Federal Fiscal Year 2020, 1st Quarter
October 2019 - December 2019
Presented to the State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind
March 6, 2020
- Independent Living Blind Skills Services
- Business Enterprise Program (BEP)
- Customer Services
- Youth Services
- Orientation and Training Center Highlights
- Regional VR Highlights
- Agency Communications Report
- Financial Report
- Human Resources Update
INDEPENDENT LIVING BLIND SKILLS SERVICES
Service Snapshot – Younger Blind (YB) And Older Blind (OB) Clients
October 2019 – December 2019
(13% of all
(87% of all
|Service Delivery to Hispanic or Latino Clients||7||4||3|
|Service Delivery to Asian Clients||6||2||4|
|Centenarians (age 100 or older) Served||1||NA||1|
|Youth (24 or younger) Served||4||4||NA|
all clients 60 years old or younger
|Clients with Depression||74||12||62|
|Clients with Bone, Muscle, Skin, Joint, and Movement Disorders
(includes Parkinson's, arthritis, and osteoporosis)*
|Clients with Diabetes **||69||13||56|
|Average Cost per Client||$ 431||$ 528|
* - More OB Clients have some sort of bone, muscle, skin, join, and movement issue than any other medical issue.
** - More YB Clients have diabetes than any other medical issue.
On December 10th, Sheila Turner gave an outreach presentation at Park Plaza Retirement Home in Walla Walla. She brought several low vision aids. She demonstrated 2 types of magnifiers, stand and handheld as well as TV glasses, electronic magnifiers and page magnifiers. She also shared all manner of large print materials including calendars, dark lined paper, check registers, address books and 20/20 pens. She demonstrated techniques for dialing the telephone and labeling other appliances. Sheila also demonstrated two types of canes, long and support, and how to arc and keep in step. She conducted a brief Q&A providing information on herself as well as the Edith Bishel Center. There were six people in attendance attend and two referrals for the IL program from this outreach.
“I can continue to read newspaper and do word games (crosswords, etc.) with the quality magnification from Lilac Services. Thank you!”
“The Ottlite at my desk has been extremely helpful along with the darker ink pens. The lighted magnifying glasses will help me read menus and labels for ingredients when I grocery shop. Also small print documents, papers etc.”
“Mimi brought light to my life! I was using an old magnifying glass which I'll replace with the new lighted glass she gave to me. I was also using an old floor lamp which has replaced by a new lamp Mimi gave to me which directs light to my reading space and also to the ceiling independently. Thank you!”
BUSINESS ENTERPRISE PROGRAM (BEP)
The US Courthouse in downtown Seattle is great location for the program and we continue to work with owner Roderick Roberts and GSA to create more visibility for the café. The location has some inherent challenges that come with operating in downtown Seattle such as very high labor cost, minimal labor availability, and an oversaturated restaurant market.
Our L&I Headquarters facility successfully has gone through the ownership change and adjustments as expected. Shannon has done a great job building rapport with her staff and building customers. This is an exciting opportunity for our vendor community to develop new strategies for the future and begin to develop a relevant food presence in a key state agency. Our client at L&I has made the transition smooth and is very supportive. They are still designing the minor remodel to café area.
Our two newest vendors continue to find success and progress as well at their respective locations. They are the Clark County Court House and EL Goodrich building in Tumwater. BEP staff is consistently working with them to find solutions in their day-to-day business.
We are beginning to look at the aging Capital Campus facilities and the cost of operations due to shrinking workforce onsite. As more employees telecommute or work a variety of schedule, the potential building population is ever changing. That means we need to teach our vendors to be nimble and flexible with the business models.
TRAINING AND POTENTIAL NEW VENDOR UPDATE
We held our All State meeting in October for current vendors, licensees and trainees. Topics included food trends, accessible technology, modernizing equipment and a personal development course. Vendor enjoyed the day and found experience helpful. We are looking into additional workshops at quarterly vendor meeting to keep up momentum.
Previously we discussed a need to increase the pipeline of new potential vendors. We are on our way and making upgrades to training program. Our 1st candidate finished Hadley BEPLT courses and is scheduled for OJT experience in January. We are still working with two other potential trainees to determine where BEP fits for them. Additionally Hadley is re-working some courses to assist with the assessments; they should be ready by March 2020.
Jim and Elvis have been active in the field all quarter working with vendors on business processes, marketing, staff development and culture. The vendors has shown appreciation for the support and interest in their businesses.
We have added a new contracts specialist, Wendy Werner who has grasped our program quickly; thanks to Liz for a thorough and complete onboarding. Wendy’s background is a great asset for us. She is already streamlining many of our tracking tools and creating new efficiencies. It’s an exciting time.
