Minutes — August 2016 Council Meeting

2016 Council and Committee Meetings


Council Members Present

  • Mary Durheim, Council Chair
  • Hunter Adkins
  • Kimberly Blackmon
  • Gladys Cortez
  • Kristen Cox
  • Mateo Delgado
  • Mary Faithfull, DRT
  • Stephen Gersuk
  • Ivy Goldstein, DSHS
  • Jennifer Kaut, DARS
  • Ruth Mason
  • Scott McAvoy
  • Michael Peace
  • Ron Roberts, TEA
  • Amy Sharp, UT — CDS
  • Meagan Sumbera, A&M — CDD
  • Lora Taylor
  • David Taylor
  • Rick Tisch
  • John Thomas
  • Donnie Wilson, DADS
  • April Young, HHSC

Council Members Absent

  • Kristine Clark
  • Dana Perry
  • Brandon Pharris

Guests Present

  • Justin Babineaux, DADS
  • Carol Dold
  • Warner Dold
  • Isabel Evans
  • Holton George
  • Rachel Jew, DARS
  • Brian White

Staff Members Present

  • Beth Stalvey, Executive Director
  • Martha Cantu
  • Joanna Cordry
  • Cynthia Ellison
  • Danny Fikac
  • Ashley Ford
  • Jessica Ramos
  • Joshua Ryf
  • Koren Vogel

Call To Order

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities convened on Friday, August 5, 2016, in the Salon A-C of the Horseshoe Bay Resort, 200 Hi Circle North, Horseshoe Bay, TX 78657. Council Chair Mary Durheim called the meeting to order at 9:04 AM.

  1. Introductions
    Council members, staff and guests were introduced.

  2. Public Comments
    Council member Kristen Cox spoke about events taking place in the evenings after meetings and making sure all were invited and included.

    Brian White of the Texas State Independent Living Council (SILC) spoke on behalf of that organization and provided a brief update on the two TCDD projects for which SILC is the grantee. He noted that as SILC begins planning for the transportation summits they are recruiting 30 Texans with disabilities to serve as transportation advocates.

  3. Consent Items
    Chair Durheim reviewed consent items including the minutes from the May 6, 2016, Council meeting and May 5, 2016 Committee of the Whole meeting and the excused absences of Kristine Clark, Dana Perry, and Brandon Pharris. Ron Roberts of TEA is attending from that agency as a non-voting representative and he expects to soon be named as the agency representative to the Council.

    MOTION: To approve the minutes of the May 6, 2016 Council meeting and May 5, 2016 Committee of the Whole meeting as well as the excused absences as noted.
    MADE BY: Lora Taylor
    SECOND: Mateo Delgado
    The motion passed without unanimously.

  4. Chair and Executive Director’s Report
    Chair Durheim expressed her gratitude to TCDD staff for their efforts on behalf of the Council.
    Executive Director Beth Stalvey provided an update on TCDD staff to note that there are two current staff vacancies. An offer has been extended for the Public Policy Specialist position and the Grants Management Specialist position will again be posted to accept applications. Stalvey next recognized Planning Director Joanna Cordry for 15 years of service to TCDD and presented her with certificate acknowledging that service. Grants Management Specialist Sonya Hosey was also recognized for 15 years of service although she was not in attendance.

    Stalvey reported that she and Cordry attended the annual NACDD conference in July where staff and participants from Texas Tech University provided a well-received presentation on the TCDD higher education project (Project CASE). In conjunction with the NACDD conference, the Technical Assistance Institute hosted by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) was held and Stalvey and Cordry learned of new performance measures as well as the new format for FY 2017 reporting. The Administration on Community Living (ACL), which oversees AIDD, has instituted the new reporting system and requires DD Councils to be the first agencies to use the new system. The FY 2017–2021 state plan will be submitted on August 15 using this new system. Stalvey also recently participated in a panel discussion on disability policy at the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities — Texas Chapter (AAIDD-TX) convention in July.

  5. Future Activities for State Plan Implementation
    Project Development Committee Chair Gladys Cortez reported on Committee discussion of the executive summary for TCDD Policy Fellows. This project would allow organizations to employ policy fellows for up to two years and support them to learn from policy mentors. By the end of the fellowship, an individual would be prepared to work on national, state and community levels and identify the major social, economic and health conditions facing individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

    MOTION: To approve the Executive Summary to fund two new 2-year TCDD Policy Fellowships each year for five years, for up to $135,000 for year one, $270,000 for years two — five, and $135,000 for year six, with the expectation that the organization would give hiring preference to individuals with developmental disabilities.
    MADE BY: Gladys Cortez for the Project Development Committee (motions from Committee do not need a second)
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Cortez reported that the Committee recommends adding the new Public Policy Fellows project to the Future Funding Priorities list as the fifth priority. The Partnership with African American Clergy to Support Families project that was in the fifth position was moved from that spot to the 10th position. Items 1–4 and 6–9 remain the same.

