Minutes — February 2018 Project Development Committee Meeting


Committee Members Present

  • Gladys Cortez, Chair
  • Kimberly Blackmon
  • Ivy Goldstein, DSHS
  • Jennifer Kaut, TWC
  • Scott McAvoy
  • Dana Perry
  • David Taylor
  • Rick Tisch

Committee Members Absent

  • Mateo Delgado
  • Ron Roberts, TEA

Guest Present

  • Gina Matizzi-Fuller

Staff Present

  • Martha Cantu
  • Joanna Cordry
  • Cynthia Ellison
  • Danny Fikac
  • Robert Garcia
  • Sylvia Medina
  • Fernando Rodriguez

Call To Order

The Project Development Committee met on Thursday, February 8, 2018 at the Holiday Inn Austin Midtown, 6000 Middle Fiskville Rd, Austin, Texas 78752. Chair Gladys Cortez called the meeting to order at 1:20 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 November 2, 2017 Project Development Committee meeting. No additions or corrections were noted.

    MOTION: To approve the minutes of the November 2, 2017 Project Development Committee.
    MADE BY: Scott McAvoy
    SECOND: David Taylor
    The motion passed unanimously

  4. Chair’s Remarks
    Chair Cortez announced member absences of Mateo Delgado and Ron Roberts from Texas Education Agency (TEA). Cortez noted that Roberts is working to find another appropriate designate from his agency.

  5. Member Updates
    Committee members reported personal updates on family activities from the past quarter.

  6. Staff Reports
    1. Status of New and Approved Projects
      Grants Management Director Cynthia Ellison reported that the Peer Support Specialist for Community-Based Person-Centered Planning project by Imagine Arts is still in negotiations.

    2. Projected Available Funds
      Operations Director Martha Cantu reported that TCDD projects are currently operating from Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 funds, with $178,596 to be assigned by September 2018. $1.7 million of FY 2018 funds has been reserved for planned projects. Cantu addressed questions about the allocation of funds from different fiscal years to projects.

    3. Other Updates
      Chair Cortez discussed plans to address disproportionality and disparities as a part of all activities instead of as a separate meeting agenda item. Planning Specialist Danny Fikac reported that the Request for Proposals (RFP) and the project application ask applicants to address disparities. Members discussed requiring grantees to include a defined percentage of people who are typically unserved or underserved in all project activities verses funding individual projects to address the needs of distinctly defined groups. Council members noted that TCDD could collaborate with other organizations around this issue and that helping grantees become familiar with TCDD’s State Plan would increase their awareness of other TCDD projects that they could partner with.

    Staff reported the following RFPs were reposted and are closing on March 16, 2018:

    • Leadership and Advocacy Training by Local Self-Advocacy Groups
    • Public Policy Fellows

  7. Future Activities For State Plan Implementation
    1. Executive Summaries

      1. First Responder Training
        Planning Director Cordry presented the First Responder Training Executive Summary. If approved, TCDD would contract with an organization or individual to survey the state and determine needs and resources related to training for law enforcement officers, firefighters, paramedics, emergency medical services and other rescuers to support positive interactions with individuals with developmental disabilities. First responders often don’t have sufficient training to recognize invisible disabilities or how to support people across disabilities. TCDD’s position statement on Criminal Justice stresses the need for comprehensive law enforcement officer training in dealing and working with people with developmental disabilities.

        The Committee discussed ideas for how the RFP would be written and the amount of funding needed for a contractor to conduct a statewide survey to provide TCDD with information about existing resources, identifying needs and finding opportunities to partner with organizations and stakeholders. The Committee determined the funding amount should be raised to $50,000.

        MOTION: To recommend approval of up to $50,000 for up to 18 months to conduct a statewide survey and provide TCDD with information about existing resources, needs, opportunities, and input from stakeholders related to the need for training for First Responders.
        MADE BY: Scott McAvoy
        SECOND: Dana Perry
        The motion passed unanimously.

      2. Health and Wellness
        Planning Specialist Fikac presented the Health and Wellness executive summary. The FY 2017 to FY 2021 State Plan addresses the need to improve the health and wellness of individuals and their families with developmental disabilities. Issues surrounding health and wellness include chronic disease, health disparities, access to education, and food deserts that all have an impact on a person’s wellbeing. A TCDD project demonstrating how to form partnerships with local businesses and other community groups could address these issues by increasing resources and services.

        MOTION: To recommend the funding up to two projects to address Health and Wellness, for up to $200,000 per year, per project, for up to five years.
        MADE BY: Scott McAvoy
        SECOND: Rick Tisch
        The motion passed unanimously.

    2. Other Discussion Items
      The Committee discussed the intent of the RFP for Peer Support Specialists for Individuals Living in Institutions. Chair Cortez requested input on whether it is appropriate to fund a project under this RFP if the project focuses on voting. The Committee agreed that voting is important, and that this would be acceptable if the training focuses on an individual’s voting rights and how to vote and not who the individual should vote for.

  8. Future Project Funding Priorities
    The Committee reviewed the current list of projects that have been approved for funding. The Future Funding Priorities list was updated as listed below:
    1. Support for Student Research Related Expenses on Disability Related Topics;
    2. Individuals with IDD who are Aging and Their Caregivers;
    3. Next Chapter Book Club;
    4. Health & Wellness;
    5. First Responder Training;
    6. Community Outreach Coordinators.

    MOTION: To recommend Council approval of the Future Project Funding Priorities list with the addition of the projects in the following order: (1) Support for Student Research Related Expenses on Disability Related Topics; (2) Individuals with IDD who are Aging and Their Caregivers; (3) Next Chapter Book Club; (4) Health & Wellness; (5) First Responder Training; (6) Community Outreach Coordinators.
    MADE BY: Rick Tisch
    SECOND: David Taylor
    The motion passed unanimously.

  9. Other Discussion Items
    The Committee discussed the National Public Radio series, “Abused and Betrayed” by Joe Shapiro about people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and sexual assault. The discussion included the benefits of developing training around sexual health that would include materials to support parents to talk with their children who have developmental disabilities and information for adults with have developmental disabilities. The Committee directed staff to conduct further research and present project options for consideration.


Chair Cortez adjourned the meeting at 3:20 pm.

Beth Stalvey, Secretary to the Council