Minutes — May 2020 Council Committee Meeting

2020 Council and Committee Meetings


  • Council Members Present
  • Mary Durheim, Chair
  • Hunter Adkins
  • Kimberly Blackmon
  • Ronnie Browning
  • Paul Cardarella
  • Gladys Cortez
  • Kristen Cox
  • Maverick Crawford
  • Andrew Crim
  • Mary Faithfull, DRTX
  • Jennifer Hines, TWC
  • Scott McAvoy
  • Meagan Orsag, A&M-CDD
  • Justin Porter, TEA
  • Randell Resneder
  • Holly Riley, HHSC/Older Americans Act
  • Eric Shahid
  • Robert Schier III
  • Amy Sharp, TCDS
  • Molly Spratt
  • Toby Summers
  • Lora Taylor
  • John Thomas
  • Kim Torres
  • Audrey Young, DSHS/Maternal Child Health
  • Dana Williamson, HHSC/Medicaid
  • Council Members Absent

  • Michael Peace
  • Guests Present

  • Ricardo Atkinson
  • Sonja Burns
  • Joey Gidseg
  • Rebecca Japko
  • Linda Litzinger
  • Laura Marquez
  • Jolene Sanders-Foster
  • Kami Shahid
  • Mary Jane Williams
  • Regional Coordinators Present

  • Morgan Bradley
  • Rosa Guel
  • Skyler Mueller
  • Anthony Ross
  • Richard Williams
  • Staff Present

  • Beth Stalvey, Executive Director
  • Martha Cantu
  • Scott Daigle
  • Robert Garcia
  • Genessee Klemm
  • Le Lien
  • Linda Logan
  • Sylvia Medina
  • Evan Marczynski
  • Richard Rendon
  • Mary Rochford
  • Joshua Ryf
  • Koren Vogel
  • Rosalin Willis


Call to Order

Pursuant to the Governor’s March 16, 2020 suspension of certain provisions of the Texas Open Meetings Act, the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities met virtually using the Zoom platform on Thursday, May 7, 2020. Council Chair Mary Durheim called the meeting to order at 1:35 PM. A quorum was present.

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

  2. Public Comments

    Verbal public comments were offered by Mary Jane Williams of Family to Family Network, Linda Litzinger of Texas Parent to Parent, and Sonja Burns. Williams and Lauren Rangel submitted written comments to the Council.

  3. Consent Items
    Chair Durheim reviewed consent items including the minutes from the February 7, 2020, Council meeting and February 6, 2020, Committee of the Whole meeting as well as the excused absence of Michael Peace.

    MOTION: To approve the minutes of the February 7, 2020, Council meeting and February 6, 2020, Committee of the Whole meeting, and the excused absence of Michael Peace.
    MADE BY: John Thomas
    SECOND: Lora Taylor

    The motion passed without opposition. Paul Cardarella and Mary Faithfull abstained from voting.

  4. Chair and Executive Director’s Report

    Chair Durheim reminded members of the July 31, 2020 deadline to submit Personal Financial Statements to the Texas Ethics Commission as well as the $500 penalty for not filing the statement. She noted that due to the automatic extension from the original April deadline as a result of COVID-19, there will not be the opportunity for members to request an additional extension.

    Executive Director Beth Stalvey reviewed stipends approved during the past quarter noting that speaker stipends will be likely be used if activities are held in a virtual format and that TCDD will work with the sponsoring organizations to honor appropriate uses of event stipends if they are held in a virtual format.

    • Volar Center for Independent Living: Translation Stipend for up to $2,055 for the Our Lives Disabilities Conference & Service Providers Expo on March 26, 2020, in El Paso.
    • Hear My Voice: Speaker Stipend for up to $3,000 for the Dual Symbol Immersion training on March 26-27, 2020, in Ft. Worth.
    • Texas Tech University – Burkhart Center: Speaker Stipend for up to $7,500 for the Higher Education Think Tank on March 24-25, 2020, in Lubbock.
    • Summerhouse Houston: Speakers Stipend for up to $2,100 for the Building Business Connections and Relationships in Your Community Symposium on August 21, 2020, in Houston.
    • Texas Parent to Parent: Events Stipend for up to $7,500 for the 16th Annual Texas Parent to Parent Conference on August 22-23, 2020, in Austin.
    • Harris County Department of Education: Speakers Stipend for up to $7,500 for the ADHD Training on December 3, 2020, in Houston.

    Stalvey provided updates on TCDD staff to report that applications for the two vacant Public Policy Analyst positions are being reviewed. She noted that all TCDD staff are working at home due to COVID-19 and that staff have responded to the pandemic by developing and sharing resources, conducting policy analyses, and raising awareness of the impact on people with disabilities.

    Stalvey reported on national discussions about Council business related to COVID-19. Guidance from the Administration on Community Living (ACL) is that there is to be no delays in current state plan activities or the development of the FY 2022 – FY 2026 State Plan. However, ACL has made adjustments to spending timelines to allow for an additional 12 months for each of the three active funding years – FY 2018, FY 2019, and FY 2020. This will allow TCDD to shift funds that may have been allocated for grantee travel and will not be spent to be reallocated for other activities.