    MOTION: To approve revisions to the Future Funding Priorities list by placing Public Policy Fellows at priority 5 and moving Partnership with African American Clergy to Support Families to priority 10.
    MADE BY: Gladys Cortez for the Project Development Committee
    The motion passed unanimously.

  6. Position Statement Review
    Public Policy Committee Chair Lora Taylor reported that the Public Policy Committee reviewed draft revisions to three position statements but elected to take no action on the Education position statement until additional revisions could be considered. The Committee reviewed the Employment statement and the recommended revisions as presented in Council materials.

    MOTION: To approve proposed revisions to the TCDD Employment Position Statement.
    MADE BY: Lora Taylor for the Public Policy Committee
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Taylor reported that the Public Policy Committee discussed the Transition position statement and recommended revisions as presented in Council materials.

    MOTION: To approve proposed revisions to the TCDD Transition Position Statement.
    MADE BY: Lora Taylor for the Public Policy Committee
    The Council had further discussion on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and it was also suggested that transition services beginning at age 14 are too late to be effective.
    AMENDMENT: To add language about beginning transition services that says “14 or earlier as needed”.

    MADE BY: Scott McAvoy
    The motion passed unanimously.

  7. Public Policy Priorities
    Public Policy Committee Chair Taylor reported on the Committee discussion of the 2017 Public Policy Priorities. Priorities will include Long Term Services and Supports, Employment, Education, and Guardianship Reform and Supported Decision Making. The Committee recommends Council approval as presented with one additional line in the final priority on Guardianship Reform so that it reads “…by improving access to alternatives to guardianship and supported decision making and advancing protections…”.

    MOTION: To approve the TCDD 2017 Public Policy Priorities with suggested revisions
    MADE BY: Lora Taylor for the Public Policy Committee
    The motion passed unanimously.

  8. Memorandum of Understanding with Texas Education Agency
    Council Chair Durheim reported that the Executive Committee reviewed the FY 2017 Memorandum of Understanding with Texas Education Agency (TEA) and noted the only change to the document for the upcoming year is that TEA will assume responsibility for TCDD’s toll-free phone line.

    MOTION: To approve the FY 2017 Memorandum of Understanding with TEA
    MADE BY: Mary Durheim for the Executive Committee
    The motion passed unanimously.

  9. FY 2017 Operating Budget
    Operations Director Martha Cantu reviewed the proposed budget for FY 2017 operating expenses based on level funding from FY 2016. She noted that the proposed budget increases by $155,316 from the previous year but added that it is less than the increase from FY 2015 to FY 2016. The increases are a result of reclassifications to staff positions but other categories such as professional services were decreased. Chair Durheim noted that the Executive Committee had no issues with the proposed budget.

    MOTION: To approve the FY 2017 Operating Expense Budget
    MADE BY: Mary Durheim for the Executive Committee
    The motion passed unanimously.

  10. Amendments to Council Policies and Procedures
    Executive Director Stalvey reviewed proposed revisions to Council Policies and Procedures that would align with recent revisions to the Council’s Administrative Code. The revisions would clarify Council membership regarding representation of federal programs, clarify the grantee appeal process, define the process for payment withholding when a grantee is non-compliant, and increase reimbursement rates for attendant and respite services provided for members during meetings. Per Council policy, members received specific written notification of proposed revisions more than 10 days prior to the meeting.

    MOTION: To approve revisions to Council Policies and Procedures
    MADE BY: Mary Durheim for the Executive Committee
    The motion passed unanimously.

  11. Parent Perspective — Mr. Holton George
    Planning Specialist Danny Fikac introduced Mr. Holton George who is a local resident in the Marble Falls area and has a 57 year old son, Robbie, who has multiple disabilities. Mr. George discussed his decades-long experience of accessing services and supports for Robbie. He noted that in the 1960s most agencies wouldn’t help because he didn’t fit into a specific program due to his multiple disabilities and he was urged to admit Robbie to a state institution. After attending school in Alabama as well as the Hellen Keller Institute, Robbie became the first consumer in the Deaf/Blind program at Texas Rehabilitation Commission. Robbie has had a number of challenges with hospital stays and residential care but has been employed in the San Antonio area as well as Marble Falls while living in a group home setting. Mr. George discussed the improvements that he has seen over the years but notes there is still work to be done. Council members expressed their gratitude to Mr. George for being a trailblazer in disability advocacy.

