Minutes — November 2017 Executive Committee Meeting

2017 Council and Committee Meetings

Attendance

Committee Members Present

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

Committee Members Absent

  • John Thomas

Council Members Present

  • Kimberly Blackmon

Guests Present

  • Brooke Hohfield
  • Annessa Lewis
  • Stephanie Martinez
  • Murphy Roland

Staff Members Present

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

Call To Order

The Executive Committee of the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities convened on Wednesday, November 1, 2017, in the Live Oak Room at the Hilton Austin Airport, 9515 Hotel Drive, Austin, TX 78719. Council Chair Mary Durheim called the meeting to order at 3:36 PM.

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

  2. Public Comments
    Public comments were offered by Murphy Roland of the Disability Chamber of Commerce in Austin which is an organization focused on employment for people with disabilities. It provides networking opportunities for employers and individuals seeking employment and after two months of operation includes 25 companies and over 150 individuals in membership. This is the second organization of its kind in the United States with other chapters planned in Texas.

  3. Consideration of Minutes
    The minutes were reviewed and no additions or corrections were noted.

    MOTION: To approve the minutes of the August 1-2, 2017, Executive Committee meeting as presented.
    MADE BY: Gladys Cortez
    SECOND: Michael Peace
    The motion passed unanimously.

  4. Chair’s Report
    Council Chair Durheim reviewed expected absences for the Council and Committee meetings which include Mateo Delgado, Dana Perry, Brandon Pharris, and John Thomas. Scott McAvoy will not attend Friday’s meeting but is expected to attend on Thursday. Representatives from the Older Americans Act program at HHSC are also not expected to attend. Representatives from Texas Workforce Commission, Texas Education Agency and the Medicaid program at HHSC also reported potential absences due to conflicts.

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

    • Disability Rights Texas: Translation stipend for up to $310 for Housing Rights of People affected by Hurricane Harvey on September 14, 2017, in Austin.

    • Coalition of Texans with Disabilities: Translation stipend for up to $3,000 for Hurricane Harvey Resources related to Special Education on September 27, 2017, in Austin.

    • Texas Center for Disability Studies: Events stipend for up to $7,500 for The Texas Gathering on October 26 to 28, 2017, in Dallas.

    • Texas Center for Disability Studies: Speakers stipend for up to $2,600 for The Texas Gathering on October 26 to 28, 2017, in Dallas.

    • Volar Center for Independent Living: Events stipend for up to $7,429 for the Our Lives Disabilities Conference and Service Providers Expo on November 16, 2017, in El Paso.

    • Capacity for Justice: Speakers stipend for up to $3,574 for the Texas Summit on Assessing Adaptive Behavior in Capital Cases on January 19, 2018, in Austin.

    Stalvey provided updates on TCDD staff to include the selection of two Grants Specialists. Angie Rose began her position on November 1 and Robert Garcia is scheduled to begin his position on November 15. Staff continue to receive assistance through part-time contract work provided by a Grants Assistant and a Communications Intern. Stalvey also reported that Public Policy Director Jessica Ramos submitted her resignation which is effective November 14, 2017.

    Stalvey reported on the Executive Director Summit which was held in Santa Fe, NM in October. She noted that staff from the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) provided updates on reporting and budget requirements. Peer discussion topics included messaging and branding for DD Councils as well as the limits of advocacy efforts to ensure that lobbying activities do not take place.

    Stalvey also reported that the proposal to consolidate DD Councils, State Independent Living Councils and Traumatic Brain Injury Councils is no longer being considered. Overwhelming support to maintain the current structure and funding was received by email and Congressional budget proposals include level funding for DD Councils and language that is opposed to the previous consolidation proposal.

    Stalvey discussed consideration of a contract for software that will track and manage all aspects of grant projects beginning with the posting of the Request for Proposals (RFP) and evaluation by the independent review panel and then continuing with the management of the project including financial and outcome reporting. The software would allow staff to search grants and project results from a number of different categories (subject, location, etc.). Once proposals and cost estimates for the software have been received, staff will present the information for Council consideration.

    Stalvey provided updates on Cross-Council Collaboration on Disaster Relief. She noted that following Council approval during the emergency meeting in September, a contract is in place with the Arc of Texas to administer funds to individuals with developmental disabilities impacted by Hurricane Harvey. In addition to the $200,000 funding from TCDD and the $9,500 funding from NACDD, the Maryland DD Council has contributed $15,000. Other DD Councils have also expressed interest in contributing funds.

