Current SRC-B seats open for application:
All positions are open for application until filled.
Applicants may also submit a cover letter, resume or other information which might be helpful to the appointing authority. Applications become public information once submitted.
The council must have a majority of members who are blind or visually impaired and not employed by SSB. Members must also meet certain federal requirements. Meetings are currently held on Zoom on a bimonthly basis, with an occasional topical meeting. Compensation is $55 per diem plus expenses.
Complete and submit an online Open Appointments Application on the Secretary of State website. For additional information or to obtain the application form in alternative formats, contact the Secretary of State's Office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or in person or by U.S. mail to:
Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State
180 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155-1299
Applicants may also submit a cover letter, resume or other information which might be helpful to the appointing authority. Applications become public information once submitted.
The council meets the first Thursday on the even months of the year.
Due to COVID 19 we will be holding our meetings virtually until further notice.
For Zoom link information contact Susan Kusz.
Until further notice, all meetings will be held virtually.
See the Documents tab for meeting materials.
New Member Orientation Packet (updated December 2020)
|Advocacy Organization (ACB)||Catalina Martinez|
|Advocacy Organization (NFB)||Ryan Strunk|
|Advocacy Organization (United Blind)||Ron Woelfel|
|American Indian Vocational Rehab Representative||Gloria LaFriniere|
|Client Assistance Program||Kristina Petronko|
|Community Rehab Program Service Provider||Daniel Ashman|
|Deaf-Blind Community Representative||Jessica Eggert|
|Department of Education Representative||Carolyn Cherry|
|Governors Workforce Development Board Representative||Vacant|
|Industry Representative||Vivien Yip|
|Industry Representative||Lori Thompson|
|Industry Representative||Michael O'Day|
|Industry Representative||Michael Colbrunn|
|Member - Advocate or Parent for Individuals who are blind with multiple disabilities||Krista Bahnsen|
|PACER Representative||Deborah Leuchovius|
|Recipient of Vocational Rehabilitation Services||Patricia McGee|
|Recipient of Vocational Rehabilitation Services||Jeff Thompson|
|SSB Ex-Officio Member||Natasha Jerde|
|Statewide Independent Living Council Representative||Judy Sanders|
|Vocational Rehab Counselor||Mark Groves|
Joined the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) as the Part B Data Manager/Team Lead in June 2014 and is now the Supervisor for the Results and Improvement Unit in MDE's Division of Special Education. Among various responsibilities, she oversees the coordination and reporting of data to the U.S. Department of Education regarding students in special education. Prior to coming to MDE, Dr. Cherry was the Director of Special Education in a metro suburban district and served in Minneapolis Public Schools for 20 years in a variety of roles including school psychologist, special education coordinator, and Elementary Secondary Education Act coordinator. Carolyn is originally from California and earned her B.A. at University of California, Santa Cruz, her M.S. at University of Oregon, and her Ed.D. in Education Policy and Administration from the University of Minnesota. When not immersing herself in state data and coordinating projects as part of MDE's Division of Special Education, she is a Ramsey County Master Gardener volunteer and considers herself a bit of a foodie.
Jessica Michelle Eggert is DeafBlind and am from Eagan. Jess has passion of love to volunteer out in community and her last volunteering experiences has been with Crew 52 with Minneapolis Super Bowl 52, Final Four, National Tae Kwon Do tournament and will be volunteering with the X Game. Jess enjoy outdoors, learning new things and traveling around with her guide dog. Jess is very strong advocate and strong beliefs in self empowerment and empowering others. Jess is very independent person and outgoing person with great sense of humors. Thanks
Pat, the Vice Chair 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 has over thirty years of experience in the areas of Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action and diversity management. He is currently Sr. Manager, Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action at RBC Capital Markets. Before joining RBC in 2015, Michael held similar positions at the University of Minnesota, Northwest Airlines and the State of Minnesota. Mr. O'Day holds a Master's Degree in Industrial Relations/Human Resources and a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management, both from the University of Minnesota.
Kristina Petronko is a staff attorney in the Minneapolis office of the Minnesota Disability Law Center (MDLC). MDLC is the designated Protection and Advocacy program for Minnesota, providing free civil legal assistance to individuals with disabilities statewide on legal issues related to their disabilities. All individuals with disabilities are eligible to receive help, regardless of age or income level. One of MDLC's projects is the Client Assistance Project, which provides assistance and advocacy for people receiving rehabilitation services in Minnesota, including services from State Services for the Blind.
Although I have been blind since birth I was not always lucky enough to understand that my blindness need not limit me. Graduating from the University of Colorado I began my search for a teaching position. Denver Public Schools required that all those receiving job offers pass a physical which included having 20/40 visual acuity in the better eye. Needless to say, I did not qualify. Working with the National Federation of the Blind we changed that policy in the early 1970s. In addition to teaching I worked as a travel agent and I served as the district director for Minnesota Congressman Gerry Sikorski. At State Services for the Blind I have coordinated a program for blind seniors and worked as a braille Proofreader for ten years. In my retirement, I enjoy reading fiction, playing cards with friends and going out to eat.
My name is Lori Thompson. I am a Licensing Specialist with the MN Board of Pharmacy. Formerly, was a teacher for an adjustment to blindness training center in Minneapolis. I enjoy helping blind people build positive attitudes about blindness and being a positive role model in society.
