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Minutes — Project Development Committee Meeting, February 2012

2012 Council and Committee Meetings


Committee Members Present

  • Susan Vardell, Chair
  • Dana Perry, Vice Chair
  • Kimberly Blackmon
  • Kristine Clark
  • Andrew Crim
  • Kathy Griffis-Bailey
  • John C. Morris
  • Cindy Swain, TEA

Committee Members Absent

  • Kristen Cox
  • Diana Kern

Guests Present

  • James Faragoza – Attendant
  • Gina Fuller – Attendant

Staff Present

  • Jeri Barnard
  • Joanna Cordry
  • Martha Cantu
  • Cynthia Ellison
  • Wendy Jones
  • Sonya Hosey
  • Melissa Loe

Call to Order

The Project Development Committee met on Thursday, February 9, 2012, in the Bluebonnet Room at the Austin Marriott South at 4415 South IH-35, Austin, Texas 78744. Chair Susan Vardell called the meeting to order at 1:20 p.m. A quorum was present.

1. Introduction of Committee Members, Staff and Visitors

Committee members, staff and guests were introduced.

2. Public Comments

No public comments were offered.

3. Approval of Minutes

The Committee reviewed minutes of the November 3, 2011, Committee meeting.

MOTION: To approve the minutes of the November 3, 2011, Project Development Committee meeting minutes as presented.

MADE BY: Kathy Griffis-Bailey

SECOND: Dana Perry

The motion passed unanimously.

4. Chair’s Report

Committee Chair Susan Vardell reviewed discussions of the Executive Committee including public comments from Thelma Scott, Rachel Nava, and Craig Spradling. Executive Director Webb briefed the Executive Committee on plans for a regional Self Advocacy Summit hosted by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities in Chicago April 19–20, 2012. TCDD is a member of the Summit Team and is providing financial support for some self advocate team members to attend. The Summit is planned as a way to assess what is currently happening in the states to support self-advocacy efforts and to develop plans to strengthen efforts at the state level. Acting Council Chair John Morris has approved Webb to represent TCDD, and TCDD will need to help with travel expenses for 2–4 self advocates.

5. Grants and Projects Report

  1. Staff Activities Report
    Planning Coordinator Joanna Cordry briefly reviewed a summary of feedback received by TCDD staff from a peer review of the State Plan. Grants Management Director Sonya Hosey provided information about continuation grant awards approved by the Executive Committee: SafePlace’s Meaningful Relationships project and The Arc of San Angelo’s Alternatives to Guardianship project. Hosey and Cordry provided information about a Capacity Building contract that was awarded to the Circle of 10. They will work with Leadership & Advocacy training grantees to help them to increase their resources, by providing intensive 3 day trainings, offering individualized assistance in grant writing, and helping grantees network with other organizations. Hosey noted that negotiations have been completed for 14 out of 16 grant projects approved at the November meeting.

  2. Projected Available Funds
    Operations Director Martha Cantu reviewed the TCDD Quarterly Financial Report including the Summary of Funds for FY 2009–2012; FY 2011 Expense Budgets; Current Grants and Contracts Projections; and Stipends Expenditures.

6. Public Information Report

Communications Coordinator, Melissa Loe provided updates on materials distributed, social media, and website visits.

7. Member Updates

The Committee received reports from Andrew Crim and Vice Chair Dana Perry about advocacy-related activities in which they were involved. Perry successfully advocated for a DADS on-site review of a local residential facility that had an infestation of bedbugs; action was taken to correct the issue.

8. State Plan Implementation and Future Funding Activities

The Committee reviewed progress made on State Plan Goals and Objectives and action to be taken in the next 3–6 months.

A. Next Steps — Outreach and Development Activities
Crim summarized discussion of a workgroup established to develop recommendations for “next steps” based on efforts of TCDD outreach and development projects (Attached). The Committee discussed the recommendations and directed staff to explore what would be required to implement them.

MOTION: To endorse the overall recommendations of the workgroup report and ask the workgroup to continue their work and explore implementation strategies with staff, and to include a member of the Public Policy committee in the workgroup.

MADE BY: Kathy Griffis-Bailey

SECOND: Kristine Clark

The motion passed unanimously.

B. Health Goal Activities
Cordry reviewed the State Plan Goal 5, which reflects an intention to build the capacity of communities to support individuals with developmental disabilities and prevent unnecessary state supported living center admissions. Staff have already begun to gather data regarding related strengths and needs in different HHSC regions, and TCDD is currently working to strengthen communities through activities such as funding 4 new projects to promote inclusive faith-based communities. Staff intend to gather information on admissions to State Supported Living Centers, including the reasons why people are admitted. Additionally, the Council will hear a presentation from Eric Jacobson, Georgia DD Council Executive Director, in May about actions that the Georgia Council has taken to strengthen communities. Staff recommend that the Committee also request ideas from previous and current grantees who implemented Project DOCC and/or similar programs, the Transition Medicine Clinic, and PBIS projects to get their input and recommendations for future projects related to this Goal. The Committee asked staff to get input from those grantees, and others who worked with them, including recommendations for future projects. The Committee discussed other possible ideas to address the goal and decided to wait until further information was available before taking any further action.

C. Leadership and Advocacy Training Network
The Committee reviewed Goal 6 and discussed activities to promote leadership and advocacy. Staff noted that since these activities were placed on this list, several new related strategies have been implemented, including: TCDD’s involvement in the Self-Advocacy Summit in Chicago; staff facilitation of monthly conference calls and sharing of information via a Yahoo group that includes leadership and advocacy training grantees; the initiation of a contract with Circle of 10 to help grantees increase their revenue; and reviewing the lessons learned through the Outreach and Development grants. Other possible activities have been identified in the State Plan or by staff but have not yet been implemented, such as providing support for organizations holding conferences to have speakers who are self-advocates and/or exploring how social media is being used to help people around the state participate in hearings at the Texas Senate. Committee members noted that social media provides avenues for collaboration and information-sharing that did not previously exist. Staff recommended that the Committee consider removing the Statewide Advocacy Training Network and the Regional Network Development activities from the list of Future Funding Activities, make funds that are currently reserved for those activities available for other activities, and revisit the idea at a later date, after TCDD can review the outcomes of current activities.

MOTION: To remove the Statewide Advocacy Training Network and the Regional Advocacy Training Network development activities from the list of future funding activities and in calculations when estimating projected available funds.

MADE BY: John Morris

SECOND: Andrew Crim

The motion passed without opposition; Susan Vardell abstained.

The Committee also expressed the intention to revisit the need for advocacy training networks and/or advocacy networks in the future. The Committee also discussed the need to support younger, “up and coming” self-advocates to be leaders, and directed staff to develop a project idea to ensure that individuals who would make strong leaders in the future are identified and supported to develop their skills.

9. Future Project Funding Priorities

The Committee reviewed and agreed by consensus to remove #3: Statewide Advocacy Training Network and #7: Regional Advocacy Training Network development activities from the Future Funding Activities Priorities list. All other items on the list will remain the same.


There being no further business, Chair Susan Vardell adjourned the meeting at 3:25 PM.

Roger A. Webb, Secretary to the Council Date