Minutes — August 2016 Executive Committee Meeting

2016 Council and Committee Meetings

Attendance

Committee Members Present

  • Mary Durheim, Council Chair
  • Gladys Cortez
  • Kristen Cox
  • Lora Taylor

Committee Members Absent

  • Michael Peace

Council Members Present

  • Amy Sharp

Guests Present

  • Kyle Cox

Staff Members Present

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

Call To Order

The Executive Committee of the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities convened on Wednesday, August 3, 2016, in the Limestone Room at the Horseshoe Bay Resort, 200 Hi Circle, Horseshoe Bay, TX 78657. Council Chair Mary Durheim called the meeting to order at 3:05 PM.

  1. Introductions
    Committee members, staff and guests were introduced.
  2. Public Comments
    No public comments were offered to the Committee.
  3. Consideration Of Minutes
    The minutes were reviewed and no additions or corrections were noted.
    MOTION: To approve the minutes of the May 4, 2016, Executive Committee meeting as presented.
    MADE BY: Kristen Cox
    SECOND: Lora Taylor
    The motion passed unanimously.

  4. Chair’s Report
    Council Chair Durheim reported the expected absences for the meeting, which include Kristine Clark, Dana Perry and Brandon Pharris. Ron Roberts of Texas Education Agency will attend meetings as a non-voting member. He expects to be named as the representative of that agency but official notification has not been received. Rachel Jew of the Department of State Health Services also expects to be named as that agency’s representative to replace Manda Hall and she will attend along with alternate representative Ivy Goldstein. Durheim noted that she and Executive Director Beth Stalvey continue to work with staff at the Governor’s appointments office and hope that Council member vacancies will be filled in the near future. Durheim also discussed member absences and referred members to the attendance chart in the Council meeting materials.

  5. Executive Director’s Report
    Executive Director Stalvey reviewed stipend awards that were approved during the past quarter to the following applicants:

    • American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities — Texas Chapter (AAIDD-TX): Events stipend for up to $6,000 for the 41st AAIDD-TX Convention on July 19–22, 2016, in San Antonio.

    • Texas Advocates: Events stipend for up to $5,950 for the 2016 Texas Advocates Annual Convention on August 12–14, 2016, in San Marcos.

    • Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network (DSDN): Speakers stipend for up to $3,450 for the Rockin’ Mon Retreat on September 9–10, 2016 in Grapevine.

    • Providers Alliance for Community Services of Texas (PACSTX): Speakers stipend for up to $7,500 for the PACSTX 2016 Annual Convention on September 14–16, 2016 in Galveston.

    • Texas Tribune: Events stipend for up to $7,400 for the 6th Annual Texas Tribune Festival on September 23–25, 2016 in Austin.

    • Helpful Interventions: Events stipend for up to $3,720 for the Gulf Coast of Texas African American Family Support Conference on October 8, 2016 in Houston.

    • Helpful Interventions: Speakers stipend for up to $3,750 for the Gulf Coast of Texas African American Family Support Conference on October 8, 2016 in Houston.

    Stalvey provided an update on TCDD staff noting that Public Policy staff have had an intern for the summer, Lindsey Zischkale, who worked on issues related to long-term services and supports. Public Policy Director Jessica Ramos added that Zischkale’s work was especially helpful in providing background information for TCDD public input and in updating the sections of the Biennial Disability Report on those issues.

    An offer of employment has been extended to a candidate for the vacant Public Policy Specialist position and it is hoped that an announcement will be available soon. The vacant Grants Management Specialist will be posted again for applications following an interview process that selected an applicant who ultimately turned down the position.

    Stalvey provided further staff updates to note that Joanna Cordry’s position has been reclassified to a Planning Director position in response to reflect her increased responsibilities in federal reporting, and planning development as well as oversight, staff supervision and Committee support.

    Stalvey reported that A Circle of Ten (C10) has filed a formal complaint following the close of their Building Community Capacity through Collaboration project. The complaint centers around equipment purchased with grant funds that C10 does not feel should have to be returned. TCDD policies allow for a formal complaint to be filed when a grantee is in disagreement with a staff member’s decision and C10 has exercised that option. The procedure for a formal complaint is that an investigation into the complaint be conducted and that the Council be made aware of the status of the complaint on a quarterly basis. Stalvey has confirmed with Texas Education Agency as well as the technical assistance center at the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) that the request to C10 for the return of two laptop computers and a braille printer meets federal and state guidelines. A response stating this confirmation of policy was sent to C10 as well as to the legislators and other organizations that were made aware of the original complaint. Staff will continue to provide updates to the Council on the progress of C10’s compliance.

    TCDD received an increase to FY 2016 funding due to a one time re-allotment of funds from Puerto Rico. The money was distributed across all DD Councils and TCDD received $102,470 and this will be noted in the financial reports.

