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Minutes — Council Meeting, May 2012

2012 Council and Committee Meetings


Council Members Present

  • Mary Durheim, Chair
  • Hunter Adkins
  • Kimberly Blackmon
  • Gladys Cortez
  • Kristen Cox
  • Frank Genco, HHSC
  • Kathy Griffis-Bailey, DSHS
  • Jeff Kaufmann, DADS
  • Cindy Johnston
  • Diana Kern
  • Scott McAvoy
  • Dana Perry
  • Joe Rivas
  • Cindy Swain, TEA
  • David Taylor
  • Lora Taylor
  • Richard Tisch
  • Susan Vardell

Council Members Absent

  • Mike Benz/Amy Sharp, A&M CDD
  • Kristine Clark
  • Brenda Coleman-Beattie
  • Andrew Crim
  • Mateo Delgado
  • Mary Faithfull, DRT
  • Sara Kendall, DARS
  • John Morris
  • Penny Seay, UT CDS

Guests Present

  • Nancy Davenport
  • Michelle Dooley
  • Leteshia Finley
  • Gina Fuller
  • Jennifer Jordan
  • Wade Jordan
  • Carissa Paschall
  • Cindy Paschall
  • Heiwa Salovitz
  • Joe Tate

Staff Members Present

  • Roger Webb, Executive Director
  • Martha Cantu
  • Joanna Cordry
  • Cassie Fisher
  • Sonya Hosey
  • Melissa Loe
  • Jessica Ramos
  • Melissa Rosser
  • Koren Vogel

Call to Order

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities convened on Friday, May 4, 2012, in the Majestic 1 room of the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, 400 North Olive St, Dallas, TX 75201. Council Chair Mary Durheim called the meeting to order at 8:33 AM.

1. Introductions

Council members, staff and guests were introduced.

2. Public Comments

The Council received public comments from Michelle Dooley of Community Now! regarding issues with the Austin State Supported Living Center and asked the Council to address the state’s institutional bias and support community living. She also stated that the time of public comment on the agenda was difficult for residents in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Chair Durheim and Executive Director Roger Webb responded that the position of the Council was in support of community living and that it is a high priority for the Council.

3. Consent Items

Chair Durheim reported the excused absences for the meeting which include John Morris, Kristine Clark, Brenda Coleman-Beattie, Andy Crim, Mateo Delgado, Mike Benz/Amy Sharp (Tx A&M Center for Development and Disability), Sara Kendall (DARS), Penny Seay (Center for Disability Studies-UT), and Mary Faithfull (Disability Rights Texas). Durheim asked for a motion to approve the excused absences and the minutes of the February Council and Committee of the Whole meetings.

MOTION: To approve the excused absences as noted and minutes of the February 9–10, 2012, meetings as presented.

MADE BY: Rick Tisch

SECOND: Lora Taylor

The motion passed unanimously.

4. Chair’s Report

Chair Durheim expressed her gratitude to Eric Jacobson, Executive Director of the Georgia DD Council for his presentation at the Committee of the Whole and his participation in the Project Development Committee meeting.

5. Executive Director’s Report

Executive Director Webb reported that Council Vice-Chair John Morris and Council member David Taylor and staff members Cassie Fisher and Joanna Cordry have been approved to attend the ADD Technical Assistance Institute in Arlington, VA in June. The NACDD Fall Conference will take place in Los Angeles in October and members who are interested should contact Webb or Durheim.

Webb discussed the ADD Self-Advocacy summit and referred members to a handout that highlights the purpose of the summit as well as goals set by the team from Texas. He noted that the Minnesota DD Council is celebrating its 25th anniversary of Partners in Policymaking with just over 800 graduates in its 25 years. There are over 21,000 graduates nationwide and Texas graduated over 500 in its 13 years of the program.

Webb reported that the Arc of the Gulf Coast has decided to not accept an award for a Leadership and Advocacy Skills Training project that was approved in November. The Arc of the Gulf Coast has had a change in leadership, and found that partnerships anticipated on the project were not secure. Their Board decided to forego the grant since they were not comfortable that it could be managed successfully. Funds for that project will thus be available for other DD projects.

6. Future Funding Activities

Project Development Committee Chair Susan Vardell discussed an executive summary for Building Community Capacity through Collaboration projects that is potentially a 3-phased project. The Committee recommends approval for funding for the first two phases. Phase 1 will establish a network of organizations and individuals committed to developing and supporting inclusive communities and developing a strategic plan to build the capacity for those communities. Phase 2 will implement the strategic plans developed in Phase 1. Phase 3 would review the information from the first two phases and determine how it can be used for future activities.

