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Minutes — Executive Committee Meeting, February 10, 2010

(As Approved by the Committee on April 8, 2010)


Call to Order

The Executive Committee of the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities convened on February 10, 2010, in the Omni E Room at the Omni Austin Southpark Hotel, 4140 Governor’s Row, Austin, TX 78744. Council Chair Brenda Coleman-Beattie called the meeting to order at 3:30 PM.

I. Introductions

Committee members, staff and guests were introduced.

II. Public Comments

No public comments were offered.

III. Approval of Minutes

The Committee reviewed the minutes from the November 12, 2009, Committee meeting. No revisions were offered

MOTION: To approve the minutes of the November 12, 2009, Executive Committee meeting as presented.

MADE BY: Mary Durheim

SECOND: Rick Tisch

The motion passed unanimously.

IV. Chair’s Report

Chair Coleman-Beattie reviewed various items with the Committee including:

  • Coleman-Beattie will be attending the Central Texas African American Family Support Conference and serve as the emcee as on Thursday. Council Vice-chair Mary Durheim will chair the Committee of the Whole meeting.
  • The Governor’s appointments staff are looking for someone for the TCDD position formerly filled by Rene Requenez and are particularly interested in a self-advocate, possibly from the Rio Grande Valley. Members with recommendations are encouraged to provide names to the Chair or Executive Director Roger Webb.
  • A condolence letter to the Requenez family from the Governor was shared with TCDD. The Governor’s Office also expects a proclamation from the Governor recognizing Rene’s service to Texans with disabilities.
  • Council members Mary Faithfull (Advocacy, Inc.), Penny Seay (Center for Disability Studies) and Mike Benz (Center for Disability and Development) requested a meeting with Coleman-Beattie, Webb, and TCDD General Counsel George Noelke to discuss the Council’s conflict of interest policy. That discussion clarified the point when members should remove themselves from Council discussions and abstain from voting on subjects that have the potential for future benefit (i.e., grant award). Webb reviewed a written clarification on this matter from Noelke that was provided to members prior to the meeting and included in meeting materials.
  • Andy Crim replaced Rene Requenez as a member of the Nominating Committee and has supported Hunter Adkins as Committee Chair. The Committee will present nominations for Council Vice-Chair and the Consumer Delegate at Large to the Executive Committee at the Council meeting. Penny Seay, as the third member of the Committee, is not available to attend this quarter’s meetings.
  • A draft document, outlining outcome measures for future TCDD public policy activities, was developed from Council members’ input at the November Committee of the Whole (C.O.W.) discussion by facilitator Ara Merjanian for the ad hoc workgroup discussion and the development of recommendations to the Council. The workgroup will present their recommendations to the C.O.W. Thursday.
  • Committee members discussed matters related to providing support to Council members during meetings. Acknowledging that all members have different needs and different solutions to meet those needs, Council members will have a discussion during the Committee of the Whole on best methods to provide support for members.
  • State Leadership has requested state agencies to develop proposals to reduce general revenue (GR) budgets by 5% for the current biennium. Although this does not apply to Council funds, TCDD wants to be sensitive to any statewide budget shortfall and carefully consider travel and other matters not vital to operations. Staff are also monitoring how GR reductions may impact Texans with disabilities.
  • Coleman-Beattie discussed a recent meeting with newly appointed Department of Aging and Disabilities (DADS) Commissioner Chris Traylor, Coleman-Beattie, Webb and Public Policy Director Angela Lello. Traylor indicated that the DADS GR reduction will not include funds from Medicaid Waiver programs or from activities in response to the Department of Justice (DOJ) settlement regarding state supported living centers.

V. Executive Director’s Report

Executive Director Webb briefly discussed the TCDD planning calendar and indicated that the 2009 Program Performance Review (annual report) was submitted to the Administration on Developmental Disabilities by January 1 and accepted without questions.

Webb reported that Grants Management Director Patrice LeBlanc has selected Wendy Jones for the Grants Management Specialist. Wendy will begin February 16, 2010. Lello expects to finalize a selection for the Public Policy Specialist position shortly.

Webb and Senior Grants Management Specialist Sonya Hosey reviewed the Independent Audit Status Report and the Grants Monitoring Exceptions Report noting no concerns.

