Minutes — May 2016 Council Meeting

2016 Council and Committee Meetings

Attendance

Council Members Present

  • Gladys Cortez
  • Kristen Cox
  • Mateo Delgado
  • Mary Faithfull, DRT
  • Stephen Gersuk
  • Ivy Goldstein, DSHS
  • Barbara Kaatz, TEA
  • Ruth Mson
  • Scott McAvoy
  • Brandon Pharris
  • Meghan Regis, DARS
  • Amy Sharp, UT CDS
  • Meagan Sumbera, A&M CDD
  • Lora Taylor
  • Donnie Wilson, DADS
  • April Young, HHSC

Council Members Absent

  • Mary Durheim, Council Chair
  • Hunter Adkins
  • Kimberly Blackmon
  • Kristine Clark
  • Michael Peace
  • Dana Perry
  • David Taylor
  • Rick Tisch
  • John Thomas

Guests Present

  • Rebekah Adams
  • Shiloh Gonzales
  • Amy Litzinger
  • Darryl Powell
  • Michelle Schwartz
  • Shea Selby

Staff Members Present

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

Call To Order

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities convened on Friday, May 6, 2016, in the Joplin Room of the Doubletree Austin Northwest — Arboretum, 8901 Business Park Drive, Austin, TX 78759. Council Vice-Chair Kristen Cox called the meeting to order at 9:10 AM. Cox noted that Council Chair Mary Durheim was unable to attend the meeting due to work conflicts.

  1. Introductions
    Council members, staff and guests were introduced.
  2. Public Comments
    No public comments were offered to the Council.
  3. Consent Items
    Vice-Chair Cox reviewed consent items including the minutes from the February 5, 2016, Council meeting and February 4, 2016 Committee of the Whole meeting and the excused absences of Hunter Adkins, Kimberly Blackmon, Kristine Clark, Mary Durheim, Dana Perry, Rick Tisch and John Thomas. David Taylor and Michael Peace also had issues arise during the course of the meetings that required their absence from the Council meeting. DARS representative Jennifer Kaut and alternate Sara Kendall were unable to attend but Meghan Regis from that agency is attending as a non-voting representative.

    MOTION: To approve the minutes of the February 4, 2016 Council meeting and February 3, 2016 Committee of the Whole meeting as well as the excused absences as noted.
    MADE BY: Lora Taylor
    SECOND: Gladys Cortez
    The motion passed without opposition. Mary Faithfull abstained from voting.

  4. Chair’s Report
    Vice-Chair Cox noted that during the August meetings, Council Chair Mary Durheim will share her recent work experience with the National Taskforce on Workforce Development and Employability for People with Disabilities.

  5. Executive Director’s Report
    Executive Director Beth Stalvey provided an update on TCDD staff to note that Sonya Hosey has returned to full-time work but elected to step down from the Grants Management Director position. She will continue working as a Grants Specialist with additional responsibilities for quality control and other special projects. Cynthia Ellison has accepted the position of Grants Management Director. In response to expanded public awareness and marketing needs, the Communications division has been given more visibility on the organizational chart and moved out of the Public Policy Division. A Communications Director position has been created and Joshua Ryf has accepted that position. Public Policy Specialist Belinda Carlton is retiring as of May 31, 2016. Vacancies for a Grants Specialist and Public Policy Specialist are posted to accept applications and the selection process will be conducted during the next few months.

    Stalvey reported that in addition to the Disability Policy Seminar in Washington, DC, she attended the Texas Statewide Independent Living Conference held in San Antonio at the beginning of April.

    The FY 2017 — FY 2021 State Plan is due for submission by August 15, 2016. The Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) has a number of new requirements and formatting for this comprehensive report.

