Message from the Board of Directors, Chair, Mickey Damelio to Certificants

Message from the Board of Directors, Chair, Mickey Damelio to Certificants

Hello everyone, ACVREP has taken down the policy from the website as of yesterday. We will be publishing something more formal very soon, but I wanted to let you know personally, that I sincerely apologize. I wasn't aware as I should have been of the amount of stress that happened to the field prior to this in 2009 which is very much still playing a role today. I don't know the whole story, but it sounds a little like ACVREP lost it's mind :-P

We, as the board today, just didn't have the institutional knowledge and memory in place to realize the impact this would have on the field. This is one of the few downsides to ACVREP totally changing leadership. At this point, I am one of just a few board members that were around when the previous executive, Mr. Holm was in place. ACVREP changed everything but the carpet in Tucson, AZ. There is literally no one involved that was there during 2009, or even 2014! The board has turned over completely since 2009, so I'm sure you can see where mistakes could be made during this very tumultuous transition we've undergone since last summer as a certifying body.

There is a policy in place, but it was on "page 46", literally, and is in classic old school ACVREP fashion so clouded in wordiness, it's difficult to decipher when it requires application. That WILL be changed, please be sure of that. This along with this entire last year, has been a huge learning opportunity for me for sure and I'm trying really hard to keep my bumbles minimized :-)

I hope my friends can soon move past any hard feelings this action may have caused. We will be opening up the PROPOSED policy change for public comment, but we're laying all these little pieces in place, and that takes a little bit of time, I'm hopeful to have something working before Monday. All certificants will be getting an email from ACVREP soon and I'll try to get it on the lists that are around as well for submitting  public comment. In the meantime please circulate this around. I've no idea how many corners of the internet and the blindness world are talking about it, so I want everyone to know.

Please again accept my apology. I'll write something with more "meat" soon regarding the policy and why we think it's a good idea, but I felt this really needed to get out there, so you knew we were listening. I've been listening since 11:30pm Monday night, and have continued to listen, each time my phone vibrated on my hip. I've spoken to several of you on the phone this past week, and will continue to do so today. If anyone wants to get on that list, just let me know and I'd love to talk with you too!

Kathie Zeider, President, that replaced Mr. Holm, and I have read every email sent to us and published on this list. Unfortunately in the day of the internet, people's individual thoughts and ideas can be shouted to the heavens in seconds, but for an entity like ACVREP it goes slower since you have to synthesize the thoughts of many before it's appropriate to take action. Indeed in this case, ACVREP didn't synthesize enough of the thoughts of the key players like yourself before taking action and it was a mistake. It can appear that you aren't being heard, but I assure you, you are, it just takes a little more time to make a cruise ship turn than it does a speed boat.

Please also know that I am as passionate for my field as anyone, and my last wish would be to do any harm to my profession or the people I consider my family. Anytime I make you angry, and I can't promise it'll be the last time, though I hope so! I'd love it if we could move outward from the idea that it's probably a misunderstanding somewhere, trusting that it wasn't intentional on my part. We all care and love our profession. I won't deliberately ever cause drama or strife, and would rather leave the job entirely than harm my profession, and thus the quality of the service delivery for the people we serve. I'm just not that kind of person.

I'm not ACVREP entirely, there are many moving parts as I'm sure you know. I am however, the Chair of the board and could stay that way for a couple more years if I'm re-elected. I take complete responsibility for it's actions so long as I occupy this seat.

I look forward to having the opportunity to continue proving to you that ACVREP continues working hard to be the certification body our field deserves. 

With tremendous respect for you all,

ACVREP Board Chair

Mickey Damelio, M.S., COMS
Orientation and Mobility Coordinator
Visual Disabilities Program
Florida State University
Phone: 850-583-1582