  12. Communications and Marketing Activities Report
    Communications Director Joshua Ryf provided updates on communications activities from the past quarter. He discussed the recent audit of website maintenance which had positive results with good suggestions for improvement from the auditors. Ryf noted that social media accounts continue to see steady growth but there has been a substantial increase to TCDD e-mail subscriptions as a result of specific outreach at conferences and other functions. Ryf further discussed changes to Facebook in the formatting of business pages as well as highlights from information and marketing campaigns. Ryf reviewed upcoming events as well as awareness days and months noting that October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month will see a large amount of activity.

  13. Executive Committee Report
    Chair Durheim reviewed the new and continuation grant funding that was awarded during the Executive Committee meeting. New grant funding was awarded for a Public Policy Fellowship to EveryChild, Inc., for a Higher Education Collaborative project to Texas A&M University and for an Outreach and Development project to Imagine Enterprises. Continuation grant funding was awarded to Volar Center for Independent Living (Building Community Capacity through Collaboration), Texas Tech University (Support for Project SEARCH), and Light & Salt Association (Culturally Appropriate Family Supports. Three event stipends and four speaker stipends were awarded this quarter.

    The Executive Committee reviewed an appeal from Mounting Horizons who did not receive funding for a Leadership and Advocacy grant and the Committee determined that the proper process was followed and the original decision to not fund was upheld.

    The Committee approved three new individuals to the pool of potential Independent Review Panel members.

    Operations Director Cantu reviewed the quarterly financial reports and explained the new formatting of the reports. 68% of the Operating Expense budget has been spent and this is on target for this point in the fiscal year. All of FY 15 funds have been assigned to projects and there is about $1 million remaining in FY 16 funds to assign and this will happen prior to the September 1, 2017 deadline. It was also noted that TCDD received an additional $102,470 in FY 16 funding as a one-time allocation because Puerto Rico returned funding that could not be spent and this was distributed amongst all DD Councils. The Executive Committee members did not express any concerns with the agency financial reports.

    The Committee reviewed Conflict of Interest disclosures and no concerns were noted.

  14. Project Development Committee Report
    Project Development Committee Chair Cortez reported that following discussion on a Sibling Leadership Network, staff were directed to develop an executive summary for a project on this subject. The Committee reviewed other project ideas but did not have specific recommendations at this time.

  15. Public Policy Committee Report
    Public Policy Committee Chair Taylor expressed her appreciation for all of the Committee of the Whole presentations on Employment issues. She reported that the Committee discussed recent reports of high levels of lead in the drinking water at three state supported living centers (SSLCs). Committee member Ruth Mason also provided comments on this topic in conjunction with Sunset Committee recommendations to consolidate SSLCs and close the Austin State Supported Living Center.

  16. State Agency Representatives Quarterly Activities Report
    Ivy Goldstein, Department of State Health Services, reported that Rachel Jew has been named as the director of the Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) Services Program. The Program recently conducted focus groups on access and barriers to services at the Texas Parent to Parent Conference.

    April Young from Health and Human Services (HHSC) reported that information sessions on the STAR Kids managed care program roll-out will begin in August. She also reported that the first major phase of the HHSC transformation will begin on September 1, 2016 with the creation of the Medical and Social Services Division under the new Deputy Executive Commissioner, Gary Jessee. The agency Legislative Appropriations Request are due to the Legislative Budget Board on August 26, 2016 with the HHSC hearing scheduled for September 22, 2016.

    Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) representative, Donnie Wilson, discussed transformation activities noting that three quarters of the agency staff have received their assignments. He noted that DADS will retain oversight of SSLCs until 2018.

    Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) representative Jennifer Kaut reported that there is still a great deal that is unknown about the transition to Texas Workforce Commission on September 1, 2016 but that transition should not result in a change for consumers.

    Texas Education Agency (TEA) representative Ron Roberts discussed agency reorganization following the recent appointment of Mike Morath as Commissioner. He noted that Morath feels the agency should have more of a service and less of a regulatory role for Texas schools. Morath is working to establish stakeholder groups to gain input.

    Meagan Sumbera, Texas A&M Center on Development and Disability, reported their focus on end of year reporting and they are participating in 43 total projects at this time.

    Amy Sharp, TCDS, discussed two new projects including a grant that will create a curriculum to include people with intellectual disabilities as research staff and this curriculum will be distributed nationwide. The second project works with Special Olympics to create awareness and address obesity in people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

  17. Announcements and Updates
    Council members discussed dates and locations of future meetings of November 2–4, 2016 (Sonesta Bee Cave-Austin), February 8–10, 2017 (Holiday Inn Austin Midtown), May 3–5, 2017 and August 2–4, 2017.


Council Chair Durheim adjourned the meeting at 12:05 PM

Beth Stalvey, Secretary to the Council