Unless otherwise noted, all meetings are held at:
State Services for the Blind
2200 University Avenue West #240
St. Paul, MN.
See the Documents tab for meeting materials.
Items from February 2016 Meeting
Michelle L Dornan-Vickery, who lives with her family in Farmington MN writes: “I graduated from Western Michigan University in 2010 with a MA in Vision Rehabilitation Therapy, I am a certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (CVRT) by the Academy for the Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (2014). My experience includes internships in Low Vision Therapy and Vision Rehabilitation Therapy at the Veterans Administration of Hines, Illinois and employment as a Low Vision Specialist at the VA facility in Cleveland, Ohio. I am also a Certified Employment Training Specialist (Michigan State University; 2006).
Currently I work as a CVRT for Vision Loss Resources in Minneapolis MN. My primary responsibilities are instructing students in adaptive food prep skills, tasks of daily living and low vision techniques. Prior to attending graduate school I was employed for over thirteen years as an Employment Specialist. My responsibilities included developing jobs for persons with physical and developmental disabilities, and serving as an ADA consultant and job accommodations specialist. I feel my training and experience would be an asset to the Minnesota State Council for the Blind. My knowledge of blindness and/or low vision, and employment issues directly relates to the goals of the SRC-B -- independence and empowerment for those experiencing blindness and low vision.”
Jennifer Dunnam serves as president of the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota, a volunteer consumer advocacy organization which has hundreds of members around the state and is part of a nationwide organization working to improve opportunities for blind people. She manages a contract with the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress, to administer the courses leading to certification for braille transcribers and proofreaders. Dunnam represents the National Federation of the Blind on the Braille Authority of North America and works actively on issues of braille literacy in the digital age. She enjoys singing with the Twin Cities Women's Choir, reading and learning about a wide variety of subjects, and traveling for her job. Reach her at 612-203-2738 or email email@example.com
Scott Eggen was born in Fort Brag NC and grew up in Underwood, MN. He attended college at Alexandria Technical College. He began his employment at an auto parts store and worked there from 1983 to 1986. In 1986 he joined the Business Enterprise Program and opened his business in at Fergus Falls Community College where he stayed until1996. In 1996 he moved to Moorhead and began his business at Minnesota State University Moorhead and the Travel Information Center in Moorhead. He continues this business until the present. He hopes to bring a Business Enterprises perspective to the Council. Reach him at 218-329-1179 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Hobson teaches cane travel at BLIND Incorporated, which is an adjustment to blindness training center in Minneapolis. He joined the SRC-B because he feels that it is important for blind people to speak for themselves. As a blind person, he feels he can lend his voice to the agency that serves people just like himself. Outside of work, he is newly engaged and is helping his fiance plan the perfect end-of-summer wedding. Reach him at 815-546-3306 or email email@example.com
Betty Jean Kauffman has worked as a teacher of the blind and visually impaired in the Southwest West Central region of Minnesota. She has also worked as an elementary school teacher and has taught art and reading at the secondary level. Betty writes:
I am the mother of two daughters who rely on Braille and other blind/low vision accommodations for their education. We have experienced public schools, schools for the blind, and home schooling in two states, as well as Vision Loss Resources in Minneapolis. Our family has done much studying and working with parents, school staff, special ed. services, and agencies that specialize in helping families of vision impaired children. These privileges are my greatest qualifications for the Parent Representative position on the SRC-B.
Steve Jacobson has been employed for almost forty years in a number of computer-related capacities, starting out by writing business applications for singer mini-computers. For most of his career, he has held a number of positions at the 3M Company in St. Paul, and is currently a Senior Data Quality Analyst. Being blind from birth, Steve uses alternative techniques to perform various aspects of his job and is keenly aware of the challenges faced by blind persons on the job. He also currently serves as the vice-president of the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota, and also of the nationwide computer science division of the NFB. He is married and has two daughters adopted from Korea. Reach him at 952-927-7694 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Katy Kelley is the current Rehabilitation Counselor for people who are DeafBlind with State Services for the Blind (SSB). She also offers support to greater Minnesota SSB staff and community members with resources related to DeafBlindness.
Katy was born and raised in Minnesota, and has her Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Western Oregon University. Before coming to SSB, she worked with the agencies serving persons with hearing loss and other disabilities. Currently, she serves on several committees, including the Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans steering committee and the Deaf Hard of Hearing Services Division advisory board. Katy lives in the south suburbs of the Twin Cities with her dog, Leo. In her quiet time, she enjoys yoga and spending time with her family and friends. She can be reached at 612-293-4582 or email: Katy.Kelley@state.mn.us.