Hosey provided an update on the Knowbility employment project as requested by Committee members. She noted that the project feels it is best to cross-train employees to do both mystery shopping and PDF remediation, but has only trained and hired seven (7) individuals over a two year period compared to a target of twenty individuals for year 1 and an additional 5 individuals for year 2. Additionally, Knowbility has not received the anticipated Department of Information Resources (DIR) PDF remediation contract and continues to explore partnerships by which to provide this service. Members expressed concerns regarding the lack of progress of this grantee, particularly the lack of contracts for PDF remediation.

Given the current economic situation and the recent request for state agencies to reduce expenditures during the current biennium, members felt it would likely be even more difficult to secure contracts quickly to meet the expected target for the number of individuals trained and hired during the current and final budget period. Members discussed options for early termination of project funding consistent with TCDD Policies. Webb indicated that TCDD Policies (Article X, Section K) allow the Executive Committee or Council to terminate grant funding prior to the end of the grant budget period if a grantee fails to comply with the terms of the grant, if anticipated outcomes or deliverables are no longer viable, or the original purposes for which funding was approved are no longer evidenced.

The Committee agreed to request the Executive Director provide Knowbility, Inc., a notice of intent to terminate funding for the Field Initiated Employment project effective June 30, 2010, for reasons including lack of progress, need for funding of other projects, and a decreased likelihood of the grantee securing contracts for this project due to state agency funding issues. The Committee will consider this matter during the May quarterly meeting.

Webb provided information on stipends grants applications that were approved during the quarter to:

  • Texas State Independent Living Council for up to $6,000 to for the 2010 Texas Statewide Independent Living Conference March 7-9, 2010, in Dallas.
  • Southwest Chapter Autism Society of America for up to $1,200 for the Applied Behavior Analysis in the Treatment of Autism Conference March 16, 2010, in El Paso.
  • Easter Seals of Central Texas (DPC) for up to $6,000 to for the 2010 Housing and Transportation Summit April 28-29, 2010, in Austin.

Webb discussed various upcoming events:

  • NACDD will conduct a conference call on February 23, 2010, to consider proposed position statements. Members who wish to provide input may participate on the call.
  • Disability Policy Seminar, April 12-14, 2010, in Washington, DC.
  • ADD Technical Institute, June 24-25, 2010, in Arlington, VA.
  • NACDD Fall Conference, September 2010, in Orlando, FL.

TCDD has received this year’s federal allotment notice indicating a 1.4 percent ($71,000) increase in funding for TCDD from last year. In addition, Webb has been asked to participate as part of a panel at the Institute of Internal Auditor’s – Austin Chapter seminar later in February to provide information on TCDD’s internal audit process.

VI. Consideration of Continuation Grant Awards

Hosey and Grants Management Specialist Cynthia Ellison presented Executive Summaries for two projects eligible for an additional year of funding. The Baylor College of Medicine Transition Medicine Project has garnered interest from other organizations that may provide funding for some components of this program.

MOTION: To approve continuation funding of up to $100,000 to the Baylor College of Medicine for the third and final year of the Transition Medicine Program.

MADE BY: Mary Durheim

SECOND: Susan Vardell

The motion passed unanimously.

The Community Healthcore Customized Self-Employment Project provides training, individualized self-employment plans and start-up funds for individuals with disabilities.

MOTION: To approve continuation funding of up to $125,000 to Community Healthcore for year three of a five year Customized Self-Employment Project.

MADE BY: Rick Tisch

SECOND: Cindy Johnston

The motion passed unanimously.

VII. Unsolicited Request for Continuation — TIRR/ILRU Accessible Housing Project

The Executive Committee reviewed procedures for unsolicited requests for funding which provide for the Executive Committee reviews requests from current for funding for an additional period beyond the authorized project period. The TIRR/ILRU accessible housing project has requested $199,622 for a one year extension of their Accessible New Housing Project (Attachment 1) TIRR/ILRU proposes to target builders of lower end homes to adopt the tenets of accessible housing, create outreach to offer a seal of approval to existing homes, develop a credited course for real estate professionals on visitability/accessibility, and teach students about visitability/accessibility.

Coleman-Beattie discussed availability of funds in relation to current Council priorities. Members also discussed current priorities related to housing, which include expanding the availability of affordable housing in the state and expressed concerns that this proposal does not address affordable housing for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Members also agreed that although this is a request from a current grantee, the activities proposed are not particularly an extension of current project activities. Proposed activities are mostly new ideas and while they may be purposeful, members agreed that the Project Development Committee should first discuss activities that are a priority for the Council to pursue. The Committee also agreed that once future housing activities are identified, the Council would likely agree to solicit competitive bids via a Request for Proposals for any new ideas. The committee agreed that at times, events external to a grant project could create unavoidable barriers that might justify consideration of an extension, or unexpected opportunities might also warrant consideration of an extension of project activities. However, neither of those situations relate to this request.

