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Minutes — Council Meeting, November 3, 2010

(As Approved by the Council May 6, 2011)


Council Members Present

Council Members Absent

Staff Members Present

Guests Present

  • Carol Axt
  • Gina Fuller
  • Robert Fine, A-V Technician

Call to Order

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities met on Wednesday, November 3, 2010 in the Salon C&D room of the Marriott Austin South, 4414 South IH 35, Austin, TX 78744. Council Chair Brenda Coleman-Beattie called the meeting to order at 3:00 PM.


Council members, staff and guests were introduced.

Public Comments

No public comments were presented.

Consent Items

Chair Coleman-Beattie reviewed the excused absences for this meeting which include Mike Benz (Tx A&M CDD), Penny Seay (CDS at UT Austin), Lora Taylor, Mary Durheim, Susan Vardell, Margaret Christen, Marcia Dwyer, Frank Genco, Kristen Cox, Rick Tisch, and Kris Bissmeyer. She asked for a motion to approve minutes of the August 2010 Council and Committee of the Whole meetings as well as the excused absences for this Council meeting.

MOTION: To approve the minutes of the August 5, 2010, Committee of the Whole and the August 6, 2010 Council Meeting and the excused absences as noted.

MADE BY: Kathy Griffis-Bailey

SECOND: John Morris

The motion passed unanimously.

Chair’s Report

Coleman-Beattie asked Joanna Cordry to read comments from Council member Joe Rivas about his trip to the NACDD conference. Mr. Rivas was especially impressed with a session on a Massachusetts DDC advocacy training project for post-high school students.

Selection of Nominating Committee Members

Project Development Committee Vice-Chair Dana Perry reported that Joe Rivas was selected as the Committee’s representative on the Nominating Committee. Acting Public Policy Committee Chair Mateo Delgado reported that he was selected as the Public Policy Committee’s representative. Coleman-Beattie called for nominations from the Council for the third member. Ms. Perry was nominated by John Morris. No other members were nominated.

MOTION: To approve Joe Rivas, Mateo Delgado and Dana Perry as members of the Council’s Nominating Committee.

MADE BY: John Morris

SECOND: Cindy Johnston

The motion passed unanimously.

Audit Committee Reports

After consultation with members of the Audit Committee, Coleman-Beattie announced that review and discussion of the TCDD Internal Audit Reports for 2010, Internal Audit Charter and TCDD Internal Audit Plan for 2011 will be deferred until the February 2011 meeting. Those items were reviewed and approved by the Committee on behalf of the Council at an October Committee meeting. Deferring review by the Council until the February meeting will allow a more thorough discussion with more Council members in attendance.

Recommendations for TCDD Internal Auditing Services

Audit Committee member Andy Crim reviewed the process for selecting a contractor for internal auditing services. Crim indicated that eight proposals were received and the top four rated proposers were invited to provide oral presentations to the review panel. The current contractor, Rupert and Associates, received the highest score on both the written and oral presentations. The Audit Committee recommends awarding the contract for TCDD internal auditing services to Rupert and Associates for one year, renewable for up to three years.

MOTION: To award the contract for TCDD internal auditing services to Rupert and Associates for one year, renewable for up to three years.

MADE BY: Andy Crim for the Audit Committee (motions from committees do not need a second)

The motion passed unanimously.

Crim reported that the Audit Committee further discussed term limitations for internal auditing contract services to avoid conflict of interest situations. The Committee recommends establishing in Council Policies that ten consecutive years should be the maximum length of time to contract with a specific contractor.

MOTION: To limit internal auditing contract services to not more than ten consecutive years.

MADE BY: Andy Crim for the Audit Committee

The motion passed unanimously.

Revisions to Stipend Grants RFP

Discussion and action on revisions to the stipends grants requests for proposals was deferred to the February Council meeting.

Goal Areas for TCDD FY 2012-2016 State Plan

Coleman-Beattie reviewed actions taken by the Committee of the Whole to approve seven focus areas for the 2012-2016 State Plan. Members agreed that no further action was required.

Consideration of Future Funding Projects

Committee Vice-Chair Perry reported on Project Development Committee discussions, indicating that the Committee recommends Council approval of the Executive Summary for Next Steps for Leadership and Advocacy Training projects as presented with the exception of removing the proposed youth leadership advisory committee component at this time pending further discussion by the Committee. The Committee also recommends approving funding for up to six additional local Leadership and Advocacy Training projects as solicited in 2007 (RFP #2007:1 & 2) with each project eligible for up to $75,000 per year for up to three years.

MOTION: To approve the Executive Summary for Next Steps for Leadership and Advocacy Training projects, not including the youth leadership advisory component, and adding authorization for up to six local Leadership and Advocacy Training projects for up to three years at up to $75,000 per year.

MADE BY: Dana Perry for the Project Development Committee

The motion passed unanimously.

The Committee also discussed the recent posting of the RFP for a Higher Education project. That RFP did not receive any responses. The Committee recommends reposting the RFP with a higher funding amount authorized. Council member John Morris explained that there was substantial interest in the project but potential applicants felt $75,000 per year was not sufficient.