MOTION: To approve grant funding for four (4) Building Community Capacity through Collaboration projects with funding up to $75,000 per project for up to 18 months for Phase 1 and funding of up to $150,000 per year per project for up to five years for Phase 2.

MADE BY: Susan Vardell for the Project Development Committee (motions from a Committee do not need a second)

The motion passed unanimously. (Attachment 1 — PDF, 165KB, 6 pages)

Vardell next discussed the TCDD Outreach and Development grants. Five projects were previously funded for $10,000 each. The RFP for additional projects was placed on hold at the request of TCDD grants management staff due to the time intensive nature of the projects. Staff are now ready to begin accepting applications for these projects again and the Committee agreed to continue with the RFP. TCDD will review applications and has funds available for up to $10,000 per project for up to one year for five additional projects.

Vardell next discussed a Support for Community Leaders to Build Informal Supports project. This project is proposed to be in collaboration with the Hogg Foundation for work in the Behavioral Health Network. Cordry added that this proposal came from a group of pastors who recognized the need for supporting members of their congregations with developmental disabilities and/or mental illness. Staff plan to bring an executive summary for consideration at the July 2012 meeting but this is contingent on input from the Hogg Foundation.

Vardell discussed the executive summary for Support of Self-Advocates at Texas Conferences activities. She noted that TCDD has long had a stipend program to assist self-advocates and family members to attend conferences. The first project would provide funding for a grantee to recruit and coordinate self-advocates who would like to be conference speakers. Funding for this grant project would be at $125,000 per year for up to four years which includes $75,000 for direct support of speakers. Two additional projects would provide sponsorships for plenary and concurrent/track speakers at conferences through a grant to conference or event sponsor organizations. The Committee further recommended that a disclaimer be developed to say speakers are sponsored by TCDD but may not necessarily represent the positions of the Council.

MOTION: To approve grant funding of up to $125,000/year for up to 4 years to recruit and coordinate self-advocates participating as conference speakers. To further approve $75,000 to sponsor plenary speakers on developmental disabilities issues and $75,000 in to sponsor concurrent/track speakers on developmental disabilities issues.

MADE BY: Susan Vardell for the Project Development Committee

The motion passed without opposition. David Taylor abstained from voting. (Attachment 2 — PDF, 250KB, 5 pages)

Public Policy Committee Chair Joe Rivas reported that the Committee discussed a Public Education and Outreach campaign on accessible parking. He noted that staff research has determined that reserved spaces may be designated as a “van” space but it is not illegal to park a standard sized car in those spaces as long as it has a placard. The Committee recommends Council approval for a public education campaign surrounding accessible parking.

MOTION: To conduct a public education campaign focused on accessible parking.

MADE BY: Joe Rivas for the Public Policy Committee

The motion passed unanimously.

Vardell discussed Future Funding Priorities. She noted that the two new projects (Building Community Capacity through Collaboration & Support of Self-Advocates at Texas Conferences) are placed as number 7 & 8 on the priority list with expected “roll-out” dates of June 2012.

7. Public Comments — continued

Chair Durheim recognized members of the public who arrived to provide public comment after the start of the meeting and invited them to provide comments at this point.

Cindy Paschall expressed concerns regarding the lack of knowledge of person-directed planning. She asked that education surrounding this issue be made a priority. She also expressed concern for grass-roots organizations to access TCDD grants. She noted that it is difficult for many small organizations without paid staff to navigate the paperwork and administer the grant. She found it to be overwhelming when attempting to apply for stipends.

Heiwa Solovitz of Adapt of Texas spoke about the lack of funding for community services. He also mentioned that he did not know about the meeting until 24 hours prior and asked for alternative means of submitting input. Salovitz also submitted written comments on behalf of Adapt.

Joe Tate of Community Now! spoke about the ADD Self-Advocacy Summit and added that TCDD grants are difficult for self-advocates and grass-roots organizations to access. He encouraged the Council to continue projects with a community-living focus.

8. TCDD Position Statements

Public Policy Committee Vice-Chair Kristen Cox presented the position statements as reviewed by the Committee. She noted that the alternative draft Access to Health Care statement was chosen by the Committee with minor revisions. She also noted that the Service Coordination (PDF) and Guardianship statements are recommended for Council approval as presented. She noted that the Family Support Services statement was renamed as Family Support and a minor technical revision was made to the Children and Families statement.

