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Minutes — Project Development Committee Meeting, November 3, 2010

(As approved by the Committee May 5, 2011)


Call to Order

The Project Development Committee met on Wednesday, November 3, 2010, in the Bluebonnet 2 Suite at the Marriott Austin South, 4415 South IH-35, Austin, Texas 78744. Vice Chair, Dana Perry called the meeting to order at 10:56 a.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 August 5, 2010, Committee meeting.

MOTION: To approve the minutes of the August 5, 2010, Project Development Committee meeting minutes as presented.

MADE BY: Andrew Crim

SECONDED BY: Kathy Griffis-Bailey

The motion passed without opposition.

Chair’s Report

Vice Chair Dana Perry had nothing to report.

Selection of Nominating Committee Representative

Council Policies provide for each committee to select a representative to the Council’s Nominating Committee. After discussion Joe Rivas was nominated to serve as the Committee’s representative on the Committee. The Nominating Committee will bring forward recommendations at the February Council meeting for the Council Vice-Chair and for the consumer member-at-large on the Executive Committee.

MOTION: For Joe Rivas to serve as the Project Development Committee representative to the Council Nominating Committee

MADE BY: Diana Kern

SECOND: Kathy Griffis-Bailey

The motion passed without opposition.

Grants and Projects Report

Projected Available Funds Update

Grants Management Director, Patrice LeBlanc discussed with the Committee staff projections of funds available for additional grant projects. LeBlanc also explained to the Committee that the Administration on Developmental Disabilities no longer expects grant projects and staff activities to be organized by Areas of Emphasis in the DD Act, and suggested that several documents prepared by staff for the Committee may no longer be relevant. The Committee agreed that staff did not need to continue to update and include the “Federal Areas of Emphasis” or the “Grants by Area of Emphasis and by Regions” documents in meeting binders. However, staff would develop and bring back materials to reflect how Council activities relate to each other as needed.

Staff Activities Report

Grants Management Specialist Wendy Jones gave a brief overview to the Committee of her attendance at the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) annual conference. She attended a session on inclusive fitness training for individuals with disabilities. From this report, staff were directed to further investigate the possibility of funding a similar project.

Consideration of Future Grants Activities

Leadership Development and Advocacy Skills Training Activities-Next Steps Executive Summary

Planning Coordinator Joanna Cordry presented the Executive Summary for proposed Leadership Development and Advocacy Skills Training Activities which describes a means through which the Council could build on the current and past work of many of TCDD’s successful leadership and advocacy training programs (including youth leadership training, peer-to-peer advocacy training, and/or support for the establishment of a self-sustaining network of organizations that provide leadership development and advocacy training). The Committee discussed the Executive Summary and determined to postpone the approval of the creation of a Youth Advisory Committee pending more discussion. The Committee also suggested that up to 6 new projects be funded in addition to those outlined in the Executive Summary, and that they have the same guidelines and expectations of the currently funded leadership development and advocacy training projects. This would add an additional $75,000 per year, per project, for up to 3 years, for up to 6 projects, to the funding noted in the Executive Summary.

MOTION: To recommend Council approval of the Leadership Training and Advocacy Development: Next Steps Executive Summary with the exception of the proposed establishment of a Youth Leadership Advisory Council and the addition of funding for 6 new leadership development and advocacy skills training projects.

MADE BY: John Morris

SECOND: Diana Kern

The revised total funds authorized by the revised Executive Summary is up to $765,000 for year 1 for all projects; up to $695,000 for year 2 for all projects; and up to $450,000 for year 3 for all projects. The motion passed without opposition.

Other Ideas

Alternatives to Guardianship

Cordry reviewed with the Committee that the Council approved an “Alternatives to Guardianship” Executive Summary in February 2008. The Executive Committee approved funding of a project during the Committee meeting Monday that will demonstrate how volunteers might effectively assist people with developmental disabilities to make their own decisions about their lives, and demonstrate one alternative to guardianship. The original Executive Summary also described other activities. Cordry asked if the Committee wished to take any additional action. The Committee determined that they wished to see what success the newly funded project has before proceeding further.

Funders Roundtable

Cordry gave a brief summary of a proposed “Funders’ Roundtable” staff activity to promote collaboration between organizations that provide funding and/or technical assistance to community organizations so they may develop their capacity to serve all members of their community, including individuals with developmental disabilities. Staff have had discussions with the Circle of 10 group as well as with the One Star Foundation and believe there is interest and that the benefits could be significant. However, because such an activity would require a significant amount of staff time, staff desired direction from the Committee before moving forward. The Committee directed staff to begin to move forward with efforts to develop the Roundtable, and determined that this activity should be added to the priority list although there is no grant funding attached at this time.

“Not Home” Documentary

Cordry presented a brief overview of the “Not Home” documentary being produced by an independent filmmaker about children living in institutions. Staff received an informal query regarding whether the Council might wish to provide funds to bring the filmmaker to Texas so that Texas might be included in the footage. Staff spoke with the Executive Director of the Georgia Council who indicated that they were contributing a small amount (under $10,000), and informed the Committee that they could choose to do so as well. However, TCDD would most likely have no rights to the film nor have significant input into the creative process. LeBlanc reminded the Committee that approving funding for this project might be viewed as inconsistent with the Council’s practice of not accepting unsolicited proposals for funding, and that it is likely many additional unsolicited requests for funding would ensue. Communications Coordinator Melissa Loe confirmed that there are many such projects that might also wish to solicit funding from the Council. Committee members were advised that this was an action they could choose to take, but that they had found an “Unsolicited Proposal” process difficult to manage in the past and very time consuming. The Committee determined they did not wish to pursue involvement in this documentary.

Future Project Funding Priorities

The Committee reviewed the Future Funding Activities Priority List and changed the order to place the Leadership Development and Advocacy Training Activities at priority #6, Enabling Technology project at priority #7, and the Funders’ Roundtable activity at priority #8.

MOTION: To recommend Council approval of revisions to the Future Funding Activities Priority List as discussed by the Committee.

MADE BY: Andrew Crim

SECOND: John Morris

The motion passed without opposition.

College Education Grant Project

The Committee discussed the College Education project listed as #1 in the priorities list. A Request for Proposals (RFP) was posted in December 2009, but no responses were received. Feedback was solicited by staff, and potential applicants stated that they did not apply because the funding amount was insufficient given the required outcomes. The Committee wished to explore other options that might enable the Council to reach their goal, and did so at previous meetings. The Committee discussed the project, confirmed their commitment to the goal, and decided to re-post the original Request for Proposals (RFP) with no changes except an increase of the funding amount of up to $125,000 per year for up to 4 years.

MOTION: To recommend Council approval to re-post the College Education project Request for Proposals with up to $125,000 per year for up to 4 years.

MADE BY: John Morris

SECOND: Kathy Griffis-Bailey

The motion passed without opposition.

State Plan Development Discussion

The Committee decided not to discuss the State Plan in the Committee meeting due to it being discussed in the Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, November 2, 2010.

Other Discussion Items

The Committee discussed other possible ideas for funding, and asked staff to prepare additional information that would assist the Committee to develop further the concept of creating a “Youth Advisory Committee,” to provide input to the Council and to promote activities to develop youth leadership.


There being no further business, adjourned the meeting at 1:15 PM.

Roger A. Webb, Secretary to the Council