MOTION: To repost the Higher Education RFP for up to $125,000 per year for up to four years.

MADE BY: Dana Perry for the Project Development Committee

The motion passed unanimously.

Future Funding Project Priorities

Morris discussed the Future Funding Project Priorities list and indicated that the Committee recommends moving the Leadership and Advocacy Activities project to priority #6, Enabling Technology to priority #7, and adding as priority #8 a “Funders Roundtable” activity which has no funding currently attached except for staff time and effort.

MOTION: To approve revisions to Future Funding Project Priorities list as presented.

MADE BY: John Morris for the Project Development Committee.

The motion passed unanimously.

TCDD 2010 Biennial Report Recommendations

Coleman-Beattie commented on action during the Committee of the Whole to approve the 20 recommendations to be included in the 2010 Biennial Disability Report. Members agreed that no further action was required on that item.

TCDD Public Policy Priorities

Acting Public Policy Committee Chair Mateo Delgado presented the Public Policy Priorities as recommended by the Committee (See Attachment below) Delgado noted that these priorities are in alignment with the FY 2012-2016 State Plan focus areas as previously approved.

MOTION: To approve the TCDD Public Policy Priorities as presented.

MADE BY: Mateo Delgado for the Public Policy Committee

The motion passed unanimously.

Executive Director’s Report

Executive Director Webb and Council Member Mary Faithfull (Advocacy, Inc.) discussed the forum planned by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) for November 15, 2010. ADD plans for about 35-40 individuals to provide public input and hopes to have balanced input from people with varying perspectives on services needed for people with disabilities.

Public Information Specialist Lucy Walker provided comments about her experience at the NACDD Fall Conference. Walker enjoyed a session on a transition project that used multi-media applications to illustrate the consumer’s needs. Grants Management Specialist Wendy Jones spoke on her attendance at the conference and provided input on a session focused on projects for health and fitness for people with disabilities.

Executive Committee Report

Coleman-Beattie reported that the Executive Committee approved more than 220 individuals as possible reviewers of grant proposals over the next two years. Staff form independent review panels from this pool of reviewers based on the expertise needed for different RFPs. Coleman-Beattie also referred members to handout materials highlighting proposals approved for funding in response to recent RFPs:

  • Texas Parent to Parent for the first year of a five year Public Policy Collaboration project;
  • Safeplace for the first year of the Meaningful Relationships three year project;
  • The Arc of San Angelo for the first year of the three year Volunteer Supported Decision-making Advocates project; and
  • Apalachicola Creek Indians, Friends and Families of Asians with Special Needs, and Parents as Partners in Special Education (with support from Arc of Greater Houston) were each approved for one year Outreach and Development Projects.

Operations Director Martha Cantu provided a brief update on the TCDD Quarterly Financial Reports noting the Committee had no concerns on expenditures or the budget. Cantu noted that the report currently incorrectly reflects funds available for grant funds as expended funds. However, funds available for grants each year are awarded over a two year period and expended over a three year period. Staff will revise report format to better reflect these funds as available for grant activities. Webb described federal guidelines that allow reporting of funds supporting staff or council member activities to implement state plan activities, thereby reducing match funds needed overall. Cantu also noted that TCDD is assuming funding at levels to FY 2010 at this point until Congress finalizes appropriations for fiscal 2011. Adjustments will be made when final information is available.

Audit Committee Report

Acting Chair Crim reviewed recent discussions of the Audit Committee including review of the TCDD FY 2010 Audit Reports and FY 2011 Audit Plan. The Committee also reviewed enhanced staff grant monitoring measures and procedures for staff to approve no-cost extensions of projects.

Public Policy Committee Report

Acting Chair Delgado reported on Public Policy Committee activities including updates on public policy and information staff activities. Delgado noted that staff are gearing up for the legislative session and members who are interested in participating in advocacy activities are encouraged to contact staff. Delgado also commented on discussions of the Committee with DADS Assistant Commissioner Adams regarding state supported living centers and felt this was a healthy discussion.

Project Development Committee Report

Vice-Chair Perry indicated that key items discussed by the Project Development Committee had been reviewed.

Announcements and Updates

Chair Coleman-Beattie reminded members to provide updates regarding possible conflict of interest information to staff. Coleman-Beattie also reminded members of dates for upcoming Council and Committee meetings as follows:

  • February 9-11, 2011
  • May 4-6, 2011 (tentative)
  • August 3-5, 2011 (tentative)
  • November 2-4, 2011 (tentative)


Chair Coleman-Beattie adjourned the Council meeting at 3:58 PM

Roger A. Webb
Secretary to the Council


Draft – Proposed TCDD 2011 Public Policy Priorities

Adopted by the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities, November 2010

AppropriationsMaintain publicly-funded services and supports for people with disabilities and ensure that critical services and supports for Children and Families, Education, Employment, Housing, Long Term Care, Mental Health, and Transportation are not reduced or limited in order to balance the state’s budget.

