Minutes — November 2016 Project Development Committee Meeting

2016 Council and Committee Meetings


Committee Members Present

  • Gladys Cortez, Chair
  • Kimberly Blackmon
  • Mary Durheim, Council Chair
  • Rachel Jew, DSHS
  • Jennifer Kaut, TWC
  • Scott McAvoy
  • Dana Perry
  • Ron Roberts, TEA
  • David Taylor
  • John Thomas
  • Rick Tisch

Committee Members Absent

  • Mateo Delgado

Guests Present

  • Isabel Evans
  • Ivy Goldstein, DSHS (alt.)

Staff Present

  • Beth Stalvey, Executive Director
  • Martha Cantu
  • Joanna Cordry
  • Cynthia Ellison
  • Danny Fikac
  • Fernando Rodriguez
  • Joshua Ryf

Call To Order

The Project Development Committee met on Thursday. November 3, 2016, at the Sonesta Bee Cave — Austin, 12525 Bee Cave Parkway, Bee Cave, TX 78738. Chair Gladys Cortez called the meeting to order at 1:32 PM. A quorum was present.

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

  2. Public Comments
    No public comments were offered.

  3. Consideration of Minutes
    The Committee reviewed minutes of the August 4, 2016, Project Development Committee meeting and noted the following three edits to be made:

    • Rachel Jew, the DSHS representative, had not officially been named as the representative and had not received orientation in August. She was present, but should be designated as a guest in the August meeting minutes.
    • On agenda item 7.B., the funding amount for the TCDD Policy Fellows project should be $67,500.
    • On agenda item 8, in the second sentence, the word “reminded” should be “remained.”

    MOTION: To approve the minutes of the August 4, 2016, Project Development Committee with the listed corrections.
    MADE BY: Rick Tisch
    SECOND: John Thomas
    The motion passed unanimously.

  4. Chair’s Remarks
    Chair Cortez made several announcements:

    • Mateo Delgado has an excused absence and will not be able to attend the meeting. Cortez reminded members of the importance of attendance to maintain quorum and conduct Committee business.
    • Members are invited to take advantage of additional training being offered at 4:00 PM to assist them to prepare for legislative visits in February 2017.
    • Council Chair Mary Durheim and Executive Director Beth Stalvey have been in touch with staff from the Governor’s Appointments Office and have offered input and assistance in addressing the vacant Council member positions as well as the positions with expired terms.

    Cortez updated the Committee on her participation in the 4th Annual Down Syndrome Awareness Walk in the Rio Grande Valley, noting that the walk raised over $60,000 dollars for educational tools.

  5. Member Updates
    Rick Tisch attended the Lex Frieden Employment Awards in Houston in October and noted that the keynote speaker discussed the development and use of sign language in baseball.

  6. Disproportionalities and Disparities Discussion
    The Committee discussed a handout on Disproportionalities and Disparities that provided background about TCDD’s efforts to reach out to, include, and address the needs of people from cultural and ethnic minorities who are typically considered underserved and unserved. Committee members discussed TCDD sponsorship of a recent workshop called “Undoing Racism” that was presented by The People’s Institute and attended by representatives of the Council, grantees, staff, and other TCDD stakeholders from around the state. The interactive workshop was intended to teach participants to analyze systematic racism and think strategically about TCDD’s role in changing systems to address disproportionalities and disparities among Texans with disabilities; how to increase TCDD’s understanding of the disproportionalities and disparities that exist for Texans with disabilities; and how to change the way the Council connects and includes all Texans with disabilities who are unserved and underserved. The Committee discussed the importance of having regular and consistent dialogue as an organization to identify action steps that can be taken to reduce disparities. Committee members shared resources that the Council may use to address these issues. The topic will be a regular item on Council and Committee meeting agendas.

  7. Staff Reports

    1. Status of New/Approved Projects
      Grants Management Director Cynthia Ellison reported that the following projects started during the previous quarter:

      • Leadership Development and Advocacy Training projects awarded to Easter Seals Central Texas, Family to Family and Paso del Norte.
      • A TCDD Policy Fellows project awarded to EveryChild, Inc.
      • An Outreach & Development project awarded to Imagine Enterprises in El Paso.

