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Minutes — Council 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
  • Mary Faithfull, DRT
  • Frank Genco, HHSC
  • 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

  • Amanda Dunnavant
  • Leteshia Finely
  • Gina Fuller

Staff Present

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

Call to Order

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities convened on Friday, February 10, 2012, in the Salon C&D Room at the Marriott Austin South, 4415 South IH‐35, Austin, TX 78745. Council Vice‐Chair John C. Morris called the meeting to order at 8:45 AM.

1. Introductions

Council members, staff and guests were introduced.

2. Public Comments

No public comments were offered.

3. Consideration of Minutes

Vice‐Chair Morris asked for a motion to approve minutes of the November Council and Committee of the Whole meetings and to excuse absences for Brenda Coleman‐Beattie, Mateo Delgado, Mary Durheim, and Diana Kern.

MOTION: To approve the excused absences as noted and minutes of the November 3–4,

MADE BY: Mary Faithfull

SECOND: Cindy Johnston

The motion passed unanimously.

4. Chair’s Report

Morris reported on opportunities for Council Members to attend upcoming national conferences and indicated that Kris (Bissmeyer) Clark and Public Policy Director Jessica Ramos will attend the Disability Policy Seminar in Washington, D.C., April 23–25, 2012. The ADD Technical Assistance Institute will be held in Washington, DC, June 14–15, 2012, and the NACDD Fall Conference will be held in Los Angeles, October 14–16, 2012. Members who are interested in attending should contact the Council Chair or Executive Director Webb.

5. Executive Director’s Report

Webb reported that Sonya Hosey was selected as Grants Management Director beginning December 1, 2011, and Jessica Ramos was selected as the Public Policy Director and started with TCDD on January 2, 2012. The Web Administrator position (formerly occupied by Rosalinda Lopez) has been posted and the Grants Specialist position will be posted shortly.

Webb reported that federal appropriations for DD Councils were reduced by 0.23% for FY 2012 which reduces funding for TCDD by $13,838. Webb reviewed an invitation for Texas to participate in a regional self advocacy summit in Chicago on April 19–20, 2012, sponsored by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities. Webb will represent TCDD at the summit. He is also coordinating a collaborative effort of organizations that will sponsor self advocates from Texas to attend the summit. TCDD will likely assist 4–5 self‐advocates to attend, including personal assistants if needed.

Webb reviewed a tentative schedule for May 2012 meetings in Dallas which will include a public input session on Wednesday evening and time for public input during the meetings.

Webb recognized Grants Management Specialist Cynthia Ellison for five years with TCDD and noted that she has been with state government for many more years serving people with disabilities.

6. Election of Council Vice-Chair & Consumer Member-at-Large to the Executive Committee

Kristine Clark reported for the Nominations Committee which also included Kathy Griffis‐Bailey and Lora Taylor. Clark reviewed the process for election of Council Vice‐Chair and the Consumer Member‐at‐Large to the Executive Committee. Emails were sent to Council members soliciting input for both positions which the Committee reviewed. The Committee recommended John Morris for a second term as Council Vice‐Chair and Hunter Adkins for a second term as the Consumer Member-at‐Large to the Executive Committee. No other nominations were presented from the floor.

MOTION: To elect John C. Morris as Council Vice‐Chair and Hunter Adkins as Consumer Member‐at‐Large to the Executive Committee.

MADE BY: Kris Clark for the Nominating Committee (Motions from a committee do not need a second.)

The motion passed unanimously.

7. Future Funding Activities

Project Development Committee Chair Susan Vardell noted that the Committee received a report from the ad‐hoc workgroup (John Morris, Cindy Swain, Andy Crim & Gladys Cortez) on Next Steps for Outreach and Development Activities. The Committee recommends that the workgroup continue its discussions and develop possible activities for consideration by the Committee. The Committee also recommends adding a member from the Public Policy Committee on the workgroup.

MOTION: To support the overall recommendations presented by the Outreach and Development Workgroup and to add a member from the Public Policy Committee.

MADE BY: Susan Vardell for the Project Development Committee

The motion passed unanimously. (Attachment included with Project Development Committee minutes)

The Project Development Committee had further discussion regarding statewide leadership development and advocacy skills training and regional network development. Vardell reported that the Committee recommends removing the Regional Network Development and the Statewide Leadership Advocacy Training Network from the Future Funding Priorities List. Removing the proposed project from the Priorities List would allow those funds to be budgeted for other projects. The Committee asked staff to develop ideas for a possible project to provide leadership and advocacy skills training for self advocates. Without these projects, TCDD does not have well‐defined plans for Leadership Development and Advocacy Skills Training beyond 2014, but expects to continue to provide support for local advocacy programs as is noted in the State Plan.

MOTION: To remove the Statewide Leadership Advocacy Training Network and Regional Network Development from the Future Funding Activities Priorities List.

MADE BY: Susan Vardell for the Project Development Committee Amy Sharp, Center for Disability and Development, asked about the Committee’s intent to continue statewide leadership training activities past 2014. Cordry explained that the activities being removed are not for statewide training projects but only for a statewide network that provides assistance across various training efforts. Vardell further clarified that the Committee does not expect to lose these ideas but prefers to gather more information before moving forward.

The motion passed unanimously.

Vardell further reported that the Committee discussed the goal to further develop the capacity of community programs necessary to reduce unnecessary admissions to state supported living centers and asked staff to obtain input from current and past grantees related to this issue.