    Stalvey reminded Committee members of previous Committee action to recommend Council consideration of updates to the Council Policies and Procedures based on recent updates to the Council’s Administrative Code. Per Council policy, members received written notice of these revisions more than 10 days prior to consideration and this topic is now on the Council agenda for Friday’s meeting.

    Stalvey reviewed activities planned for the Committee of the Whole meeting that will focus on employment for people with disabilities. Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Executive Director Larry Temple will discuss the transition of vocational rehabilitation and other services provided by the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitation Services to TWC. Employment First Taskforce Chair Stephanie Sokolosky will update members on taskforce recommendations. Jean Langendorf will present findings from the recent Disability Rights Texas report on Sub-minimum wage entitled Living on a Dime and Left Behind. Chair Durheim will report on her participation with the National Taskforce on Workforce Development and Employability for People with Disabilities. And Public Policy Specialist Linda Logan will discuss federal and state policies on employment.

    Stalvey also noted that during Friday’s Council meeting a local member of the community will give his story about his son with disabilities as he moved through different educational settings as well as his employment and access to services and supports, specifically in a rural area. Committee members expressed an interest in a presentation from someone who previously resided in an institution and now lives in the community. A presentation from Eva Luna Castro on tax structure and funding for services was also suggested.

    Stalvey and Planning Director 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, 2016 using this new system.

    The Council has applied to ACL for a Partnerships in Employment grant which requires a partnership collaborative and the components of the grant are similar to Employment First Taskforce activities and would focus on transition activities for young adults. Notifications of the grant award will happen in September.

  6. Grants Activity Report
    Grants Management Director Cynthia Ellison provided an update on new leadership and advocacy grant projects noting that Family to Family began that project on August 1, 2016, Paso del Norte will begin on September 1, 2016, and Easter Seals is still in negotiations for a start date and other project details. Ellison reviewed the Independent Audit Status Report noting that ten audits were completed during the quarter without any significant findings. She also reviewed the Grants Monitoring Exceptions Report noting that four onsite reviews were completed during the quarter and that the pending status for Reaching Families Advocacy and Support Group has now been completed.
  7. TCDD Quarterly Financial Report
    Operations Director Martha Cantu reviewed the TCDD Administrative and Expense budget, noting that with 9 months of the fiscal year complete, 68% of the budget has been spent. This is average for this point in the fiscal year and staff have no concerns regarding expenditures.

    Cantu next reviewed the summary of funds and explained new formatting that includes Committee member recommendations. The color coding of categories coordinates with a pie chart that shows amounts and percentages of the budget for each category. Operating expenses are broken down into two categories to document the amount of administrative funds being spent on state plan activities. Federal requirements are that at least 70% of funding is spent on state plan activities with TCDD currently spending 84% on those activities.

    All FY 2015 funding has been assigned with no plans to return any of that year’s funds to AIDD. $1,046,093 of FY 2016 funding remains to be assigned and this will happen before September 1, 2017. Amounts shown for FY 2017 and FY 2018 are projected based on amounts equal to FY 2016.

  8. FY 2017 Operating Expense Budget
    Operations Director Cantu reviewed the proposed budget for FY 2017 operating expenses and noted this is 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.

    MOTION: To recommend Council approval of the proposed FY 2017 Operating Expense budget at $1,958,780.
    MADE BY: Gladys Cortez
    SECOND: Lora Taylor
    The motion passed unanimously.

  9. Appeal of Funding Decision — Mounting Horizons
    Executive Director Stalvey discussed the appeal of funding decision from Mounting Horizons who submitted an application for the Leadership and Advocacy RFP. In her investigation, there is no evidence that TCDD process was not followed in the review of the proposal. The content of the appeal letter contained additional information about the proposed project in direct response to the comments from the independent review panel. Consideration of this new content would constitute a two-step proposal review process and that is not allowable under TCDD policy.

    MOTION: To uphold the Executive Committee decision to not fund a Leadership and Advocacy project with Mounting Horizons.
    MADE BY: Gladys Cortez
    SECOND: Lora Taylor
    The motion passed unanimously.

  10. Consideration of Continuation Grant Awards
    TCDD Grants Management Specialists Sonya Hosey and Wendy Jones provided information to the Committee via conference call. Hosey reviewed the executive summary for continuation funding to Volar Center for Independent Living for its Building Community Capacity through Collaboration project. The project’s intent is to reduce the need for institutionalization of people with developmental disabilities. Areas of focus include behavior support, supported employment, youth leadership, transition planning, and post-secondary education. Highlights of the project include a network increase of 26 partnerships, six students enrolled in higher education with seven more planned for the upcoming school year, 30 individuals served in the youth leadership development initiative, 33 families are being served in the I/DD transition planning initiative, and 116 participants in seminars on behavioral support. Funding has been requested for the third year of this five year project at $150,000. No concerns were noted for this project. Committee members requested a greater acknowledgement of TCDD funding through social media and other efforts.

