[nfbwatlk] Fw: DSB Director's Update 4/16/09

Mike Freeman k7uij at panix.com
Sat Apr 18 16:06:44 UTC 2009

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Durand, LouOma (DSB)" <LouDurand at DSB.WA.GOV>
Sent: Thursday, April 16, 2009 9:21 AM
Subject: Director's Update 4/16/09

Hello Again Everyone:

Thank you all for your participation and help in sustaining the future
of services for people who are blind and visually impaired in our state.
Together we remain strongly focused on our mission:  INCLUSION,


In recent messages, I have described the vision we have collectively
developed for integrated services.  We expect this model to not only
move us toward more customer-centered, seamless, and effective service
delivery, but also to give us the flexibility needed to leverage our
resources in a rapidly changing environment.

In considering various program and policy scenarios, within evolving
budget constraints, these values and objectives have guided us:

* Sustain specialized services to the blind population of all ages
in Washington.
* Preserve DSB's unique professional expertise in blindness
services (rehabilitation teaching, orientation and mobility training,
low vision and assistive technology services, specialized counseling,
support to families and early intervention for children, services to the
elderly blind, self-employment and small business support,
entrepreneurial opportunities through the Business Enterprise program,
services to employers, etc.)
* Preserve, to the extent possible, our ability to capture federal
* Use data to support and explain our decisions to taxpayers and
* Provide staff, the SRC, and stakeholders with information to
assist all in thinking creatively and realistically about possibilities.
* Maintain employment for Washington workers: create and/or keep
jobs whenever possible.


The bottom line about our biennial budget and planning process has not
changed since the note I sent you on Monday, April 13th.  The feedback
we have received since Monday has been positive about our plan to retain
six of the OTC apartments.  Those of you who advocated for this should
feel good to have made this kind of impact on an important policy
decision.  Thank you for your active involvement.   Policy decisions
always occur within the reality of available resources.  Sometimes no
amount of advocacy can change that reality, however, we are fortunate,
so far, to have figured out some creative solutions to enable us to go
forward with the apartments.

As I have said before, the new budget will not be final until the ink
dries on the Governor's signature.  But we are grateful that the initial
Legislative budget proposals were much less severe in their impact on
DSB than we had expected.  In addition, we have fortunately received
unanticipated revenue in Social Security reimbursements, as well as
Stimulus funds, that give us some wiggle room.  These developments
enable us to creatively move funds around to support our services for
this biennium.  However, this infusion of Social Security and Stimulus
money does not solve the long-range issues we face, and the June revenue
forecast could send us back to the drawing board.

The last few months of considering and analyzing various scenarios,
along with your feedback, have resulted in a positive direction and
vision that we can begin to implement, even if we may need to revisit
some aspects of the plan as the environment evolves.


The Management Team will be meeting on Monday, April 20th to work on the
next steps including:

* Analysis of FY 09 spend plan status
* Development of our new spend plan for FY 10
* Implementation process for the new integrated services approach
* Consideration of Stimulus suggestions and priorities

Your managers will continue to actively involve you in this process.
Thank you all for your valuable ideas, questions, and ongoing feedback.
Thank you for your powerful commitment to our mission.

Lou Oma

Lou Oma Durand
Executive Director
Department of Services for the Blind
3411 S. Alaska St.
Seattle, WA 98118
Voice: (206) 721-6435
Toll-Free: 1-800-552-7103
Fax: (206) 721-4103
Email: loudurand at dsb.wa.gov

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