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Minutes — Council Meeting, August 6, 2010

(As Approved by the Council November 3, 2010)


Call to Order

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities met on Friday, August 6, 2010 in the Hill Country C&D room of the Hyatt Regency Austin, 208 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704. Council Chair Brenda Coleman-Beattie called the meeting to order at 9:00 AM.


Council members, staff and guests were introduced.


Chair Coleman-Beattie presented former Council member Don Henderson with a plaque for his service to the Council. Mr. Henderson recently retired from the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. Executive Director Roger Webb also offered comments on Henderson’s service to the state and for Texans with disabilities.

Angie English of the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities spoke on the activities of the Governor’s Committee, read a proclamation from Governor Perry recognizing the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and gave a short presentation on contributions of Texans with disabilities.

Public Comments

Public comments were offered by the following individuals:

  • Chase Bearden, Coalition of Texans with Disabilities, asked the Council to consider revisions to the stipend grant program to allow multiple organizations to receive full grant awards when jointly hosting an event. CTD is hosting its annual convention this year jointly with the VOLAR Center for Independent Living in El Paso. Council policies for stipends allow an organization to apply for up to $6,000 per year, per event. Because the two organizations are co-sponsoring a joint event, TCDD staff indicated that each organization can only receive ½ of the $6,000. Bearden noted that this will decrease the number of people who can attend the event and asked the Council to amend its policy to allow each organization to receive the full amount of stipends. Coleman-Beattie noted that this could considered if the Council wishes to review that issue.
  • Charleen Searight provided comments indicating she was distressed that the Public Policy Committee recommended Council approval of a moratorium on admission to State Supported Living Centers (SSLCs).
  • Sandra Reeves spoke about the mission of TCDD in relation to the DD Act and cited several federal sources that in her perspective support institutional care.
  • Ileene Robinson asked Council members if they had visited group homes or SSLCs and asked that the vote on the moratorium be “tabled” until DADS Commissioner Traylor can speak to the Council about the positive parts of the Department of Justice reports or until members can visit SSLCs.
  • Nona Rogers stated that she is not in favor of a moratorium on SSLCs.
  • Rachel McClure, TACIL, discussed self-advocacy activities and invited members to a press conference and rally on September 1st that will focus on the budget crisis and potential cuts to services.
  • Comments regarding the moratorium on SSLC admissions that were provided by email were provided to members.

Chair Coleman-Beattie asked for a motion to approve minutes of the May 2010 Council and Committee of the Whole meetings and to approve excused absences for the Council and Committee meetings.

MOTION: To approve the minutes of the May 6, 2010, Committee of the Whole and the May 7, 2010 Council meetings and the excused absences of Kimberly Blackmon, Frank Genco, Dana Perry and Susan Vardell.

MADE BY: Kristen Cox

SECOND: Cindy Johnston

The motion passed unanimously.

Executive Director’s Report

Webb discussed options for the November Council and Committee meetings to accommodate a presentation by Graham Mulholland of the Pennsylvania DD Council. Mulholland is available to discuss a model developed by the PA Council that uses indicators of success for Council activities as a guide in prioritizing state plan activities. TCDD meetings will likely be moved to earlier in the first week of November. Staff will advise members when dates and times are set.

Emergency Backup Plans and Succession Planning Procedures

Coleman-Beattie reminded members of the Committee of the Whole presentation on Emergency Backup Plans and Succession Planning Procedures. Draft documents are also included in meeting materials. No further comments were provided at this meeting.

MOTION: To approve the Emergency Backup Plans and Succession Planning Procedures as presented.

MADE BY: Amy Sharp

SECOND: Mateo Delgado

The motion passed unanimously.

Presentation by Project IDEAL

Grants Management Specialist Wendy Jones introduced Dr. DeAnn Lechtenberger of Project IDEAL, Texas Tech University, to discuss that project which provides training for general education teachers on how to best support students with disabilities. Lechtenberger provided materials for Council members and provided an overview of project activities to the Council.

TCDD Grant Project and Award Approval Process

Due to time constraints, Council member Kristen Cox suggested postponing the discussion on the award approval process for grant projects.

MOTION: To table the discussion on grant project and award approval process.

MADE BY: Kristen Cox

SECOND: Diana Kern

The motion passed unanimously.

