Minutes — August 2016 Project Development Committee Meeting

2016 Council and Committee Meetings


Committee Members Present

  • Gladys Cortez, Chair
  • Kimberly Blackmon
  • Kristen Cox
  • Mateo Delgado
  • Mary Durheim, Council Chair
  • Ivy Goldstein, DSHS alternate
  • Jennifer Kaut, DARS
  • Scott McAvoy
  • Ron Roberts, TEA
  • David Taylor
  • John Thomas
  • Rick Tisch

Committee Members Absent

  • Dana Perry

Guest Present

  • Isabel Evans
  • Rachel Jew, DSHS

Staff Present

  • Martha Cantu
  • Joanna Cordry
  • Cynthia Ellison
  • Danny Fikac
  • Fernando Rodriguez
  • Josh Ryf
  • Beth Stalvey

Call To Order

The Project Development Committee met on Thursday, August 4, 2016, at the Horseshoe Bay Resort, 200 Hi Circle North, Horseshoe Bay, Texas 78657. Chair Gladys Cortez called the meeting to order at 2:07 p.m. A quorum was present.

  1. Introduction of Committee Members, Staff and Visitors
    Committee members, staff and guests were introduced.

  2. Public Comments
    No public comments were offered.

  3. Approval Of Minutes
    The Committee reviewed minutes of the May 5, 2016, Project Development Committee meeting. It was noted that there was an error in the report that member Scott McAvoy attended a seminar that he did not attend. The sentence will be struck from the minutes.

    MOTION: To approve the minutes of the August 4, 2016, Project Development Committee with the removal of the sentence stating that Scott McAvoy attended a public policy seminar.
    MADE BY: Scott McAvoy
    SECOND: Mateo Delgado
    The motion passed unanimously as amended.

  4. Chair’s Remarks
    Chair Cortez announced that Dana Perry is on vacation and unable to attend the meeting. It was also noted that Ron Roberts and Rachel Jew are non-voting members until they complete orientation. Council Chair Mary Durheim addressed issues about appointments to the Council and referenced the attendance report. The Council has asked the governor’s office to replace the members who are not up for reappointment.

  5. Member Updates
    No member updates were offered.

  6. Staff Reports

    1. Status of New/Approved Projects
      Cynthia Ellison, Grants Management Director, reported that two new leadership and advocacy projects began last quarter — Family to Family and Paso Del Norte. The start date for Easter Seals Central Texas is pending. No additional updates.

    2. Projected Available Funds
      Martha Cantu, Operations Director, reported that TCDD still has funds for FY16 that are available for assignment to future projects. Chair Cortez commented positively on the new format for the budget documents. There were no additional updates from Cantu.

    3. Other Updates
      Joanna Cordry, Planning Director, reported on the Executive Committee’s review of proposals received in response to Requests for Proposals (RFPs). The Executive Committee approved three grant proposals for funding: EveryChild, Inc. for TCDD Policy Fellows, Texas A&M University for Higher Education Collaborative, and Imagine Enterprises for Outreach and Development. Cordry also noted that TCDD Planning staff will attend the Health and Human Services Center for Elimination of Disproportionality and Disparities conference, which will be held in San Marcos in two weeks.

  7. Future Activities For State Plan Implementation

    1. State Plan Projects List

      Cordry presented the State Plan Project list and the Committee discussed the issues related to the objectives.

    2. Executive Summaries
      The Committee discussed the TCDD Policy Fellows Executive Summary. The RFP would be open year around, and the Executive Committee would review proposals twice per year. Up to two two-year fellowships would be funded each year for five years. Because each fellowship would last two years, TCDD would be providing funding for projects for six years. Each project would cost $67,500 per year.

      The past TCDD Policy Fellow grants are ending. Cordry shared that the fellow at the Arc of Texas accepted a job at SAFE prior to the end of the grant. The fellow contributed a significant amount of work on guardianship alternatives, but is not pursuing a career in policy. The Committee discussed the difficulty in measuring the outcomes of the policy fellows. The Committee would like the policy fellows to update the Council on their activities.

      MOTION: To fund two new two-year TCDD Policy Fellowships each year for five years, for up to $135,000 for year one, $270,000 for years three through five, and $135,000 for year six, with the expectation that the organizations would give hiring preference to individuals with developmental disabilities.
      MADE BY: Rick Tisch
      SECOND: Mateo Delgado
      The motion passed unanimously.

    3. Discussion of Sibling Network Project
      Danny Fikac, Planning Specialist, presented information about sibling networks. He noted that Lauren Yeldell, a sibling to a person with a disability, set up an online Texas Sibling Leadership Network in April of 2016. Currently, Ms. Yeldell’s work is the only sibling network in Texas of which TCDD is aware, and it is an informal network.

      The Committee discussed the barriers to sibling support and involvement, different ways to support the building of sibling network, and the different resources that may already be available. The Committee further discussed developing a tool kit for siblings to be able to use in the event that the sibling becomes the primary advocate for their brother or sister who has a disability. Such a tool kit would highlight the importance of knowing the needs and issues even if the sibling is not responsible for the future needs. Currently, siblings are encouraged to utilize natural supports, but additional provider supports are lacking.

      Chair Cortez added additional information about the complexity of issues and the role of educating siblings about transitioning responsibility from an aging parent to a sibling. The Committee noted that siblings are the also part of the next generation of advocates. The Committee requested an Executive Summary for the funding of a sibling network.

  8. Future Project Funding Priorities
    The Committee reviewed and discussed the current list of projects and added the TCDD Policy Fellow to the list of priorities. All priorities remained unchanged, except the following changes:

    • TCDD Policy Fellow was inserted as #5
    • Partnership with African American Clergy to Support Families was moved to #10

    MOTION: To recommend approval of the future project funding priorities list with the addition of the TCDD Policy Fellow project as the fifth priority and moving Partnership with African American Clergy to Support Families to the tenth priority.
    MADE BY: Rick Tisch
    SECOND: Scott McAvoy
    The motion passed unanimously.


There being no further business, Chair Cortez adjourned the meeting at 03:43 p.m.

Beth Stalvey, Secretary to the Council