    MOTION: To approve up to $150,000 in continuation funding to Volar Center for Independent Living for the third year of a five-year Building Community Capacity through Collaboration project.
    MADE BY: Lora Taylor
    SECOND: Kristen Cox
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Grants Management Specialist Wendy Jones reviewed the executive summary for continuation funding to Texas Tech University for its support of Project SEARCH grant. The intent of this project is to provide support to school districts, businesses, and/or entities that wish to contract on this business-led school-to-work transition model. The primary goal is to assist ten new Project SEARCH sites and at the completion of the 4th year of the project, 11 new sites have been established with plans for an additional three for the final year. 83% of the students who have completed the program have obtained employment. No major compliance issues were noted but the project staff were counseled on the lack of a first quarter project advisory committee meeting and this should not happen again.
    MOTION: To approve up to $174,348 in continuation funding to Texas Tech University for the final year of a five-year support for Project SEARCH project.
    MADE BY: Lora Taylor
    SECOND: Gladys Cortez

    Members questioned the level of need for the students served through Project SEARCH and it was noticed that although data is not collected, the national model serves a large number of students with autism. The motion passed unanimously.

    Grants Management Director Ellison reviewed the executive summary for continuation funding to Light & Salt Association for the second of a four year Culturally Appropriate Family Supports project known as Project SMILE. The project is an expansion of the previous Outreach and Development project to help individuals with developmental disabilities and their families receive culturally appropriate community-based services and supports. All of the first year goals have been met. 46 classes have been held for students with developmental disabilities, 19 monthly support groups were held throughout the Houston area with 302 participants, three online support group meetings were held and 50 one-on one counseling sessions took place. Through these sessions families obtain assistance with development of IEPs and gaining access to social services.
    MOTION: To approve up to $75,000 in continuation funding to Light and Salt Association for the second year of a four-year Culturally Appropriate Family Supports project.
    MADE BY: Lora Taylor
    SECOND: Gladys Cortez
    The motion passed unanimously.

  11. Review Panel Recommendations
    Planning Director Cordry presented the review panel recommendations for Public Policy Fellows projects. Cordry noted that two proposals were received but only one was reviewed because the second came in just minutes after the deadline. The evaluated proposal was submitted by EveryChild, Inc. and would focus on family-based alternatives, specifically the policy issues regarding transitioning children from institutions to family-based alternative settings such as Medicaid waiver funding. Strengths include the organization’s previously established relationships with government and other entities, and a clear understanding of the Texas systems that provide support to families. No significant concerns were noted by the review panel or staff members.
    MOTION: To approve grant funding of up to $67,500 per year for up to two years to EveryChild, Inc. for a Public Policy Fellowship project.
    MADE BY: Gladys Cortez
    SECOND: Kristen Cox
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Cordry and Planning Specialist Danny Fikac presented review panel recommendations for a Higher Education Collaborative project. The purpose of the project is to develop a sustainable collaborative that includes TCDD’s Higher Education for Employment projects and other post-secondary programs that have demonstrated success in fully including students with developmental disabilities. Project activities would include the gathering of information about needed system changes, providing technical assistance to at least ten institutions by the end of the project, increasing awareness of and access to programs, developing and implementing a plan to measure student outcomes, and ensuring sustainability of the collaborative.

    Two proposals were received from West Central Texas Regional Foundation (WCTRF) and Texas A&M University (TAMU) and were evaluated by an independent review panel. Both were found to be of high quality and both were recommended as fundable options. Committee members discussed the proposed funding amounts for each project noting that WCTRF proposed $727,582 per year and A&M proposed an average of $458,740 per year. Cordry reminded members that the RFP did not specify a funding amount but asked for budgets based on the proposed work. Final grant amounts would be negotiated between TCDD and the selected organization.

    WCTRF would include institutions in approximately 1/3 of the state, covering 95 counties and 27 designated poverty areas. Strengths noted by the review panel include internships as a critical component, employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities, an increasing number of participants throughout the project, and collaboration with a diverse group of partners. Concerns included the fact that many key project personnel had not been identified and qualifications not established, and a lack of an effective outline for a service delivery system that would promote inclusion.

    Texas A&M proposed to close gaps for individuals with intellectual disabilities having access to traditional post-secondary settings by expanding the Texas Post-Secondary Education models within Texas A&M and the University of Texas to ten different universities. Strengths noted by the review panel include well qualified personnel to carry out the project, a demonstrated history of successfully providing best practices, and the use of already established networks. Concerns included a lack of innovation and unclear plans to include underserved populations.