Members next discussed the current stipends grant program. Webb indicated that jointly sponsored events were not specifically addressed in the current Request for Proposals (RFP) material. Staff were thus not comfortable interpreting the current RFP to allow two full grant awards for a co-sponsored event, but would be comfortable with that guidance from the Council. Should that be the Council’s desire, staff can draft revisions to consider next quarter to clarify that matter.

MOTION: To direct staff to develop revisions to the Stipend Grant (RFP) for consideration at the November meetings to clarify that two organizations jointly sponsoring a conference are each eligible for an award of up to $6,000, and to approve such awards as appropriate for the conference jointly sponsored by the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities and VOLAR Independent Living Center.

MADE BY: Kristen Cox

SECOND: John Morris

The motion passed unanimously.

Revisions to TCDD Position Statements

Public Policy Committee Chair Rick Tisch reported that the Public Policy Committee reviewed the Access to Health Care and Community Living Position Statements. The Access to Health Care Statement was recommended for approval as proposed in meeting materials. The Committee made one additional revision to the Community Living Statement to remove the word “parental” in regards to enduring and nurturing relationships. (Scroll down for Attachments 1 & 2)

MOTION: To approve the Access to Health Care and Community Living Position Statements as presented by the Committee.

MADE BY: Rick Tisch for the Public Policy Committee
(Motions from Committee do not need a second)

The motion passed. Lora Taylor was opposed and Lynn Blackmore abstained from voting.

Public Policy Items

Tisch reviewed the discussion by the Public Policy Committee concerning a request from Advocacy, Inc. (AI) for the Council to support a call for a moratorium on admissions to state supported living centers. The Committee received a presentation from AI attorney Beth Mitchell, who provided background information on the proposal for a moratorium in light of the conditions reported by review teams monitoring facilities pursuant to the DOJ Settlement Agreement. Advocacy, Inc. recommends a moratorium on new admissions until the state can assure that residents are safe and are receiving appropriate services. The Committee also received public comments from a number of individuals who oppose this action.

MOTION: To support Advocacy, Inc.’s proposal to call for a moratorium on admissions to state supported living centers.

MADE BY: Rick Tisch for the Public Policy Committee

Council member Lora Taylor commented that she felt that other information in the monitoring reports was not fully discussed. Taylor also indicated that during her tours of SSLCs she noticed improvements that were made in response to the monitoring reports. She supports asking DADS Commissioner Chris Traylor to speak to the Council before a vote is taken on this item.

Council member Amy Sharp summarized the history of Council discussions on this topic including prior reports completed for the Council by HSRI for the Council’s 2008 Biennial Disability Report that support community living efforts. Sharp also noted that DD Councils are given a specific purpose by ADD that includes contributing to a consumer and family centered and directed comprehensive system of community services so that persons with developmental disabilities can be fully integrated into all facets of community life.

Council member Joe Rivas added comments on his perspective about improper training by SSLC employees. Council member Diana Kern commented on the culture of care in institutional settings and acknowledged the great amount of time needed to “change the system”. She suggested that a moratorium would move the process forward.

The motion passed with Lora Taylor and Kris Bissmeyer opposed. Kathy Griffis-Bailey, Jeff Kaufmann, Lynn Blackmore and Margaret Christen abstained from voting.

Tisch further reported that the Committee did not take any action on the Texas Revenue Coalition but directed staff to monitor the efforts of that organization.

Consideration of Future Funding Activities

Council member Andy Crim reported on Project Development Committee activities.

MOTION: To remove the Parent Transition Guide from the Future Project Funding Priorities list due to an overlap in services by other agencies.

MADE BY: Andy Crim for the Project Development Committee

The motion passed unanimously.

The Committee discussed possible next steps regarding the Higher Education RFP that did not receive any applications. Members were advised that federal agencies have a similar RFP. Staff were directed to research responses to that initiative and determine if any collaboration efforts might be pursued.

Leadership and Advocacy Training projects that end in 2011 were also discussed. Staff were asked to look at sustainability and the potential for future activities from those projects.

Coleman-Beattie reviewed continuation grant awards, an award to Parents Anonymous for the African American Family Support Conference, and an award for a short extension of the Texas A&M Brazos Valley Employment project that were all approved by the Executive Committee. Coleman-Beattie also noted stipend grant awards approved this quarter by the Executive Director.

MOTION: To concur with grant awards as recommended by the Executive Committee for continuation grants, the African American Family Support Conference, an extension of the Texas A&M employment project, and stipends awards.

