Untitled Document Untitled Document

Minutes — Committee of the Whole Meeting, May 6, 2010

(As approved by the Committee August 5, 2010)


Call to Order

The Committee of the Whole of the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities met on Thursday, May 6, 2010, in Salon C & D of the Marriott Austin South, 4414 South IH-35 Austin, TX 78744. Council Chair Brenda Coleman-Beattie called the meeting to order at 9:00 AM.


Committee members, staff and guests were introduced.

Public Comments

No public comments were offered.

Conference Report

Coleman-Beattie reported on her opportunities to provide welcome addresses at two Council funded conferences, the Texas Advanced Leadership and Advocacy Conference (TALAC) and the Disability Policy Consortium (DPC) Housing and Transportation Summit.

Council Member Kimberly Blackmon shared her experience at the TALAC conference and indicated that it was a positive learning experience, particularly the opportunity to provide mock testimony in front of a panel of Texas legislators and staff.

Executive Director Roger Webb shared his experiences at the TALAC conference noting that he participated in a panel discussion on expectations for the next legislative session. Webb also attended the DPC Housing and Transportation Summit and commented that it was a unique opportunity to have advocates for both of those issues at the same event.

Review of Key Agenda Items

Coleman-Beattie noted a focus of this quarter’s Council and Committee meetings will be future planning including determining a strategy for the next State Plan. Project Development Committee Chair Susan Vardell and Public Policy Committee Chair Rick Tisch provided overviews of key discussion items planned for their respective committees.

Chair’s Remarks

Coleman-Beattie discussed the importance of members ensuring that their Conflict of Interest disclosure information is current and asked members to review their disclosure information and provide updates each quarter.

Coleman-Beattie discussed a recent news story regarding a former Austin-based non-profit organization, Family Connections, which has received attention due to alleged mismanagement of funds and the disappearance of its Executive Director. That Executive Director was also the treasurer of the Texas Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (TACCRRA), a former TCDD grantee. Webb and Grants Management Director Patrice LeBlanc have been diligently working with TACCRRA staff to review expenditures of the grant project and have not found any instance of inappropriate use of TCDD funds. This situation has also presented an opportunity for agencies to look at the situation that allowed the alleged mishandling of funds and learn from those mistakes. Coleman-Beattie noted that TCDD has a strong process for internal audit activities intended to prevent this type of situation including an active Audit Committee, Council members receiving reports directly from the internal auditor, and a peer review process of the internal auditor’s work.

Webb provided information about the TCDD staff Survey of Employee Engagement and indicated that staff members are participating in workshops to address areas of concern identified in that survey. Webb also provided staff updates including the recent delivery of Public Policy Director Angela Lello’s baby on April 23, 2010, and the selection of Melissa Rosser as Public Policy Assistant who will begin with TCDD on June 1, 2010.

Coleman-Beattie discussed the ADD Technical Assistance Institute in Washington, DC, June 23-25, 2010, which will focus on Councils’ state plan development. Members are asked to notify Coleman-Beattie or Webb if they are interested in attending this event.

Presentation: Advocacy & Leadership Development Projects

Planning Coordinator Joanna Cordry reviewed the background and history of Leadership and Advocacy Training projects funded by TCDD. The Council’s concept was for a multi-level series of projects including basic local advocacy training projects, advanced leadership training conferences (TALAC), an online-training compendium (Advocacy “U” at Syracuse University) and the statewide network of training programs (Parents Anonymous).

A video presentation from the Parents Anonymous Texas Advocacy Training Network project was viewed by members highlighting that project’s activities and accomplishments. Loreen Dillard, project director of the Parent Alliance Learning Support (PALS) local advocacy training project at the Brighton Center (San Antonio) provided information on that project’s activities and accomplishments. Grants Management Specialist Sonya Hosey provided highlights on the Arc of Greater Tarrant County local advocacy training project.

Future TCDD Public Policy Collaboration Activities

Coleman-Beattie reviewed the Council’s efforts to develop an overview of Future TCDD Public Policy Collaboration Activities. Cordry reviewed the proposed Executive Summary for these projects that was developed from decisions of the Council during the February 2010 Council meeting and refined by the Executive Committee at a meeting in April. (Attachment 1) Members also discussed the review panel process for reviewing the applications submitted in response to the Request for Proposals.

MOTION: To recommend Council approval of the Executive Summary for Future TCDD Public Policy Collaboration Activities.

MADE BY: Susan Vardell

SECOND: Lora Taylor

The motion passed without opposition. Amy Sharp abstained from voting.

Coleman-Beattie noted that further discussion on the review process will take place during the August meeting. Webb noted that Committees will be asked to recommend where to add this activity on the Future Funding Priorities list.