    Committee members discussed needs of other areas impacted by recent storms including Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands (USVI). It was noted that both territories have a great need for funds to help individuals with disabilities but have yet to set up the mechanism to accept donations from other areas. AIDD is working with Puerto Rico to establish a collaboration similar to the one established for Texas. It was noted that efforts for a collaboration within USVI do not appear to have been initiated at this point. Members further discussed available funds from TCDD and Operations Director Martha Cantu confirmed there is funding available to donate to relief efforts in these areas and that it would not come from the funding for relief efforts in Texas but from other grant funds.

    MOTION: To recommend Council approval of donating up to $25,000 in funding toward a Cross-Council Collaboration for Disaster Relief in Puerto Rico, once such a collaboration is established and approved by Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
    MADE BY: Lora Taylor
    SECOND: Michael Peace
    The motion passed unanimously.

    MOTION: To recommend Council approval of donating up to $10,000 in funding toward a Cross-Council Collaboration for Disaster Relief in the United States Virgin Islands, once such a collaboration is established and approved by Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
    MADE BY: Lora Taylor
    SECOND: Gladys Cortez
    The motion passed unanimously.

  6. Disproportionalities and Disparities
    Executive Assistant Koren Vogel provided a summary of the recent report from the National Disability Institute entitled Financial Inequality: Disability, Race and Poverty in America. This report is based on surveys conducted by the Census Bureau and the National Center on Health Statistics and explores the relationship between race and disability and how they relate to poverty. The report gives data on the prevalence of disability, education levels, poverty rates, employment status, health insurance coverage/medical debt, food stability and banking status for Non-Hispanic White, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Asian populations. Recommendations from the report include continued discussions on a national level as well as engaging communities of people with disabilities and people of color. It is also recommended that education on financial capacity be incorporated in the social and human services delivery systems.

    Members discussed the report and the need for education on financial capacity and requested that a summary of the report be provided during the Council meeting on Friday.

    Vogel also reported that the DD Network Team is in communications with the National Association of Latinxs with Disabilities to explore sessions on leadership during their annual conference which will be held in Austin in the summer of 2018.

  7. Grants Activities Reports
    Grants Management Director Cynthia Ellison reported that three Leadership Development and Advocacy projects as well as three Public Policy Fellows projects began during the last quarter.

    Ellison reviewed the Risk Assessment report and Independent Audit Status Report and reported that no concerns were noted.

  8. TCDD Quarterly Financial Report
    Operations Director Martha Cantu reviewed the FY 2017 TCDD Administrative and Expense budget, noting that as funds are reconciled to close out the fiscal year, any remaining amount will become available for grant funding. She noted that the initial Notice of Grant Award from AIDD for FY 2018 has been received in the amount of $902,996 but funding for the entire year is expected to be level with FY 2017.

    Cantu reviewed the Summary of Funds for FY 2016 to 2017. All funds for FY 2016 have been assigned and although a negative balance for FY 2017 is indicated on the report, this is expected to diminish due to unspent funds from grant projects, delayed starts of projects and funding assigned to RFPs which may not eventually by completely obligated.

  9. 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 reviewed the executive summary for the Community Healthcore Building Community Capacity through Collaboration project. Funding of up to $150,000 is requested for the fourth year of a five-year project.

    The goal of the project is to identify, enhance and expand community supports to prevent and reduce admissions to institutions. It focuses on five areas including Positive Behavior Supports, Faith Based Respite, Person/Family Centered Healthcare, Community Leadership Teams, and Effective Comminution within the Community. A variety of education and training opportunities in person-centered practices have been conducted throughout the first three years of the project, respite programs and community leadership teams have been established, and mini-grants of less than $500 have been awarded for life enrichment activities such as jewelry making and music therapy. The fourth year will expand on these activities and promote positive stories of supporting individuals with developmental disabilities in the community.

    Jones reported that the project has no compliance issues and staff have no concerns.

    MOTION: To approve up to $150,000 in continuation funding to Community Healthcore for the fourth year of a five-year Building Community Capacity through Collaboration project.
    MADE BY: Lora Taylor
    SECOND: Gladys Cortez

    The motion passed unanimously. (November 2016 Meeting Materials, Tab 6).

    Grants Management Director Ellison next reviewed the executive summary for the Reaching Families Advocacy and Support Group Culturally Appropriate Family Supports project. Funding of up to $71,117 is requested for the third year of a four-year project.

