Minutes — May 2017 Executive Committee Meeting

2017 Council and Committee Meetings

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Committee Members Present

  • Mary Durheim, Council Chair
  • Gladys Cortez
  • Michael Peace
  • Lora Taylor
  • John Thomas

Council Members Present

  • Kimberly Blackmon
  • Amy Sharp
  • Nina Zuna

Staff Members Present

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

Call To Order

The Executive Committee of the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities convened on Wednesday, May 3, 2017, in the Ames Meeting Room at the Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel & Conference Center, 1100 Woodlawn Ave, Georgetown, TX 78628. Council Chair Mary Durheim called the meeting to order at 3:37 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 February 8, 2017, Executive Committee meeting as presented.
    MADE BY: Lora Taylor
    SECOND: Gladys Cortez
    The motion passed unanimously.

  4. Chair’s Report
    Council Chair Durheim reviewed expected absences for the Council and Committee meetings which include Kris Clark, Mateo Delgado, Ruth Mason, Dana Perry, Brandon Pharris, David Taylor and representatives from Disability Rights Texas. With neither Jennifer Kaut nor Sara Kendall available to attend, Paula Brunson will represent Texas Workforce Commission as a non-voting member. Durheim reported that Nina Zuna has replaced Zach Ahonle as the alternate representative from the Texas Center for Disability Studies and that she along with representatives from the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) recently completed orientation and are now eligible to vote. She further noted that Kristen Cox has requested to be placed on the Public Policy Committee following her term as Council Vice-Chair.

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

    • Texas Parent to Parent: Events stipend for up to $7,500 for 13th Annual Texas Parent to Parent Conference on June 16-17, 2017, in San Marcos.

    • Texas Advocates: Events stipend for up to $7,448 for the 2017 Texas Advocates Annual Convention on July 25-30, 2017, in San Marcos.

    • American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities — Texas Chapter (AAIDD — TX): Events stipend for up to $7,260 for the 42nd Annual AAIDD-TX Convention on July 25-28, 2017, in Houston.

    • American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities — Texas Chapter (AAIDD — TX): Speakers stipend for up to $2,770 for the 42nd Annual AAIDD — TX Convention on July 25-28, 2017, in Houston.

    • University of North Texas Kristen Farmer Autism Center: Events stipend for up to $7,500 for Adventures in Autism Intervention and Research Conference on July 29, 2017, in Denton.

    Stalvey provided several updates on TCDD staff to include that Sonya Hosey has been granted disability retirement status and her last day with the agency was March 31, 2017 and that Webmaster Peggy Oster is on medical leave but continues to do some work from home. Stalvey introduced Grants and Contracts Compliance Specialist Radames Fuentes who began his position with the agency on April 17, 2017.

    Stalvey discussed budget assumptions for FY 2018. She noted that it is unknown what the federal allotment will be for the next fiscal year but that the operating expense budget will assume level funding and projected expenses will be similar to the current fiscal year. One significant increase may be for internet and phone usage. Operations Director Martha Cantu reported that due to our fiber-optic cable connection to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) sever, AT&T is the only available provider and our monthly rate recently suddenly increased in price from $156 per month to over $2000 per month. Cantu explained that the $156 rate was an error that should have been approximately $800 and this was realized when the rate increased. Rates were negotiated down for the last two months but will increase for May — August. TEA is negotiating rates for the FY 2018 contract.

    The Partners in Policymaking project has closed the application period on May 1, 2017 and 145 applications were received. An initial glance shows there to be a diverse applicant pool in ethnicity and geography. The class will be selected from a three-part process. The contract team will conduct an initial technical review of each application. An independent review panel will then narrow the pool by determining “yes”, “no” or “alternate potential” for each applicant. Final decisions for the class and alternates will be determined by TCDD staff and the contract team.

    Stalvey reviewed a list of upcoming conferences and events in which she, staff, and Council members will participate in the upcoming quarter. The Disability Leadership Institute will take place in Houston on May 8-12, 2017. Council member Scott McAvoy has indicated that he is attending this event. Stalvey will participate as a mentor in the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) new executive director orientation in Washington, DC on May 15-16, 2017 which provides additional opportunities to learn about changes to federal reporting requirements.