SNAPSHOT OF PERFORMANCE COMPARISON: [Q2 FFY20 VS Q2 FFY19]
- New VR Applications [76 vs 66]
- VR Customers Receiving Planned Services [595 vs 1044]
- VR Customers Added to Wait List [51 vs 70]
- VR Customers Released from Wait List [57 vs 0]
- Students with a Disability served [339 vs 356]
- Competitive Employment Outcomes [13 vs 9]
- Average Hourly Wage FFY20 Q1 [$40.88 vs $18.86]
Successful placements made this quarter:
|Computer Programmers||Puget Sound Energy||North/King|
|Musicians and Singers||Eastern Washington University||East/Spokane|
|Community and Social Service Specialists||I & R Senior Solutions, LLC||North/King|
|Office and Administrative Support Workers||Western Federal Lands Highway Division||South/Clark|
|Production Workers, All Other||Bucher Aerospace Corp.||North/Snohomish|
|Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand||Huntwood Industries||East/Spokane|
|Education, Training and Library Workers||Self-employed||South/Thurston|
|Customer Service Representatives||Frontier Rehabilitation and Extended Care||South/Wahkiakum|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||Amazon||North/King|
|Special Education Teachers||Edith Bishel Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired||East/Franklin|
Average hourly wage all employment outcomes at Q4: $40.88
- Percentage of participants age 55 and older who exited with employment outcome: 19%
- Eldest with employment outcome: Age 70 – Self-employed as an Education Consultant
- Youngest with employment outcome: Age 25 – Aerospace Engineer at Boeing
SPENDING TARGETS FOR PRE-EMPLOYMENT TRANSITION SERVICES SET ASIDE
|Federal Grant||Grant Amount||Pre-ETS Set Aside||Pre- ETS Spent Dollars||Unspent Balance|
|$ 8,730,218||$ 1,309,532||$ 1,291,505||$ 18,027|
|$ 8,792,634||$ 1,318,895||$ 1,250,702||$ 68,193|
|$ 11,454,960||$ 1,718,244||$ 1,718,224||$ 0|
|$ 14,866,200||$ 2,229,930||$ 372,323||$ 1,857,607|
PRE-EMPLOYMENT TRANSITION SERVICES AND YOUTH SERVICES ACTIVITIES
YOUTH SERVICES WORKSHOPS
Around the state, YSSers provided a number of day workshops focused on self-advocacy, work readiness to develop soft skills, and independent living.
- Life in the Arts workshop with Molten Works Glass Studio. Thirteen youth participated and created a project using a variety of tools and practicing organization skills.
- The Wonderful Baking workshop was newsworthy; and the six students in attendance were observed by a features reporter from the South Seattle Emerald. South Seattle Emerald Article about DSB Baking Workshop.
- Careers under the Sea was held at the Blue Zoo aquarium and 17 youth, plus a few parents and siblings, learned about careers in marine biology, aviary, reptile zoos, and variety of other jobs found in an aquarium. The tour guide mentioned that the owner of the Blue Zoo is also visually impaired which inspired the youth about career choices.
- An evening seminar for youth and parents was held to learn about SSI’s Work Incentives for Youth.
- A first-ever Pre-ETS workshop in Wenatchee was held at Lilac Services for the Blind. Five students, ages 9 to 19, practiced work readiness skills in food service occupations. They learned safe food handling rules to make enchiladas and pumpkin pie. They also participated in a scavenger hunt to learn public transit and deal with the public to ask directions.
- Celebrate with Baking workshop held in Kennewick attracted nine youth, ages 10 to 18, and was focused on food science and occupations in large scale baking by using a commercial kitchen.
CAREER COUNSELING/WORKPLACE READINESS/JOB EXPLORATION
DSB and WSSB collaborated with Clark County Work Source to develop work-related experiences for students at the school and LIFTT.
- YSS at WSSB began another successful school year with WorkForce Southwest’s Partners in Careers (PIC). This year PIC has been arranging for youth to participate in job shadows and business tours in a different career sector each month.
- September 2019 was ‘environmental science’ with tours/job shadows at Columbia Springs and Fish Hatchery, Water Resource Center, and US Forest Service.
- October was ‘manufacturing’ with tours/job shadows at Sigma Design, Employers Overload, HP, and Friends of the Carpenter. One of the highlights was that Sigma Design allowed the students to experience a virtual reality simulation of driving a crane.
- November was ‘healthcare’ with tours/job shadows at Peace Health Hospital outpatient clinics, CDM Caregiving, and a dental surgeon practice. At Peace Health Hospital, the students practiced CPR and learned how to put on and take off the protective wear that medical staff use.
- December was ‘writing’ with job shadows at The Columbian Newspaper, and a writing event at Barnes and Noble Bookstore where a published author presented about his career path.