8. TCDD Position Statements

Public Policy Committee Chair Joe Rivas reported that the Committee recommends adoption of amendments to TCDD Position Statements on Children & Families, Emergency Preparedness, Right to Privacy, and Transportation. Public Policy Specialist Cassie Fisher reviewed the proposed amendments as presented by the Committee.

MOTION: To approve the amendments as presented for the following TCDD Position Statements: Children and Families, Emergency Preparedness, Public Transportation Systems and Right to Privacy.

MADE BY: Joe Rivas for the Public Policy Committee

It was noted that wording in all the documents will be changed from “the Council believes” to “the Council supports the position of”.

The motion passed unanimously. (Attachments included with Public Policy Committee minutes)

9. State Plan Implementation Discussion

The Council accepted by consensus the decisions from the Committee of the Whole regarding measures for education activities described in the Goal 1 of TCDD State Plan.

10. Public Policy Committee Report

Committee Chair Rivas reported on discussions of the Public Policy Committee including staff updates on a policy statement about mental health prevention and early intervention developed by a stakeholder group and updates about Medicaid waivers, Medicaid cost‐containment initiatives, and State Supported Living Center monitoring activities. The Committee also discussed federal policy issues and updates to manufactured homes requirements for wider doorways.

Council Vice‐Chair Morris noted that Kristen Cox has accepted the position of Public Policy Committee Vice‐Chair and in addition will serve on the ad‐hoc workgroup for outreach and development activities. Rivas also discussed the progress of the 2012 Biennial Disability Report. Staff received commitments from agencies to share data and have received bids for the technical writer to compile the report. Interviews will soon be conducted and a selection will be made.

11. Project Development Committee Report

Committee Chair Vardell welcomed Sonya Hosey as Grants Management Director and noted that Hosey reported 16 new grants are in the works. A contract was recently awarded to the Circle of Ten that will provide training for Leadership and Advocacy Skills Training grantees on project sustainability. Vardell complimented Communications Coordinator Melissa Loe on the Public Information Report and encouraged members to review the accomplishments noted in that report.

Committee members discussed their own advocacy efforts and Vardell noted that Dana Perry greatly contributed to the efforts to rescue nursing home residents from a bed‐bug infestation.

Morris invited Kristen Cox to speak on the opening of the El Paso Children’s Hospital for which she is a board member. The hospital is scheduled to open February 14, 2012 and was the largest metropolitan area without a free‐standing children’s hospital.

12. Executive Committee Report

Vice‐Chair Morris reported that the Executive Committee reviewed the grants activities reports and noted that no concerns were found. Webb briefly highlighted the information provided in both reports.

The Committee reviewed an appeal from the Texas Impact Education Fund (TIEF) for the decision in November to not approve funding for two proposals submitted by TIEF for Inclusive Faith‐Based Communities Symposium projects. Neither proposal from TIEF was recommended as fundable by the independent review panel and funding was approved for four other proposals. The Committee upheld its original decision to not approve funding for either of the proposals submitted by TIEF.

The Committee approved continuation grant funding for up to $177,022 to SafePlace for the second of a three year Meaningful Relationships project and for up to $73,941 to the Arc of San Angelo for the second of a three year Alternatives to Guardianship project.

Morris reported that the Committee discussed the quarterly financial report and no concerns were noted. Operations Director Martha Cantu noted that there appears to be a large negative balance for FY12 but clarified that over $740,000 will carry over from FY11 that can still be obligated in FY12 in addition to more than $200,000 remaining from operating expenses. Other funds will become available as grantees do not spend all funds allocated to them so the negative balance will not remain.

Council Member Cox asked if remaining funds could be allocated to unsolicited requests for funding. Webb indicated that the Council’s current procedures allow for unsolicited ideas but do not allow the Council to consider unsolicited requests for funding. In addition, project funding is guided by the TCDD State Plan. Morris and Project Development Committee Chair Vardell reviewed past efforts related to unsolicited projects. Planning Coordinator Cordry noted that the State Plan includes an activity that allows the Council to consider other “unplanned” ideas but the Project Development Committee has not yet considered how to implement that activity. Cordry noted that one option would be an “open” RFP for ideas or projects. Council member Andy Crim asked for this topic to be placed on the Project Development Committee agenda for the next quarter.

Webb discussed requirements for agencies to review Rules every four years. TCDD last reviewed rules in 2008 and will do so again during 2012. The agency can choose to re‐adopt with no changes, repeal any Rules that are no longer needed, or adopt existing Rules with amendments as appropriate. Webb briefly reviewed a few minor amendments identified by staff that will be considered in May. Any amendments approved by the Council will be posted for a 30‐day public comment period. Comments will be reviewed by the Executive Committee in August before recommending amendments to the Council for final adoption.

Morris reported that the Committee reviewed the Conflict of Interest Disclosure reports and noted that no concerns were noted. Members should provide updates as needed.

13. Announcements and Updates

Webb reviewed plans for the Council meeting in May 2012 which will be held in Dallas at the Sheraton Dallas. Council members discussed the Texas Technology Access presentation to the Committee of the Whole and asked if the project could provide a list of iPad applications that are of benefit people with disabilities to members.


Vice‐Chair Morris adjourned the Council meeting at 10:23 AM.

Roger A. Webb, Secretary to the Council