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Minutes — Project Development Committee Meeting, May 6, 2010

As Approved by the Committee August 5, 2010


Call to Order

The Project Development Committee met on Thursday, May 6, 2010 in the Pecan A&B Suites at the Marriott Austin South, 4415 South IH-35 Austin, Texas 78744. Committee Chair Susan Vardell called the meeting to order at 1:30 P.M. A quorum was present.

Introduction of Committee Members, Staff and Visitors

Committee members, staff and guests were introduced.

Public Comments

No public comments were offered.

Approval of Minutes

The Committee reviewed minutes of the February 11, 2010, Committee meeting.

MOTION: To approve the minutes of the February 11, 2010, Project Development Committee meeting minutes as presented.

MADE BY: Dana Perry

SECOND: Andrew Crim

The motion passed without opposition.

Grants and Projects Report

Projected Available Funds Update

Grants Management Director Patrice LeBlanc and Committee Chair Susan Vardell reviewed with the Committee the information concerning projected funding available for additional grant projects during coming years. LeBlanc and Vardell also reviewed with the Committee the Federal Areas of Emphasis and the Projections Graph and Key charts.

Current Project Funding Updates

There were no current project funding updates.

Projects Training Calendar

The Committee reviewed the TCDD Project Training Schedule. Members were encouraged to attend grantee trainings but were asked to contact TCDD Grants Management staff in advance to liaison with Grantees as a courtesy. Vardell reminded Council members that their role when attending is merely as a visitor and not in a “monitoring” capacity.

Staff Activities Report

LeBlanc updated the Committee concerning an apparent mis-use of funds involving a former grantee, the Texas Association for Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (TACCRRA). There is no evidence that any TCDD funds awarded to TACCRRA for the positive behavior supports training project were misused. The TACCRRA board is reconstructing accounting records to verify all expenditures. LeBlanc will keep the Committee updated.

LeBlanc reported that grants staff continue to work on the continuation grant awards for projects eligible for another year of funding. The Executive Committee approved 12 continuation awards at their April interim meeting. Four additional continuation awards were reviewed by the Committee Wednesday and 3 additional continuation awards will be reviewed by the Committee at the August Council meeting. Executive summaries of each continuation award reviewed by the Committee are included in the binder for these meetings.

Consideration of Future Funding Activities

Next Steps for Higher Education Project

Planning Coordinator Joanna Cordry updated the Committee on the Request for Proposal (RFP) for “Higher Education for People with Developmental Disabilities” project that was released on December 11, 2009. The RFP closed March 3, 2010, and no applications were received. Cordry solicited feedback from organizations that had shown interest in applying to determine why they chose not to submit applications. Those organizations indicated that they felt the amount of funding was not adequate for the required outcomes. Council member Margaret Christen indicated that the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has additional information related to this proposed activity. The Committee discussed this RFP in depth and agreed to defer further consideration in order to review information available from TEA.

MOTION: To postpone this matter until the August meeting of the Committee pending more information from the Texas Education Agency.

MADE BY: Andrew Crim

SECOND: Deneesa Rasmussen

The motion passed without opposition.

Next Steps for Projects Ending

Cordry reminded the Committee that the majority of the Council’s leadership and advocacy projects, including the projects reviewed during the Committee of the Whole, are in their final year of funding from TCDD. The Committee reviewed the Council’s original plan to develop a statewide network of organizations that offer leadership and advocacy training.

The Committee also reviewed two unexpected barriers that delayed progress towards the original goal: first, no organization applied to develop the regional networks, which required the grantee tasked with building the statewide network to first develop regional networks; and second, several disability advocacy groups did not assist with outreach as hoped. As a result, the grantee has not been able to achieve as much progress as originally planned towards assisting the members of the network to develop sustainability through collaboration and through seeking/developing additional funding from yet untapped resources. This will most likely impact the sustainability of local leadership and advocacy training grantees. Council staff do not expect all of the current grantees to be able to support the current level of training they offer without an extension of Council funding and/or further development of the Leadership and Advocacy Training network.

The Committee discussed the presentations and thought that expanding or replicating one of the training programs in another area of the state might be something to consider as a “next step,” but otherwise did not intend to provide extensions for any of the leadership and advocacy training grantees ending in 2011. No action was taken by committee members at this time.

Cultural Outreach Activities

The Committee reviewed the Outreach Consultation Activities Executive Summary approved by the Council in 2004 describing activities intended to help TCDD increase the number of individuals who are African American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, and/or living in rural areas who are involved in TCDD activities. The first of multiple activities related to this Executive Summary are underway, including the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) to award funds to reproduce the Central Texas African American Family Support Conference in another area of the state and an RFP to be posted to hold an Inclusive Faith-based Communities Symposium. Cordry reviewed a new draft abbreviated application developed by staff to expand outreach efforts at the grassroots level as described in the Executive Summary. Staff recommends projects for up to $10,000 to organizations that are representative of groups considered to be “unserved or underserved,” per the DD Act Amendments of 2000 to implement activities described in the Executive Summary.

MOTION: To proceed with a simplified application process to make multiple grants available for up to $10,000 each to implement specified activities as described in the Outreach Consultation Activities Executive Summary.

MADE BY: Andrew Crim

SECOND: Joe Rivas

The motion passed without opposition.

Future Project Funding Priorities

Vardell reviewed the updated Future Funding Activities Priority List. The Committee agreed to add Public Policy Collaboration Activities to the list in position 2 and to switch the positions of the Enabling Technology project and the Parent Transition Guide project.

MOTION: To recommend that the Future Funding Activities Priority List be reorganized with the Public Policy Collaboration project inserted into position 2, Parent Transition Guide moved to position 7, and Enabling Technology project moved to position 6.

MADE BY: Kristin Cox

SECOND: Joe Rivas

The motion passed without opposition.

The Committee discussed the need to indicate, for planning purposes only, an approximate amount of funding expected to be made available for activities related to the Executive Summary for Public Policy Collaboration Activities.

MOTION: To recommend Council approval of an anticipated funding amount for the Public Policy Collaboration project of up to $300,000 for multiple projects for the first year of 5 years.

MADE BY: Kristin Cox

SECOND: Margaret Christen

Members agreed that amounts to be made available for subsequent years would be based upon projects approved for funding as well as available funds and other Council priorities. The motion passed without opposition.

State Plan Amendments for FY 2011

Cordry provided an update for the State Plan Amendments for FY 2011. TCDD staff recommend no amendments at this time. The Committee concurred.

Process to Develop 2012-2016 State Plan

Cordry reviewed options for the process to develop the new State Plan for FY 2012-2016 and shared summary information regarding the Public Policy Committee’s discussion and related motion.

MOTION: To support developing the State Plan for FY 2012-2016 using a strategic model and setting aside some resources as a reserve for emerging issues.

MADE BY: Joe Rivas

SECOND: Dana Perry

The motion passed without opposition.

Other Discussion Items

The Committee had no additional discussion items.


There being no further business, Committee Chair Vardell adjourned the meeting at 4:10 PM.


Roger A. Webb
Secretary to the Council