CT Council on Developmental
May 10, 2016
Temple Beth El, West Hartford
10:00 AM to 2:45 PM
The 201st meeting of the
CT Council on Developmental Disabilities was held on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 from
10:10 AM to 2:55 PM at Temple Beth El in West Hartford.
Presiding: Shelagh McClure, Chair
Recorder of Minutes: Donna Devin
Members Present: Chris Blake, April Burke, Michelle
Chase, John Curtin, Gerri Hanna, Jacqueline Jamison, Michelle Johnson, Alicia
Kucharczyk, Joyce Lewis, Shelagh McClure, Margaret McDermott, Megan O’Neill, Antonio
Orriola, Patricia Richardson, James Rosen, Sergio Rodriguez, Ada Suarez, Kathy
Wolkner, Robin Wood
Members Absent: Michelle Duprey, Ann Gionet,
Antonio Orriola, Brenda Stenglein
Staff: Molly Cole, Cathy Adamczyk
Meeting Assistants: Peggy Johnson, Ellen Mathis
Guests: Sergio Rodriguez, who is the new
Designee from the CT State Department of Education. He will be serving on the
Council representing Dr. Isabelina Rodriguez, Bureau
Chief of the Bureau of Special Education at the CSDE.
Kevin Daly, who is a self-advocate
and has been nominated to serve on the Council. Today, he had his interview
with the Council’s Membership Committee
1. Call to Order: Shelagh McClure called the meeting
to order at 10:10 AM.
2. Approval of Agenda: April Burke motioned to
approve the agenda. Meg McDermott seconded the motion. The agenda was
3. Approval of Minutes
Kathy Wolkner motioned to approve the minutes. Ada Suarez seconded the
motion. The minutes were approved. Robin Wood abstained.
4. Mission Moment:
John Curtin gave the Mission Moment. This is his
last year on the Council and he spoke about how much he has enjoyed the past 6
years, and being involved in meetings in and out of state. He has become a more
independent person, a better self-advocate and planner. He is also more aware
of the issues facing people with developmental disabilities. He stated ‘People
with disabilities can do anything and everything in this world, because the
word “disability” has the word “Ability” in it.’
5. Update on 2020
Campaign: Shelagh McClure discussed creating
packets that cover Campaign issues for Council members to distribute to their
State Legislators. Since the new website will soon be unveiled, the goal is to
have a packet in the hands of all Legislators by early fall.
T. Grasso Regional Center in Stratford and Meriden Regional Center in Meriden
are still scheduled for closure by June 30th.
said the taping of videos for the 2020 Campaign
will be scheduled in June at the availability of the digital media
encouraged members to come up with more opportunities for 2020 Campaign
educational sessions, like the ones held in April with Allan Bergman in
Hartford and Niantic. The audience targeted is not disability specific groups.
tips on the best methods for contacting Legislators were offered by Senators
Joseph Markley, and Kevin Witkos, and Representatives Mike Demicco, Daniel
Rovero, and Hilda Santiago, at the Legislative Office Building during the
Partners in Policymaking Training session on Saturday, May 7th. They
suggested that constituents reach out to them in August or September when the
legislature is relatively quiet. Since they aren’t usually in the Capitol area
when the Legislature isn’t in session, they really enjoy meeting constituents
in their town of residence.
6. Update on Legislative
Actions: Shelagh McClure gave an update on the status of
bills the Council has been following.
- Senate Bill #294 – An Act Concerning
Individuals with Intellectual Disability The Council supported this bill. A modified version of it passed.
Bill #5176 – An
Act Concerning Community Residences
Council opposed this bill and it died in the House.
- House Bill #5050 – An Act Modernizing Parking
Signs for People with Disabilities: The Council supported this bill and it passed.
- House Bill #5587 – An Act Concerning
Recommendations for Services Provided to Children and Young Adults with
Council supported this bill and a modified version of it has been passed.
7. Budget Issues: As of today, the State Budget still has to be
voted on. Services for those with
disabilities have undergone a number of deep cuts, especially the Independent
Living Centers. The Birth to Three Program has been moved to the Office of
8. Introduction of New Council Member:
Council members introduced themselves and welcomed Sergio Rodriguez, the
designated representative for Dr. Isabelina Rodriguez, Bureau Chief of the
Bureau of Special Education at the State Department of Education. Sergio runs
the Surrogate Parent Program for the State and is the parent of a 19 year old
young adult with disabilities.
