NYSILC Full Council Meeting
May 17, 2007
Holiday Inn Turf
9:00 AM 3:00 PM
Present: Mike Orzel, Bob Gaffney, Randy Black, Paige Pierce,
Bruce Darling, Chris Zachmeyer, Bob Gumson, Sharon Shapiro, Agnes McCray,
Pratik Patel, Edith Prentiss, Sharon Flom, Mark Hernandez, Greg Jones, Melanie
Shaw, Nick Rose
Present via phone: Gene Hughes, Doug Usiak, Christina Curry
Staff Present: Brad Williams, Sue Cohen, Patty Black, Joe
Others present: Denise Figueroa
Call to Order
Brad called the meeting to order at 9:00 AM with the
introduction of two new ex-officio members: Melanie Shaw from NYAIL and Nick
Rose from the DDPC.
Mike Godino had forwarded a packet on a youth representative
to serve on SILC for interim basis pending formal appointment Kieran
McGovern will serve as this youth rep leader. Kieran is currently an intern @
SILO and a pre-law English senior at Mt. St. Mary College he works on
public policy issues at SILO and will be great asset in youth capacity.
Bob Gaffney motioned, Randy Black seconded, all aye
Bob Gumson noted the newly revised, most integrated setting
coordinating council re-convened under new administration Bob
looking for 3 members as body of advisory group (focus would be advancement of
independent living) three council members volunteered for this advisory
group: Bruce Darling, Sally Colletti and Gene Hughes.
Sue Cohen noted that Tom Vaughn, a rep. from Department of
Transportation would be present briefly today Tom represents
United We Ride this is a federally funded group that
coordinates transportation for those w/disabilities a very large
interest regarding transportation issues was noted from council members. Nick
Rose noted that United We Ride grant going to Albany County for
work on safe, affordable and efficient transportation.
Nick also noted 35th anniversary of lawsuit that closed
Willowbrook good for NYSILC and ILCs to recognize this milestone
Planners around this are hoping to have Willowbrook
survivors remember and note their stories before they age too much more.
Chris Zachmeyer noted that NYSILC council meetings web cast
on our website - Due to an executive order from Governor Spitzer, all public
meetings will need to be audio or video cast for public in near future.
Edith Prentiss brought up topic of making NYSILC website
more adaptive for those with visual difficulties; perhaps changing font size.
Joe Adler will check into integrating this with our webmaster Kathy.
Approval of Minutes of February 9, 2007
Minutes were approved as presented. (P. Patel R.
Black m/s/p) all aye
Executive Directors Report
Brad gave the update on SPIL and reported that it was all
set to be given to federal RSA by July 1 close to getting approvals from
VESID and CBVH (Bob Gumson reported that Regents will take SPIL to pass on May
Bob will put together a 20 minute presentation to Regents on
Independent Living (keeping folks informed on IL across lifespan). Sharon Flom
reported SPIL does not need approval from governors office; this will
move it along - SPIL looks excellent in moving right on track.
Brad reported that work being done with Western NY
Independent Living Project on Voting Rights Documentary they are
developing solicitation video for the documentary to develop interest in
post-production gap issues current goals are for:
- PBS Distribution
- Democracy Now
- Film Festival as Overall Goal
An 8 Minute Short video (Barriers to Fundamental Right) was
developed and shown at meeting it regarded NY State being in violation
of HAVA it captured issues of current problems inside Albany and
troubles within polling places this shows how final product can be
Melanie Shaw reported on Training Academy Items much
information on this on NYAIL website Mobilizing Resources
workshop with NYAIL surveyed all IL centers through Webinar
series about to launch (these would involve board function, recruiting
Edith Prentiss recommended keeping members on a general
distribution list to keep them current on new issues good to keep folks
in the loop. Edith also suggested idea of silent population
members (like herself) being funded to attend various events related to
independent living. Agnes McCray reported on huge problem of attitudinal
barrier great problem in Syracuse with current poll workers
NYSILC and NYAIL trying hard to address this barrier issue; efforts underway to
affect and change this problem.
Brad spoke in lieu of Mike Godino. Brad reported that Mickki
(NYSILC accountant) pulled together a pro-rated annual budget and all is pretty
much on par and running evenly and on the mark doing fine on financial
report. Doug Usiak mentioned desire to have spreadsheet sent out in Excel
format to all members for ease of use; Excel spreadsheet will be used in all
future agenda packets.
Audit was successfully completed in February auditors
filed an extension due to their own busy work so they could focus on pro-active
work (there was a double booking on insurance so NYSILC received $600 refund)
very sound fiscal audit. Audit will be ready for September meeting
(E. Prentiss-S. Shapiro m/s/p) all aye
Executive Committee Report
Bruce Darling mentioned making sure NYSILC board is in power
as officers. Chris Zachmeyer is looking for new members for committee.
