September 2018 Meeting Minutes

State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) September 12, 2018 Quarterly Meeting

Day One Minutes

Hilton Garden Inn, 235 Hoosick St., Troy, New York 12180

Call In: 1-866-394-2346 Conference Code 8413002217

Topic/ Key Points 

Call to Order (Roll Call-In Person and Via Phone):

Tonya Robinson-Mayer, Alan Gallagher, Alesia Simco, Bryan Baszczuk, Ceylane Meyers-Ruff, Chad Underwood, Ellice Switzer, Erica Molina, Helene Fallon, Jennifer Machucki, Joanie Parker, Joseph Delgado, Laura Hartmann, Liam McNabb, Lindsay Miller, Lynn Thibdeau, Megan Brown, Melissa Campbell, Melissa Schindler, Michael Godino, Michelle Barlow, Paul Czech, Robert Linton, Susan Scheer.

Welcomed: Dora Lee Stanley, Dr. J. Patrick Turbett, Sandra Morris.

Review & Approve June Minutes

  • The June minutes were reviewed. Tonya will amend to reflect “middle skills white paper” under Workforce Development Committee. Mike motioned to approve once amended, Paul seconded.

Review Action Items

  • Tonya requested that all committees review the Guiding Principles and provide recommendations for any changes.

Executive Committee Report:

  • Updates/Reminders: Committee reports due to Tonya by 9/28/18. The Full SRC Annual Report from Tonya to ACCES-VR is due by 10/26/18. Success Stories are due by 10/15/18. Artwork is due by 11/1/18.
  • Committee Volunteers:
    • Success Stories Committee: Seeking volunteers to review success stories. Helene Fallon and Liam McNabb volunteered.
    • Artwork Committee: Seeking volunteers to review artwork for the annual report cover. Melissa, Jennifer and Susan volunteered.
  • The Membership Committee is prepared to present nominees to the Board of Regents in October.  Plan to invite new members to attend the December 2018 SRC Quarterly.  New member orientations Parts I and II to occur on mornings of Day 1 of the December 2018 and March 2019 SRC Quarterly meetings.
  • There were no workgroup updates noted.

Potsdam Institute for Applied Research:

  • Presentation by Dr. J. Patrick Turbett, Director and Sandra Morris, Project Manager.  A power point was provided. The presentation included methods and results of the Provider Survey, Consumer Satisfaction Survey and Focus Groups. Potsdam implemented changes based on recommendations from SRC and the formed workgroup. Dialogue occurred regarding data received from the ACCES-VR land changing/adding demographic elements on future data Potsdam, confidentiality may be of concern, further exploration is needed. Current contract has limits.

State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) September 13, 2018 Quarterly Meeting

Day Two Minutes

Hilton Garden Inn, 235 Hoosick St., Troy, New York 12180

Call In: 1-866-394-2346 Conference Code 8413002217

Topic/ Key Points

Call to Order (Roll Call-In Person and Via Phone):

Tonya Robinson-Mayer, Alan Gallagher, Alesia Simco, Bryan Baszczuk, Ceylane Meyers-Ruff, Chad Underwood, Ellice Switzer, Erica Molina, Helene Fallon, Jennifer Machucki, Joanie Parker, Joseph Delgado, Laura Hartmann, Liam McNabb, Lindsay Miller, Lynne Thibdeau, Megan Brown, Melissa Campbell, Melissa Schindler, Michael Godino, Michelle Barlow, Paul Czech, Peter Herrig, Robert Linton, Susan Scheer. 

Welcomed: Debora Brown-Johnson, Kevin Smith, Melissa Schindler, Talia Santiago.

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

Kevin Smith, ACCES Deputy Commissioner

  • CaMS Replacement-. ACCES-VR is working on a contract with a new vendor. The vendor’s sole business is VR data. The company is attuned to federal laws and regulations and is prepared to make all necessary system changes.  Plans are in the works to hire a project manager. The system once it is up and running will improve case management, allow for queries, integrate with our state fiscal system and allow contracted providers to link into the system for billing and communication capabilities.
  • Staffing Waivers- ACCES-VR has received more than 50 waivers since April 2018 to fill vacancies due to staff who have left the agency or been promoted to other positions. Prioritized hiring occurred in June and is occurring now for VR Counselors (VRC), VR Counselor Assistants (VRCA), District Office Managers (DOM) and Business Managers (BM).

Debora Brown-Johnson, ACCES-VR Assistant Commissioner

  • RSA Report- Report had not been received at the point of this Quarterly meeting.
  • Allotment Funding- The re-allotment funding occurs when each state agency that receives federal funding returns funds to the federal government that have not be used. Other states may request this funding from Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). The request requires use of the funds within 1 year and the agency must match with 20% of state funds. ACCES-VR requested $30 Million, received $12 million of re-allotment funds for the 2018-2019 FFY to support development of CaMS, CRS 2.0, etc.

