Joe Delgado motioned to approve; Melissa Schindler seconded.  1 abstention, the remaining voted in favor of approval.

Review Action Items

  • No action items noted.

Public Comment

  • No public comment noted.

Executive Committee Report:

  • Updates are being made to the Key Functions document.  All committee chairs will review the document and alignment with ACCES-VR goals/activities.

Interagency Reports (Day-1):

  • New York State Independent Living Council, Inc. (NYSILC): Nothing new to report.
  • New York State Commission for the Blind (NYSCB):
    • NYSCB is reviewing work related to WIOA.
    • NYSCB is two-thirds set installing training equipment in all One Stop - American Job Centers. 
    • NYSCB/ACCES-VR conducted in January a two-day Interagency Business Engagement training at NYSDOL in collaboration with The Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability (Cornell University).  Approximately 60 attendees participated and noted this was a very successful training, providing important information on agency partnerships and business engagement.
  • Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD):   OPWDD is working on an updated Supported Employment Administrative Memorandum.  Thirty workshops are transforming into integrated businesses and some work centers are expected to close.
  • New York State Office of Special Education: The Annual State Application Under Part B of IDEA for Federal Fiscal Year 2019 has been posted for public review for 60 days (March 14 through May 13, 2019).    It was noted guidelines have been developed to assist Committees on Special Education (CSE) in determining if a student requires full-day (continuous) one-to-one nursing services to meet his/her unique individual needs.


  • Presentation by Martha Mock, Professor (Clinical) Director, Center on Disability & Education, Warner School of Education.  The presentation reviewed Think College, a national organization focused on college options for students with intellectual disabilities and helping families and students identify a good match for college. For more information go to:  Think College is a Federal grant supporting a Western NY consortium of four colleges and five City University colleges. 
  • Dr. Christopher Rosa, CUNY Vice Chancellor’s noted that NYS Assembly Bill A3010: “Establishing a College Experience Program for Students with Developmental Disabilities”, “CUNY Unlimited.”

State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) March 19-20, 2019 Quarterly Meeting
Day Two Minutes
Hilton Garden Inn-Albany Medical Center, 62 New Scotland Ave., Albany, NY 12180

Topic/ Key Points

Call to Order (Roll Call-In Person and Via Phone):  Tonya Robinson-Mayer, Alan Gallagher, Angela M. Lockhart, Bryan Baszczuk, Ceylane Meyers-Ruff, David Morgan, Diane Woodward,  Ellice Switzer, Erica Molina, Gregory Lau, Hillary Nichols, Jennifer Semonite, Jeremy Demick, Jim Barron, Joseph Delgado, Kevin Smith, Laura Hartmann, Liam McNabb, Lindsay Miller, Lynn Thibdeau, Megan Brown, Melinda Dolezal, Melissa Schindler, Michelle Barlow, Paul Czech, Peter Herrig, Rachel Jones, Robert Leiter, Sebastian Chittilapilly, Susan Scheer

Absent: Lynette Torgalski, Helene Fallon, Joanie Parker, Michael Godino, Jennifer Machucki, Melissa Campbell

Review of the agenda: Tonya Robinson-Mayer

ACCES & ACCES-VR Updates, ACCES-VR & SRC Common Priorities:

Kevin Smith, ACCES Deputy Commissioner:

  • High School Equivalency (HSE) Regents Updates:  The Board of Regents (BOR) has agreed to allow individuals who have passed Regents Examinations to substitute those passing scores for a maximum of four of the five corresponding Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC™) subtests.  
  • Ceylane Meyers-Ruff is the newly appointed Assistant Commissioner of ACCES.  Owen Donavan will assume BPSS Director on 3/28.  An offer has been made for a new ACCES-VR Director of Operations.
  • ACCES-VR filled 2 key positions, James Barron, Coordinator of District Office Operations and Diane Woodward, Manager, Policy, Training, and WIOA Implementation.
  • CaMS: Work to replace ACCES-VR Case Management System (CaMS) continues.  ACCES-VR has requested various IT and program positions.

ACCES & ACCES-VR Updates, ACCES-VR & SRC Common Priorities

Ceylane Meyers-Ruff, Assistant Commissioner - ACCES:

  • ACCES-VR is interviewing for a new Manager for Independent Living Centers.
  • The Manager for Transition Services is currently vacant.
  • New RFP for Potentially-Eligible Students: Students who are currently receiving services under an IEP or students who would qualify for a 504 Plan but who are not receiving ACCES-VR services.  A Bidders Conference will be held.  Potentially-Eligible students (14-21) can be in post-secondary, foster care, home-school, juvenile justice, and other non-traditional educational programs. 
  • DRNY will work to identify unserved/underserved populations and offers to assist with identifying potentially-eligible students.
  • Final version of RSA report will be on RSA website. Ceylane will provide Tonya with the link.
  • ACCES-VR has 300+ CRS vendors (approx. 70 new).  Robert Linton will facilitate their understanding of how to effectively be a CRS 2.0 vendor leading to successful outcomes.
  • CRS 2.0 Mailbox for vendor questions is available. 
  • Vendors can send questions to mailbox or contact District Offices.
  • Vendor Fairs with new CRS 2.0 vendors have been conducted with District Offices.
  • Tonya suggested that a survey be sent to better understand vendor questions, direction, needs for support.  
  • ACCES-VR and CB have access to the Department of Labor’s One-Stop Operating System (OSOS) to document services to businesses to the provision of business engagement services. 
  • ACCES-VR will continue to work with DOL to learn current/future employment needs, focus goal planning, and training and education needs among partners.
  • ACCES-VR is looking at upcoming needs for providing services in the future. Meeting the needs of the increasing rates of people with autism and establishing vendors capable of meeting needs for people on the autism spectrum.

