Minutes — August 2017 Executive Committee Meeting

2017 Council and Committee Meetings

Attendance

Committee Members Present

  • Mary Durheim, Council Chair
  • Gladys Cortez
  • John Thomas

Committee Members Absent

  • Michael Peace
  • Lora Taylor

Council Members Present

  • Kimberly Blackmon
  • Stephen Gersuk
  • Amy Sharp

Guests Present

  • Brooke Hohfeld
  • Annessa Lewis
  • Kyle Piccola
  • Deborah Wallace

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 2, 2017, in the Longhorn Room at the Hilton Austin Airport, 9515 Hotel Drive, Austin, TX 78719. Council Chair Mary Durheim called the meeting to order at 3:34 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 3–4, 2017, Executive Committee meeting as presented.
    MADE BY: Gladys Cortez
    SECOND: Mary Durheim
    The motion passed unanimously.

  4. Chair’s Report
    Council Chair Durheim reviewed expected absences for the Council and Committee meetings which include Hunter Adkins, Kris Clark, Michael Peace, Dana Perry, Brandon Pharris, David Taylor, and Lora Taylor. Scott McAvoy will not attend Wednesday or Thursday meetings but is expected to attend on Friday.

    Durheim further reported that she has asked Council Vice-Chair John Thomas to facilitate the majority of the meetings. Stephen Gersuk will facilitate the Public Policy Committee meeting due to the absences of Committee Chair Lora Taylor and Committee Vice-Chair Kristine Clark.

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

    1. NAMI El Paso: Translation stipend for up to $360 for 4th Annual National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month Forum on July 28, 2017, in El Paso.

    2. Arc of Greater Houston: Events stipend for up to $3,750 for the Second Annual Positive Futures Conference on November 3–4, 2017, in Houston.

    3. Arc of Greater Houston: Speakers stipend for up to $2,600 for the Second Annual Positive Futures Conference on November 3–4, 2017, in Houston.

    4. Providers Alliance for Community Services of Texas (PACSTX): Speakers stipend for up to $7,500 for the PACSTX 2017 Annual Conference on September 13–15, 2017, in Fort Worth.

    5. Texas Tribune: Events stipend for up to $7,500 for 6th Annual Texas Tribune Festival on September 22–24, 2017, in Austin.

    6. NAMI Texas: Events Stipend for up to $7,348 for the 2017 NAMI Texas Annual Conference on November 2–4, 2017, in Austin.

    7. Harris County Department of Education (HCDE): Speakers stipend for up to $3,000 for the Autism Conference on October 4–5, 2017, in Houston.

    Stalvey provided updates on TCDD staff to include Radames Fuentes resigned his position with the agency and that a posting for applications for two vacancies for Grants Management Specialists is available. Staff have received assistance through contract work provided by a temporary part-time employee for website maintenance as well as a Communications Intern. Additional contracts for special projects are planned for assistance with surveys for reporting measures and a database to track project outcome measures.

    Stalvey discussed the President’s budget proposal for FY 2018 as well as a recommendation to reorganize programs under the Administration on Community Living (ACL). The proposal is to combine Developmental Disabilities (DD) Councils with State Independent Living Councils (SILC) and Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Boards into a new federal office entitled Partnerships for Innovation, Inclusion and Independence (P3I) with a budget of $45 million for all states and territories. ACL has asked for input on the proposed P3I structure and an email address has been set up to receive those comments through August 11, 2017. The Congressional House budget proposal however maintains DD Councils within the current DD Act network that includes University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities and Protection and Advocacy agencies and recommends DD Council funding at the current level of $73 million across all states and territories. Talking points and impact statements of TCDD programs are available and members are encouraged to attend a work session on Thursday afternoon to provide input on what could be submitted from TCDD. Stalvey also reported that a July 2017 meeting was held with ACL staff as well as DD network partner staff at the TCDD offices. ACL staff were educated on the impact of TCDD and partner activities.

    The Partners in Policymaking training project selected class members and the first session will be held on August 12–13, 2017.

    Stalvey discussed staff and Council member participation with a number of events during the past quarter. Highlights included Council member and staff attendance at the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) conference where three TCDD projects were discussed. Planning Director Joanna Cordry also attend the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) Technical Assistance Institute and received information about reporting measures for DD Councils. Executive Director Stalvey on behalf of TCDD received the Helen G. Fitzsimmons Leadership Award from the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities — Texas Chapter (AAIDD-Tx) and Public Policy Director Jessica Ramos participated in the AAIDD-TX conference closing panel on the 85th Texas Legislature.