The Committee also asked staff to provide further clarification of revisions to current Council Procedures. The purpose of this clarification is to reflect the committee’s discussion that new ideas from existing grantees should be considered as a new idea in a similar manner to new ideas reviewed by the Project Development Committee. The Committee will review the procedure at its next meeting.

MOTION: To not approve the request from TIRR/ILRU for extension of their funding past June 30, 2010, and to ask the Project Development Committee to consider housing issues and priorities for future projects.

MADE BY: Susan Vardell

SECOND: Rick Tisch

The motion passed unanimously.

VIII. Amendments to TCDD Policies

Coleman-Beattie and Webb reviewed last quarter’s discussion concerning amendments to TCDD Policies. This agenda item was deferred by the Council due to time constraints and has been rescheduled for the February meetings. The Executive Committee proposed a policy change allowing members to indicate what format they prefer for receiving notifications of policy amendments, allowing for electronic notification. Additional policy amendments are proposed from the Audit Committee.

MOTION: To recommend Council approval of an amendment to TCDD policies that states “Notice of the proposed amendment(s) must be provided to Council members at least ten (10) days prior to such action in either written or electronic (email) form in accordance with each Council member’s preference”.

MADE BY: Mary Durheim

SECOND: Rick Tisch

The motion passed unanimously. (Attachment included in Council minutes.)

IX. Revisions to TCDD Travel Procedures

Webb reviewed revisions to TCDD Travel Procedures that include changes consistent with state travel policies as well as a revision providing for the Council Chair to approve all Council member travel not related to Council meetings. Members also offered additional edits and clarifications.

MOTION: To accept the revisions to the TCDD Travel Procedures as discussed.

MADE BY: Susan Vardell

SECOND: Rick Tisch

The motion passed unanimously. (Attachment included in Council minutes.)

X. TCDD Quarterly Financial Report

TCDD Operations Director Martha Cantu reviewed with the Committee the final wrap-up of the FY09 (October 2008 to September 2009) operating expenses and noted that the remaining balance of $102,000* will be transferred to funds available for grant projects. Cantu also reviewed the FY10 quarterly financial report and noted no exceptions or concerns. Members asked questions about funds available for travel and current expenditures and asked staff to add clarifying footnotes to the report when expenditures during a specific quarter are unusually high compared to that point in the budget cycle. For example, travel expenses for members and staff to attend the NACDD conference in New Mexico during the first quarter create the appearance that travel expenses are higher than budgeted at this point without such an explanation. Members and staff also discussed ways to improve savings by reducing printing costs if members receive materials electronically.

*Technical correction by TCDD staff, original draft noting $372,000 was in error.

XI. Conflict of Interest Disclosures

Committee members reviewed Conflict of Interest (COI) disclosure statements from members and staff with no noted concerns. Webb reviewed a disclosure from Hunter Adkins concerning her relationship with Easter Seals of Central Texas from her participation with their camp program. Members discussed the need for all Council members to review their COI statement annually and update accordingly as needed.

MOTION: To accept the Conflict of Interest disclosures as presented with the addition of information provided from Hunter Adkins.

MADE BY: Mary Durheim

SECOND: Cindy Johnston

The motion passed unanimously.

X. Other Updates

Hosey provided an update on TCDD’s RFP posting for a conference similar to the Central Texas African American Family Support Conference, noting that the RFP will be released 2/12/10 in conjunction with the current central Texas conference. That conference has focused on mental health issues in the African American community and TCDD hopes to replicate it in other parts of the state as part of the Council’s focus on cultural competency within disability issues.

John Morris thanked Chair Coleman-Beattie and the Committee for allowing him to attend and provide input during the Executive Committee.

Members discussed the current meeting schedule and agreed that the current schedule of a Wednesday Executive Committee worked well for members. A mid-quarter meeting of the Executive Committee will also be scheduled for April.

XI. Executive Session Regarding Personnel Matters

Committee members met in executive session to provide input for the annual appraisal of the Executive Director and took no action.


Chair Coleman-Beattie adjourned the Council meeting at 6:58 PM.

Roger A. Webb
Secretary to the Council

Executive Committee Closed Session

Certified Agenda
Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Committee Members Present: Brenda Coleman-Beattie, Chair, Mary Durheim Cindy Johnston, Rick Tisch, and Susan Vardell

Staff Present: Martha Cantu, Operations Director

Call to Order

Chair Coleman-Beattie announced that a quorum of the Committee was present and called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM on Wednesday, February 10, 2010. The Committee met in closed session pursuant to Texas Government Code Chapter 551, Section 551.074, to discuss matters involving personnel.