MADE BY: Brenda Coleman-Beattie for the Executive Committee

The motion passed without opposition. Brenda Coleman-Beattie, Diana Kern and Amy Sharp abstained from voting.

Consideration of TCDD FY 2011 Operating Budget

Operations Director Martha Cantu presented the proposed operating expense budget for fiscal year 2011. She noted that the proposed budget assumes level federal funds with FY 2010. The budget includes funds for 18 full time staff positions although one position is currently vacant. Increases to the budget include utilities, storage space, benefits, and meeting costs. Decreases include salaries, professional services and out-of-state travel. Coleman-Beattie indicated that she felt it prudent to bring the proposed budget to the full Council without a recommendation even though it was discussed in the Executive Committee.

The portion of funds proposed for operating expenses versus grants was discussed. Cantu reviewed a summary of expenses over the past five years and noted that while the portion budgeted for operating expenses has grown slightly, unexpended funds roll back to grants at the end of the fiscal year. Webb indicated that the DD Act requires 70% of the Council’s funds be spent on state plan activities, 88% of staff activities and expenses are also allocated as state plan activities. Staff noted that more detail is available should members be interested and agreed to include additional details in future budget documents.

MOTION: To approve the TCDD FY 2011 Operating Budget as presented.

MADE BY: Brenda Coleman Beattie for the Executive Committee.

SECOND: Lora Taylor

The motion passed unanimously.

Memorandum of Understanding Between TCDD and TEA

Coleman-Beattie reported that no revisions were made to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between TCDD and the designated state agency, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for the coming year. She praised the working relationship between the two agencies. An amendment will be developed to extend the MOU for another year.

MOTION: To approve the MOU between TCDD and TEA as presented.

MADE BY: Brenda Coleman-Beattie for the Executive Committee

The motion passed unanimously.

Executive Committee Report

Coleman-Beattie noted that individuals were approved to add to the panel of potential review panel members. These individuals are eligible to provide independent review of responses to TCDD RFPs. The names of review panel members will be included for members in the future.

Cantu reviewed the quarterly financial report and no concerns were noted. Conflict of interest disclosures were reviewed by the Committee with no concerns noted.

Procedures regarding unsolicited requests for project extensions were approved.

Public Policy Committee Report

Council member Kris Bissmeyer provided a synopsis of the Public Policy Committee meeting’s discussions. In addition to the items that received previous action, the 2010 Biennial Disability Report, federal policy matters and the 2011-2012 public policy priorities were discussed.

Project Development Committee Report

Crim reported that the Project Development Committee supported the sub-committee’s recommendation to not pursue any of the three unsolicited proposals that were reviewed.

Audit Committee Report

Audit Committee Chair Mary Durheim reported on Audit Committee activities including the upcoming review of the Internal Audit Report for FY 2010 and Internal Audit Plan for FY 2011. These will be completed at the end of the fiscal year (August 31) and must be submitted to the State Auditor’s Office (SAO) by November 1. Since the Council will not meet prior to that deadline, the Audit Committee will meet in October to approve the reports for submission as allowed by Council Policies. These items will again be reviewed at the November meeting by the full Council and amendments can be submitted to the SAO if necessary.

A Request for Qualifications has been posted to re-solicit internal auditing services. The Committee and Council are pleased with the work of Jaye Stepp as internal auditor. In accordance with best practices, TCDD deems it appropriate to solicit new offers periodically for this service.

Announcements and Updates

Council member Sharp reported on the Person Centered Planning Institute recently established by the Center for Disability and Development at Texas A&M and the Center for Disability Services at UT-Austin. The Institute has trainings planned for the fall.

Cordry provided materials regarding the OneStar AmeriCorps program.

Coleman-Beattie noted that the TCDD 2010 Biennial Disability Report will be dedicated to our late Council member Rene Requenez.


Chair Coleman-Beattie adjourned the Council meeting at 11:46 AM.

