Minutes — May 2018 Public Policy Committee Meeting


Council Members Present

  • Lora Taylor, Committee Chair
  • Kristen Cox
  • Mary Durheim
  • Stephen Gersuk
  • Ruth Mason
  • Megan Orsag, TAMU – CDD
  • Michael Peace
  • Amy Sharp, UT – CDS
  • Dana Williamson, HHSC/Medicaid

Committee Members Absent

  • Hunter Adkins
  • Mary Faithfull, DRTx
  • Brandon Pharris

Guests Present

  • Jan Brown
  • Belinda Carlton
  • Lauren Gerken, TCDD Policy Fellow
  • Stacey Hailey
  • Ron Lucey
  • Ginger Mayeaux
  • Alexandra Noble, TCDD Policy Fellow
  • Fran Robertson
  • Rona Statman
  • Christa Walikonis, TCDD Policy Fellow
  • Havilah Walsh
  • Tiffany Williams, TCDD Policy Fellow

Staff Present

  • Linda Logan
  • Josh Ryf
  • Beth Stalvey, Executive Director
  • Koren Vogel

Call To Order

The Public Policy Committee of the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) convened on Thursday, May 3, 2018 in Yucca/San Pedro Room of the Embassy Suites Austin Central, 5901 North IH 35, Austin, TX 78723. Public Policy Committee Chair Lora Taylor called the meeting to order at 1:07 PM.

  1. Introductions
    Chair Taylor asked the Committee members, staff, and guests to introduce themselves and discuss events or other activities they were anticipating in the coming months.
    Former TCDD Public Policy Specialist Belinda Carlton noted that she was attending the meeting in a supportive capacity for member Ruth Mason.

  2. Public Comments
    No public comments were offered to the Committee.

  3. Consideration of Minutes
    The Committee reviewed the minutes from the February 8, 2018, Public Policy Committee meeting and offered no corrections or additions.

    MOTION: To approve the minutes of the February 8, 2018, Public Policy Committee meeting.
    MADE BY: Kristen Cox
    SECOND: Michael Peace
    The motion passed unanimously.

  4. Chair’s Remarks
    Chair Taylor reviewed absences and welcomed guests.

  5. Member Updates
    Ruth Mason offered comments about the Specialized Telecommunications Assistance Program (STAP) and noted the complexities and delays in receiving services through this program were detrimental to those that need them. HHSC representative Dana Williamson offered to discuss specific cases with Mason outside the meeting and assist where possible. Members directed staff to draft a letter on this issue to the Health and Human Services Commission.

  6. Collaboration with Policy Partners – Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities.
    Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities (GCPD) Executive Director Ron Lucey and Research Specialist Fran Robertson discussed GCPD efforts to address accessible parking issues in Texas. Lucey noted that the 84th Texas Legislature charged GCPD to study parking laws in Texas as well as other states; parking requirements for people with disabilities in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, 2012 Texas Accessibility Standards; and parking policies for people with disabilities in state-owned parking lots. As part of this study, an online public survey was conducted with more than 7,500 responses that highlighted four major concerns: lack of enforcement, need for more accessible parking spaces, abuse of disabled parking placards, and lack of education on accessible parking.

    Lucey discussed the response to the study, the 2016 Accessible Parking Report which was presented for the 85th Texas Legislature. Robertson discussed 12 recommendations that GCPD offered on accessible parking to the legislature and the four bills which were filed based on those recommendations. One bill became law and will require death record information to be shared between the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas Department of Transportation in an effort to reduce parking placard fraud. Additional recommendations will be presented to the 86th Texas Legislature.

    Lucey also discussed parking laws and best practices from other states. He reported that a National Accessible Parking Coalition has been formed and GCPD is a member of this coalition. The coalition conducted an additional survey which showed the barriers to accessible parking and the impact this has on the independence of people with disabilities.

  7. TCDD Public Policy Priorities
    Chair Taylor reviewed the 2017 Public Policy Priorities which included Long-Term Services and Supports, Employment, Education, and Guardianship Reform and Supported Decision-Making. She posed the question to members if there was still a need for guardianship reform to remain a priority since significant progress had been made on this issue. Belinda Carlton who continues to advocate strongly on this issue spoke to ongoing efforts of advocacy groups. Members also indicated that transportation and parking issues should be included as a priority for 2019. Members directed staff to bring draft recommendations for further discussion at the August Committee meeting.

  8. Future Activities for State Plan Implementation
    The Committee discussed an executive summary entitled Public Policy in TCDD Grants Projects in which an external contractor would compile a grant summary report and database for projects funded by TCDD in the past 15 years. The report would identify key products, deliverables, and lessons learned from past projects so that the information can be easily used in ongoing public policy education and advocacy efforts.

    MOTION: To recommend Council approval of up to $10,000 for Public Policy in TCDD Grants Projects summary report.
    MADE BY: Michael Peace
    SECOND: Kristen Cox
    The motion passed unanimously.

  9. State and Federal Policy Update
    Public Policy Specialist Linda Logan provide updates on current challenges to the ADA, the Texas Education Agency Corrective Action Plan regarding identifying the need for and providing special education services, collaborative efforts to provide training on trauma-informed care, and priorities of the National Council on Disability to eliminate sub-minimum wage employment. Logan also discussed a proposed repeal of HHSC rules regarding manifest dangerous residents in facility-based programs. Members recommended a letter expressing the potential impact of the repeal of those rules.

  10. Other Discussion Items
    The Committee discussed a potential survey to legislative offices that would address legislators and their staff members’ knowledge, interest and awareness on disability issues. Members and guests discussed the advantages and disadvantages of an identified or anonymous survey.


There being no further business, Committee Chair Lora Taylor adjourned the meeting at 4:04 PM.

Beth Stalvey, Secretary to the Council