Governor's Council on Blindness and Visual Impairment for Perspective Members

What is GCBVI?

The Governor's Council on Blindness & Visual Impairment was established by Executive Order to provide a mechanism to ensure that the specialized needs of blind and visually impaired Arizonans are addressed effectively. The Council consists of twenty (20) members, sighted and blind, appointed by the Governor as well as four (4) ex-officio, non-voting members.

The Role of the GCBVI

  • Advises the Governor, legislature and state agencies on blindness issues
  • Assures that feedback and advice reflects the views and experiences of people who are blind
  • Is a public information and referral source on blindness and deaf-blindness
  • Fosters client empowerment in the provision of services
  • Ensures the policies, practices, services and marketing activity of the state of Arizona reflects the views, and respects the dignity, of people who are blind
  • Monitors state services to assure quality delivery to persons who are blind
  • Researches and evaluates best practices in blindness services for potential recommendation to stakeholders
  • Provides leadership in blindness related issues

GCBVI Strategic Direction

  • Supporting the highest quality service delivery for blind Arizonans.
  • Cultivating resources for blind Arizonans
  • Developing effective communication with stakeholders
  • Promoting the growth and development of the Council

What kinds of skills are required to be a GCBVI member?

  • Good interpersonal communications.
  • The ability to work in a group setting.
  • The ability to appraise issues from a high-level or big-picture perspective.
  • One or more application skills from the general areas of business, government, education, rehabilitation etc.
  • An understanding about how systems work and the actions required in order to impact systems.

The Role of Members

  • Attend and participate in Full Council meetings, which are held every other month for approximately three hours.
  • Attend (usually by telephone) and participate on at least one GCBVI committee and complete committee assignments requiring from two to six hours per month.
  • Attend the Vision Rehabilitation & Assistive Technology Expo (VRATE), which is generally combined with a fall meeting of the GCBVI.
  • Read GCBVI agenda, minutes, and associated documents prior to each meeting.
  • Develop and sustain a strong and positive relationship with blindness stakeholders.
  • Ensure that there is a regular flow of information between the GCBVI and stakeholders.
  • At the direction of the Chair, undertakes publicity activities such as radio interviews, public speaking, and writing articles to publicize the work of the GCBVI.

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How do I become a member of the Council?

There are four paths to GCBVI membership

  • When there are vacancies, the membership committee of the GCBVI asks individuals to submit an application for appointment consideration. This is a good indication that the membership values your skills, knowledge, and experience, and feels that your participation will benefit the community.
  • The Arizona Council of the Blind, the National Federation of the Blind of Arizona, the Blinded Veterans Association, and the Arizona Association of Parents of the Visually Impaired have representatives serving on the Council. Members of these groups work with their organization leadership to facilitate an application.
  • An individual that is interested in serving on the Council may on his or her own initiative make application for membership.
  • The Governor’s Office will on rare occasion, ask someone to apply for GCBVI membership.

What are GCBVI Committees?

Committees are generally formed around a particular purpose of the GCBVI. Each GCBVI member is expected to serve on a committee. Committees function in the same manner and under the same rules of order as the Full Council.

How do Committees Work?

The nature of the committees' work will vary depending on the strategic direction of the GCBVI. Generally speaking, the responsibilities of the committees is to develop recommendations to the Full Council in their areas of focus. However, committee members likely have some tasks and hands-on responsibilities that they are expected to perform.

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Who are the Members of Committees?

The Council Chair assigns GCBVI members to committee. Members are encouraged to express their committee assignment preference; however, the Chair will make his or her appointments based on the needs of the Council. The Chair may also appoint community (non-GCBVI) members to serve on committee.

GCBVI Committees

  • Executive Committee
  • Assistive Technology Committee
  • Deaf-Blind Committee
  • Membership Committee
  • Monitoring and Research Committee
  • Public Policy & Legislative Issues Committee
  • Publication & Public Education Committee

What is involved in the application process?

  • Completion of an application form
  • Submission of a letter of interest with a resume
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Completion of a skills questionnaire
  • An interview with some members of the GCBVI Executive Committee

Applications are submitted to the Governor’s Office for review and appointment consideration. The review process can be very lengthy, sometimes taking several months. The GCBVI encourages applicants to participate on the committee level, as a community member, while awaiting appointment.

For more information please contact:

GCBVI
1789 W. Jefferson St. - Site Code 930A
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: (602) 364-1773
Email: cmaciel@azdes.gov
Visit our Website: www.azdes.gov/rsa/gcbvi.asp

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