9. Update on Office of
Protection and Advocacy: Molly Cole discussed the
challenges surrounding The
Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Developmental Disabilities
becoming a private nonprofit agency. The Abuse Investigations Division within
the Agency will be transferred to the Department of Rehabilitation Services.
Efforts are underway to begin mobilizing the disability community to educate
them as to what a protection and advocacy entity should look like, and
encourage them to provide input into who they think it should be. The Council
was given the names of several states to look at who have designed very
successful models for their P&A systems.
10. Update on
Disability Policy Seminar, Washington, D.C.: Shelagh
McClure sits on the ABLE Act Board in CT. In June, the State Treasurer of Vermont is holding a meeting
to talk about how other states are implementing ABLE accounts. Shelagh was
invited to attend the conference.
and Shelagh McClure attended the Washington D.C. AIDD Policy Seminar in April.
They received the complete support of U.S. Senators Chris Murphy and Richard
Blumenthal, who spearheaded an effort and coauthored a letter seeking full
funding of the Protection and Advocacy Systems, the DD Councils and the
UCEDD(s), that was favorably received by their colleagues. The Senators have
been invited to the upcoming Candidates’ Forum.
11. Five Year
Plan: There has been an overwhelming
response to the Council’s request for public input on the Five Year Plan. Molly
Cole is sifting through the data and will include statistics in the five year
plan due on August 15th. The
number one initiative offered by the plan that people judge to be most helpful
is the promotion of Customized Employment
at 68%. The next highest in the level of interest evidenced by the public was the
option of addressing Housing at 65%, followed by the Improving School Climate initiative at 62%.
Leadership Training and Closure of Southbury Institution
initiatives were at 48%. & 44%, respectively. A copy of the modified plan will distributed
to members in July prior to submission in August.
12. Discussion of
Transition Process to Hire a New Director:
Cole, the Executive Director of the Council is preparing to retire during the
fall of this year. To find a successor and ensure a smooth transference of
administrative duties, Shelagh McClure has formed a selection committee to
oversee the process. Members of the new committee are Michelle Johnson, Joyce
Lewis, James Rosen, Brenda Stenglein, Ada Suarez. They will hold their first
meeting in June. All meetings of this
committee will be posted and the meetings will be treated as any other committee
13. Executive Director’s
Report and Budget Report: Molly Cole gave the Executive Director’s
Report and Budget Report. The Council’s
Federal grant allocation hasn’t changed. Currently, the number of participants
in the Partners in Policymaking training is at 25 and they just finished their
fourth session. The Partners reunion will be held on October 1st at
the Sheraton Four Points in Meriden. Allan Bergman of High Impact Mission-based
Consulting and Training is scheduled to attend. He has been a guest presenter
at all 14 years of Partners in Policymaking Training.
workgroup has been meeting to study customized employment. They are planning to
bring in a national expert from Mark Gold and Associates to conduct training in
CT. The Council and the workgroup are really embracing the customized
employment perception and moving their agenda forward in the state, in a way
they haven’t been able to in the past.
the Customized Employment Initiative in Connecticut, the Council voted to
allocate $60K for hiring Mark Gold and Associates to do 2 trainings; 1 in
Northern CT and 1 in Southern CT. The funds will also provide transportation
and training for mentors. Shelagh McClure, Chair, asked for a motion to pass
the Customized Employment Initiative. Robin Wood made a motion to approve it.
Ada Suarez seconded the motion. The Council approved it unanimously.
Cross Disability Lifespan Alliance is holding a presentation titled Nothing About Us Without ALL of Us:
Strategies for Working Together. It is being held on Thursday, June 2nd,
from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. at Beth El Temple, 2626 Albany Avenue in West Hartford.
At the event, there will be a panel of disability activists representing a
variety of disability perspectives. They will discuss how we can best work
together, best practices, along with sharing their unique viewpoints.
14. Committee Meetings: The APIE and Proposal Review Committees met
from 1:15 to 2:30 PM and reported back to the group.
15. Adjournment of
Shelagh McClure asked for a motion for adjournment. Ada Suarez motioned for
adjournment. Sergio Rodriguez seconded the motion. The meeting adjourned
at 2:55 PM. The next Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 12th
in West Hartford.