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Minutes — Committee of the Whole Meeting, February 2012

2012 Council and Committee Meetings


Council Members Present

  • John C. Morris, Council Vice‐Chair
  • Hunter Adkins
  • Kimberly Blackmon
  • Kristine Clark
  • Gladys Cortez
  • Kristen Cox
  • Andrew Crim
  • Kevin Estes, HHSC
  • Mary Faithfull, DRT
  • Sandy Graham, UT CDS
  • Kathy Griffis‐Bailey, DSHS
  • Cindy Johnston
  • Jeff Kaufmann, DADS
  • Sara Kendall, DARS
  • Dana Perry
  • Joe Rivas
  • Amy Sharp, A&M CDD
  • Cindy Swain, TEA
  • Lora Taylor
  • Richard Tisch
  • Susan Vardell

Council Members Absent

  • Brenda Coleman‐Beattie, Council Chair
  • Mateo Delgado
  • Mary Durheim
  • Diana Kern

Guests Present

  • Carlton Chen
  • Ying Chen
  • Zandra Draper
  • Amanda Dunnavant
  • Leticia Finely
  • Gina Fuller
  • Rachel Nava
  • Ilene Robinson
  • Thelma Scott
  • Charleen Searight
  • Alexander Warren

Staff Present

  • Roger Webb, Executive Director
  • Jeri Bernard
  • Martha Cantu
  • Belinda Carlton
  • Joanna Cordry
  • Cynthia Ellison
  • Cassie Fisher
  • Sonya Hosey
  • Wendy Jones
  • Melissa Loe
  • Jessica Ramos
  • Melissa Rosser
  • Koren Vogel

Call to Order

The Committee of the Whole of the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities convened on Thursday, February 9, 2012, in the Salon C&D Room at the Marriott Austin South, 4415 South IH‐35, Austin, TX 78745. Council Vice‐Chair John Morris called the meeting to order at 9:30 AM.

1. Introductions

Council members, staff and guests were introduced.

2. Public Comments

The Committee of the Whole received public comments from Ilene Robinson who invited members to a seminar offered at the Brookwood Community in Houston by Eden Alternatives. Charleen Searight spoke about a news article that reported the death of an individual at a private residential program and indicated that she felt there was not the media attention that would have occurred if the individual had been a resident of a state supported living center. Thelma Scott of the Barbara Jordan Endeavors Corporation spoke about the suicide of one of the “ambassadors” from her program and asked for an increase in grant funds from TCDD. Dr. Alexander Warren of Texas Tutor Professionals also spoke on behalf of the Barbara Jordan Endeavors Corporation and encouraged an increase in grant funds to allow additional tutoring to students in the Houston area. And Rachel Nava of Different Abilitites, Inc. spoke about her day program that provides training and job placement services. Different Abilities works with the Barbara Jordan Endeavors Corporation and also encouraged an increase grant funds for those programs.

3. Chair’s Report

Acting Chair Morris reported that Kris Clark will move to the Project Development Committee and Kristen Cox will move to the Public Policy Committee where she will serve as Vice‐Chair of that Committee. Morris reviewed expected absences during this quarter’s meetings including Brenda Coleman‐Beattie, Mateo Delgado, Mary Durheim, & Diana Kern.

Executive Director Roger Webb reported that Council Member Cindy Johnston is appearing in a play called “The Jesters” in Dallas. Council Member appointments are expected from the Governor’s Office within the next few weeks.

Public Policy Committee Chair Joe Rivas and Project Development Committee Vice‐Chair Dana Perry presented key agenda items that are planned for discussion by those Committees.

Morris and Cox reported on their experiences at the NACDD Annual Fall Conference. Morris discussed a project from Wisconsin that partnered state legislators with persons with disabilities to accompany them to their workplaces. Cox noted that many of the presentations were things that TCDD is currently or has previously done. She felt it was a good opportunity to network with Council members from other states.

4. Presentations — Cultural Competence

Grants Management Director Sonya Hosey introduced Ying Chen of the Friends and Families of Asians with Special Needs (FFASN) project. FFASN received a $10,000 grant for this Outreach and Development project. Ms. Chen reviewed the goals and accomplishments of the project which included education targeted to parents in the Asian community about community resources and available services. The project also provided training for parents to be better advocates for their children with disabilities and educated professionals on ways to be culturally‐sensitive service providers. The project held two one‐day workshops on community resources and long‐term planning and has a bilingual website that provides resources for families.

Executive Director Webb introduced Roger Levy, Director of the Texas Technology Access Project at the UT Center for Disability Studies. Levy discussed the Assistive Technology Act which funds the program to help Texans gain access and acquisition to assistive technology. He explained the program’s short‐term device loans, demonstration centers, and “double‐click” computer projects which allows purchase of refurbished computers by people with disabilities at a minimal cost.

5. Future Projects / State Plan Implementation

Planning Coordinator Joanna Cordry discussed measures for education activities described in the TCDD State Plan. As part of State Plan Goal 1, the Council expects to build collaborations within at least one geographic region served by an Education Service Center (ESC) to demonstrate ways to create measurable improvement in at least two identified indicators of educational success for students with developmental disabilities by 9/30/2016. Cordry reviewed indicators of student improvement/success that are collected by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) with data available by regions. She reminded members that inclusion, family involvement & information, and technology supports are identified in the State Plan as education priorities and reviewed current TCDD efforts related to education including Project Ideal, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, and Higher Education projects in the Lubbock area. Cordry proposed monitoring three indicators related to inclusion and transition of students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). These include the percentage of students with IEPs who are in the “regular/typical” classroom for the majority of the day; the number of students who have discretionary placements in Discipline Alternative Education Programs (DAEP); and the number of students who transition to employment or post‐secondary education within one year of leaving school. Monitoring these measures over time could indicate that Council activities have had an influence on those communities and that these measures could then be included in TCDD’s federal reporting. Members discussed the proposed indicators and agreed that this was a good starting point for review.

Members continued to have discussion and agreed to focus on Region 17 where TCDD has various grant projects and compare that to the rest of the state and other regions.

The motion passed unanimously.

Communications Coordinator Melissa Loe noted that the Public Policy Committee will be discussing State Plan Goal 3 related to education campaigns to assist communities to support people with developmental disabilities. The Committee will be discussing possible education campaigns to increase awareness of specific issues and/or to reduce stigma that may negatively impact the life of a person who has a developmental disability. She encouraged members of the Project Development Committee who may have input join the Public Policy Committee for this discussion.


Vice‐Chair Morris adjourned the Committee of the Whole meeting at 1:09 PM.

Roger A. Webb, Secretary to the Council