Pat McGee is a lifelong resident of the Twin Cities. She grew up in Minneapolis and Bloomington and has lived in various suburbs south of the Minnesota River. She has four daughters ranging in age from 25 to 34, and two grandsons. Pat has a very diverse career background. After graduating from the University of Minnesota she was a Geological Engineer with the MN Dept. of Natural Resources. She worked at home raising her four daughters while owning a real estate and property management company. Six years ago she returned to the DNR as a Management Analyst where she currently is employed. Pat has Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative retinal disease. She has been legally blind for over 10 years. Her primary interest in becoming part of the Council is to use her life experience to assist in policy development, implementation and promotion to most effectively provide services to the customers of SSB.
Michael O’Day is the Assistant Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action at the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining the University in 2007, he served for 12 years in positions related to diversity management, equal employment opportunity and affirmative action at Northwest Airlines. Before joining Northwest Airlines in 1995, he worked for seven years at the Minnesota Department of Human Rights investigating complaints of discrimination and reviewing state contractors for compliance to affirmative action requirements. Mr. O’Day holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial Relations/Human Resources Management and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management, both from the University of Minnesota. Mr. O’Day’s interest in serving on the SRC-B is to increase employment opportunities for blind and visually impaired Minnesotans.
Kristin Oien is the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Specialist for the Blind and Visually Impaired. She is responsible for providing support, training and technical assistance to teachers of the visually impaired (TBVI), certified orientation and mobility specialists (COMS), and other stakeholders providing service to students with disabilities and their families. As a member of the Rehabilitation Council for the Blind, she provides MDE updates and collaborates on the transition, communication center, vendor and rehabilitation teaching committees. Reach her at 651-582-8843 or email Kristin.email@example.com
Kenneth Rodgers is the president of the American Council of the Blind of Minnesota (ACBM). He received his graduate degree from the University of Minnesota, Humphrey School of Public Affairs with a specialization in disability policy. Ken, besides being a schoolteacher for the first 12 years of his working life, is also a registered nurse, having worked as a cardiac RN at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. Ken received a certification in Holistic Health Studies from the College of St. Catherine and has advanced knowledge in, and often consults on the effective use of Aroma therapy - using medical and therapeutic grade essential oils to improve wellness and prevent illness. He has always maintained a special interest in working with individuals to help them to improve their health after being certified as a Massage and Bodywork Therapist in 1999. Ken has an extensive history serving the Minnesota disability community and has served on the Minnesota State Council on Disability, currently chairs the Minneapolis Advisory Committee on People with Disabilities, has chaired the MN DOT ADA Access Advisory Committee and has held various elected positions within the American Council of the Blind. Reach him at 612-817-4760 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Rochelle Chen is the CAP (Client Assistance Program) representative on the SRC-B. CAP provides legal assistance and representation to individuals with disabilities who are applying for or receiving services from the state’s vocational rehabilitation agencies or have other barriers to employment. Ms. Chen has been with the CAP and the MN Disability Law Center since 1998. Prior to the Disability Law Center, Ms. Chen worked in the mental health and social services fields. She has a B.A. from St Olaf College. Reach her at 612-746-3733 or email email@example.com
Frances Whetstone was appointed by Governor Dayton to represent the United Blind Organization for a three-year term on the Council. Twenty four years ago the eye doctor told her she was legally blind, but she was able to find the right places to help people with visual impairments; State Services for the Blind in St. Paul and Vision Loss Resources. Being on the Council, I will be able to help people who are blind or visually impaired. Frances has served on the Senior Services Committee for the last four years and is now member of the the Deaf-Blind Committee. Reach her at 952-926-4386.
Molly Wezel-Peterson: I am deafblind. I was adopted from South Korea. I was mainstreamed and I received my high school diploma at the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf (MSAD). I graduated from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) in Rochester, New York, where I studied Business Technology for an Associate Degree. I returned to Minnesota to study Business Administration at Metropolitan State University; I received a Bachelor of Science Degree in May 2014.