Roger Webb, Secretary


Position Statement – Access to Health Care

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities believes that all people, regardless of their disability, age, or ability to pay, should have access to affordable, comprehensive health care. TCDD supports efforts to increase the access and affordability of health insurance for employer groups and its employees and for those not eligible for employer coverage. The Council believes that full access to health care must be based on the following critical principles:

Comprehensiveness – All people, regardless of their disability, age of onset, or age, must have access to a comprehensive, integrated array of health, behavioral health, rehabilitation, personal, and support services across all service categories and sites of service delivery. To be comprehensive, these services should be provided in the context of a medical home, where the clinician works in partnership with the individual and/or family to ensure that all of the medical and nonmedical needs of the patient are met. A medical home is defined as primary care that is comprehensive, accessible, continuous, consumer-centered, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally effective. Through this partnership, the clinician helps the individual and/or family coordinate and access specialty care, educational services, out-of-home care, family supports, and other public and private community services that are important to the overall health of the individual and/or family. In addition to the traditional acute care hospital and physician services, comprehensive health-related services include, but are not limited to the following:

  • wellness and preventive services, including services to prevent secondary conditions or a loss of functional ability;
  • health promotion/education services;
  • diagnostic services;
  • long and short term home and community-based services;
  • prescription drugs, biologicals and medical foods;
  • mental health and counseling services;
  • rehabilitation services and specialty care, including audiology, occupational, physical and respiratory therapy, speech-language pathology services, cognitive therapy, vision and hearing care, behavioral therapies, and therapeutic recreation;
  • personal assistance services and independent living services; and
  • durable medical equipment and other assistive technology devices, equipment and related services.

Choice – All people, regardless of their disability or age, must be assured that comprehensive health, rehabilitation, personal and support services are provided on the basis of individual need, preference and choice which:

  • ensure a level of consumer choice in relation to services and providers;
  • ensure a range of service settings through an integrated delivery system;
  • ensure an appropriate amount, scope and duration of services; and
  • ensure the availability of trained personnel.

Equity – All people, regardless of their disability or age, must be ensured equitable participation in all available health care systems and not be burdened with disproportionate costs. An equitable system:

  • limits out-of-pocket expenses and cost sharing requirements;
  • provides access to services based on health care need, not income level or employment status;
  • ensures adequate reimbursement for service; and
  • ensures equity in coverage between mental health and physical health benefits.

Efficiency – All people, regardless of their disability or age, must have access to a comprehensive health care system – including wellness, prevention and treatment services – that provides appropriate, effective, quality services and which minimizes administrative waste. An efficient system:

  • reduces administrative complexity and minimizes administrative costs;
  • allocates resources in a more balanced way between preventive services, acute care, rehabilitation and chronic care management; and
  • maintains effective cost controls so that all people can get the health care services which they need.

Non-Discrimination – All people, regardless of their disability or age, must be able to fully participate in all health care systems and have access to health care services:

  • provided in locations and facilities that fully comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other applicable accessibility requirements;
  • that embrace research that recognizes and includes people with disabilities as a disparity population; and
  • that are affiliated with health care training programs which include developmental and mental health disease and best practices.

Transition and Coordination – All people, regardless of their disability or age, must have access to and receive services needed to enable and facilitate sensitive and planned transition and coordination from one health service provider or setting to another, including at least the following situations:

  • among primary care and specialty care providers;
  • upon discharge from one setting to another, such as from acute inpatient care to less intensive care settings, including to care provided in the home;
  • when moving from a pediatric to an adult-serving medical home; and
  • when considering and upon entering palliative or hospice care settings.

Reviewed August 6, 2010

Position Statement – Community Living

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities believes that individuals with disabilities should have access to opportunities and the supports needed to be included in community life, have interdependent relationships, live in homes and communities, and make contributions to their families, communities, the state, and the nation.

Individuals with disabilities must have access to the full range of accommodations necessary to ensure that living in their natural community is possible. These accommodations may take various forms such as personal attendant services, medication monitoring, respite, durable medical equipment, employment services, transportation, and/or minor home modifications. Accommodations may be sustained for either longer or shorter duration or may be of greater or lesser intensity depending on the need of the individual.

Services to children should be provided in their natural family setting. When children cannot remain with their natural families, they must be cared for using principles, policies and processes akin to those of permanency planning and have access to family-based alternatives that ensure enduring and nurturing relationships.

Adults with disabilities shall exercise choice and control about where, how, and with whom they live. They must be provided with assistance that may be needed to make these choices and to sustain choices regarding community living. Adults should have access to the services and supports they need to live in the community. The state of Texas must allocate the requisite resources to support community living for people with disabilities. In addition, the state must rapidly expand the availability of individualized community options, transition all individuals in state institutions to community living, commit to a transition plan to close state supported living centers and transfer any cost savings to quality community programs. Communities must also be cultivated to ensure local systems foster accessibility within and across all facets of community life, so that maintaining community placement is a feasible outcome for individuals with disabilities.

Reviewed August 6, 2010