Jeff, the Chair, is a media producer and the driving force behind Blind Abilities. With content created specifically for teens, and college students, as well as working professionals and seniors, Blind Abilities offers podcasts and blog posts featuring assistive tech demos, interviews, tips, tricks and life hacks for blind, DeafBlind, and low vision consumers. Jeff attended the U of M and Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) where he served as the student body president. Advocating for two-year colleges, Jeff served on the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Advisory board. He is a graduate of both BLIND, Inc.'s and Vision Loss Resources' adjustment to blindness programs. Before launching Blind Abilities, Jeff worked as a woodworking instructor at BLIND, Inc. Through his teaching and creating content for Blind Abilities, Jeff has firsthand experience of blind, DeafBlind and low vision consumers "from sixteen to sixty" finding the resources and developing the skills to meet their life goals. Jeff and his wife Lori have four children and three grandchildren. When taking a break from Blind Abilities, Jeff still enjoys woodworking as well as yard work and gardening.
Vivien Wing Yip
Vivien is an optometrist and completed a residency in the specialty of low vision rehabilitation and ocular disease. She graduated from Illinois College of Optometry and further dedicated a year to work with patients with vision impairments at the Chicago Lighthouse, Spectrios Institute for Low Vision and Illinois Eye Institute. Dr. Yip approaches each of her eye exams with empowering her patients to understand their potential and to maximize their capability to live independently despite their vision impairment. She is also a board member of Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanities (VOSH) of Minnesota where they plan international trips to provide eye care to those who do not have access. She has been on trips to Honduras and Mexico as a volunteer clinician with her husband Dr. Lee Schneider who is also an optometrist. They enjoy taking advantage of all the bike trails there are in the twin cities and skiing in the winter.
Ronald P. Woelfel
Ronald began working in the photo business in 1973, and retired in 2016. He began his career as a photo paper processor, a film splicer, and photo paper slitter assistant. In his career, Ron's strong work ethic helped him make the transition as the photo industry moved to digital. When the company he was working for phased out film processing from negatives, they recognized Ron's value as a strong employee and offered him a new position within the company. Ron has been a member of the United Blind of Minnesota for about 30 years. A St. Paul homeowner, Ron also manages a rental condo unit that he owns. This background in property management and work on condo committees help shape the skills and perspective Ron brings to the SRC-B. Throughout his long career Ron worked with State Services for the Blind whenever he changed jobs. He welcomes the opportunity to serve on the council as a chance to give back to SSB and the community.
Barb is the Co-director of PACER's National Parent Center on Transition and Employment, an innovative project that puts families at the center as youth with disabilities navigate the path to education, work and life after high school. Barb has been a special education parent advocate and trainer at PACER for 15 years, and has authored publications and curriculum and has been a frequent presenter on a variety of topics. Barb has a passion for inclusion and for promoting and supporting high expectations for all individuals with disabilities. She draws from her own experience as the parent of a young-adult son with intellectual and developmental disabilities who successfully navigated the transition to adulthood and is now enjoying living with supports in an apartment of his own and working in the community at a competitive, integrated job.
Below are the current committee assignments. There are at least two SSB staff that serve on each of the following committees.
The SRC-B has eight committees appointed by the chair of the council. The committees, which frequently include members from the general public, are:
Steve Jacobson - Chair
4 vacant seats
Jennifer Dunnam - Chair
2 vacant seats
Jessica Eggert - Chair
2 vacant seats
Catalina Martinez - Chair
1 vacant seat
Pat McGee - Chair
1 vacant seat
Wendy DeVore - Chair
Jennifer Beilke, 651-539-2273
Jan Bailey - Chair
3 vacant seats
The following is the text of the bylaws and statutes that govern the council.
As Amended August 2018
(Amended 8/4/05, 4/4/2013)
The name of this organization shall be the State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind. (hereinafter referred to as SRC-B).
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.
(Amended 8/4/05, 4/4/2013, 8/2/2018)
The purpose of this Council shall be to advise the Commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development about programs of Services for the Blind and to perform other functions as provided in State and Federal statutes and regulations.
(Amended 8/7/08, 4/4/2013, 8/2/2018)
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. The SRC-B shall also include a representative from each of the consumer groups representing persons who are blind or DeafBlind consistent with federal and state statutes.
The terms of members of the SRC-B, term limits, and exceptions are defined by state and federal statute. Upon completion of two terms, members may be considered for reappointment after being off the SRC-B for at least one year.
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 "unexcused absence" 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.
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 "full day spent on council activities" consists of:
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.
(Amended 8/7/08, 04/04/2013, 08/02/2018)
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, provided using electronic methods 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.
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, provided using electronic methods, 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.
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 as defined 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 location; and
(d) all votes are conducted by roll call so that each member's vote on each issue can be identified and recorded.
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.
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.
In accordance with Minnesota's Open Meeting Law, the public shall be notified of all SRC-B meetings using all appropriate means of notification.
Verbatim transcriptions of all SRC-B meetings shall be retained on secure audio media 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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Date these revisions are approved
The following links to state and federal documents provide the legal underpinnings for state councils, including the SRC-B of Minnesota.
State Services for the Blind (SSB) measures customer satisfaction with Adjustment to Blindness (ATB) training and training providers. SSB posts a new report every six months to help customers make an informed choice when selecting ATB vendors and to help vendors improve their services.
Surveying began in April 2006 and continues yearly. Issues and Answers, an independent survey company, interviews ATB customers who receive services from community rehabilitation programs and individual vendors three months after receiving them, or at closure, whichever comes first. The interviews are done over the phone. Numerical data is posted on ATB providers for whom at least five survey responses were completed and for whom there was a 70 percent response rate. Contact SSB at 800-652-9000 for a print copy or an alternative format.