This session featured five OIB program managers sharing about a great program in their state OIB program.
The pre-recorded 5-minute summaries of each program was presented, followed by Q&A. Support your peers and learn about a new model you might like to try.
A summary document of this presentation is coming soon!
Matthew Haynes is currently the coordinator of Alabama’s older-blind program, OASIS – Older Alabamians System for Information and Services, at the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services. He earned his MS in Rehabilitation Services from Auburn University in 2003 and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Before becoming the Program Coordinator, Matthew was a Vision Rehabilitation Therapist for the OASIS Program for three years, and Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for the Blind and Visually Impaired for five years.
Ed Lecher has been the Older Blind Director for Minnesota State Services for the Blind for the last eight years. Prior to that, he served on the administrative team for the agency. Before working at Minnesota State Services for the Blind, he was the director of several non-profit organizations. His background and education are in Public Administration. He has thirty years of experience in non-profit and government services.
Kay McGill graduated from the University of Kentucky (UK) with a Bachelor’s degree (cum laude) in psychology and a Master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling. She is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and a Certified Public Manager. Kay has been with Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) her entire career serving in several capacities. She received awards from the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind, the National Federation of the Blind of Georgia, Georgia Council of the Blind, the Business Enterprise Program, Helen Keller National Center, the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, and Vocational Rehabilitation.
She and her husband, Dick, have been married for 30 years and are the aunt and uncle of Anderson and his triplet siblings Marshall, Harper, and Elena. She is an avid University of Kentucky basketball fan and was on the UK Fencing Team (her collegiate athletic venture!)
Wendy Mons earned a degree in Special Education for the Blind and Visually Impaired at the University of Texas in 1971. She is the founder and president of Mons International, a company dedicated to providing products and services to visually impaired persons continuously since 1986.
She also served as President of the Georgia Association of Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind. Wendy is currently serving on the board as Immediate Past President. She received the ACVREP certification as a Certified Low Vision Therapist in 2014 and recertification in 2019.
Elizabeth Biber-DeShields is the Independent Living Coordinator and Manager of Eye Health Services at the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (NJCBVI). Her main focus is to work collaboratively with staff, consumers, and their families to achieve successful life outcomes through high-quality inclusive services. Before joining the NJCBVI, Elizabeth was a Quality Assurance Specialist at Woodbine Developmental Center, where she developed tools to measure quality improvement for program delivery and investigate suspected abuse and neglect cases pertaining to the developmentally disabled. Elizabeth has created assessment and documentation methods to measure individual and program outcomes. She co-created and presented “Celebrate Life,” a sensitivity training that became mandatory for all staff. Elizabeth became inspired to work with the developmentally disabled, as a child, after watching an expose on “Willowbrook,” and is grateful for the journey that has led her to the NJCBVI. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Recreational Therapy from Glassboro College (Rowen University), a Masters of Administrative Science from Fairleigh Dickinson University and is a Certified Public Manager.