Minutes — May 2020 Project Development Committee Meeting

2020 Council and Committee Meetings


  • Committee Members Present
  • Gladys Cortez, Committee Chair
  • Kimberly Blackmon
  • Maverick Crawford
  • Andrew Crim
  • Mary Durheim, Council Chair
  • Jennifer Hines, TWC
  • Scott McAvoy
  • Justin Porter, TEA
  • Holly Riley, HHSC
  • Robert Schier III
  • Molly Spratt
  • Amy Sharp
  • John Thomas
  • Audrey Young, DSHS
  • Committee Members Absent

  • Toby Summers
  • Council Members Present

  • Eric Shahid
  • Lora Taylor
  • Guests Present

  • Richard Atkinson
  • Joey Gidseg
  • Ivy Goldstein, DSHS
  • Nancy Hernandez
  • Rebecca Japko
  • Linda Litzinger
  • Laura Marquez
  • Kami Shahid
  • Regional Coordinators Present

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

  • Beth Stalvey, Executive Director
  • Martha Cantu
  • Robert Garcia
  • Genessee Klemm
  • Linda Logan
  • Evan Marczynski
  • Sylvia Medina
  • Richard Rendon
  • Mary Rochford
  • Fernando Rodriguez
  • 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 Project Development Committee of the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities convened virtually using the Zoom platform on Thursday, May 7, 2020. Committee Chair Gladys Cortez called the meeting to order at 9:34 AM. A quorum was present.

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

  2. Public Comments
    There were no public comments.

  3. Consideration of Minutes
    The minutes were reviewed, and no corrections or additions were noted.

    MOTION: To approve the minutes of the February 6, 2020, Project Development Committee as presented.
    MADE BY: Scott McAvoy
    SECOND: John Thomas
    The motion passed unanimously.

  4. Chair’s Remarks
    Chair Cortez reported on member absences to include Toby Summers.

    Cortez reviewed 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.

    Communications Director Joshua Ryf discussed current grant activities and reported that Grants Management staff have been in contact with each grantee to determine how projects are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  5. Future Activities for State Plan Implementation

    1. Responding to COVID-19 in Current Grant Projects
      The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted some grantees’ ability to execute their projects as originally proposed. Project activities that take place in a physical space with multiple people are not possible due to local guidance to stay home. Many grantees have had to drastically alter the way they handle their day-to-day business and for the first time are conducting all business remotely. Project staff are learning how to adapt operations within the context of social distancing, stay at home orders, etc.

      MOTION: To recommend Council approval 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: Scott McAvoy
      SECOND: John Thomas
      The motion passed unanimously.

    2. Executive Summaries

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

        MOTION: To recommend Council approval of 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: John Thomas
        Andrew Crim
        The motion passed unanimously.

      2. 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 recommend Council approval of the Higher Education executive summary as written and to post the RFA.
        MADE BY: Kimberly Blackmon
        SECOND: John Thomas
        The motion passed unanimously.

      3. 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 that were 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 recommend Council approval of the Capacity Building Mini-Grants for Culturally Diverse Groups executive summary with the modification that 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: Andrew Crim
        SECOND: John Thomas
        The motion passed unanimously.

  6. 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: 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 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
    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

    MADE BY: John Thomas
    SECOND: Robert Schier
    The motion passed unanimously.

  7. Future Agenda Items
    The Committee requested future discussions on the HCBS Ombudsman, Disability-Related Participatory Research, transportation, and remote learning and access. education and employment.

  8. Other Discussion Items
    No other items were brought forth for discussion.


Chair Cortez adjourned the meeting at 10:39 AM.