- Two of the PIC participants are also working in internships – one at a daycare and another at a non-profit agency. A third student has been accepted for an internship at an after school program. That student is working on completing the training requirements to begin work.
- Contract development began the provision of generalized career exploration for youth requiring Supported Employment. So far, five students are ready for services once the contract becomes final. Services will include developing interest and skill inventories and resumes, identifying potential vocational accommodations, development of career experience work sites and maintaining placements in those sites, provision of small group soft skills training, staff training for supporting career success and parent training about DDA services, participation in IEP meetings as requested and documentation of students’ progress.
APRIL Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Eleven youth (ages 15 to 21), two youth mentors, three staff and one parent participated in the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) youth conference. Problem solving skills were put to use when a flight delay resulted in an unexpected stay in Chicago and figuring out transportation to Grand Rapids when flight reschedules failed. Once there, the group connected with other DSB youth and had a meaningful experience in youth leadership and advocacy. At the end of the conference banquet, all of the DSB funded participants got up, in front of approx. 350+ people, and spoke about the impact that the conference had made on them. One of the breakout session that YSS attended was a group discussion with transition coordinators around the country. As a result of attending that session, YSS was invited to participate in their monthly Skype discussions.
WCB Convention in Seattle, Washington
The WCB convention was attended by sixteen youth, ranging in age from 12 through 21. DSB partnered with the WCB children and families committee and Washington Talking Book and Braille Library to provide some wonderful experiences for the students. Friday night, the students arrived and one of the hotel meeting spaces was turned into an accessible escape room. The students had to work together to figure out how to escape from an alien space ship using various clues throughout the room. Thankfully, both teams were able to escape within the timeframe they were allotted!
Typically, students who attend workshops with DSB tend to be shy at their first one. Well, this event was the exact opposite. Students decided on Friday night they wanted to have their own talent show where they quickly worked with other students to create performances, sing songs, and one student even performed a monologue as the sorting hat from Harry Potter.
On Saturday students attended the employment panel where they learned from BVI professionals. They listened to them talk about their career and personal journey, and explain the challenges they faced in their career and post-secondary endeavors. WCB and DSB coordinated an organization workshop specifically for the students. They learned how to organize their closets, their homes, and even their backpacks using various organization strategies. Most importantly, they learned about the importance of organization.
After lunch students participated in a dress for success interactive activity. They learned about the importance in how you present yourself to the world. WCB had an organized clothing rack they the students then used to put together outfits for interviews and attend a wedding. They worked together as teams to put the outfits together, and then presented them to the rest of the group.
This event was a huge success and DSB and the WCB received a lot of positive feedback from parents and students. The students formed friendships, gained confidence and parents were provided a space to form connections and support one another.
NFB Washington Convention in Olympia, Washington
The NFBW convention was attended by eight youth, their parents and some siblings. Youth were teamed with an older mentor of the NFBW. DSB and NFBW worked to connect youth with mentors that were with similar interests and/or whom were in career fields that the students had interests in. Students and parents joined a lunch where they sat at tables with both their mentors, other students, and other older BVI members of the NFBW. Parents were purposely separated from their children so that they could form connections with each other.
A variety of open ended questions were posed as discussion topics for the tables. They were asked about challenges that the BVI community faces and what an ideal world would look like if accessibility was no longer a barrier. We had a limited time, but these questions could have been discussed for hours. Parents and students both expressed extreme gratitude for getting the opportunity to discuss these questions with each other and hear different perspectives.
Students were then invited to join the NFBW’s student division where they got to learn more about the division, how to get involved and continued to form friendships with other students. They were invited to participate in a debate activity with student division members and were welcomed by the student division with open arms. DSB attendees had a blast. Afterwards they attended breakout sessions of their choice, including a breakout session on sightless self-defense and technology in school and in the workplace. This was extremely informative for both parents and students. DSB received great feedback from parents and students who attended this event, and NFBW even earned some new members!
Four Youth Service Specialists attended the National Youth Employment Coalition Conference in Washington DC to learn what other Pre-ETS programs offer around the US. Highlights included assisting youth with career exploration in self-employment; supporting undocumented youth in their transition from high school to work; and the power of youth networking and leadership in their communities and nationally.
ORIENTATION AND TRAINING CENTER HIGHLIGHTS
PROGRESS TOWARDS STRATEGIC INITIATIVE 1 – TELLING THE DSB STORY
For Lance Mathena, life has always been about working hard and putting forth his best to be personally successful, both at home and at work. He always believed that succeeding was much easier than failing, even though it might take longer to achieve. His theory and life philosophy was put to the test after becoming blind, but Lance was willing to take on the new challenge and succeed!
