Minutes — February 2019 Council Meeting

2019 Council and Committee Meetings


  • Council Members Present
  • Mary Durheim, Council Chair
  • Kimberly Blackmon
  • Gladys Cortez
  • Kristen Cox
  • Andrew Crim
  • Mary Faithfull, DRTX
  • Ivy Goldstein, DSHS
  • Jennifer Hines, TWC
  • Scott McAvoy
  • Meagan Orsag, A&M-CDD
  • Michael Peace
  • Justin Porter, TEA
  • Amy Sharp, TCDS
  • Lora Taylor
  • John Thomas
  • Rick Tisch
  • Dana Williamson, HHSC/Medicaid
  • Wesley Yeager, HHSC/Older Americans Act
  • Council Members Absent
  • Hunter Adkins
  • Kristine Clark
  • Mateo Delgado
  • Ruth Mason
  • Dana Perry
  • Brandon Pharris
  • Guests Present
  • Ricardo Atkinson
  • Molly Comeaux
  • Karsyn Lemmons
  • Stephanie Martinez
  • Audrey Young
  • Staff Present
  • Beth Stalvey, Executive Director
  • Martha Cantu
  • Joanna Cordry
  • Scott Daigle
  • Cynthia Ellison
  • Ashley Ford
  • Linda Logan
  • Joshua Ryf
  • Koren Vogel

Call to Order

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities convened on Friday, February 8, 2019, in the Ballroom C-E of the Embassy Suites Austin Central, 5901 North IH-35, Austin, TX 78723. Council Chair Mary Durheim called the meeting to order at 10:31 AM.

  1. Introductions
    Council members, staff and guests were introduced.
  1. Public Comments
    No public comments were offered.
  1. Consent Items
    Chair Durheim reviewed consent items including the minutes from the November 9, 2018, Council meeting and November 8, 2018, Committee of the Whole meeting.
  3. She also reviewed the excused absences of Hunter Adkins, Kristine Clark, Mateo Delgado, Ruth Mason, Dana Perry and Brandon Pharris. She noted that Holly Riley has been designated as the representative from the Health and Human Services Commission Older Americans Act program and Wesley Yeager has been designated as the alternate from that program. Yeager has completed orientation and is eligible to vote. Durheim also reported that that Katlyn Le left her position with the Department of State Health Services. Audrey Young is serving as the interim director of the Children with Special Healthcare Needs Program and has attended the meetings with alternate representative Ivy Goldstein.
  5. MOTION: To approve the minutes of the November 9, 2018, Council meeting and November 8, 2018, Committee of the Whole meeting, as well as the excused absences as noted.
  6. MADE BY: Lora Taylor
  7. SECOND: Andrew Crim
  8. The motion passed without opposition. Wes Yeager abstained from voting.
  1. Chair and Executive Director’s Report
    Chair Durheim reported that Council member Stephen Gersuk submitted his resignation from the Council. She also reported that she and Executive Director Beth Stalvey met with Peggy Venable in the Governor’s Appointments Office following the Meet and Greet event at the Capitol. Following a detailed discussion of Council vacancies and member terms, Venable indicated that she would look into the necessary appointments to the Council.

    Executive Director Stalvey provided updates on TCDD staff to note changes within the TCDD staff structure to improve processes and align activities within three divisions: Public Policy and Research, Communications and Reporting, and Fiscal/Grants Monitoring and Operations. She explained that Joanna Cordry’s new title is Evaluations & Reporting Manager and that Danny Fikac’s new title is Systems Change Specialist. Fikac’s duties will fall under Public Policy and Research and Cordry’s will fall under Communications and Reporting. She also noted that the vacant position which was previously a Public Policy Assistant has been reclassified as a Communications Specialist and will soon be posted for applications.

    Stalvey reported that she has been selected as a voting member of the Texas Department of Emergency Management Disability Advisory Taskforce. This provides an opportunity for her to discuss issues for people with developmental disabilities related to disaster management at the statewide level.

    Stalvey noted that the online systems for annual federal reporting for FY 2017 and FY 2018 are expected to be available in March and TCDD staff are prepared to submit those reports when deadlines are announced. She also discussed the potential need to make process changes related to the 24-month reporting period based on guidance by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD).