    The goal of the project is to increase awareness, provide support and access to resources for the Ethiopian, Eritrean and Kenyan communities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. In addition to assisting families in obtaining services, project staff address the stigma of disabilities within these cultures. During the upcoming project year, outreach to communities in the Houston area is planned.

    Ellison reported no compliance issues or concerns from staff.

    MOTION: To approve up to $72,117 in continuation funding to Reaching Families Advocacy and Support group for the third year of a four-year Culturally Appropriate Family Supports project.
    MADE BY: Michael Peace
    SECOND: Lora Taylor
    The motion passed unanimously. (November 2016 Meeting Materials, Tab 6).

  10. New Grant Awards
    Chair Durheim reminded members, staff and guests of the previous statement regarding conflicts of interest.

    Planning Director Joanna Cordry discussed applications received for current RFPs noting that they included organizations that have not previously applied for TCDD projects. Because the organizations are new, their applications may not have been as detailed as others but TCDD staff could not contact them and ask for additional information because this would create a two-step review process which is against policy.

    Planning Specialist Danny Fikac reviewed the RFP for Peer Supports Specialists in the Community which would develop and pilot a peer supports training program for individuals who use Home and Community Based Services (HCBS), so they understand their options and can lead their own person centered planning process. Applications were received from Imagine Art and Texas Advocates. Fikac reviewed the strengths and concerns indicated by the independent review panel as well as the staff comments for each application.

    MOTION: To approve funding of up to $100,000 for year one and up to $125,000 for years two-four to Imagine Art for a Peer Supports Specialists in the Community project.
    MADE BY: Lora Taylor
    SECOND: Michael Peace
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Fikac next reviewed the RFP for Leadership and Advocacy Training by Local Self-Advocacy Groups. This project was limited to local self-advocacy groups but applicants could receive support from a larger organization as a fiscal agent. Applications were received from the Arc of Beaumont with support from the Arc of Texas and from the Alamo Area Council of Governments with the San Antonio League of Self Advocates. Fikac again reviewed the strengths and concerns indicated by the independent review panel as well as the staff comments for each application. After discussion of both applications, Committee members were not in favor of either application.

    MOTION: To not award funding of the Leadership and Advocacy Training by Local Self-Advocacy Groups project and re-post the RFP.
    MADE BY: Gladys Cortez
    SECOND: Lora Taylor
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Cordry then reviewed two applications for Outreach and Development projects. Committee members determined that neither application met the intent of the RFP and did not take action.

  11. Consideration of Review Panel Members
    Planning Specialist Fikac presented information for six new applicants to serve as independent review panel members. Members briefly discussed the qualifications agreed to five of the six applications.
    MOTION: To approve five new members to be included in the list of potential TCDD Independent Review Panel members.
    MADE BY: Mary Durheim
    SECOND: Lora Taylor
    The motion passed unanimously. (November 2016 Meeting Materials, Tab 8)

  12. 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 6:08 PM.

Attendance

Committee Members Present

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

Committee Members Absent

  • John Thomas

Staff Members Present

  • Beth Stalvey, Executive Director
  • Cynthia Ellison
  • Linda Logan
  • Jessica Ramos
  • Koren Vogel

Reconvene

Chair Durheim reconvened the Executive Committee in the Live Oak Room of the Hilton Austin Airport on Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 4:40 pm.

  1. Continuation of Unfinished Business
    There was no unfinished business from the previous day.

  2. Committee Chair Debriefing
    It was reported that Hunter Adkins was selected from the Public Policy Committee and David Taylor was selected from the Project Development Committee to serve on the Nominating Committee.

    Public Policy Committee Chair Lora Taylor reported that the Committee approved the Position Statement Review Schedule as presented in the meeting materials. Council members will be asked to submit any proposed revisions in writing prior to the consideration date for each statement. Taylor also reported on discussion from the Public Policy Fellows and that this was beneficial to the Committee.

    Project Development Committee Chair Gladys Cortez reported that the Project Development Committee voted to recommend Council approval of executive summaries on the Next Chapter Book Club and Aging with Developmental Disabilities. The Committee directed staff to develop executive summaries for projects on First Responder Training based on Committee of the Whole discussion as well as further Health and Fitness projects that would expand on the concepts of previous projects.

Adjourn

Chair Durheim adjourned the Executive Committee at 4:55 pm.

Beth Stalvey, Secretary to the Council