Minutes — November 2017 Project Development Committee Meeting

2017 Council and Committee Meetings


Committee Members Present

  • Gladys Cortez, Chair
  • Kimberly Blackmon
  • Rachel Jew, DSHS
  • Sara Kendall, TWC
  • Scott McAvoy
  • David Taylor
  • Rick Tisch

Committee Members Absent

  • Mateo Delgado
  • Dana Perry
  • Ron Roberts, TEA

Guest Present

  • Stephanie M. Martinez
  • Sami Rahman
  • Robert Schier III

Staff Present

  • Joanna Cordry
  • Cynthia Ellison
  • Danny Fikac
  • Fernando Rodriguez
  • Angie Rose
  • Joshua Ryf
  • Beth Stalvey, Executive Director

Call To Order

The Project Development Committee met on Thursday, November 2, 2017, at the Hilton Austin Airport Hotel, 9515 Hotel Drive, Austin, Texas 78719. Chair Gladys Cortez called the meeting to order at 1:08 PM. A quorum was present.

  1. Introductions
    Committee members, staff and guests were introduced.

  2. Public Comments
    No public comments were offered.

  3. Consideration Of Minutes
    The Committee reviewed minutes of the August 3, 2017, Project Development Committee meeting. No additions or corrections were noted.

    MOTION: To approve the minutes of the August 3, 2017, Project Development Committee.
    MADE BY: Rick Tisch
    SECOND: Scott McAvoy
    The motion passed unanimously

  4. Chair’s Remarks
    Chair Cortez reported member absences of Mateo Delgado, Dana Perry, and Ron Roberts. Cortez shared her attendance at the 5th Annual Step Up for Down Syndrome Awareness Walk sponsored by the Rio Grande Valley Down Syndrome Association.

    Cortez also participated in a call with Executive Director Beth Stalvey and staff members from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley to collaborate on identifying barriers to services for people with disabilities in that area.

  5. Member Updates
    Committee members discussed personal activities during the previous quarter. Rick Tisch attended the 9th Annual Disability Unity and Pride Celebration. There were no other updates.

  6. Disproportionalities and Disparities Discussion
    Planning Director Joanna Cordry facilitated the discussion on disproportionalities and disparities that focused on grant activities that address needs of diverse communities, including activities conducted in Spanish and languages other than English. TCDD Planning staff continue to review data and look for ways to address disproportionalities and disparities with a goal of engaging culturally diverse groups throughout the planning and grant process.

  7. Staff Reports

    1. Status of New/Approved Projects
      Grants Director Cynthia Ellison reported that seven grants have started since the August 2017 meeting:
      1. Three Youth Leadership Development
      2. One Texas Statewide Sibling Network
      3. Three TCDD Public Policy Fellows

      She also reported that Texas Tech University Project Search concluded and that there are currently 21 active grants. Ellison reviewed the Independent Audit Status Report, noting no exceptions and the Risk Assessment of TCDD projects which did not have changes from the August 2017 report.

    2. Projected Available Funds
      Chair Cortez reviewed the Summary of Funds for FY 2016 to 2017. All funds for FY 2016 have been assigned and although a negative balance for FY 2017 is indicated on the report, this is expected to diminish due to unspent funds from grant projects, delayed starts of projects and funding assigned to RFPs which may not eventually by completely obligated. One new application for Peer Support Specialist for Community-Based Person-Centered Planning was awarded by the Executive Committee.

    3. Other Updates
      Communications Director Joshua Ryf attended Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) hosted by Austin Independent School District. DMD is a program created to help students with disabilities to job shadow professionals in their communities in occupations they find interesting.

      Planning Director Cordry discussed the Request for Proposal (RFP) process and explained the issues and hurdles around the submission of an RFP. The Committee discussed the complexity of the process, the availability of resources to supply additional guidance, and potential solutions to simplify the submission process.

      No other updates were discussed.

  8. Selection of Nominating Committee Member
    Chair Cortez explained the role of the Nominating Committee that is established each year to bring forward nominations for the Council Vice-Chair and Consumer Member-at-Large to serve on the Executive Committee. The Public Policy and Project Development Committee each recommend a Committee member to serve on the Nominating Committee and a third member is selected from the Council. David Taylor was nominated and agreed to be the Project Development representative on the Committee.

    MOTION: To recommended David Taylor as the Project Development Committee representative on the Nominating Committee.
    MADE BY: Scott McAvoy
    MADE BY: Rick Tisch
    The motion passed unanimously.

  9. Future Activities For State Plan Implementation
    1. Executive Summaries:
      1. Next Chapter Book Club
        Cordry presented the Next Chapter Book Club Summary to fund an organization to develop and provide community-based book clubs for adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities. The clubs are for those individuals who choose to meet in a public space for one hour a week to read books aloud and discuss them together. Book clubs provide additional opportunities for individuals to fully participate in their communities, and clubs may be developed in other languages and rural areas. Other Development Disability Councils have implemented book clubs with positive results. This would be part of TCDD plan to promote “meaningful day” activities. The Committee discussed the funding models for the project, the resources needed, and availability to start the clubs as well as the expected outcomes. The proposed funding amount is up to $175,000 the first year; $150,000 the second year; $100,000 the third year; and $75,000 the fourth year for one organization to establish at least 20 Next Chapter Book Clubs.