TCDD FY 2012 – 2016 State Plan Development Process

Federal guidance requires all DD Councils to develop a new, five year state plan for fiscal years 2012 through 2016. Cordry reviewed a proposed timeline for activities to develop the TCDD State Plan and discussed various federal requirements and expectations. Cordry discussed how the Council’s previous state plan was developed and gave examples of the broad range of goals and objectives included in the current plan. Cordry reviewed options for developing the next plan in a portfolio style, addressing a variety of issues as the Council has done in the past, or developing the next plan in a more strategic manner that focuses on a fewer number of specific issues. Cordry discussed the pros and cons of each style and asked both Committees to discuss their thoughts and offer recommendations during the Council meeting. Members discussed both options and noted that if the Council decides to take a strategic approach to the next state plan, the Council’s “sister” organizations (Advocacy Inc and the University Centers for Excellence) could focus on other issues and “cover all the bases”.

Project Highlights

LeBlanc reviewed accomplishments and highlights of three current grant projects: Imagine Enterprises’ Self-Determination project, EveryChild, Inc.’s Family Based Alternatives project, and Advocacy, Inc.’s Texas Community Integration Project.


Council member Joe Rivas discussed issues related to Social Security Income (SSI) payments and asked members to look at his Web site which includes a petition to the United States Congress for policy changes to SSI. This can be found at http://www.joerivashelpseveryone.net/.


There being no further business, Chair Coleman-Beattie adjourned the Committee at 1:15 PM


Roger A. Webb
Secretary to the Council

Attachment 1 – Future Funding Proposal

Future Funding Proposal
Executive Summary
Public Policy Collaboration Activities


The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) exists to create change so that all people with developmental disabilities are fully included in their communities and exercise control over their own lives. The Council develops a five year State Plan with goals and objectives that describe, broadly, strategies to achieve this goal, including: providing grants to demonstrate innovative approaches to promoting the full inclusion and authority of people with developmental disabilities over their own lives; providing seed money to develop new community-based programs; working directly and through grantees to improve existing services and supports and to make “generic” community supports more responsive to all people’s needs; funding leadership and advocacy training; disseminating information to the public and legislators; and collaborating with individual advocates and advocacy groups to address public policy issues. A significant portion of TCDD staff activities directly relate to state-level public policy activities: staff work with the Council in developing position statements on key issues that impact people with developmental disabilities, routinely participate and provide input to a number of different policy-related Texas health and human service (hhs), housing, transportation, education, and employment workgroups, as well as to legislators to ensure that they are aware of the impact proposed legislation may have on people with developmental disabilities; and TCDD has provided financial support for disability advocates to collaborate with others around specific issues.

Over the last year, the Council conducted a thorough review of its activities related to public policy collaboration and the collaboration efforts of other Councils and organizations. The Council renewed its commitment and desire to promote and participate in collaborative efforts, and chose to explore other models that promote public policy collaboration that would also be effective in Texas. Other options may include nationally recognized best practices as well as models of change that reflect the current landscape and dynamics in the creation of effective public policy. The Council’s priority is achieving positive outcomes related to its mission statement, and believes that on-going collaboration with others in the arena of public policy is a legitimate way of doing this. At this time, funds are available to support specific activities that collaborative groups might wish to implement (such as Capital rally days, events to provide training and organizing at grassroots and/or local levels, conferences, legislative symposiums, etc.); however, the Council hopes to facilitate collaborative efforts that are not dependent upon Council funds in order for collaboration to happen.

To implement this decision, the Council will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) that will allow organizations to propose any sustainable model they believe will best address the Council’s objective and primary requirements, as outlined below.

State Plan Goal and Objective

Goal 10: People with developmental disabilities and family members will have the supports and services they need to be able to participate actively in their communities.

Objective 2: Collaborate, each year of the State Plan, with other agencies and organizations on an ongoing basis to develop and promote concrete policy alternatives and best practices to ensure that individuals and families can access and maintain self-directed community-based services and supports of their choice.

Expected Outcome(s)

TCDD will expand sustainable collaborative efforts around public policy issues that impact Texans with developmental disabilities and that involve a diverse group of individuals and stakeholder organizations, including organizations that have not traditionally collaborated with disability advocacy groups. The collaborative(s) would determine the issues to be addressed and the manner in which advocacy on those issues would be conducted.

Project Description

TCDD may fund multiple short term, low cost, activities to reach the outcome described in this Executive Summary, depending on the quality of proposals received in response to the RFP and the funds available at that time. For the purposes of this RFP, “collaboration” shall be defined as “organizations and/or individuals working together in a formal, sustainable manner; demonstrating mutual respect, mutual learning, and mutual accountability; sharing risks, resources, responsibility, and rewards; with a common goal.” “Short term, low cost” shall be the language used in the RFP, without further definition provided by TCDD. Applicants will be expected to propose the project duration and cost they believe necessary, although funding will not be provided for any activity for more than 5 years.

The grant project(s) funded by TCDD will develop and support public policy collaboration activities that will be sustainable without TCDD funds within 5 years. Every collaboration(s) established or supported by TCDD must be “cross disability” and emphasize the inclusion of, representation by, and active participation of people with diverse developmental disabilities. In addition, the activities funded through this grant must address those things that are statewide issues and TCDD Public Policy Priorities.