Seven years ago, Lance learned that the simplest bodily moves or gestures sometimes brought permanent changes. A move of the neck and a hard sneeze caused the rupturing of four disks in his neck. Nerves in his spine were pinched, he experienced constant pain, and he was not able to move his right arm for several weeks until he had surgery. Even though the surgeons were successful in repairing most of the damage, Lance still experienced pain in his right arm and neck. The problems this incident caused made him miss a great deal of work, and within a year, he lost his job.
Around that same time, another simple move (bending down to pick up a pen that had fallen) caused Lance to once again hurt himself, making him need more surgery to repair further damage. During the surgical process, the doctor made an error, and Lance’s left vertebral artery was severed beyond repair. Lance actually bled enough to the point of dying for a few minutes until doctors were able to pump enough blood into him to revive him. Lance had a stroke due to a blood clot, which lodged in his brain, killing the part where the optic nerve connected. Because of that stroke, Lance was blind, with only about 3% vision in the bottom right corner of each eye.
The next several months were tough for Lance. Not only did he have to deal with a court case regarding the recent surgery, but he had to deal with the effects of the stroke and with being blind. Lance recovered his ability to think and speak clearly. Recovering from the depression of losing the majority of his sight would take some time.
Lance’s daughter heard about DSB and gave him the necessary contact information. A week later, he and his wife met with Juanessa Scott. He quickly became a client and began receiving services, including in-home training in some basic blindness skills. However, Lance hoped there would be something more intensive he could try. Still feeling quite lost, Lance wanted to learn more about being a blind man and perhaps even meet other blind people who were going through similar experiences. As soon as he heard about the OTC, Lance eagerly jumped at the opportunity to be a residential student!
The OTC was everything Lance wanted. It was also quite challenging and made him look at himself in a new way. The training he received was intensive! He liked the fact that he was learning from several instructors who were also blind. His training also had him face his blindness head on; making him come to his own conclusions about what he believed he could do as a blind person.
Lance remarked that he learned the most about being a blind person and living with blindness from the seminar discussions. He did his best to soak everything in, while still questioning and challenging himself, his OTC peers and seminar facilitators. Not only did he gain hope for himself, but also he learned a very important lesson about blind people. They are people, just like him. “The classes taught me the skills of blindness, but it was in seminar where I learned to be a blind man.”
As with everything at the OTC, some classes made a big impact. Cooking was always one of Lance’s strengths, and once he learned how to be safe in the kitchen, he did very well in Home Ec. He did his graduation meal in one term and helped others when he could. Mobility helped him prepare to obtain his future guide dog. Classes such as Braille were a bit more challenging, but they taught him to keep persevering. Still other classes, like the Careers class showed him that he was still a clear thinker and had a lot to offer the people around him. In spite of other personal obstacles and trials while at the OTC, Lance graduated and was ready for his next chapter in life. He believed success would come his way and he was ready to work to get it.
Lance spent a long time trying to find employment and was unsuccessful. He knew that if something did not happen soon, his depression would come back. However, this time, he would not be depressed because he did not know how to deal with blindness. He would be depressed because of the fact that he was competent but could not prove it by obtaining and maintaining a stable job. Aside from that, Lance knew that others were in similar situations, and he wanted to try to turn things around for himself and others.
Lance always had a love for the great outdoors and a passion for sports such as hunting and fishing. After his time at the OTC, he had some experiences, which showed him that blindness did not have to hinder him from being a hunter or fisherman. He met other people who shared his passion and enthusiasm. Lance figured that since he had such a positive experience outdoors, perhaps other blind people would benefit from something similar. From that, he started a nonprofit organization called the North American Association of Blind Sportsmen. NAABS provides opportunities for blind people from around the country to experience the many sports of the great outdoors. The following quote was taken from the NAABS website.
“Our passion is providing encouragement, friendship, and assistance to those we serve, that they might bloom, grow, and experience success in their own lives; that they might be an example to others of what members of the blind and vision impaired community can do, and what we can achieve for the good of all.”
In a very short time, NAABS has grown and received recognition, grants and partnerships from around the country. NAABS leads by example, and many via a TV show on a well-known TV network can now view that example. NAABS, by way of Lance, returned to the OTC to inspire current students and encourage them to be adventurous and not allow blindness to hinder them from following their dreams.
Lance knows that none of his current success would have been possible without good training in the skills of blindness. He said that the OTC lit the first spark, but he kept fanning the flame once he graduated. The bigger or more important lessons that Lance learned about blindness came after graduating from the OTC. He learned that even though he had the confidence in himself as a competent blind person, and even though many others believed in the abilities of blind people, employers did not. Discrimination still exists just because people have disabilities that are not always understood. Blind people still have to work many times harder than sighted people to obtain employment and prove themselves to their employers. Lance learned that he will always need to continue helping to educate the public. He is willing to do what he can to see other blind people be successful, just like him.