  6. Future Activities for State Plan Implementation
    Project Development Committee Chair Gladys Cortez reported on Committee discussion of several executive summaries for future project funding. She first discussed Youth Leadership Development projects which would reach at least 150 people with developmental disabilities between the ages of 14 and 22 to gain and share information, develop skills and establish personal plans. Priority would be for projects in rural areas, serving a high percentage of people living in poverty, and/or focus on under-represented groups. Funding would be available for up to three projects at up to $125,000 per year, per project, for up to five years.

    MOTION: To approve the Executive Summary for up to three Youth Leadership Development projects for up to $125,000 per year, per project, for up to five years.
    MADE BY: Gladys Cortez for the Project Development Committee
    The motion passed without opposition. Meagan Sumbera (A&M CDD) abstained from voting.

    Cortez next discussed Outreach and Development projects for up to $70,000 per year for a maximum of five projects per year. This would allow up to three $10,000 grants and up to two $20,000 grants per year for groups to improve access to culturally competent supports and services. Grantees who have successfully completed a $10,000 project could apply for a $20,000 project enabling the project work to continue.

    MOTION: To approve up to $70,000 per year for a maximum of five Outreach and Development projects with up to three projects funded at $10,000 and up to two projects funded at up to $20,000.
    MADE BY: Gladys Cortez for the Project Development Committee
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Cortez discussed the proposal for Peer Support Specialists for Person-Directed Planning project which would develop and pilot a peer supports training program for individuals who live independently with the use of Medicaid Waiver services so they can lead their own person centered planning process. Health and Human Services Commission staff in the Medicaid/CHIP division are supportive of this project. Funding would be for one four-year project in the amount of up to $100,000 for the first year and up to $125,000 for years two through four.

    MOTION: To approve up to $100,000 for the first year and up to $125,000 for years two through four of a four-year Peer Support Specialists for Person-Directed Planning project.
    MADE BY: Gladys Cortez for the Project Development Committee
    The motion passed without opposition. Amy Sharp (UT CDS) abstained from voting.

    Cortez discussed funding to provide services for not-for-profit community organizations that serve and support people with disabilities and their family members to have materials translated into the languages needed by the people they serve. Funding is recommended to not exceed $25,000 per year for up to three years and would be approved by the TCDD Executive Director in a manner similar to event stipends.

    MOTION: To approve up to $25,000 per year for up to three years for translation services.
    MADE BY: Gladys Cortez for the Project Development Committee
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Cortez discussed an increase in funding to event stipends and disability related support stipends from $6,000 per event to $7,500 per event for a total of up to $100,000 per year for all stipends.

    MOTION: To approve up an increase in Events Stipends and Disability Related Support Stipends to $7,500 per event and a total of up to $100,000 per year for all stipends.
    MADE BY: Gladys Cortez for the Project Development Committee
    The motion passed without opposition. Amy Sharp (UT CDS) abstained from voting.

    Cortez discussed withdrawing approval of funding for Support of Full-Participation of Self-Advocates in Workgroups as this funding has never been used. It was clarified that this is not the funding that provides travel support so that public members can participate in workgroups. She noted that the Project Development Committee also reviewed the Future Funding Priorities list and agreed that in addition to the removal of this specified funding, the newly approved projects are recommended to be added as numbers 6–9 on the list, in the order just approved. The remaining projects stay in the same order.

    MOTION: To approve revisions to the Future Funding Priorities list by removing Support for Full-Participation of Self-Advocates in Workgroups and placing Youth Leadership Development as number 6, Outreach and Development as number 7, Peer Support Specialists for Person-Directed Planning as number 8, and Translation Services as number 9.
    MADE BY: Gladys Cortez for the Project Development Committee
    The motion passed unanimously.

  7. Positions Statement Review
    Public Policy Committee Chair Lora Taylor reported that the Public Policy Committee reviewed draft revisions to four position statements but elected to take no action on the Right to Privacy position statement until other revisions could be considered . The Committee reviewed the Aging with Developmental Disabilities statement and the recommended revisions as presented in Council materials.

