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Commission on Disability and Employment Minutes 10/16/08October 16, 2008: 9:00 AM Central Maine Commerce Center (Francis Perkins Room)
Maine Jobs Council COMMISSION ON DISABILITY AND EMPLOYMENT (CDE)
October 16, 2008 MINUTES
Present: Mel Clarrage, Chair, Gayla Dwyer, Rachel Dyer, Larry Glantz, Betsy Hopkins, Jenn Kimble, Mary Luce, Libby Stone-Sterling, Nadine Edris, Karen Fraser, and Nancy Labbe Absent: Michael Ashmore, Julia Bell, Dennis Bouley, Norb Nathanson, and Jill Duson
Manager of the Year: On behalf of the Commission, Mel Clarrage congratulated Karen Fraser, who was recently named the Department of Labor Manager of the Year.
Fall Conference Wrap Up: Larry Glantz provided a brief update on the fall conference. He reported that based on the evaluations, it was a successful event with over 140 people attending Day 1 and approximately 85 people on Day 2. Denise Bissonnette was an exceptional speaker. The conference format seemed to work well. The workshops held on Day 2 were very effective. Feedback from the presenters indicated a lot of discussion. In terms of next steps, Larry said he would like to explore strategies that reach beyond southern Maine and the transportation challenges that some stakeholders face. Thus, he plans to continue to work with Norb Nathanson on the potential use of distance technology as a communication vehicle and Mel asked that any CDE member who would like to work on an outreach subgroup to please let him know. Gayla Dwyer volunteered to be on the group, and both the WIPA (Jenn Kimble) and DPN projects (Libby Stone-Sterling) indicated that they would also be available to help.
October Events: Mel announced that he would be unable to attend the morning part of the October 30 Working Together’s 2nd Annual Symposium in Freeport due to a scheduling conflict. He requested that members please try to attend if their schedules would allow. Larry Glantz will be there.
Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) 2008: Larry Glantz provided an update on DMD activities in the Portland area, stating that there was a large turnout, and it went very well. Libby Stone-Sterling then provided an update on activities in other areas of the state. She explained that on October 20, the Augusta students will be meeting with the Governor during the Proclamation signing and getting a tour of the State House. Food for this event will be provided by the Olive Garden.
Libby also reported that the Disability Program Navigator grant received a positive written report in September from the Department of Labor program review; she thanked Mel Clarrage and the CDE for their support as advisory group to the project
Executive Committee: Mel Clarrage reported that the group met and polished up the recommendations to the Annual Report. The group talked briefly about membership. Some work needs to be done to get the Executive Committee up and running. Mel has not yet followed up with Michael Ashmore about the draft bylaw revisions. This topic will be on the agenda for the Annual meeting next month.
Mel also explained that his term will be running out soon, and he stated that he would be willing to run for another term if that is what the CDE wants.
MJC and Policy Committee: The MJC Policy Committee met on September 19, and they had an overview of the data warehouse (part of the Dept. of Education grant). Apparently the school system uses a number of different databases. There is a lot of controversy on how to collect data on individuals from birth. The key here for the CDE is to make sure that disability and employment information is included.
The MJC met the following week. Peter Diplock and Jill Duson were there from the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services. Peter did a presentation on Mission Transition activities and the Council approved funding for this year’s activities.
Mel also reported that on October 21st all of the chairs of the MJC committees will be meeting and then again on October 29th with the Governor. If completed in time, Mel will present the Annual Report then.
II. Annual Report
Mel thanked Larry for offering Nadine Berrini to assist with writing the annual report, which will now be a three to five page document. The Executive Committee is polishing it up. Nadine would like to get a quote and a photo to include in the report. Karen Fraser will incorporate the feedback that has been provided, including mention of the many stakeholders who have participated in Commission forums over the last year in the Special Thanks section at the end.
Mel suggested that the individual reports continue to be submitted for subsequent years and should be available on the web.
III. Other Business
Annual Meeting: Mel reminded everyone that the Annual Meeting date has been moved to November 13, from 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. No meeting will be held on November 20. By the end of the month, we will get something out (at least topic areas) so that members can review before the meeting.
Discussion followed on how the Annual Meeting should be structured. Part of the goal for the meeting is to determine what we want to be doing for the next year.
One of the topics for the meeting will be membership. Mel explained that he has heard from Richard Sterrs, who has resigned. He did not hear from Butch Dawbin or Zahira DuVall and recommends removing both from the membership list. Discussion was then held on whether potential members could, or should, be invited to the Annual Meeting. It was decided that the meeting is open to all, but that members would not recruit individuals specifically to attend, as this would change how the meeting would need to be facilitated for meaningful participation.
SRC Meeting: Mary Luce provided an update on the recent Division of Vocational Rehabilitation’s State Rehabilitation Council meeting. At that meeting, it was agreed that someone from the CDE should sit on the SRC as a way to get the two groups communicating. Mel will talk with the SRC chair about this. For the last several years, the CDE has had at least one member who was also named to the SRC, but actual attendance at both meetings and the desired exchange of information did not occur on a consistent basis. Karen also pointed out that there are other similar groups, such as the State Independent Living Council and the SRC for the Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired, that the CDE needs to consider. Libby suggested that it might be helpful for these groups to get copies of minutes. Larry suggested that more material could be put on the website.
Karen also mentioned that Norb Nathanson has identified some disability-related groups through an Internet search and is considering how best to make contact with them and determine potential connections to the work of the CDE.
Mental Health Grant: Jenn Kimball announced that Maine Medical Center, Dept. of Vocational Education, has a mental health grant, and they are recruiting for a job at Sweetser. She requested assistance from members in finding more applicants.
WIPA Funding: Jenn also reported that the WIPA funding for benefits counseling is likely to be continued beyond the end of this grant cycle in 2009.
Next Meeting: Thursday, November 13, 2008 Central Maine Commerce Center DOT Regional Office Vinalhaven Room 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
DIRECTIONS: Continue past the Francis Perkins Room to the end of the hall, turn right, and part way down the next hall, turn left into the DOT Regional Office.