  6. Disproportionalities and Disparities
    Committee members reviewed the agenda items of disconnected youth for the Project Development Committee and historically underutilized businesses for the Public Policy Committee as each Committee focuses on disproportionalities and disparities. The Committees will provide follow-up on these discussions during the Council meeting.

    Staff continue to work with representatives from the DD Network Partners following the Leadership Institute for Cultural Diversity and Cultural and Linguistic Competency. Goals to develop leaders from a diverse group of self-advocates have been established and activities to implement these goals are in the early planning stages.

    Executive Director Stalvey briefly noted that the Committee will consider an Executive Summary to establish Community Outreach Coordinators for TCDD and these contract personnel would address disparities through their work in under-served communities.

  7. Grant Activity Report
    Grants Management Director Cynthia Ellison reported that the Outreach and Development project from Imagine Enterprises concluded a few months early due to staffing issues. She also noted that three Youth Leadership and Development projects that were approved at the February 2017 meeting have completed contract negotiations and will begin in August and September 2017.

    Ellison reported that the onsite review from Volar Center for Independent Living which was pending from November 2016 has been completed. Executive Director Stalvey added that the grantee responded to communication regarding project documentation and a potential suspension of the project was resolved.

    Ellison reviewed the Risk Assessment report and noted that the three new Youth Leadership Development projects were added to this report bringing the total to 19 current projects.

  8. TCDD Quarterly Financial Report
    Operations Director Martha Cantu reviewed the FY 2017 TCDD Administrative and Expense budget, noting that with nine months of the fiscal year complete, 63% of the budget has been spent.

    The final notice of grant award for FY 2017 was received in the amount of $4,802,026.

    Cantu reviewed the Summary of Funds for FY 2016 — 2017. As of the July reporting date, TCDD expects to return $574 in unspent funds for FY 2015, FY 2016 shows $276,639 to be assigned to grant projects by September 30, 2017 and there is $178,749 in FY 2017 funding available for projects.

  9. Fiscal Year 2018 Operating Expense Budget
    Operations Director Cantu reviewed the proposed Operating Expense budget for FY 2018. She noted this request is based on level funding from FY 2017 and is $22,445 less than the FY 2017 budget. She noted that the proposed budget numbers were separated into Administrative and State Plan activities to clarify amounts designated for each category.

    MOTION: To recommend Council approval of the FY 2018 Operating Expense budget in the amount of $1,936,335.
    MADE BY: Mary Durheim
    SECOND: Gladys Cortez
    The motion passed unanimously.

  10. Continuation Grant Awards
    Council Vice-Chair Thomas read a statement regarding Conflict of Interest prior to the consideration of continued funding of grant projects reminding members, staff and guests to excuse themselves from the conversation if a conflict exists.

    Grants Management Specialist Wendy Jones reviewed the executive summary for the Easter Seals of Central Texas Leadership Development and Advocacy Training project. Funding of up to $75,000 is requested for the second year of a five-year project.

    During the first year of the project, staff members have conducted 4-hour trainings at affiliate Easter Seals locations. Policy makers and members of the general public have been informed on Council initiatives, 154 individuals have been trained on self-advocacy and self-determination, 61 parents have been trained on educational rights, and a 3-part video that documents the progress of the program was begun. Objectives for the next year will continue training classes and expand Spanish-language training.

    MOTION: To approve up to $75,000 in continuation funding to Easter Seals of Central Texas for the second year of a five-year Leadership Development and Advocacy Training project.
    MADE BY: Gladys Cortez
    SECOND: Mary Durheim
    Members discussed the demand for classes in the McAllen area. The motion passed unanimously.

    Jones next reviewed the executive summary for the Paso del Norte Children’s Development Center Leadership Development and Advocacy Training project. Funding of up to $75,000 is requested for the second year of a five-year project.

    She noted that the project was progressing with five planned Leadership and Advocacy Institutes for the project year and that 29 participants were reported for the first two sessions and is on target for the goal of 100 participants. The goal for the second year was to implement another five sessions, training 100 people.

    MOTION: To approve up to $75,000 in continuation funding to Paso del Norte Children’s Development Center for the second year of a five-year Leadership Development and Advocacy Training project.
    MADE BY: Mary Durheim
    SECOND: Gladys Cortez
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Grants Management Director Ellison next reviewed the executive summary for the Light and Salt Association Project SMILE, Culturally Appropriate Family Supports project. Funding of up to $75,000 is requested for the third year of a four-year project.