  5. Quarterly Progress of State Plan Projects

    Executive Director Stalvey reviewed the Quarterly State Plan Update document which shows the progress of projects by State Plan Goal and Objective. She noted that all grantee reports were submitted prior to March 1, 2020 so there are no references to work surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants Management staff have been working with all TCDD grantees to make adjustments to their projects and have been encouraged by the suggestions and innovations to continue the projects. Those activities will be reflected in next quarter’s document.

  6. Future Activities for State Plan Implementation

    Project Development Committee Chair Gladys Cortez reported on Committee discussion of grantee activities that have had to be altered in response to COVID-19. She noted that current funding and workplans may not allow for changes in activities.

    MOTION: To allow current TCDD grant projects to achieve existing outcomes by modifying activities and scope of work as needed in response to community-based restrictions as a result of COVID-19.
    MADE BY: Gladys Cortez for the Project Development Committee.
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Cortez then reported that the Committee considered three executive summaries for projects that have been previously approved and posted for funding. Two executive summaries focused on higher education and one was the previous Outreach and Development Mini-Grant.

    The Higher Education Collaborative will provide educational resources, technical assistance, and infrastructure so higher education institutions can help students with disabilities into employment and/or meaningful day activity. The executive summary was originally approved in 2016.

    MOTION: To approve the Higher Education Collaborative executive summary with the modification that it includes a maximum funding amount of $350,000 per year and to post the Request for Applications (RFA).  
    MADE BY: Gladys Cortez for the Project Development Committee.
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Higher Education projects will establish inclusive post-secondary education programs in Texas so students with developmental disabilities receive needed supports to succeed in college, university, and/or vocational/technical programs. The executive summary was originally approved in 2018.

    MOTION: To approve the Higher Education executive summary as written and to post the RFA.
    MADE BY: Gladys Cortez for the Project Development Committee.
    The motion passed unanimously.

    The Outreach & Development Mini-Grants have recently been renamed Capacity Building Mini-Grants for Culturally Diverse Groups. The original executive summary that was approved in 2012 specifically targeted small grassroots organizations led by people of certain ethnicities that served people of the same ethnicity. In recent years, other organizations have expressed interest in these mini-grants to help reach underserved groups, but these organizations have been ineligible according to the original executive summary.

    MOTION: To approve the Capacity Building Mini-Grants for Culturally Diverse Groups executive summary with the modification so any groups that serve specific ethnic groups can apply, provided that the applicants involve the people they serve in the planning and implementation of their projects; and to increase the funding amount from $10,000 to up to $15,000 per project.
    MADE BY: Gladys Cortez for the Project Development Committee.
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Cortez next discussed the Committee discussion of project funding priorities. The Committee recommends prioritizing approved projects as follows:

    1. Prevention and Response to Sexual Offenses: Gap Analysis for Medical and Therapeutic Professionals
    2. Prevention and Response to Sexual Offenses: Improving the Criminal Justice Response to Sexual Offense Cases Involving People with I/DD
    3. Higher Education
    4. Higher Education Collaborative
    5. Disability Advocacy Conference
    6. Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery (First Responders)
    7. Disability-Related Participatory Research
    8. EngAGEment with Millennials

    MOTION: To approve future funding priorities as presented. 
    MADE BY: Gladys Cortez for the Project Development Committee.
    The motion passed unanimously.

  7. Communications and Marketing Activities

    Communications Director Joshua Ryf provided updates on Communications and Marketing activities. He discussed quarterly activities such as campaigns to promote RFAs and Partners in Policymaking. He discussed information and resources provided by TCDD relevant to COVID-19 noting that section of the website is divided into three sections: information for individuals and families, engagement/policy activities, and government or information from state and federal resources. Ryf also discussed the survey opportunity available on the website for families of and individuals with disabilities to tell their stories of how COVID-19 has impacted their lives.

  8. Executive Committee Report

    Chair Durheim reported on new grant awards for one Sexual Assault Response and Prevention project, four Community Inclusion Mini-Grants, and one My Day, My Way Mini-Grant (previously known as Meaningful Day Mini-Grants). She also reported on continuation grant funding for six current projects.

    Grants Management Director Rosalin Willis reported on projects that began and ended during the previous quarter. She reviewed the Independent Audit Status Report and Risk Assessment Report.

    Operations Director Martha Cantu reviewed the FY 2020 TCDD Administrative and Expense budget as well as the Summary of Funds for FY 2018 – FY 2020.

  9. Project Development Committee Report
    Project Development Committee Chair Cortez had no further items to report.

  10. Public Policy Committee Report
    Public Policy Committee Chair Lora Taylor reported on Committee discussions of issues for people with disabilities specifically related to COVID-19 and noted how these will likely become priorities during the 2021 Texas Legislature.

    Taylor noted that the Committee established a three-member workgroup consisting of Paul Cardarella, Randell Resneder, Kim Torres and to begin discussion on revisions to the TCDD Position Statements.

  11. Future Agenda Items
    Chair Durheim noted that the focus of upcoming meetings will be on State Plan Development.

  12. Announcements and Updates
    Council members discussed dates of future meetings of August 5-7, 2020, November 4-6, 2020, February 10-12, 2021, and May 5-7, 2021.


Chair Durheim adjourned the meeting at 2:36 PM.