Minutes — February 2020 Project Development Committee Meeting

2020 Council and Committee Meetings


  • Committee Members Present
  • Gladys Cortez, Chair
  • Kimberly Blackmon
  • Maverick Crawford
  • Andrew Crim
  • Ivy Goldstein, DSHS
  • Scott McAvoy
  • Justin Porter, TEA
  • Holly Riley, HHSC
  • Robert Schier III
  • Jonas Schwartz, TWC
  • Molly Spratt
  • Toby Summers
  • John Thomas
  • Guests Present

  • Hannah Kinkaide
  • Regional Coordinators Present

  • Skyler Mueller
  • Richard Williams
  • Staff Members Present

  • Beth Stalvey, Executive Director
  • Martha Cantu
  • Genessee Klemm
  • Evan Marczynski
  • Sylvia Medina
  • Mary Rochford
  • Fernando Rodriguez
  • Joshua Ryf
  • Rosalin Willis


Call to Order

The Project Development Committee convened on Thursday, February 6, 2020, in Houston 1 Room of the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Austin, 303 West 15th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. Committee Chair Gladys Cortez called the meeting to order at 9:07 AM. A quorum was present.

  1. Introductions
    Committee members, staff and guests were introduced.
  1. Public Comments
    There were no public comments.
  1. Consideration of Minutes
    The minutes were reviewed, and no corrections or additions were noted.

    MOTION: To approve the minutes of the November 7, 2019, Project Development Committee as presented.
    MADE BY: Scott McAvoy
    SECOND: John Thomas
    The motion passed without objection. Robert Schier III abstained from voting.
  1. Chair’s Remarks
    1. Member Absences
      Chair Cortez reported that no members were absent.

    2. Chair’s Quarterly Activities
      Chair Cortez provided an update on her disability-related activities during the previous quarter.

    3. Project Funds Available
      Chair Cortez reviewed and discussed the FY 2020 Admin and Expenses Budget report and the Summary of Funds report for FY 2018 – FY 2021 along with the projected balances for FY 2019 and FY 2020, noting that funds are available for additional projects.

    4. Robert’s Rules of Order
      Chair Cortez reviewed Robert’s Rules of Order for conducting meetings.
  1. Member Updates
    Committee members provided updates on their disability-related activities during the previous quarter.
  1. Staff Reports
    1. Status of New/Approved Projects
      Grants Management Director Rosalin Willis reported on the status of grants that were awarded funding at the November 2019 meeting. Meaningful Day Mini-Grant projects have been negotiated and initiated with The Arc of the Capital Area, Best Buddies, Community Healthcore, Reach Unlimited and The Arc of Wichita County. Negotiations are still pending with Volunteers of America, Texas for a Meaningful Day Mini-Grant. Projects have also started with Texas Parent to Parent for a Developmental Disabilities Policy Fellow and with Downs in Motion for an Outreach and Development project.

      Willis also reported on grants that closed in the past 90 days which include Light and Salt Association – Culturally Appropriate Family Supports and Hatching Hope Foundation – Outreach & Development.

    2. Update on Current Projects
      Communications Director Joshua Ryf reported on the status of the following current projects:
      1. Texas Tech University – Project Leadership Challenge
      2. The Arc of Texas – Texas Partners in Disability Leadership
      3. Texas Advocates – Next Chapter Book Club
  1. Future Activities for State Plan Implementation
    1. Executive Summaries
      1. Ryf presented the executive summary for Financial Literacy: Money Basics which addresses the issue of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) managing their money effectively. A project that teaches skills such as saving for the future and staying out of debt, would ultimately allow participants to have more control over their own lives. To manage their money effectively, people with I/DD need two things – knowledge and tools. Knowledge about money management could be acquired in the form of in-person trainings, printed guides, and/or digital self-paced courses. Tools could be available as either printed or online forms. The use of technology could be incorporated into the project to support ongoing education.

        MOTION: To recommend Council approval of funding up to $150,000 per year, for one project, for up to five years for a Financial Literacy: Money Basics project as described in the executive summary with the stipulation that language be added for one year of planning and four years of implementation.
        MADE BY: Scott McAvoy
        SECOND: Maverick Crawford
        The motion passed unanimously.

      2. Ryf presented the executive summary for Family Support and Financial Planning. The purpose of this project is to increase awareness among people with I/DD who are aging and their family caregivers on the importance of actively planning for their future needs to ensure that plans, funds, services, and supports are available and flexible enough to allow individuals to remain in their home and community and exercise control over their own lives.

        MOTION: To recommend Council approval of funding of up to $100,000 per year, for one project, for up to two years, for Family Support and Financial Planning as described in the executive summary with the additional requirement to train a minimum of 150 people.
        MADE BY: John Thomas
        : Robert Schier III
        The motion passed unanimously.

      3. Ryf presented the executive summary for Community Inclusion Mini-Grants. Projects will identify and address barriers to full community inclusion faced by people with disabilities in their community. Full community inclusion is defined as participating in education, employment, and social activities in the community alongside both people with and without disabilities. Ultimately, the goal of community inclusion mini-grants is to produce short- and/or long-term systems change.

        MOTION: To recommend approval of funding of up to 10 Community Inclusion Mini-Grants. The application period will remain open until the Council decides to close it. Grants will be for up to $15,000 per project and projects will be for 12 months.
        MADE BY: Andrew Crim
        SECOND: Scott McAvoy
        The motion passed unanimously.

    2. Other Discussion Items
      1. The Committee discussed higher education projects.
      2. The Committee viewed a news story about the experience of some people with disabilities who live in residential settings. The Committee requested additional information related to the concept of an ombudsman.
  1. Future Project Funding Priorities
    The Committee reviewed and discussed the current list of projects that have been approved for funding and determined priorities for recommendation to the Council.

    MOTION: To recommend Council approval of the Future Project Funding Priorities list in the following order:
    1. Prevention and Response to Sexual Offenses: Medical and Therapeutic Professionals
    2. Prevention and Response to Sexual Offenses: Criminal Justice
    3. Higher Education
    4. Disability Advocacy Conference
    5. Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery (First Responders)
    6. Community-Inclusion Mini Grants
    7. Financial Literacy: Money Basics
    8. Family Support and Financial Planning
    9. Disability-Related Participatory Research
    MADE BY: Andrew Crim
    SECOND: Scott McAvoy
    The motion passed unanimously.
  1. FY 2022 – FY 2026 State Plan Development
    The Committee discussed participation in the development of the FY 2022-2026 State Plan which guides all Council activities for that period. Additional information will be available at the Committee of the Whole.
  1. Future Agenda Items
    The Committee would like to discuss Higher Education, HCBS Ombudsman and Disability-Related Participatory Research at the next meeting.
  1. Other Discussion Items
    Chair Cortez requested feedback on the Project Development Committee process. Members discussed ways to improve the flow of the meeting and the information presented. The next Project Development Committee meeting is scheduled for May 7, 2020.


Chair Cortez adjourned the meeting at 12:05 PM.