    The project conducts outreach activities to increase awareness of developmental disabilities within the Asian American communities, provides training on access to community supports, holds support groups and one-on-one counseling sessions, and conducts legislative visits to educate policy makers on disability issues.

    MOTION: To approve up to $75,000 in continuation funding to Light and Salt Association for the third year of a four-year Culturally Appropriate Family Supports project.
    MADE BY: Mary Durheim
    SECOND: Gladys Cortez
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Jones next reviewed the executive summary for Texas Advocates Self-Advocates Grassroots Community Organizing project. Funding of up to $83,333 is requested for the third and final year of the project.

    The project has engaged more than 50 self-advocates in the Austin area to participate in the Self Advocate Community Organizing group, conducted interviews to determine top concerns for people with disabilities, acted as ambassadors for advocates visiting from other parts of the state during the legislative session, and focused advocacy activities on ending sub-minimum wage employment for people with disabilities. These activities will continue for the final year as well as building an organizational infrastructure to ensure sustainability.

    MOTION: To approve up to $83,333 in continuation funding to Texas Advocates for the third and final year of the Self-Advocates Community Organizing project.
    MADE BY: Mary Durheim
    SECOND: Gladys Cortez
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Ellison next reviewed the executive summary for the EveryChild, Inc. TCDD Policy Fellow project. Funding of up to $67,500 is requested for the second and final year of the project.

    The policy fellow has developed a focus on the impact of state agency policies to community services and outcomes for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Department of Family and Protective Services system. The second year of the fellowship will continue with the same activities.

    MOTION: To approve up to $67,500 in continuation funding to EveryChild, Inc for the second and final year of a TCDD Policy Fellows project.
    MADE BY: Gladys Cortez
    SECOND: Mary Durheim
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Jones next reviewed the executive summary for Volar Center for Independent Living Building Community Capacity through Collaboration project. Funding of up to $150,000 is requested for the fourth year of a five-year project.

    This project supports a network of agencies and organizations that implement initiatives to provide services in the areas of behavioral support, supported employment, transition planning, youth leadership development, and post-secondary education. Jones acknowledged this project has the highest level of monitoring requirements and monthly Requests for Reimbursements are very closely monitored to ensure all documentation is present for grant activities. She noted that the project is currently on track to meet expectations.

    MOTION: To approve up to $150,000 in continuation funding to Volar Center for Independent Living for the fourth year of a five-year Building Community Capacity through Collaboration project.
    MADE BY: Gladys Cortez
    SECOND: Mary Durheim
    The motion passed unanimously.

  11. New Grant Awards
    Vice-Chair Thomas reminded members, staff and guests of the previous statement regarding conflicts of interest.

    Planning Specialist Danny Fikac reviewed the Request for Proposals (RFP) for TCDD Policy Fellows and presented the applications as well as staff comments and independent review panel recommendations of the applications. He reviewed summaries, strengths, and concerns for applications from the Arc of Texas, Disability Rights Texas (DRT), Coalition of Texans with Disabilities CTD), Family to Family, and Easter Seals of Central Texas. The Arc of Texas fellowship would focus on employment for people with disabilities. The DRT fellowship would focus on eliminating barriers to housing and transportation. The CTD proposal would allow the selected fellow to choose their area of focus. The Family to Family proposal also focused on employment. The Easter Seals of Central Texas proposal would allow the fellow to select the area of emphasis. Committee members discussed the strengths and concerns of each proposal and determined three projects for funding.

    MOTION: To approve funding for TCDD Policy Fellows projects, in the following amounts per year, for up to two years: $67,500 to the Arc of Texas; $45,838 to Disability Rights Texas; $67,500 to Coalition of Texans with Disabilities
    MADE BY: Gladys Cortez
    SECOND: Mary Durheim
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Planning Director Cordry next reviewed the RFP for the Texas Sibling Network project and presented applications from the University of Texas and Sam Houston State University. Cordry discussed staff comments and independent review panel recommendations for the two proposals. Committee members discussed the summary of each proposal as well as strengths and concerns of the proposals.

    MOTION: To approve up to $85,000 per year for up to five years to the University of Texas to establish a Texas Sibling Network.
    MADE BY: Mary Durheim
    SECOND: Gladys Cortez
    The motion passed unanimously.