I. Executive Director Annual Appraisal

Chair Coleman-Beattie discussed matters related to the annual performance appraisal of Executive Director Roger Webb with members of the Committee.

II. Recess

Chair Coleman-Beattie announced the closed session was concluded at 6:50 PM Wednesday, February 10, 2010. No actions were taken.

Certified Agenda approved by the Committee:

Brenda Coleman-Beattie, Chair

Attachment 1

Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities
Executive Committee
Project Ending Request

Date: 02/10/10
Grantee: ILRU
Year: Completing Year 5 of 5 as of 6-30-10
Project Title: Accessible New Housing Project
Project Location: Houston

TCDD RFP Intent: To establish either the EasyLiving Homecm or a similar program that addresses the expected outcomes and meets the intent of the RFP to promote construction of first level accessible (visitable) homes, and fits the unique characteristics of Texas including the significant cultural and geographic differences.

State Plan Goal and Objectives:
Goal 7: People with developmental disabilities can secure accessible, affordable, community Integrated housing in the communities in which they choose to live.
Objective 1: Collaborate with other organizations and agencies to increase the number of affordable, accessible, community-integrated housing units in Texas, by September 30, 2011.

Project Accomplishments (5 years):
Conducted 60 presentations and 20 training sessions; trained 2120 people in visitable housing; disseminated materials to over 2500 people; and, marketing outreach to millions of people (e.g., press releases, radio program, and web site and print ads). Recruited 34 member builders located in 19 counties in central and east Texas. Certified 46 homes with the price range of these homes ranging from $130,000 to $1 million.

Statement of need: Texas continues to need affordable, accessible housing, and for builders and developers of “lower-end” homes to participate in the “Accessible New Housing” program.

Activities Proposed for 1-Year Extension: Project will target lower end (homes ranging from $50k to $100k) builders and developers to adopt tenets of accessible housing. Create criteria and outreach to offer the seal of approval to existing homes. Develop and offer a credited course to Real Estate Professionals about visitability/accessibility. Teach students about aXess Homes and visitability.

Proposed outcomes: 12 builders/developers actively using accessible housing standards; outreach and certification of at least 25 low-income homes; create criteria and outreach to offer the seal of approval to at least 50 existing homes; partner with the Texas Association of Realtors (TAR) to offer a credited course to real estate professional; and, promote/teach visitability across Texas schools to elementary, secondary and high school students (potentially reaching a minimum of 213,270).

Duration of proposal: 12 months.

Areas: Statewide.

Public Policy Implications: TCDD’s current public policy priorities include increasing the stock of affordable housing in Texas. This proposal does not address this policy issue in a substantive manner. Currently, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs provides architectural barrier removal for homeowners and renters across the state. In addition, other local organizations such as public housing authorities and Independent Living Centers provide architectural barrier removal. Therefore, if a homeowner purchases an inaccessible home, there are programs available to make that home accessible. The more pressing policy problem in Housing is that people with disabilities are priced out of homeownership.

Budget Impact: TCDD funds are available; approving funds for this request would not impact the priorities for funding other activities already approved.

Staff comments/Observations: The project has met the intent of the Council’s original RFP to develop a certification program that specifies first level accessible criteria in new home construction. The EasyLiving Georgia program ended and notified Texas to terminate all state affiliations and no longer use the EasyLiving name. The Texas project refocused, renamed itself, and created new promotional tools that give the project potential to be more inclusive, such as certifying low-income and existing homes (that was not permissible under the previous project). Although the proposed activities would likely increase outreach efforts, increase name recognition, and develop new partnerships; TCDD staff do not believe the proposed activities will have a significant impact on the proposed outcomes or increase the probability of sustaining the project.

Budget Detail Summary

Budget Detail Summary
  Federal Match Totals
Amount expended in year 1 198,500 79,244 277,744
Amount expended in year 2 199,622 83,955 283,577
Amount expended in year 3 199,621 86,659 286,280
Amount expended in year 4 199,622 94,999 294,621
Amount expended in year 5 199,622 90,386 290,008
Total budget for 6/1/05 – 5/31/10 996,987 435,243 1,432,230
Extension Period through May 2011
Total budget requested for additional 12 month (6/1/20 – 5/31/11) 199,622