    2. Projected Available Funds
      Operations Director Martha Cantu reported that TCDD funds for FY 2015 were obligated as required. She noted that although the grants budget shows a negative balance for FY 2016 funds, staff members do not expect there to be issues with awarding grants as planned.
    3. Other Updates
      Communications Director Joshua Ryf noted that he, Rick Tisch, Lora Taylor, and Ruth Mason attended the Lex Frieden Employment Awards in Houston in October and networked with various attendees. As a result, the Independent Living Research Association has included a blog post about TCDD Request for Proposals on their website.
  8. Future Activities For State Plan Implementation

    1. State Plan Projects List
      Planning Director Joanna Cordry presented and the Committee discussed the list of projects that must be developed to address goals and objectives in the state plan and provided the current status of the projects.

    2. Executive Summaries
      Texas Sibling Network
      Planning Specialist Danny Fikac presented the Sibling Network Project Executive Summary. Through this project, TCDD intends to develop and/or grow a statewide network that increases opportunities for teen and adult siblings in Texas to connect, receive and share information that meets their needs; to develop leadership and advocacy skills; and to receive support to advocate for themselves and their siblings. The Texas Sibling Network would be required to include siblings from multiple cultural and ethnic groups across the state.

      MOTION: To recommend approval of funding of up to $85,000 per year for up to five years, for one Sibling Network Project as described in the Executive Summary.
      MADE BY: Scott McAvoy
      SECOND: John Thomas
      The motion passed unanimously.

  9. Future Project Funding Priorities
    The Committee reviewed and revised the current list of projects that have been approved for funding. The Higher Education Collaborative was removed from the list as the project has been awarded by the Executive Committee and staff are working on contract negotiations with the grantee. The previously approved Executive Summary for a Texas Sibling Network was added and the Partnership for African American Clergy to Support Families was removed from the list. These funds were intended to be used to support an activity led by the Hogg Foundation and are no longer needed for the activity. The Future Funding Priorities list is reorganized as listed below:

    1. Translation Services
    2. Alternatives to Guardianship and Supported Decision Making DD Network Project
    3. Texas Sibling Network
    4. Support for Student Research-Related Expenses on Disability-Related Topics
    5. Peer Support Specialists for Person Directed Planning

    MOTION: To recommend Council approval of the Future Project Funding Priorities list with the addition of the Texas Sibling Network project and with projects in the following order: (1) Translation Services, (2) Alternatives to Guardianship and Supported Decision Making DD Network Project; (3) Texas Sibling Network; (4) Support for Student Research-Related Expenses on Disability-Related topics; (5) Peer Support for Person Directed Planning.
    MADE BY: John Thomas
    SECOND: Ron Roberts
    The motion passed unanimously.

  10. Selection of TCDD Nominating Committee Member
    Chair Cortez explained the role of the Nominative Committee that is established each year to bring forward year to bring forward nominations for the Council Vice-Chair and Consumer Member-at-Large to serve on the Executive Committee. The Public Policy and Project Development Committee each recommend a Committee member to serve on the Nominating Committee and a third member is selected from the Council. David Taylor shared his experience of serving on the Committee in the previous year. Kimberly Blackmon was nominated and agreed to be the Project Development representative on the Committee.

    MOTION: To recommend Kimberly Blackmon as the Project Development Committee representative on the Nominating Committee.
    MADE BY: John Thomas
    SECOND: David Taylor
    The motion passed unanimously.

  11. Other Discussion Items
    The Committee noted that the February 2017 Council and Committee Meetings will be arranged so that members are able to meet with their legislators and/or their staff. Chair Cortez reminded members that Committee meetings will be shorter than usual. The Committee recommended extending an invitation for Jason Sabo with Frontera Strategies to speak at the February Committee of the Whole meeting as his past presentations have been helpful in preparing for legislative visits.


There being no further business, Chair Cortez adjourned the meeting at 3:20 PM.

Beth Stalvey, Secretary to the Council