  1. Election of Council Vice-Chair
    Nominating Committee Chair Scott McAvoy reported on Committee discussion regarding the position of Council Vice-Chair. He thanked John Thomas for serving the Council in this position for the past two years. No other nominations were offered by members.
  3. MOTION: To elect Andrew Crim as Council Vice-Chair.
  4. MADE BY: Scott McAvoy for the Nominating Committee (Motions from Committee do not need a second)
  5. The motion passed unanimously.
  1. Election of Consumer (Self-Advocate) Member-at-Large to the Executive Committee
    McAvoy reported on Committee discussion for the position of Consumer Member-at-Large to the Executive Committee. He thanked Kimberly Blackmon for her past year of service and noted the Committee recommended her continuing in this position. No other nominations were offered by members.
  3. MOTION: To elect Kimberly Blackmon for a second consecutive year as the Consumer (Self-Advocate) Member-at-Large to the Executive Committee.
  4. MADE BY: Scott McAvoy for the Nominating Committee.
  5. The motion passed unanimously.
  1. Future Activities for State Plan Implementation
    Project Development Committee Chair Gladys Cortez reported on Committee discussion of grant project executive summaries. She first discussed the Prevention of and Response to Sexual Offenses – Gap Analysis for Medical and Therapeutic Professionals executive summary. She noted that the organization receiving this grant would analyze knowledge and skill gaps experienced by physicians, nurses, and therapists when working with people with I/DD who have been sexual assaulted. It will also provide recommendations about the best approaches to provide training and information. The results of this analysis may be used to inform other stakeholders, influence policy, and help TCDD determine how to address the identified gaps.
  3. MOTION: To recommend approval of funding of up to $150,000 for one project for one year as written with additional outputs, outcomes, and recommendations as identified by the Committee.
  4. MADE BY: Gladys Cortez for the Project Development Committee.
  5. The motion passed without opposition. Wes Yeager abstained from voting.
  7. Cortez next reported on the Community Outreach Coordinators executive summary. TCDD would create contract positions in multiple underserved regions around the state. The contractors would help TCDD build local capacity, increase outreach, support grantees and individuals trained to be advocates by grantees, establish networks, and gather public input. In 2017, the Council awarded one contract to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Funding for one other contract was approved but a contract has not been awarded. If this executive summary is approved, activities would take place in five areas of the state. Funding would cover salaries, local activities, events, and coordinator travel expenses around the region and to Austin as needed.
  9. MOTION: To recommend approval of up to $100,000 per year for each of three Community Outreach Coordinators, for up to 3 years.
  10. MADE BY: Gladys Cortez for the Project Development Committee.
  11. The motion passed without opposition. Wes Yeager abstained from voting.
  13. Cortez then reported on Committee discussion to prioritize projects approved for funding.
  1. MOTION: To prioritize TCDD projects approved for funding in the following order:
  2. 1. Person-Directed Meaningful Day Technical Assistance Mini-Grants
  3. 2. Research Substance Use Disorder in People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  4. 3. Community Outreach Coordinators
  5. 4. Response to and Prevention of Sexual Offenses – Gap Analysis for Medical and Therapeutic Professionals
  6. 5. Response to and Prevention of Sexual Offenses – Support for People with I/DD, their Families, Friends, and Allies
  7. 6. Response to and Prevention of Sexual Offenses – Improving the Criminal Justice Response to Sexual Offense Cases Involving People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  8. 7. Higher Education
  9. 8. Disability Policy Conference
  10. 9. EngAGEment of Millennials
  11. MADE BY: Gladys Cortez
  12. The motion passed without opposition. Wes Yeager abstained from voting.
  1. Quarterly Progress of TCDD State Plan Projects
  2. Executive Director Stalvey reviewed the progress of grant projects and staff activities from the past quarter noting that the projects and activities are categorized by TCDD State Plan Goals and Objectives. This information is obtained through the grant project quarterly reports as well as through staff reporting.
  1. Communications and Marketing Activities Report
    Communications Director Joshua Ryf provided highlights of communications activities during the previous quarter. He promoted infographics on the legislative process and one-page documents on Employment First and Community Living. He also showed the reach of an infographic produced by Council Member Andy Crim on Supporting Positive Behavior in Children and Teens with Down Syndrome. When promoted by TCDD on social media, this graphic had a reach of over 16,000 on Facebook and over 1,200 on Twitter.
  3. Ryf also highlighted the new events calendar on the TCDD website and discussed upcoming events and issue awareness dates.
  1. Executive Committee Report
    Chair Durheim reported that continuation grant funding was awarded this quarter to Imagine Art for a Developing Peer Support Specialists for Systems Change project, to Project Amistad and Texas Advocates for Peer Support Specialists for Individuals Living in Institutions projects, and to West Central Texas Regional Foundation for a Leadership and Advocacy Skills Training in Rural Areas project. Six projects will be considered for continuation grant funding in May.
  3. Grants Management Director Cynthia Ellison reported that no new projects were started during the quarter, no onsite monitoring visits were conducted during the quarter and that no audits were completed this quarter. Staff continues to work on negotiations for the start of projects approved during the November 2018 meeting.
  5. Operations Director Martha Cantu reviewed the FY 2019 TCDD Administrative and Expense budget noting that this is the first quarter report for this fiscal year and that 23.6% of the allocated budget has been spent. She also reviewed the Summary of Funds for FY 2017 – FY 2020 and discussed the projected balances for FY 2018 and FY 2019. The Committee reviewed the status of current grantees and the stipends which have been funded for the fiscal year. Executive Committee members did not express concerns with the agency financial reports.
  1. Project Development Committee Report
    Project Development Committee Chair Cortez reported that the Committee discussed their legislative visits. They also had discussions on mental health services for the I/DD community and plan to continue this discussion related to future Council activities.
  1. Public Policy Committee Report
    Public Policy Committee Chair Lora Taylor reported that the Committee their legislative visits and next steps for advocacy activities including follow-up from these visits. The Committee discussed recognition or awards for legislators who had an impact on TCDD priority areas.
  3. The Committee also received a report on staff activities during the past quarter.
  1. Announcements and Updates
    Council members discussed dates and locations of future meetings of May 1-3, 2019, August 7-9, 2019, November 6-8, 2019 which is tentative, and February 5-7, 2020.


Chair Durheim adjourned the meeting at 12:25 PM.