All proposals must indicate how the outcome(s) of the project(s) would be measurable in a cost-effective manner. Examples of outcome measures TCDD believes would be measurable might include:

  • The percentage of stakeholder organizations, including non-traditional and non-DD partners, which are part of particular state public policy collaboration. For the purposes of evaluating how well the project met this goal, “stakeholder organizations” are defined as those organizations identified by TCDD as organizations that have missions and philosophies that are not in opposition to those of the Council and that also represent constituents who would be impacted by public policy change.
  • The percentage of identified hhs, transportation, housing, and education state policies, procedures, rules, or regulations that reflect Public Policy goals and identified needs, and/or the percentage that are changed to reflect input from the collaboration and/or TCDD.
  • Of the key public policy-related documents (for example, legislative reports or bills) for which the public policy collaboration(s) draft formal recommendations, the percentage that reflect those recommendations.
  • A demonstrated impact on existing or new policy programs and initiatives (for example, a change in hhs agency operations/policies, changes in state and local level policies and practices, etc.)
  • An increase in the number of people with developmental disabilities and/or their families who receive information from, or provide information to, the collaboration(s); and/or the percent who have acted based on that information.
  • Percentage of funds or resources needed to support the collaborative activities that are provided or generated by member organizations other than the DD Council.
  • Number of organizations participating in public policy collaboration activities that represent people who are typically “unserved” or “underserved,” as defined in the DD Act Amendments of 2000.

Organizations submitting proposals must provide information regarding the strength and weakness of their proposed model. Although the Council is neither recommending nor expecting any one model in particular, the following examples are provided as “samples” of a few of the models that have been discussed thus far:

  1. Forming collaborations on issue areas, a single issue or multiple, where none currently exist. (Note: In cases such as this when collaborative efforts are focuses on a single highly-specific issue, the collaborative would be considered “successful” and to have achieved sustainable change if the issues is resolved).
  2. Forming a collaboration that addresses only a few key issues, as identified by the membership.
  3. Establishing a means of providing core support for a state level disability coalition that is sustainable without DD Council funds and continues to be active when the grant is completed.
  4. Creating a formal system or mechanism through which TCDD provides support to a number of advocates to work strategically as members of existing collaborative efforts that involve diverse groups who share an interest in a specific issue.
  5. Creating opportunities for the “next generation” of disability advocates to “apprentice” so they may learn/apply/become engaged in public policy collaboration, training, and/or projects to gain hands on experience.

These four models are intended to serve as examples of possibilities only; TCDD neither encourages nor discourages organizations to use of any of these four in their proposals. Additionally, TCDD expects that a variety of different activities could be implemented through the use of any of these models. It will be up to the proposer and the collaboration(s) to develop suggested activities, with input from TCDD.

Proposed Funding Amount: Applicants would be expected to state the funding amounts necessary to complete the activity or activities they propose in response to the RFP. For provide increasing match each year.

Proposed Duration: TCDD funding would not exceed five years. There is no minimum duration for a project.

Other Considerations

  1. The RFP application will include the question, “Would you accept a partial award?” so that TCDD will have the option to implement only parts of proposed projects.
  2. Respondents will be asked to provide:
    1. a brief overview of the history of public policy change for people with disabilities, describing lessons learned, effective approaches, and why the activities they propose are expected to be successful in Texas;
    2. information about organizations and/or individuals they believe would be stakeholders who are willing to participate in activities and why those organizations would be important;
    3. a clear outline of their expectations regarding the roles of the participants in the collaboration, including TCDD, in directing and funding the activities; and
    4. details describing how technology and media will be used as part of there project strategy, if appropriate.
  3. Applicants will be limited to organizations that have administrative offices in Texas.

Addendum: Council-Approved Outcome Measures for Focus Areas 1, 2, and 3

(Focus Area 4 Measures more appropriate as measures for TCDD’s overall work)

Focus Area 1: Collaboration—Organizations
Result/Outcome Desired Effective/improved collaborations, coordination, and support involving key Council-identified organizations as well as non-traditional organizations
Outcome Measures
  • Percentage of key Council-identified organizations, including non-traditional and non-DD partners, that are part of particular state public policy collaborations
  • Percentage of state agencies aligning their programs and services to PPC goals and identified needs
  • Percentage of key PPC issues and goals successfully addressed through legislation or other means (e.g. funding levels, employment programs, priority services, attendant care pay rates and turnover, transportation access, low/slow Medicaid reimbursement rates, etc.)
  • Percentage of legislative and executive branch, community, business, and other Council-identified collaboration leaders indicating an awareness of key information (e.g. existence of the Council, priority issues, specific goals and proposals, etc.)
Focus Area 2: Inclusion—Individuals
Result/Outcome Desired Effective/improved inclusion, representation, and active participation of people with disabilities
Outcome Measures
  • Percentage of people/families with developmental disabilities surveyed indicating awareness of key information (e.g. existence of the Council, rights/responsibilities, local service providers, etc.)
  • Percent increase in the number of people/families with developmental disabilities that have interacted with Council, obtained information, and acted on it
Focus Area 2: Sustainability
Result/Outcome Desired Deploy and maintain a Public Policy Collaboration model that is sustainable
Outcome Measures
  • Percentage of collaborating organizations dedicating in-kind and other resources to PPC activities and/or
  • Dollar amount of in-kind and other resources dedicated by collaborating organizations to PPC activities