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

    Taylor reported that the Public Policy Committee discussed the Access to Healthcare position statement and recommended revisions as presented in Council materials with additional edits to the third bullet point. The third bullet point should now read “Make healthcare coverage more affordable” and eliminates other proposed revisions.

    MOTION: To approve proposed revisions to the TCDD Access to Healthcare Position Statement.
    MADE BY: Lora Taylor for the Public Policy Committee
    The motion passed without opposition. Ivy Goldstein (DSHS), Donnie Wilson (DADS) and April Young (HHSC) abstained from voting.

    Taylor reported that the Public Policy Committee discussed the Community Living Position Statement which clarifies statements into plain language and makes reference to Supported Decision Making.

    MOTION: To approve proposed revisions to the TCDD Community Living Position Statement.
    MADE BY: Lora Taylor for the Public Policy Committee
    The motion passed without opposition. Ivy Goldstein (DSHS), Donnie Wilson (DADS) and April Young (HHSC) abstained from voting.

  8. Project Development Committee Report
    Project Development Committee Chair Cortez announced that John Thomas will serve as the Vice-Chair of that Committee. She also reported that the Committee received updates on the progress of Partners in Policymaking and Alternatives to Guardianship Training projects. A request for bids to execute the contract for administration of Partners in Policymaking is in development. Because of the amount of the contract, it is being reviewed by the Comptroller’s Office to ensure all state procurement policies are met. A contract to administer training on Alternatives to Guardianship and Supported Decision Making is in development with the DD Network partners.

    Planning Coordinator Joanna Cordry discussed updated requirements from the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) on State Plan Development for two specific objectives that need to be included. The first is to include collaborative efforts with the DD Network Partners and this must include naming the partners. TCDD will meet this requirement by making slight revisions to goals and objectives that highlight the specifics of the collaborative project on Alternatives to Guardianship and Supported Decision Making training. The second is around plans to address disparity and disproportionality that is identified in the State Plan narrative. TCDD will address this by including in the goals and objectives collaborative efforts with community organizations to ensure services and supports are available in Spanish. Cordry added that neither of these additions constitutes a substantial revision to the State Plan Goals and Objectives so there is no need to post again for public comment.

  9. Public Policy Committee Report
    Public Policy Committee Chair Taylor reported that the Public Policy Committee had an extensive discussion on employment and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Taylor noted that as part of this act, 15% of vocational rehabilitation funds must be spent on transition services for youth.

    The Committee received an update on the report to the Legislature from the ombudsman for State Supported Living Centers (SSLCs). Recommended actions include improving staff to client ratios, expanding and strengthening staff training and informing residents of due process. The ombudsman reports also now include personal stories of residents.

    The Committee received additional updates on state policies related to parent and student rights for special education services, changes to autism services in Texas, and Health and Human Services transformation.

    The Committee will discuss Public Policy Priorities for the 2017 Legislative session during the August meeting. Members who wish to give input on these priorities should send them to public policy staff.

  10. Grantee Presentation — SAVE
    The Council received a presentation from Michelle (Shell) Schwartz, Disability Services Program Director and Rebekah Adams of SAFE (Stop Abuse for Everyone), formerly known as SafePlace. The TCDD grant project was entitled Meaningful Relationships: Bridging the Gap between Dreams and Reality and ended in 2015. The purpose of the program was to create change for community inclusion by demonstrating a replicable and self-directed model for adults with developmental disabilities to form healthy, safe and meaningful relationships with other people, based on shared interests. The project included four locations in the Austin area and one in Seguin. It allowed participants to form relationships based on common interests and participate in inclusive volunteer, social and civic activities. The project provided solutions to barriers to adults with developmental disabilities forming relationships outside service settings. An emphasis was placed on collaboration, creative thinking and peer support. A toolkit from the project is available on the SAFE website.