For the last two years I have been a member of the Minnesota DeafBlind Association (MDBA), where I have been a Trustee since January of 2015. I love helping the deafblind community to stay strong and grow. I became involved in the Minnesota DeafBlind Retreat (MDBR) committee for activities and fundraising. I had successfully raised funds for the MDBR camp of 2015. Then I assisted the MDBA Thanksgiving banquet committee; I won the Ted Mahoney DeafBlind Award for my hard work. My work history includes positions with United States Department of Agriculture, City of St. Paul, Macy’s, and the Federal Highway Administration. I am currently working at the United States Army Corps of Engineers St. Paul District where I have been for the past three years.
The SRC-B has eight committees appointed by the chair of the council. The committees, which frequently include members from the general public, are:
Staff: Brianna Holeman, (651) 539-2292, Brianna.Holeman@state.mn.us
Dave Andrews, (651) 539-2294, David.B.Andrews@state.mn.us
CC Supervisors contact: Gwen Bighley, (651) 539-2293, Gwen.Bighley@state.mn.us
Steve Jacobson - Chair
Staff: Jon Benson, (651) 539-2332, Jon.Benson@state.mn.us
Jennifer Dunnam - Chair
Jamie Taylor - Chair
Marlene Moulton Jannsen
Staff: Angela Christle, (507) 280-5563, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ron Grimm, (651) 539-2275, email@example.com
Andy Olson, (651) 539-2302, Thomas.A.Olson@state.mn.us
Natasha (Lemler) Jerde, (651) 539-2344, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael O'Day - Chair
Kotumu Kamara - Chair
Staff: Ed Lecher
Jean Johnson - Chair
Wendy DeVore - Chair
Betty Jean Kauffman
Staff: Jennifer Beilke, (651) 539-2273, Jennifer.Beilke@state.mn.us
Robert Hobson - Chair
Michelle Dornan Vickery
Section 1.1: NAME - The name of this organization shall be the State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind. (hereinafter referred to as SRC-B).
Section 1.2: ESTABLISHMENT - The SRC-B is established consistent with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended, and Minnesota Statute 248.10. The members of the SRC-B are appointed by the Governor.
Section 2.1: PURPOSE - The purpose of the SRC-B shall be to advise the Commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development about programs of State Services for the Blind and to perform other functions as provided in State and Federal statute.
Section 2.2: DUTIES OF THE SRC-B -The SRC-B's duties are:
1. Review, analyze and advise SSB regarding the performance of its responsibilities,
particularly relating to:
(a) Eligibility, including order of selection;
(b) The extent, scope, and effectiveness of services provided; and
(c) Functions performed by SSB that affect, or potentially affect, the ability of
persons who are blind, visually impaired or DeafBlind in achieving employment
outcomes under this title.
2. In partnership with SSB,
(a) Develop, agree to and review state goals and priorities in accordance with the
1998 amendments to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973;and
(b) Evaluate the effectiveness of the vocational rehabilitation program and submit
reports of progress to the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services
Administration in accordance with federal law;
3. Assist SSB in the preparation of the state plan and amendments to the plan,
applications, reports, needs assessments and evaluations required by this title;
4. To the extent feasible, conduct a review and analysis of the effectiveness of, and
consumer satisfaction with:
(a) functions performed by SSB;
(b) vocational rehabilitation services provided by SSB and other public and private
entities responsible for providing vocational rehabilitation services to persons who
are blind, visually impaired, and DeafBlind under this Act; and
(c) employment outcomes achieved by eligible individuals receiving services under this
title, including the availability of health and other employment benefits in connection
with such employment outcomes;
5. Prepare and submit a report to the Governor and the Commissioner of the
Rehabilitation Services Administration, on the status of vocational rehabilitation
programs operated within the state, and make the report available to the public;
6. Avoid duplication of efforts and enhance the number of individuals served by
coordinating activities with other state advisory councils;
7. Provide for coordination and the establishment of working relationships between
SSB and the Statewide Council for Independent Living and Centers for
Independent Living within the state;
8. Perform such other functions, consistent with the purpose of this title, as the
Council determines to be appropriate and comparable to the other functions
performed by the SRC-B; and
9. Prepare a list of qualified impartial hearing officers that must be jointly identified by
SSB and the SRC-B in accordance with 34 CFR 361.57(f)
Section 3.1: MEMBERSHIP COMPOSITION -The composition of the SRC-B's membership shall be as provided in State and Federal statute. A majority of the SRC-B's membership must be blind, visually impaired or DeafBlind. Composition of members must include at least: one representative of the Statewide Independent Living Council; one representative of a parent training and information center; one representative of the client assistance program; one vocational rehabilitation counselor; one representative of community rehabilitation services providers; one representative of the directors of the American Indian VR Projects; one representative of the Governor's Workforce Development Council; one representative from the Department of Education; four representatives of business, industry and labor; and current or former applicants for or recipients of, vocational rehabilitation services. The SRC-B shall also include a representative from each of the consumer groups representing persons who are blind or DeafBlind. The Director of SSB shall serve as an ex officio nonvoting member. If the appointed rehabilitation counselor is an employee of SSB, he/she will abstain from voting, although the member can serve as an officer, committee member or task force member.