RSA Corrective Action Plan: SRC Update:

Diane Woodward, Manager, Policy, Training and WIOA Implementation

  • ACCES-VR submitted an initial draft of the Corrective Action Plan (CAP) on 01/28/19 The CAP was approved by RSA on 03/05/19 after discussion and collaboration on the final draft submission.
  • RSA report included: Findings, Recommendations and Observations.  The Corrective Action Plan addresses the RSA findings.
  • Focus of RSA Findings:  Regulatory timelines, Statewide implementation of pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS), documentation of internal controls (fiscal), execution of cross-system agreements required under WIOA.
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Eligibility determination within 60-days and completion of IPEs within 90 days of determination of eligibility. 
  • Working to develop tools and expertise to create IPEs and developing a uniform standard for case files.  
  • Pre-ETS: Actively engage in statewide implementation of Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) to eligible students.
  • The new RFP – anticipated to be posted in April, will allow for all offices to have one or more Pre-ETS projects for potentially-eligible students.
  • Internal Controls:  Documentation of internal controls (focus on fiscal areas).  For example, ACCES-VR needs to develop a written pre-approval process with RSA for identified costs over $5,000. 
  • ACCES-VR must demonstrate how our costs for Pre-ETS are verified.
  • WIOA Agreements:   Developing and executing cross-system agreements as required by WIOA (e.g. MOUs with Workforce Development Boards, DOL).   
  • Next steps: ACCES-VR prioritizing policies and procedures to align with Corrective Action Plan. Follow-up technical assistance with RSA will be scheduled as needed.

Interagency Updates (Day-2):

  • Advisory Council on Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities: Mike Godino: Mike was not present and has indicated that he anticipates leaving SRC due to an upcoming move out of NYS.
  • Disability Rights New York/Client Assistance Program/Protection & Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (DRNY/CAP/PABSS): Erica Molina directs CAP and Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) programs which are overseen by the Social Security Administration.  Focus is to assist people receiving SSI/SSDI with employment who have a barrier to work (not necessarily related to disability) such as housing, transportation, and working with transitioning students re: benefits while seeking employment.  Erica reviewed the DRNY annual performance progress report to be submitted to RSA noting concerns, responses and results of DRNY involvement including statistics.
  • Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities (TRAID): Melinda Dolezal noted they have final year figures for benchmarks and are experiencing full implementation of their data management system.
  • Office of Mental Health (OMH): Liam McNabb: No report out.
  • Department of Labor (DOL): Alan Gallagher noted that the Round 6 grant closing this month is on track to meet all performance outcomes.  The DOH-AIDS Institute partnership developed a curriculum for health service providers to reduce stigmas for any population (not just people with HIV/AIDS).   Commitments from OTDA, NYSED, OMH and NYSCB to participate in a train-the-trainer model.  82 employment counselors will be trained statewide. The Round 8 grant (youth-focused) is in 3 areas in NYS and creating activities to increase financial capabilities with focus on out-of-school youth (ages 14-24).  A workforce consolidated funding application for businesses is being developed (see DOL webpage to see funding opportunities).

Committee Reports

Quality Assurance & Improvement Committee:  

Policy and Planning Committee (PPC):

  • Lindsey Miller: Reviewed the core functions of the committee and made some changes.  Looked at potential work coming to the committee.  Brushing up on RSA report to prepare for future PPC work.  Talked about final details for the June presentation.  The PPC would like to share information to all committees for their feedback.

Workforce Development Committee (WDC):

  • Robert Leiter: Mike Godino. anticipates resigning from SRC due to moving to VA.  WDC team agreed to stop focus on the Middle Skills White Paper. It was submitted to ACCES-VR for review and consideration.

Transition Committee:

  • Paul Czech: This committee was responsible for yesterday’s University of Rochester presentation (thanks to presenters) to the SRC. The Transition Committee identified their key functions and reviewed previous action items.

Membership Committee:

  • Joe Delgado asked Michelle Barlow for assistance regarding a broad recruitment.  Michelle asked the Committee to consider needs (e.g. a Business, Labor and Industry rep).  The SRC Guiding Principles note the constituency and related information important to review in identifying needs for 2020.
  • Looking at participation in Quarterly Meetings and in monthly conference calls when recommendations for second terms are considered.

Accessibility Workgroup:

  •    No updates at this time.

Impartial Hearing: 

  • Melissa Schindler noted the original intent was to review 3 hearings.  They have not yet received a report on this but will follow-up.


  • No updates at this time.

Other Business:

  • Tonya Robinson-Mayer indicated that there was no other business to discuss.


  • Erica Molina made the motion to adjourn.  Paul Czech seconded the motioned. The vote resulted that all were in favor.  The meeting was adjourned at 1:52 pm.

State Rehabilitation Council

The Council provides advice and support to The State Education Department’s Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) on behalf of people with disabilities and their families regarding the delivery of effective rehabilitation services that leads to employment for New Yorker's with disabilities.

State Council

Meeting Dates

The following meetings will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn Albany Medical Center, 62 New Scotland Ave., Albany, NY  12208:

March10-11, 2020
June 23-24, 2020
September 29-30, 2020
December 8-9, 2020

For confirmation of meeting dates or any additional information, contact (518) 402-3955.

Agenda for upcoming meeting

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