MOTION: To accept the proposed revisions to the Access to Health Care, Service Coordination (PDF), Guardianship, Family Support, and Children and Families position statements as presented by the Committee.

MADE BY: Kristen Cox for the Public Policy Committee

Council member Kathy Griffis-Bailey questioned the new Access to Health Care statement in that it does not have language regarding “medical homes” and stated that it is important to have that topic included in the statement. Executive Director Webb suggested adding language regarding “medical home” from the previous statement to the new statement and Griffis-Bailey was in agreement to this. After discussion about process, it was agreed to add the language regarding “medical home” to the statement for approval and the statement will be reviewed again.

The motion passed unanimously. (Attachment 3 as approved — PDF, 170KB, 11 pages)

9. Proposed Amendments to TCDD Rules

Chair Durheim and Executive Director Webb reviewed the proposed amendments to TCDD Rules to be posted for public comment. They noted that the only substantive change is regarding Council procedures in considering unsolicited ideas and requests for funding. The amendments and Rules for review will be posted for public comment and considered for final adoption at the next meeting.

MOTION: To approve the posting of proposed amendments to TCDD Rules for public comment.

MADE BY: Mary Durheim for the Executive Committee

The motion passed unanimously. (Attachment 4 — PDF, 100KB, 7 pages)

10. Executive Committee Report

Chair Durheim reviewed the stipends approved during the following quarter to:

  • Texas Parent to Parent was awarded $6,000 for the 8th Annual Texas Parent to Parent Conference on June 29–30, 2012, in San Marcos.
  • American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities — Texas Chapter (AAIDD-Tx) was awarded $6,000 for the 2012 AAIDD-Tx Convention on July 24–27, 2012, in Corpus Christi.

Durheim reported that a new grant project was awarded in the amount of $35,000/year for two years and $15,000 for the third year to Helpful Interventions to provide support for the Gulf Coast of Texas African American Family Support Conference.

Durheim also reported that continuation grant awards were approved for the following organizations:

  • Community Healthcore for up to $37,635 for the final three months of a customized self-employment project
  • Region 17 ESC for up to $120,000 for the fifth and final year of the Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports — Head Start project
  • Region 17 ESC for up to $115,000 for the fifth and final year of the Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports — Disproportionate Impact project
  • Texas A&M University for up to $150,000 for the fifth and final year of the Texas Advanced Leadership and Advocacy Conference
  • VSA Texas Artworks for up to $25,000 for the final two months of the Creative Industries Self-Employment project.

TCDD Operations Director Martha Cantu reviewed the quarterly financial report and noted that current year operating expenses are being expensed to the previous year’s funds to allow those funds to be fully expended. TCDD has two years to obligate funds and three years to spend but it would be a risk to obligate the prior fiscal year funds to new grant projects that do not always have a stable and predictable spending pattern. Cantu noted that by FY 2013, the increased number of grant projects should allow operating expenses to be funded by that current fiscal year. She also discussed the grants and projects summary of funds which indicates which fiscal year funds are obligated to which projects. Durheim expressed the importance of approving grant projects in an expedited manner to avoid a gap in activities therefore creating an excess of funds.

The Executive Committee reviewed the Conflict of Interest disclosure reports and had no concerns. Durheim reminded members to review their information and provide updates as necessary.

11. Project Development Committee Report

Vardell reported that the Project Development Committee reviewed the peer review input on the 2012–2016 State Plan. Committee members also discussed feedback received in the public input forum.

12. Public Policy Committee Report

Cox reported that the Public Policy Committee received updates on state and federal policy issues as well as State Supported Living Center Monitoring Activities. The Committee also made technical revisions to the minutes of the February 2012 Committee meeting. Rivas reported on the Public Information report and discussed the progress of the re-design to the TCDD website. He noted that the new site will be better accessible through mobile devices as this is becoming a more prevalent way to access the internet. Rivas also reported on the progress of the TCDD Biennial Disability Report and noted that the technical writer is reviewing data from state agencies and staff will prepare recommendations to be presented at the July meeting.

13. Announcements and Updates

Council members reviewed the dates and locations of upcoming meetings. Durheim noted that legislative advocacy training will be presented at the October meeting.


Chair Durheim adjourned the Council meeting at 10:38 AM.

Roger A. Webb, Secretary to the Council