Ceylane Meyers-Ruff, Director of VR, Central Office Administration

  • Peer Mentoring- The plan is to continue the pilot in White Plains and Rochester, and to expand to 3 additional offices (TBD), with the hope of eventual implementation in all 15 district offices. The RFP is in process with the contract office.
  • Most Integrated Settings Coordination Council (MISCC)- OMH is the lead. Mission is to implement an Olmstead Plan throughout NYS for people with the most significant disabilities to receive a variety of services in the most integrated settings. There will be local/regional meetings with a goal to bring discussion across the state with leadership in agencies and local communities to discuss what can be done to ensure most integrated settings.
  • Core Rehabilitation Services (CRS) 2.0- Contract begins in January 2019. We have over 300 vendors including 99 new vendors. In the process of launching staff trainings on new services. Business Office Managers (BOM) and finance staff will have training. Vendor training is planned for October-December through Consortium for the Advancement of Supported Employment (CASE). New vendors will receive a specific training
  • Currently working on the RFP for Pre-ETS (pre-employment transition services for ages 14-24). 15% of federal funding is required to be used for Pre-ETS.

Interagency Updates:

  • Advisory Council on Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities- Mike Godino: Committee meets twice a year. Next meeting is 10/25/18. There is no data sharing between agencies.
  • Disability Rights New York/Client Assistance Program (DRNY/CAP)- Erica Molina: DRNY is comprised of 8 federal programs, have added a 9th, Federal Payee Program; began 8/18/18. Expects to add 10-12 staff. Erica thanked those who responded with comments for the DRNY priorities during the public comment phase. New website is expected to be launched in the near future. Two new priorities have been added: 1. Tracking vendors of VR programs. 2. Assisting clients/applicants of VR/NYSCB to attain case records in accessible format, if desired.
  • Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities (TRAID): NA
  • Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD)- Lynne Thibdeau: Pre-Vocational regulations adopted in June. The administrative memo will be out in the fall. A new set of regulations (added services) for supported employment will also be out soon with an administrative memo to follow. Funding or services in segregated settings will end  in Dec 2020.
  • New York State Commission for the Blind (NYSCB)- Peter Herrig: Working through similar challenges as ACCES-VR as it relates to implementation of WIOA. Encourages members to attend and share information at its annual conference in spring 2019. Will share details at December SRC meeting.
  • Office of Mental Health (OMH)- Liam McNabb: NA
  • New York State Independent Living Council, Inc. (NYSILC)- Lindsay Miller: Hasn’t met yet. The public comment period has been completed. State Plan committee will meet next to review and complete the 3-year State Plan.
  • New York State Office of Special Education- Megan Brown: Guidance documents have been sent out for Chapter 216. Online survey consisted of QA document and guidance document on how to provide educational services for students with disabilities. A guidance document has been developed for superintendents for students exiting secondary education with a local diploma.
  • Department of Labor (DOL)- Alan Gallagher: DOL has developed a curriculum and provided training through the Round 6 Project Council training grant for adults with disabilities to all staff at Albany’s Career Central One-Stop Center, with the hope of rolling out throughout NYS Career Centers. Training for frontline staff will be completed by end of 2018. Round 8 grant, Youth with Disabilities: a meeting will soon be held to discuss changes in past year and to plan goals and approaches for the upcoming year. NYSCB, ACCES-VR, DOL, OTDA collaborated to identify needs and related technology.  All Career Centers are being updated with assistive technology with video training (to be completed by end of October). Visit DOL Funding Opportunities on their webpage for grant information. Currently updating The Primary Objective document with a focus on people with incarceration histories (e.g. Federal Bonding, WOTC).

Old Business:

  •  NA

Quality Assurance & Improvement Committee:

  • Erica: Worked through QAI workplan. Debriefed on Potsdam presentation, pleased that recommendations were heard, and some were implemented. Drafted annual report.

Policy and Planning Committee:

  • Lindsey: Reviewed draft Supported Employment Policy comments, will apply some and submit to Executive Committee for submission to ACCES-VR.

Work Force Committee:

  • Mike: 4.2 recommendation was presented, changes offered and accepted for the following: “The increase in minimum wage is making people collecting means-tested benefits (Social Security Disability Insurance/Supplemental Security Income) more hesitant than ever to explore entry into the world of work. The Workforce Development Committee recommends that ACCES-VR increase emphasis on benefits advisement for these individuals, particularly for those exploring work try-out and work experience programs. The Workforce Development Committee further recommends that ACCES-VR increase emphasis on benefits advisement in its recruitment and outreach efforts.” ACCES-VR indicated that that efforts to increase use of Benefits Advisement have already been taken.   A majority of the Council was available to vote. Results: Yea: 7; Nay: 4; Abstention: 3.

Transition Committee:

  • Paul: Worked on annual report. Finished Self-Determination spreadsheet to pass on to ACCES-VR for review and decision about best usage. Discuss March presentation; considering Transition Source or Think College.

Other Business:

  • Tonya: 2 upcoming workgroups, volunteers needed. People serving on workgroups will share the minutes and draft policies with SRC, any feedback will then be brought back to PPC. 1.Rehab technology workgroup volunteers: Paul Czech and Melissa Schindler

2. Post-Employment Outcome volunteers: Mike Godino

  • Nominations for Chair- Tonya; Vice Chair Joe Delgado, Joanie Parker; Vice chairs to be Co-Vice Chair. Chad motioned to move to slate, Mike seconded. Elect positions to be mentored by Chad with a re-vote in December.
  • Ceylane announced Alesia Simco to be AVRC in District Office Administration, will not be liaison to SRC.
  • Chad asked for an updated membership and workgroups listing. Tonya agreed to edit and distribute to the Executive Committee for approval before full distribution.


  • Mike motion made to adjourn. Paul seconded motioned; meeting adjourned.

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:

March 19-20, 2019
June 18-19, 2019
September 17-18, 2019
December 3-4, 2019

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