    Stalvey will participate in the American Association of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry and TCDD will likely have an exhibit booth at the conference in Houston on June 2-4, 2017. Stalvey has also been invited to participate in a Spark Initiative Conversation on Informed and Supported Decision Making. This is an NACDD partnership event with Optum that takes place in Minneapolis, MN on June 20-21, 2017. Stalvey and Planning Director Joanna Cordry will attend the NACDD Conference and Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) workshop in Salt Lake City on July 11-14, 2017. Council Vice-Chair John Thomas and Kristen Cox will also attend the NACDD conference. It was also noted that two TCDD grantees will present their projects at this conference. Stalvey will also participate in the closing panel of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities — Texas Chapter (AAIDD-TX) convention in Houston on July 28, 2017. TCDD will also have an exhibit booth at this event.

    The Committee discussed the potential to host the February 2018 meeting in conjunction with the Texas State Independent Living Council (SILC) meeting and Accessible Transportation Summit which are scheduled to take place in Waco on the same dates of the Council meeting. Members were in favor of this if logistics could be arranged.

  6. Disproportionalities and Disparities
    Committee members discussed information provided in a handout on “Disconnected Youth” which is defined as teenagers and young adults between the ages of 16-24 who are neither in school nor working. National data shows that disconnected youth are disproportionately poor, living with disabilities and parenting children. Public Policy Director Jessica Ramos reviewed the Texas-specific data presented in the document Planning Director Cordry noted that this information can guide the Council’s plans for future project development.

    Executive Director Stalvey also reported that representatives from each of the Texas DD Network Partners will be attending the Leadership Institute for Cultural Diversity and Cultural and Linguistic Competency sponsored by Georgetown University. Texas is one of six states that were awarded a grant from AIDD to attend this institute. Prior to the institute there is a significant amount of training that includes webinars, analysis, and writing assignments as well as state team meetings to discuss how disparities are addressed. Cordry will also attend a separate session of the institute as part of the NACDD board.

  7. Grants Activity Reports
    Grants Management Director Cynthia Ellison reported that seven onsite reviews were completed during the previous quarter and that an onsite review from Volar Center for Independent Living is still pending from November. Executive Director Stalvey noted that TCDD staff continue to work with staff from Volar to obtain the documents needed to complete this review and are optimistic that the situation will be reconciled. However, a letter was issued to the grantee indicating that conditions existed for grant suspension on April 20, 2017 with a response received on May 2, 2017. Staff will review this response following the Council meeting.

    Ellison reviewed the Independent Audit Status Report noting that seven projects had independent audits during the previous quarter and two of those were forwarded for a desk review and are still pending. There were no significant findings in the independent audits.

    TCDD grants managements operations were the focus of the FY 2017 Internal Audit conducted by Weaver and Associates. It was a positive audit with four primary findings regarding documentation of processes which are being addressed.

  8. TCDD Quarterly Financial Report
    Operations Director Martha Cantu reviewed the FY 2017 TCDD Administrative and Expense budget, noting that negative balances are expected next quarter in the areas of professional services due to the contracts for temporary employees and utilities due to the increase from AT&T. This will be offset by reduced expenses in other areas.

    Congress has recently approved level funding of Councils through the end of 2017.

  9. Consideration of Continuation Grant Awards
    Council Chair Durheim 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 participated by conference call and reviewed the executive summary for the Texas SILC Accessible Transportation Summits project. Funding of up to $150,000 is requested for the second year of a three-year project.

    During the first year of the project, Texas SILC has conducted needs assessment surveys, recruited 36 Consumer Advocates in Transportation, provided resource information for consumers, and conducted the first summit.