Section 3.2: TERMS - Members of the SRC-B are appointed for three-year terms. No member may serve more than two consecutive full terms except the representative of the Client Assistance Program and the representative of the American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Project. If a member completes any portion of a three year term vacated by a previous member, it is considered a full term. Upon completion of two terms, members may be considered for reappointment after being off the SRC-B for at least one year.
Section 3.3: ATTENDANCE - In the event a member has three unexcused absences for general SRC-B meetings in a twelve-month period, the Chair shall contact the member to inquire as to his/her willingness and ability to continue to serve on the SRC-B. The Chair shall inform the SRC-B of the results of up to three attempts to contact the member. If the matter is not resolved to the satisfaction of the SRC-B, a letter will be sent to the Governor with a copy to the SRC-B member. An andquot;unexcused absenceandquot; is one in which a member of the SRC-B does not notify the chair or SRC-B support staff of the reason for the absence, either before or after the meeting but simply fails to attend.
Section 3.4: VACANCIES - Except as provided by state and federal law, any vacancy occurring in the membership of the SRC-B shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. The vacancy shall not affect the power of the remaining members to execute the duties of the SRC-B.
Members of the SRC-B shall be offered compensation as provided in State Statute. In addition, members of the SRC-B shall be offered reimbursement for travel expenses associated with attendance at full SRC-B meetings, SRC-B Committee or Task Force meetings, or when requested by the SRC-B at any other meeting. In order to qualify to receive compensation, the activity must constitute a full day spent on SRC-B activities. A andquot;full day spent on council activitiesandquot; consists of:
andbull; Any meeting of the full SRC-B at which the member of the SRC-B is present for
more than two hours including travel time;
andbull; Any time a member of the SRC-B has been assigned to a SRC-B committee or
task force, at which the member of the SRC-B is present for more than two hours
including travel time;
andbull; Any event approved by the chairperson of the SRC-B in advance for which a
member of the SRC-B is required to stay overnight;
andbull; Any event approved by the chairperson of the SRC-B in advance that a member
attends in the performance of his/her responsibilities as a member of the SRC-B
that is two hours or longer in duration including travel time.
Members who, as a result of time spent attending SRC-B or committee meetings, incur child care expenses that would not otherwise have been incurred, may be reimbursed for those expenses upon authorization by the chairperson of the SRC-B.
The location and the content of SRC-B meetings will be fully accessible. Reasonable accommodations will be provided regularly for members of the SRC - B and provided upon request for members of the public. All requests should be made at least two weeks prior to the meeting. Written material used at the meeting shall not be distributed at that meeting if materials in accessible, alternative formats are unavailable. Requests can be made by contacting the SSB office.
Section 6.1: REGULAR MEETINGS - The SRC-B shall meet at least six (6) times per year. Written notice and any document requiring a SRC-B decision shall be mailed or personally delivered to each member of the SRC-B, in the format preferred by the member, not less than five (5) days prior to the date of the meeting. In the case of a recess to another day, all members of the SRC-B shall be notified of the place, day and hour of the reconvened meeting. A majority of currently appointed members of the SRC-B must be present in order to constitute a quorum to transact business.
Section 6.2: SPECIAL MEETINGS - Special meetings of the SRC-B may be called at the request of the chairperson, Commissioner of DEED, Director of State Services for the Blind, or by written request to the chairperson by any four (4) members of the SRC-B. Written notice and any document requiring a SRC-B decision shall be mailed or personally delivered to each member of the SRC-B, in the format preferred by the member, not less than five (5) days prior to the date of the meeting. A majority of currently appointed members of the SRC-B must be present in order to constitute a quorum to transact business.