PROGRESS TOWARDS STRATEGIC INITIATIVE 2 – DSB EXPERTISE
Joy Iverson continues taking the Library of Congress Braille transcription course. She has done very well in her lessons. Once she finishes the course, she hopes to receive national lifetime certification in Braille transcription.
This past term, we did not have any students complete an internship. We had one graduate who immediately received and took a job with the Tacoma School district as a Teacher of the Visually Impaired.
REGIONAL VR HIGHLIGHTS
FIRST TIME CONFERENCE-GOER
Excerpts of story from H.A. (Yakima office):
This past Fall I attended the National Federation of the Blind of Washington (NFBW) state convention. It was a fantastic learning experience for me and for many among us who were there for the first time attending. This convention reiterated that I have many opportunities as a Blind person when I get resources, and share my resources as well through the power of networking. In fact, this is one of many things that I engaged in during my conference. Besides networking, there were a lot of opportunities to learn more mobility through independent practices and discoveries, and to enhance my experiences with technology and education as well.
One of the many learning experiences that I had at Convention was learning to navigate the huge and confusing Hotel R.L. in Olympia, WA, where the NFBW conference took place. Well, it probably wasn’t as huge and confusing as other hotels or motels that I have been to. But it definitely took me out of my comfort zone, and it was definitely much bigger than other places that I am used to navigating. Fortunately for me, I was quite blessed by the number of easy landmarks that I have acquired during my 3-day stay at this hotel.
I used a service called AIRA (Artificial Intelligence Remote Assistance) which helps blind people with performing daily tasks efficiently and independently. AIRA provides visual information in a timely manner, through their highly qualified, trained agents in accessibility. The person who helped me through a videoconference call over the AIRA app was very diligent and knew how to assist me in the right direction to retrieve and choose my drink. She described everything, from the price tag on every beverage to which button on the panel to utilize, and to confirm that it was the right drink, after pulling it out of the slot underneath. This experience was very empowering for me, since I really didn’t need to wait for a random by-passer around to help me, and the Hotel R.L. had free AIRA access in all of its rooms and corners. So, I felt so free and so independent.
Speaking about empowerment, I listened to a presentation given by Deja Powell, the new manager at the DSB Orientation and Training Center. She talked about her goals for the center, in which she will try to empower her staff and all of us students. She actually used the word “Empower” to form her words for her goals that she presented to the Convention. The first letter of this word was each goal. This was so awesome to hear, and I hope that she is able to accomplishing her goals of educating, motivating, providing partnerships and opportunities, weaving hope, giving high expectations, and rehabilitating her staff, her students, and everybody in between, at the OTC.
Overall, I have had an awesome experience at the NFBW state conference where I engaged in many learning opportunities and met new people I have not met before. I stretched my network, and I may possibly end up finding a job very soon. I boosted my confidence by just being there, and by learning to navigate this hotel, and, yes, breaking a wooden board with my bare hands during the self-defense course.
I give a heartfelt and warm thanks to DSB for allowing me to attend the NFBW state convention and for their dedication of the learning for their clients. It was a wonderful chance to learn more and network some more with others professionally. It is my hope that I become a member of the National Federation of the Blind within the next few months, and contribute positively to the advocacy and efforts of this blindness group. What a great weekend!!
MAKING GREAT STRIDES IN BLINDNESS SKILLS
Shared by Harry Whiting, VCR4 in the Lacey field office.
A.S. has been a participant of DSB since August 18, 2016. She was referred to DSB from IL. In April, 2016 she accidentally drank a bottle of rubbing alcohol causing total blindness and brain disorder.
I met her at a rehab facility in Kitsap County. She was a patient there for 4 months. None of the staff had worked with a blind patient. She “took the bull by the horns” and had staff members teach her how to use a makeshift cane. She ended up being a mentor and friend to many of the patients and staff members.
After she met with me, she and her father insisted on me making arrangements for her to enter the DSB OTC program. OTC staff were reluctant to take her on, but she convinced them she can handle it. She completed 6 terms and graduated with honors. She took the neuro-psychological test in Seattle and was able to show she can eventually live on her own and to seek employment for gainful purposes. She did not do well with keyboarding but insisted on continuing with that activity from her apartment.