    MOTION: To approve up to $150,000 in continuation funding to Texas Statewide Independent Living Council for the second year of a three-year Accessible Transportation Summits project.
    MADE BY: Lora Taylor
    SECOND: Michael Peace
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Jones next reviewed the executive summary for Region 17 Education Service Center (ESC) Family Involvement in Schools project. Funding of up to $299,996 is requested for the fifth and final year of this project.

    She noted that the primary measure of this project’s success has been increased parent participation in Admission, Review & Dismissal (ARD) meetings. TCDD staff are working with the grantee to focus on data collection during the final year of the project that will inform student outcomes and promote sustainability and replication in other regions.

    MOTION: To approve up to $299,996 in continuation funding to Region 17 Education Service Center for the fifth and final year of the Family Involvement in Schools project.
    MADE BY: Michael Peace
    SECOND: Lora Taylor
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Jones next reviewed the executive summary for National Disability Institute’s Understanding Employment Options and Supports project. Funding of up to $150,000 is requested for the second year of a three-year project.

    Through a survey, the project identified the needs of individuals, family members and support systems regarding public benefit programs, employment services, and financial capability strategies. 1,394 individuals were surveyed and 400 responses were received. NDI proposes a webinar series, short training videos and an online training program to increase awareness, understanding and utilization of supports to increase income and assets through competitive employment.

    MOTION: To approve up to $150,000 in continuation funding to National Disability Institute for the second year of a three-year Understanding Employment Options and Supports project.
    MADE BY: Lora Taylor
    SECOND: Michael Peace
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Grants Management Director Ellison reviewed the executive summary for Family to Family Network’s Leadership Development and Advocacy Training project. Funding of up to $75,000 is requested for the second year of a five-year project.

    53 individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their family members along with 12 community members were trained in advocacy skills at a Legislative Forum. 36 individuals with I/DD and their families along with 85 community members were trained on employment. Additional classes, including a Spanish language only training, are planned for upcoming months. Staff report no problems or concerns with the project.

    MOTION: To approve up to $75,000 in continuation funding to Family to Family Network for the second year of a five-year Leadership Development and Advocacy Training project.
    MADE BY: Gladys Cortez
    SECOND: Lora Taylor
    The motion passed unanimously.

  10. Consideration of Review Panel Members
    Planning Director Cordry reviewed changes to the Independent Review Panel application made at the Committee’s request for more detail. She also noted that outreach through social media significantly increased the number of applications which currently includes 10 parent advocates and 3 self-advocates. Chair Durheim complimented these efforts.

    MOTION: To approve 15 new members to be included in the list of potential TCDD Independent Review Panel members.
    MADE BY: Lora Taylor
    SECOND: Gladys Cortez
    The motion passed unanimously.

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

Recess

Chair Durheim recessed the Executive Committee at 5:34 PM.

Thursday May 4, 2017

Committee Members Present

  • Mary Durheim, Council Chair
  • Gladys Cortez
  • Michael Peace
  • Lora Taylor
  • John Thomas

Council Members Present

Staff Members Present

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

Reconvene

Chair Durheim reconvened the Executive Committee in the San Gabriel Ballroom G of the Sheraton Georgetown Hotel on Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 5:01 PM.

  1. Committee Chair Debriefing
    Public Policy Committee Chair Lora Taylor reported that the Public Policy Committee had a lengthy discussion on the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) with significant input by HHSC Medicaid Director Jami Snyder. Taylor noted that the Public Policy Committee further discussed legislative advocacy efforts and ideas to be more effective in those efforts. Future discussions are planned in the issues of Peer Supports and Meaningful Day Activities.

    Project Development Committee Chair Gladys Cortez reported that the Project Development Committee voted to recommend Council approval of executive summaries on Local Leadership Development and Advocacy Training centered on self-advocates and a DD Network Partners Collaborative project that would compile personal stories on the impact of Medicaid Services and Supports. The Project Development Committee will also recommend these projects be prioritized for funding.

    Executive Committee members also discussed the language used in materials and presentations and requested staff use plain language when possible and avoid or define acronyms at all times.

Adjourn

Chair Durheim adjourned the Executive Committee at 5:28 PM

Beth Stalvey, Secretary to the Council