    Committee members discussed details of both project proposals and inquired about review panel discussions. It was reported that the review panel cited strengths of WCTRF in terms of “out of the box thinking”, the location of the project, and inclusion of underserved populations. Members cited the strength of Texas A&M to have a more statewide reach, and including more universities.

    Members clarified that proposed funding amounts for Texas A&M were as follows: year 1) $377,217; year 2) $450,789, year 3) $525,616, year 4) $532,939, and year 5) $407,137.

    MOTION: To approve grant funding of an average of up to $458,740 per year for up to five years to Texas A&M University for a Higher Education Collaborative.
    MADE BY: Kristen Cox
    SECOND: Lora Taylor
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Cordry next presented a proposal for an Outreach and Development project from Imagine Enterprises on behalf of a staff member who is volunteering in the El Paso area to increase participation in the Project HIGHER education program and improve employment outcomes through a targeted campaign to Hispanic families. Imagine Enterprises would help with infrastructure, match funding, reporting and financial management. Activities would include printing and distribution of Spanish language materials, hosting bilingual town hall meetings regarding Project HIGHER, recruitment of community partners, and collection of data for best practices.

    Committee members discussed the proposal and clarified that it will involve outreach for a new project, Project HIGHER, which does not receive TCDD funding but is modeled after TCDD Project HIRE.

    MOTION: To approve grant funding of up to $10,000 for up to 18 months to Imagine Enterprises for an Outreach and Development project.
    MADE BY: Kristen Cox
    SECOND: Lora Taylor
    The motion passed unanimously.

  12. Approval of Review Panel Members
    Planning Director Cordry requested a change in process to approving TCDD Independent Review Panel members and recommends bringing a short list of applicants to each quarterly Executive Committee meeting that includes basic qualifications for each applicant instead of the annual review. Chair Durheim agreed to this new process for a standing agenda item. Cordry presented six names of individuals who have submitted recent applications along with their stated qualifications. Members discussed the names presented and agreed to add three individuals to the Review Panel list.

    MOTION: To approve Elizabeth Lewis, Ann Outlaw and Jessica Smith to be included in the list of potential TCDD Independent Review Panel members.
    MADE BY: Kristen Cox
    SECOND: Lora Taylor
    The motion passed unanimously.

  13. Memorandum of Understanding with Texas Education Agency
    Operations Director Cantu presented the FY 2017 Memorandum of Understanding with Texas Education Agency (TEA). She noted that the only change for the upcoming year is for TEA to manage TCDD’s toll-free phone number through their administrative services.

    MOTION: To recommend Council approval of the FY 2017 Memorandum of Understanding with Texas Education Agency.
    MADE BY: Lora Taylor
    SECOND: Gladys Cortez
    The motion passed unanimously.

  14. Conflict of Interest Disclosure
    Committee members reviewed updated conflict of interest disclosure information for Council members and staff. No concerns were noted.

  15. Other Updates
    Committee members discussed the dates of the February 2017 Council and Committee meetings noting that the meeting will be shifted to the second week in February due to hotel availability.

  16. Executive Session: Evaluation of Executive Director
    Chair Durheim announced the Executive Committee of the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities would meet in closed session pursuant to Section 551.71 of the Government Code related to personnel matters. A quorum of the Committee was present, the time was 5:21 PM on August 3, 2016.

    At 5:39 PM on August 3, 2016, the Executive Committee reconvened in open session. Chair Durheim announced the Committee did not take any action during its closed meeting discussion on personnel matters.

Recess

Chair Durheim recessed the Executive Committee at 5:40 PM.

Thursday, August 4, 2016
Attendance

Committee Members Present

  • Mary Durheim, Council Chair
  • Gladys Cortez
  • Lora Taylor

Committee Members Absent

  • Kristen Cox
  • Michael Peace

Staff Members Present

  • Beth Stalvey, Executive Director
  • Martha Cantu
  • Joanna Cordry
  • Cynthia Ellison
  • Jessica Ramos
  • Koren Vogel

Reconvene

Chair Durheim reconvened the Executive Committee in the same location on Thursday, August 4, 2016 at 4:40 PM.

  1. Committee Chair Debriefing
    Public Policy Committee Chair Lora Taylor reported that the Public Policy Committee will recommend Council approval of the 2017 Public Policy Priorities. TCDD Position Statements were also discussed and the Committee will recommend Council approval of statements on Employment and Transition but elected to table discussion on the Education statement in order to obtain more research on charter schools.

    Project Development Committee Chair Gladys Cortez noted that the Project Development Committee will recommend Council approval of the executive summary on future Public Policy Fellows projects.

Adjourn

Chair Durheim adjourned the Executive Committee at 4:52 PM

Beth Stalvey, Secretary to the Council