After she got settled in her hometown in Sequim, Washington, she joined the NFB and got support from the members. After a year, she got approved from Section 8 housing to have her own apartment. She got extensive mobility training in her home town and was finally accepted into the seeing eye dog training program in Boring, Oregon. She was not accepted the first time, as she did not participate in a 12 step program via a drug and alcohol facility. It is noted she was given the opportunity to participate in a counseling program, however, she turned it down. The reason being, she has been taking care of herself in many different ways and has been successful in doing so. She felt she caused the problem of being totally blind and decided she knew what she needed to do to care for herself. The Seeing Eye dog facility finally approved her for a dog, as she was able to prove she had been sober for over 4 years. She was able to show once she made a decision not to touch alcohol since the incident, she will continue to follow throughout the vocational rehabilitation process. She is participating in computer training remotely and expects to be ready for gainful employment within an office environment as a support staff member after she graduates from the dog training program on April 12, 2020.
In my opinion, it is unusual for such an individual to get this far within the vocational rehabilitation process within 3 and ½ years. She has done well and is on her way to becoming gainfully employed. She credits the Lacey staff and the OTC staff for getting her to where she is now.
PROGRESS TOWARDS STRATEGIC INITIATIVE 1 – DSB STORY & OUTREACH
- Annie Ives, Rehab Teacher/O&M, staffed a DSB booth during the White Cane Day Celebration, where she provided materials and spoke with the public about DSB.
- Kelly Franklin, VRC4, educated partners about DSB and how to maximize these partnerships to make sure DSB participants have what they need when it’s time for them to begin job searching, applying and next steps once they are offered a position:
- Work Force Conference – Workforce Development group
- Skookum Contract Services – working together on a Kitsap Internship Development committee.
- Kitsap Community Center-WorkSource – discussion around consumer services.
- Bremerton WorkSource – conversation about Disability Navigator and federal jobs.
- Beth Sutton, Rehab Teacher/O&M, had the opportunity to work with a PSU Student. The student learned about DSB VR services while receiving practicum observation hours and no traffic control street crossing training.
- Beth Sutton provided DSB information to Kaiser Optometry during her own visit at the eye doctor. She explained all of DSB services and how to refer patients to DSB.
- Beth Sutton and Janet George, Youth Service Specialist (YSS), arranged for a Skype meeting for DSB to learn what seminars PNWA (Pacific NW Writers Association) could offer YSS participants. YSS explained to the PNWA member what services DSB provides youth.
- Harry Whiting, VRC4, Lacey office, has been visiting his local and distant partners throughout his territory. The purpose of these visits has been to discuss the continual collaboration needed when DSB customers connect with them. The goal is to maximize the services/assistance that these agencies provide. Ensuring that the DSB consumer has the right tools and information to participate in getting trained, or preparing for and starting their job searching (networking):
- WorkSource office via DVR out of Centralia, Washington
- Tribal meeting in Lacey, WA (along with DSB staff Alexis Clough, Juanessa Scott and Meredith Hardin)
- Grays Harbor Community College - met with President Minkler and Ms. Chaves, Disability Students Coordinator
- Mario Eiland, AT Specialist, interviewed for an open position on the CTRAN (Clark County Public Transit Authority) Advisory Committee and was elected to the Committee starting in January, 2020. This will give DSB a place for more representation and participate in discussions regarding those with a visual disability.
- Juanessa Scott, VRC4, gave a presentation to team members at Tacoma DVR, with their manager Amanda Kipfer. She presented on all the services DSB provides, and how to collaborate when sharing cases between DVR and DSB.
- The Spokane office was excited to welcome a second VR Counselor, Eric Wharton, to join the office. This is the first time that the Spokane office has had a much needed second counselor.
- The Spokane office held an Open House on December 17th. This was an opportunity for CRPs, other agencies, and stakeholders to tour the (relatively) new office space and meet the new Spokane VRCs.
- Kara Thompson, VRC 4, Seattle office has been attending an Advanced MI training with Kelly Franklin. It has been a wonderful training so far and it’s giving her an opportunity to hone her MI skills which has been beneficial when working with participants.
PROGRESS TOWARDS STRATEGIC INITIATIVE 2 – DSB EXPERTISE
- Kelly Franklin participated in the Mason County Auditors meeting to share her knowledge of consumer needs around accessibility issues; creating an ACAC (Accessible Community Advisory Committee) to address accessibility issues.
- Laura Ozios-Townsend, Assistive Tech Specialist, provided her AT knowledge to Arc of Washington, providing AT support to current technology (troubleshoot braille display/JAWS not working).
- Laura Ozios-Townsend provided AT Training to a group of staff members at the WorkSource-Tacoma. She presented and trained on current technologies and what DSB participants may be using in classes that WorkSource offers.
- Mario Eiland and Reggie George, AT Specialists, assisted OFM staff with accessibility testing of their new MyPortal site to be launched in the next year or so. Mario continues to assist with improving functionality of the software and interface for accessibility.
- Kara Gieschen, Rehab Teacher/O&M, gave a sighted guide/blindness etiquette training to employees at the SOLA (State Operated Living Alternatives) Program. Staff here work with people with vision loss every day.