  12. Consideration of Review Panel Members
    Planning Specialist Fikac presented information for 14 new applicants to serve as independent review panel members. He noted that two additional applications did not include complete information and attempts to contact those individuals did not receive a response. Members briefly discussed the qualifications agreed to the 14 applications.

    MOTION: To approve 14 new members to be included in the list of potential TCDD Independent Review Panel members.
    MADE BY: Mary Durheim
    SECOND: Gladys Cortez
    The motion passed unanimously.

  13. Future Activities for Community Engagement
    Executive Director Stalvey presented an executive summary for two Community Outreach Coordinators. This would allow TCDD to create the equivalent of a staff level position at the community level and expand efforts outside of Austin. This position would coordinate opportunities for inclusion for individuals with developmental disabilities from diverse cultural and geographic backgrounds and provide support to individuals involved in the community.

    MOTION: To recommend Council approval of two Community Outreach Coordinator positions with funding at $200,000 per year, for up to five years, to include salary, travel, and other expenses for both positions.
    MADE BY: Mary Durheim
    SECOND: Gladys Cortez
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Operations Director Cantu next discussed funding for Travel Support of Advisory Committees. She reminded members that TCDD contracts with the Texas Center for Disability Studies to provide funds to support travel for self-advocates and family members to participate in state level advisory committees, councils and, workgroups. For the past two years, TCDD has spent $19,656 but the need is expected to decrease due to the discontinuation of the Employment First Taskforce and funding provided by the Health and Human Services Commission for the Consumer Direction Workgroup. TCDD staff recommend allocating $7,500 per year for two years in the event that other workgroups need travel reimbursement.

    MOTION: To recommend Council approval of $15,000 for two years for Travel Support for Advisory Committee Members.
    MADE BY: Mary Durheim
    SECOND: Gladys Cortez
    The motion passed unanimously.

  14. Fiscal Year 2018 Memorandum of Understanding with Texas Education Agency
    Operations Director Cantu reviewed the FY 2018 Memorandum of Understanding with Texas Education Agency. This document which is required by state law delineates the roles and responsibilities of the designated state agency in providing administrative services to TCDD. The only changes from FY 2017 to FY 2018 were the dates of service.

    MOTION: To recommend Council approval the FY 2018 Memorandum of Understanding with Texas Education Agency.
    MADE BY: Mary Durheim
    SECOND: Gladys Cortez
    The motion passed unanimously.

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

  16. Executive Session: Annual Review of Executive Director
    Vice-Chair Thomas announced at 6:30 PM that the Executive Committee of the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities would meet in closed session pursuant to Section 551.074 of the Government Code related to Personnel Matters. A quorum of the Committee was present.

    At 6:45 PM, Vice-Chair Thomas concluded the Executive Session and announced that no action was taken during the closed meeting discussion on personnel matters.

Recess

Vice-Chair Thomas recessed the Executive Committee at 6:46 PM.

Attendance

Committee Members Present

  • Mary Durheim, Council Chair
  • Gladys Cortez
  • John Thomas

Committee Members Absent

  • Michael Peace
  • Lora Taylor

Council Members Present

  • Stephen Gersuk

Staff Members Present

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

Reconvene

Vice-Chair Thomas reconvened the Executive Committee in the Wildflower Room of the Hilton Austin Airport on Thursday, August 3, 2017 at 4:47 PM.

  1. Continuation of Unfinished Business
    Vice-Chair Thomas reflected on the increasing amount of communications activities for TCDD staff. He proposed using available funds to contract with additional communications staff to implement these activities.

    MOTION: To approve up to $100,000 for salary and travel expenses for contract staff to assist with communications activities for one year.
    MADE BY: John Thomas
    SECOND: Mary Durheim
    The motion passed unanimously.

  2. Committee Chair Debriefing
    Project Development Committee Chair Gladys Cortez reported that the Project Development Committee voted to recommend Council approval of executive summaries on Leadership Development and Advocacy Training in Rural Areas and Peer Support Specialists for Individuals Living in Institutions. The Project Development Committee will also recommend these projects be prioritized for funding.

    Stephen Gersuk reported that the largest topic of conversation in the Public Policy Committee was recent efforts to include businesses owned by a person with a disability in the Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) program. It was noted that there are a number of advocacy opportunities to build relationships with different communities before this is proposed in the next legislative session.

Adjourn

Vice-Chair Thomas adjourned the Executive Committee at 5:23 PM

Beth Stalvey, Secretary to the Council