(P. Patel R. Black m/s/p) all aye
Chris Z. reported that every two years, NYSILC does Consumer
Satisfaction Survey through ILCs they are CSR consumers The
survey is generated by Potsdam University and an 80% satisfaction rate is
desired for these surveys; total of 7 questions. The final report is sent to
VESID across the state 2,097 completed surveys were returned at a 14%
return rate which is fair. The state received a 90% satisfaction rating
the satisfaction bar will be moved up to 85%. Edith requested results be made
available to consumers (since results are anonymous) so folks will desire to
respond to next survey.
Randy Black mentioned efforts to keep hotel and airline
industry aware of travel needs of disabled travelers (non accessible bathroom
facilities on airlines) currently working with Sue Cohen on survey and
website that identifies positive public areas for disabled travelers (Randy had
very positive experience in travel to London) - $5,000 in funding from SPIL was
received for travel.
Statewide Needs Assessment
Doug Usiak reported this was sent to outside independent
evaluators; results should be seen in a week or two. Brad reported that SUNY
Buffalo evaluator analysis brought in many very informative results. Syracuse
currently has data and managing it in appropriate ways; delivery will be by end
Edith Prentiss reported on her New Orleans visit, report she
wrote on this and the SILC Congress. Edith overall saw Katrina as failure of
several bad policies; mentioned challenges in New Orleans being primary causes
of Katrina. She attended three excellent workshop sessions where storm
survivors spoke out very touching and emotional. Because of Katrina,
much re-construction is happening in New Orleans for those with disabilities
FEMA rep Robbie Levinger helping much; now coordinating with NYSILC. A
questionnaire for all ILCs has been developed on post-Katrina information
entitled Assessing Impact of Katrina on People with Disabilities.
Edith is Region II representative and needs members.
Bob Gaffney reported on plan to approach Families
Together NYS to work with Stephanie Orlando to develop systems advocacy
for youth and get structure of this committee together; will see where this
leads over next three years. Page Pierce spoke out on the Youth Empowerment
Project and their slogan Nothing about us Without Us
excited and hopeful about partnership of those with disabilities and mental
health community; together these too very empowered. Nick Rose reported that
DDPC ready to start 6 youth leadership grants; youth teams are currently at
least 50% with developmental disabilities.
Bob Gumson reported on biggest VESID projects:
- Model Transition Projects - $12 million IDEA
discretionary funds which require partnerships and having schools do better
planning on 60 grants over 3 ½ years with transition practices
that are research and data-based.
- VESID funded contract with state-funded centers in Queens
and Niagara Falls ready to release RFP for both of these areas.
also ready to release RFP for SSAN this will be disseminated mid-June.
Also working on funding money to prisons for training for inmates with
disabilities plus entering into a 2 year agreement with Department of Labor to
place 750 people a year w/disabilities into jobs.
Sharon Flom reported on moving CBVH to independent agency
they are in advisory capacity in governors office and are
investigating current conditions for the blind the executive board will
be identifying deficiencies and reviewing rehab proposals. There is a new
commissioner for CBVH Gladys Carrione. Federal RSA visits happened twice
in April and are very pleased with what is happening in NYS.
Greg Jones reported that there was currently a bill before
the legislature it calls for providing forms in large print for people
who are elderly people need to be made more aware.
*Brad reported on Polling Place Access Bill and
wanting to push this through on Disability Awareness Day it had been
left at Assemblyman Cahills office and want this bill (A244)
marked up with changes and amended (desiring changes to ADA and building place
codes, getting rid of waiver). *Good news was reported on Disability Awareness
Day (May 21) when Brad and Tim Cronin found that bill was being written with
desired changes. Need this solid Polling Place Access Bill.
NYS Board of Elections website is good site to go on
it shows a proposed regulation for a standard polling site with a
standard set-up design where there would be privacy panels (6
carrels) and layout looks good for folks with disabilities. Brad suggested
folks go on this site, check out the information and submit comments and
Joe Adler reported on a professional article he and Brad
wrote and submitted to a scholarly journal for review and possible publication.
It was titled: Voters with Disabilities: the Sleeping Giants of American
Politics. It detailed HAVA and comparison of current struggles to vote for
people with disabilities to similar past voting struggles experienced by 3
other disenfranchised groups: women, people of color and youths.
Edith mentioned problems with inaccessible locations for
some SUNY computer labs (ATTAIN) at the SUNY project workforce development
Pratik Patel announced that CUNY reached agreement with
scholarly research organization a fully fledge Masters program in
Disability Studies will be housed out of CUNY starting Summer 2007
There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at
(E. Prentiss P. Patel m/s/p all aye