- Kara Thompson, VRC4, has been attending an Advanced MI training with Kelly Franklin. It has been a wonderful training so far and it’s giving her an opportunity to hone her MI skills which has been beneficial when working with participants.
- Sandra Rodriguez, Rehab Teacher/O&M, Seattle gave an in-service to the North Region VRCs on reading eye reports.
- VRC Taurus Richardson volunteered as a navigator at the October 1st Access Spokane Job Fair sponsored by the Spokane WorkSource office.
- John Sheahan, AT Specialist, attended the BEP quarterly meeting hosted by a BEP operator/owner, Robert Ott. John demonstrated iPhone apps for all the vendors, and showed them how they could be useful tools in helping them get work done as BEP owners.
- Carolyn Hoppe-Denend, VRC4, connected in person and over the phone with partners in her caseload territory:
- WorkSource Tacoma – speaking with Cheryl Keating, the One-Stop Operator and Lori Strumpf to discuss how DSB could best partner with WorkSource. This conversation resulted in an invitation to meet with the WorkSource Tacoma Operations team on later in November 2019.
- WorkSource Tacoma - met with the Operations Team of approx. 8 people and discussed the partnership between DSB and WorkSource. The Operations Team requested DSB Tacoma do a presentation to WorkSource staff including ADA principles and any other DSB content that DSB deems important for WorkSource to know.
- WorkSource Tacoma – with Beth Sutton, presented in December to the Central Location staff. They presented information on ADA, DSB services within WIOA partnership, plus some blindness etiquette and human guide techniques.
- Monirul Hawke, VRC4, attended the Sea-King Workforce Business Engagement Partners Meeting.
AGENCY COMMUNICATIONS REPORT
PROGRESS TOWARDS STRATEGIC INITIATIVE #1 – DSB STORY
YOUTH SERVICES EVENT PROMOTIONS
Nineteen (19) events promoted/updated since last report. Promotion included flyer/handout design, website updates, and posting to social media.
South Seattle Emerald – December 15, 2019
Workshop helps visually impaired create holiday scrumptiousness. (Link to article provided earlier in the report under Youth Services.)
ONLINE COMMUNICATIONS (11/01/19 – 01/31/20)
Website redesign in final stages. Estimated launch in early March.
- Users – Number of unique individuals who visited the site: 4,575
85% were first time visitors
- Page Views – Number of pages looked at: 17,372
- Channels Used – Information currently unavailable.
- Technology Used – what type of device used to view website
- Desktop – 3,130 (68.39%)
- Mobile – 1,212 (26.48%)
- Tablet – 235 (5.13%)
Online Referral Forms
- Self-referrals: 130
- Physician referrals: 28
- Total Likes: 207
- Total Followers: 225
- Total Reach: 1,778
- Top Facebook Posts
- First Deaf and Blind Harvard Law Graduate Says Accessibility Isn’t Charity, January 6. Reach = 115
- Fun and learning with DSB Youth Services at the Wonderful Winter Baking Workshop! (Seattle Emerald article link), December 17. Reach = 98
- WE’RE HIRING! Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor 4 (In-Training), January 7. Reach = 97
- Total Followers: 98
- Unique Impressions: 233
- Total Impressions: 4,424
- Top LinkedIn Posts
- We’re Hiring! Senior Financial Officer, November 6. Impressions = 118
- Link to Seattle Times Article Visual impairment should not be a barrier to employment. November 5. Impressions = 107
- We’re Hiring! On-Call Youth Services Specialist positions, December 11. Impressions = 101
OTHER COMMUNICATIONS EVENTS / MEETINGS / TRAININGS
- Washington Counts 2020
This is an effort by the state of Washington to get a full and accurate count of all people living in the state of Washington in the upcoming 2020 Census. The Complete Count is a priority project for Governor Inslee and has bi-partisan support in the legislature. Former Governor Locke is the chair of the committee. The project is funded through FY 2019 and FY 2020 funding is expected by OFM. Meetings will be held regularly throughout 2019 and early 2020.
- Communications Directors Call - Weekly during Legislative Session
- Washington DEI Summit, Tacoma, January 20-21
- Drupal 8 Training for new website, Olympia, February 10
The 2020 Legislative Session began on began Monday, January 13, 2020 and will last 60 days. March 12, 2020 is the last day allowed for regular session under state constitution.
- As of February 11, 2019, nineteen (19) bills are included on agency Bill Tracking Report
- 8 bills and 1 resolution were introduced by the House
- 10 bills were introduced by the Senate
- All tracked bills are still moving through the legislative process.