Section 6.3: DECISION MAKING - Unless otherwise provided for in these Bylaws, decisions of the SRC-B shall be made by a simple majority of the members of the SRC-B present and voting. There shall be no proxy voting. Robert's Rules of Order shall be used as a guide in the conduct of all SRC-B meetings. The SRC-B may use telephone or other electronic means in the conduct of its meetings so long as the following conditions are met, in accordance with Minnesota Stat. 248.10:
(a) All members of the SRC-B participating in the meeting, wherever their physical
location,can hear one another and can hear all discussion and testimony;
(b) members of the public present at the regular meeting location of the SRC-B can
hear all discussion and all testimony and all votes of members of the SRC-B;
(c) at least one member of the SRC-B is physically present at the regular meeting
(d) all votes are conducted by roll call so that each member's vote on each issue can
be identified and recorded.
Section 6.4: CONFLICT OF INTEREST - Members must abstain from chairing a meeting, voting or making a motion on matters that may financially benefit the member or any organization in which they serve in a policy-making capacity. Members of the SRC-B, its committees or task forces should voluntarily remove themselves from such matters, or may be removed, when there is an apparent conflict of interest, with the support of at least two-thirds of the members present and voting.
Section 6.5: PUBLIC COMMENT - Time will be made available at each regular meeting of the SRC-B for public comment whether or not such comment is directly related to the agenda. Further, non-members attending SRC-B meetings shall have the opportunity to comment concerning matters related to the agenda prior to formal action by the SRC-B. Public comment may be extended or terminated by the chairperson or by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting.
Section 6.6: PUBLIC NOTICE OF MEETINGS - In accordance with Minnesota's Open Meeting Law, the public shall be notified of all SRC-B meetings using all appropriate means of notification.
Section 6.7: RECORDS OF MEETINGS - Verbatim transcriptions of all SRC-B meetings shall be retained on audio tape and/or in print by SSB as the SRC-B's official record. Summary minutes, reflecting discussion and action taken by the SRC-B, shall be prepared for general distribution.
Section 6.8: HEARINGS AND FORUMS - The SRC-B is authorized to hold such hearings and forums as the SRC-B may determine to be necessary to carry out the duties of the SRC-B.
Section 7.1: ELECTIONS -The officers of the SRC-B shall consist of a Chairperson and a Vice Chairperson, elected by the SRC-B from among its members. Officers shall be elected annually, during the first SRC-B meeting of each calendar year, by a simple majority of the members of the SRC-B present and voting by phone or in person.
Section 7.2: CHAIRPERSON OF THE SRC-B - The chairperson of the SRC-B shall preside at all meetings of the SRC-B in a fair and impartial manner, fully participate in SRC-B business except making or seconding motions, have voting privileges, and shall be an ex-officio member of all SRC-B committees and task forces. In presiding over meetings the chairperson shall assure the right of the minority to full and fair expression of its views and shall not allow such expression to defeat the will of the majority. In addition, the chairperson of the SRC-B shall:
andbull; With the approval of the SRC-B, appoint chairpersons for SRC-B committees
and task forces;
andbull; With the SSB Director, or designated staff, develop agendas for SRC-B
andbull; With the SSB Director, or designated staff, orient new members of the SRC-B
and encourage their involvement in SRC-B activities; and
andbull; Engage in effective communication with all members of the SRC-B.
Section 7.3: VICE CHAIRPERSON OF THE SRC-B - The vice chairperson of the SRC-B shall aid the chairperson in the performance of his/her duties and, in the absence of the chairperson, shall preside at meetings of the SRC-B. If the chairperson is unable to serve, the vice chairperson shall assume the duties of that position but shall not officially occupy that chairperson's position until elected to that position by the SRC-B.
Section 7.4: TEMPORARY CHAIR - In the absence of the Chair and Vice Chair, members present shall elect a temporary Chair.
The SRC-B shall create such committees and task forces as it deems appropriate and necessary to carry out its purposes. Such Committees and Task forces will be listed, with duties and dates for completion of duties, in the annual SRC-B Work Plan. With the approval of the SRC-B, the chairperson of the SRC-B shall appoint members and chairpersons for all committees and task forces. Members and chairpersons of Committees shall be appointed for a term of one (1) year. Members and chairpersons of Task forces shall serve for the life of the task force. Members and chairpersons of committees and task forces need not be members of the SRC-B. However, all committees and task forces shall include at least one member of the SRC-B.
These Bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting of the SRC-B by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members present and voting. The proposed amendment must have been submitted in writing at a previous regular or special meeting of the SRC-B.
History of Revisions to these Bylaws:
October 2, 2004
August 4, 2005
August 7, 2008
April 4, 2013
Date these revisions are approved