  11. Communications and Marketing Activities Report
    Communications Director Joshua Ryf provided updates on communications activities. He reviewed data regarding TCDD resources and social media accounts, and highlighted use of the People First Language handout. Ryf discussed information and marketing campaigns and focused on the participation in the #SidebysideTx campaign in March. He also discussed recent events in which TCDD has participated to raise awareness about the agency and provide information about funding opportunities and Council membership. Measurable outcomes for these events include an increase to TCDD email subscribers, identification of individuals who are interested in applying for Council membership and overall increase in the number of people who gained knowledge of TCDD.

  12. Executive Committee Report
    Vice-Chair Cox reviewed the new and continuation grant funding that was awarded during the Executive Committee meeting. New grant funding was awarded for Leadership Development and Advocacy Training projects to Paso Del Norte, Family to Family Network and Easter Seals. Continuation grant funding was awarded to Educational Solutions Inspiring Communities (Enabling Technology), Strategic Solutions (Enabling Technology), Imagine Enterprises (Self-Advocates as Speakers), VSA Arts of Texas (Self-Advocates as Speakers, Epilepsy Foundation (Health and Fitness), Region 17 Education Service Center (Family Involvement in Schools, and Texas Advocates (Self-Advocates Grassroots Community Organizing). One event stipend was awarded to Parent to Parent for its annual conference.

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

  13. State Agency Representatives Quarterly Activities Report
    April Young provided updates from Health and Human Services (HHSC) to note that Charles Smith will be the new Commissioner effective June 1, 2016. Self-reported numbers from managed care organizations for Community First Choice options show more than 1,100 individuals enrolled in the program with 8,400 in process of enrollment. Employment First policies have been adopted by HHSC as well as Texas Workforce Commission. Young also provided updates on the HHSC transformation plan.

    Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) representative, Donnie Wilson, discussed Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) noting that amended plans to implement HCBS are being reviewed by Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS). These plans are available on the HHSC website. He also provided updates on DADS transformation activities. He noted that the HHSC transformation website contains notices for recruitment for new or re-formed advisory committees.

    Meghan Regis attended the Council meeting from the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) due to the absence of Jennifer Kaut and Sara Kendall. She reported that DARS is awaiting federal regulations in June for WIOA and hopes to release Requests for Proposals on transition services after these are received. Vocational rehabilitation services will transition to Texas Workforce Commission on September 1, 2016 and that transition should not result in a change for consumers.

    Texas Education Agency (TEA) representative Barbara Kaatz announced the appointment of the new Commissioner, Mike Morath who has named a new executive team and will be conducting an evaluation of the agency. Any reorganization based on this evaluation is expected in September. Proposed Commissioner of Education rules on video surveillance for special education settings are posted and public comments are being accepted. TCDD submitted joint comments with Disability Rights Texas and the Arc of Texas on “cameras in classrooms” and these are available on the TCDD website.

    Meagan Sumbera, Texas A&M Center on Development and Disability, provided updates on new and current projects noting that 21 students just graduated from the PATH program and all have post-graduation plans for employment or additional education. 76 students will be starting the Bridge to Career program. Collaborative efforts with UT Center for Disability Studies (CDS) on training programs for person-centered practices are in process.

    Amy Sharp, UTCDS, described their organizations’ strategic planning process which has identified areas of emphasis as person centered practices, transition, and technical assistance. Projects in these areas will be continued and implemented.

    Ivy Goldstein, Department of State Health Services, reported that Dr. Manda Hall has been promoted to the medical director of Office of Title V. The division has three primary focus areas: medical homes, transition to adult health care, and community integration and she provided updates on activities in those areas.

  14. Announcements and Updates
    Council members discussed dates and locations of future meetings of August 3–5, 2016 (Horseshoe Bay Resort), November 2–4, 2016, February 1–3, 2017 (tentative) and May 3–5, 2017.

Adjourn

Council Vice-Chair Cox adjourned the meeting at 12:03 PM.

Beth Stalvey, Secretary to the Council