Federal Fiscal Year Q2 2020, through December 31, 2019
2020 STATE FISCAL YEAR – REVIEW AS OF DECEMBER 31, 2019 (IN THOUSANDS)
|General Fund - State||$ 3,653||$ 1,188||$ 2,465|
|General Fund - Federal||$ 12,630||$ 5,899||$ 6,731|
|Donations||$ 27||$ 9||$ 18|
|Pension Funding Stabilization Act||$ 86||$ 0||$ 86|
|Total||$ 16,396||$ 7,096||$ 9,300|
2020 STATE FISCAL YEAR – FEDERAL GRANT FUNDS THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 2020 (IN THOUSANDS)
|Grant||Grant Amount||SFY 18
|2018 Voc. Rehab Basic Services -
$1.7 million is for Pre-ETS set aside
|$ 11,455||$ 6,549||$ 3,672||$ 1,234||$ 0|
|2019 Voc. Rehab. Basic Services -
$1.4 million is for Pre-ETS set aside
|$14,866||$ 0||$ 5,431||$ 4,065||$ 5,370|
|2020 Voc. Rehab Basic Service||$ 9,389||$ 0||$ 0||$ 320||$ 9,069|
|2018Supported Employment||$ 46||$ 5||$ 0||$ 1||$ 41|
|2019 Supported Employment||$ 45||$ 0||$ 0||$ 1||$ 44|
|2019 Independent Living Part B||$ 65||$ 0||$ 34||$ 22||$ 9|
|2020 Independent Living Part B||$ 65||$ 0||$ 0||$ 0||$ 65|
|2019 IL Older Blind||$ 673||$ 0||$ 468||$ 205||$ 0|
|2020 IL Older Blind||$ 676||$ 0||$ 0||$ 35||$ 641|
|Total||$ 27,150||$ 6,554||$ 9,597||$ 3,446||$ 7,553|
2020 STATE FISCAL YEAR – TOTAL EXPENDITURES BY PROGRAM AS OF DECEMBER 31, 2019 (IN THOUSANDS)
|Voc. Rehab Services Adults||$ 4,763||$ 1,042||$ 0||$ 5,805|
|Voc. Rehab Pre-ETS||$ 856||$ 0||$ 0||$ 856|
|Supported Employment||$ 3||$ 2||$ 0||$ 5|
|Independent Living Part B||$ 20||$ 7||$ 0||$ 27|
|IL Older Blind||$ 239||$ 75||$ 0||$ 314|
|Birth through 8
(Not Grant Funded)
|$ 0||$ 0||$ 9||$ 9|
|Social Security Revenue||$ 0||$ 0||$ 0||$ 0|
|Business Enterprise Program||$ 0||$ 0||$ 355||$ 355|
|Total||$ 8,101||$ 1,984||$ 1,033||$ 11,118|
We are very excited to announce that DSB has hired a new employee, Jeannie Brown, who will be starting with the agency February 10th as Senior Fiscal Officer. She will be located in the Lacey headquarters office. Jeannie is eager to work to maintain our fiscal stability and contingency planning. She is mission-focused, people-centered, and highly responsive, and has an ability for translating complex fiscal terminology into language that is understandable by all.
HUMAN RESOURCES UPDATE
|Personnel||Job Title||Team||Duty Station||Effective Date|
|Christel Hustad||Rehabilitation Technician 2||CS/OTC||Seattle||12/01/2019|
|Yvonne Grimes||Confidential Secretary||Business Services||Lacey||12/01/2019|
|Michael MacKillop||Acting Executive Director||Executive Team||Seattle||01/01/2020|
|Kristen Bailey||Program Specialist 3||CS/East Region||Yakima||01/02/2020|
|Tricia Eyerly||Assistant Director, HR/Training||Executive Team||Yakima||01/27/2020|
|Lisa Wheeler||Assistant Director, VR/Workforce||Executive Team||Seattle||01/27/2020|
|Jeannie Brown||Senior Financial Officer||Executive Team||Lacey||02/10/2020|
|Bianca Kolle||Voc. Rehab. Counselor 4||CS/South Region||Lacey||02/16/2020|
|Personnel||Job Title||Team||Duty Station||Effective Date|
|Lou Oma Durand||Executive Director||Executive Team||Seattle||12/31/2019|
|Arlene Itou||Assistant Director, Operations||Executive Team||Seattle||12/31/2019|
|Kelly Franklin||Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor||South||Lacey||01/15/2020|
|Status||Job Title||Team||Duty Station||Effective Date|
|Recruiting||North Regional Area Manager||CS/North Region||Seattle||02/05/2020|
|Recruiting||East Regional Area Manager||CS/East Region||Yakima||02/05/2020|
|Recruiting||Administrative Assistant 3||Business Services||Lacey||02/10/2020|