        MOTION: To recommend Council approval of funding of up to up to $175,000 the first year; $150,000 the second year; $100,000 the third year; and $75,000 the fourth year for one organization to establish at least 20 Next Chapter Book Clubs as described in the Executive summary with preference given to organizations with sites in rural areas.
        MADE BY: Rick Tisch
        SECOND: Scott McAvoy
        The motion passed unanimously.

      2. Aging and Developmental Disabilities
        Planning Specialist Danny Fikac presented the Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Who Are Aging and Their Caregivers Executive Summary. Individuals with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) are outliving parents who are often the primary caregivers. Individuals with I/DD face similar age-related changes in their physical and behavioral health, guardianship, retirement, finances, mobility, and community involvement. This project will identify and address the needs mentioned and include opportunities for family members, individuals, and professionals to increase their capacity to improve the formal and informal supports as well as future planning. The Committee discussed these issues and potential solutions as well as other organizations that can or are currently working on these issues. Additionally, the Committee discussed how to identify and locate families that are not aware of available services and how to address cultural barriers. The proposed funding amount is up to $175,000 per year, per project, for up to three projects, for the duration of up to five years.

        MOTION: To recommend Council approval of up to $175,000 per project, per year, for up to three projects, for up to five years, to address needs of individuals with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities who are aging and their caregivers, as described in the Executive Summary.
        MADE BY: Scott McAvoy
        SECOND: David Taylor
        The motion passed unanimously.

    2. State Plan Projects List
      The Committee discussed the FY 2017 to FY 2021 State Plan Projects List. Planning Director Cordry reviewed the changes and current projects and activities that address each state plan objective. She further discussed ideas for future activities to ensure all objectives are met by the conclusion of the State Plan.

    3. Other Discussion Items:
      1. Next Steps: Health and Fitness
        Cordry provided an overview of three successful health and fitness projects funded in 2011. Any Baby Can of San Antonio Inc., The Texas State Independent Living Council, and the Epilepsy Foundation Texas executed projects which reached their goals to provide inclusive fitness programs for children and adults with disabilities as well as their family members.

        The Committee continued to discuss factors and barriers that prevent healthy lifestyles for people with disabilities, which include the lack of wheelchair accessible fitness centers, climbing obesity rates, healthy food choices, education for caregivers about nutrition and fitness, and encouragement of positive behavior changes. The Committee further discussed the cost of healthy nutrition and the concept of food deserts where there is minimal access to grocery stores which increases the need for convenience stores for groceries and food.

        The Committee agreed there is a continued need to address the disparities in health and fitness that affect people with developmental disabilities (DD). Committee members would like projects that have the potential to impact a broader geographic area and target the highest at-risk populations. Members discussed the policy issue of educating individuals with DD and organizations that serve them as well as dietitians. They further discussed potential projects such as the preparation of healthy meals and cooking classes and the development of a buddy system where a person with DD is paired up with a person who teaches them how to make healthy food choices. The Committee also discussed potential partnerships with local businesses such as HEB, the YMCA, and local food banks to sponsor, co-sponsor or implement programs. Staff was directed to develop a new health and fitness executive summary addressing the discussed concerns and issues.

      2. First Responder Training
        The Committee discussed the First Responder Training presentation from the Committee of the Whole meeting and directed staff to develop an executive summary addressing this issues.

  10. Future Project Funding Priorities
    The Committee discussed the current list of projects that were approved for funding. The Future Funding Priorities list was updated and reorganized as:

    1. Local Self-Advocacy Groups Leadership and Advocacy Training
    2. Support for Student Research-Related Expenses on Disability-Related Topics
    3. Individuals IDD Who are Aging and Their Caregivers
    4. Next Chapter Book Club
    5. Alternatives to Guardianship and Supported Decision Making DD Network Project

    MOTION: To recommend Council approval of the Future Project Funding Priorities list with the addition of the projects in the following order: (1) Local Self-Advocacy Groups Leadership and Advocacy Training; (2) Support for Student Research-Related Expenses on Disability-Related Topics; (3) Individuals IDD Who are Aging and Their Caregivers; (4) Next Chapter Book Club; (5) Alternatives to Guardianship and Supported Decision Making DD Network Project.
    MADE BY: Rick Tisch
    SECOND: David Taylor
    The motion passed unanimously.

  11. Other Discussion Items
    Chair Cortez announced that Jessica Ramos, Public Policy Director submitted her resignation effective November 14, 2017.


Beth Stalvey, Secretary to the Council