The state of Texas faces a budget shortfall that is estimated to be as high as $18 billion for the upcoming 2012-2013 biennium. Due to the budgetary outlook, the state could reduce existing services or programs to balance budgets, look for alternative ways of providing services in order to reduce spending, or consider additional sources of revenue. The Legislature is encouraged to exercise considerable caution when exploring alternative ways of providing services recognizing that some options may also have serious negative consequences to those most needing assistance.

Children and Families Increase the availability of family and community supports that assist children with developmental disabilities to live and remain in their home communities.

The absence of community resources results in children being placed outside their home and community, separation from family, lack of educational continuity and a fractured social support system. Many children are placed in facilities such as residential treatment centers, foster care settings, nursing facilities, hospitals, juvenile detention, state supported living centers, HCS homes and state hospitals due to the lack of resources in their home communities. All children belong in families that provide love, caring, nurturing, bonding and a sense of belonging and permanence that best enables them to grow, develop and thrive.

EducationProtect the right of students with disabilities to appropriate, inclusive, publicly-funded education that supports opportunities for full participation and eliminates the use of inappropriate disciplinary alternatives throughout the educational spectrum- from early education programs to post-secondary schooling.

Students with disabilities require individualized supports tailored to meet their needs in order to be educated along side their peers without disabilities. An appropriate public school education for students with disabilities should include the necessary array and intensity of services for children with all levels of need, beginning in early education programs and should lead to employment, enrollment in postsecondary education, or both within one year of leaving high school. Education supports for students with disabilities must also address the behavioral health needs of students in order to prevent inappropriate disciplinary referrals in lieu of proper behavior management.

Employment Improve the system of employment services and income supports for individuals with developmental disabilities, including programs that help individuals develop assets and resources and help students with disabilities transition from school to work.

People with disabilities want the same opportunities to have meaningful jobs and careers as do all other working age individuals. In June 2010, 21.7% of working age people with disabilities were in the labor force compared to 70.5% of working age people with no disability. Employment services and preparation for work needs to begin in public education. A sound foundation from school will help students transition to post secondary education and a career path after graduation.

Housing – Expand dedicated funds for housing assistance for people with disabilities and increase the availability of affordable, accessible housing.

A shortage of affordable housing is one of the most significant obstacles facing people with disabilities. The primary barrier to acquiring safe and adequate housing is income – people with disabilities have lower incomes on average compared with the general population. Housing that is defined as “affordable” in state policy is not priced at a level that people living on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can afford. Texans with developmental disabilities also face barriers to housing because of a lack of physical accessibility, lack of public transportation options and inability to access supportive services that are often critical to living independently in the community.

Long Term Services and SupportsImprove the system of long-term services and supports to ensure the availability of quality community-based services and supports for individuals with developmental disabilities and emphasize providing services in integrated, community settings thereby reducing reliance on institutional services.

People with disabilities continue to wait years for the community-based long term services and supports they need. Services for both adults and children are not adequate to meet the growing demand. Simultaneously, programs struggle to provide quality services to individuals with complex medical and behavioral health needs. As a result, people with disabilities are forced to either forego care or receive it in a more restrictive, institutional setting. The state has struggled to expand community based services while continuing to fund costly institutional services and their needed improvements.

Mental HealthExpand community-based behavioral, mental health and substance abuse services and supports for children and adults that are recovery-oriented and consumer-based and link mental and physical health needs.

Access to care is one of the most critical issues affecting the public mental health system in Texas. Due to the system’s lack of capacity, individuals with mental illnesses cannot easily access needed mental health services in a timely manner. Some Texans with severe and persistent mental illnesses who experience a mental health crisis cannot or will not engage in ongoing care. These individuals cycle through crisis services, hospitals, jails, and prisons and may never get linked into clinics or other outpatient treatment. A severe shortage of specialists creates a significant barrier to accessing mental health care. Children with disabilities or behavioral challenges need positive behavior supports to be successful at school and in the community. Some children need professional mental health care, but in Texas, less than 1 in 5 Texas children with a serious behavioral problem that puts them at risk of removal from their home or school receives the treatment they need.

TransportationExpand and ensure full accessibility of public transportation in suburban, urban, rural and unincorporated areas to connect the places people live with the places they work, shop, socialize, worship, attend school, and have access to health care.

Without access to transportation, people with disabilities are isolated from gainful employment, schools, doctors, shopping, friends and community. Texas transportation systems need to be accessible in all areas of the state, particularly in rural parts of Texas. As economic pressures build and federal funding remains static, communities have not been able to expand or develop the transportation services to adequately meet the needs of individuals with disabilities. State funding for transportation services (bus systems, paratransit services, commuter rail services, etc.) is a critical element needed to support the growth of transportation systems throughout the state. Where transportation services do exist, they often struggle to be responsive to consumer needs.

Every person in America has the right to live in their own home, work at a regular job, seek an education and interact socially. This includes the 437,885 people with developmental disabilities in the state of Texas.