CTCDD: CTCDD Meeting 01-11-11

CTCDD Meeting 01-11-11

The 167th meeting of the CT Council on Developmental Disabilities was held on Tuesday, January 11, 2011, at the Institute of Technology and Business Development/Central Connecticut State University, New Britain.  The meeting was also a Public Forum.


Council Members Present: Joyce Baker; Larry Carlson; John Curtin; Gabriela Freyre-Calish; Michelle Johnson; Bill Knight; Maryann Lombardi; Jennifer Lortie; Sabra Mayo; Peter Morrissette; Perri Murdica; Sarah Rafala; Frank Reed, Vice Chair; Monica Smyth; Guy Sullivan; Anita Tremarche; Chair; and Patricia Tyler.


Excused Absence:  Darlene Borre; Stephen Belske; Stacey D’Angelo; Kathryn duPree; Fred Frank and Dwayne Paul.


Absent:  Mark Keenan; Hayley Kelley; David King; Zuleika Martinez; Al Piehl and Leslie Prior.


Guests Present:  Cathy Adamczyk and Molly Cole, University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) at the University of Connecticut (UCONN) Health Center (UCHC), and Kaitlyn Blicharz, intern with the UCEDD from the UCONN  School of Social Work; Patti Carrin, intern in the Council Office from Smith College; Lisa Carron, Americans with Disabilities Act Coalition of CT (ADACC); Sharon Dexler, Office of the Child Advocate; Anna Doroghazi, Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services (CONNSACS); Wendy Kwalwasser, Department of Children and Families (DCF); Melissa Pinnock, Service Employees International Union; Trevor, guest of Sabra Mayo; Lorraine DeFreitas, Meeting Assistant; several members of the public, two (2) American Sign Language Interpreters, Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired; and four (4) personal assistants.


Staff Present:  Margaret Cohan, Mary-Ann Langton and Ed Preneta.


Ms. Tremarche called the CT Council meeting to order at 11:04 a.m. beginning with the Public Forum. 


Public Forum


          Molly Cole, UCEDD, asked for the Council’s participation and support for a faith-based initiative planning a Spring Symposium on Grief and Persons with Disabilities.  She also noted that the Council and the UCEDD have a common interest in training parents and supporting youth advocacy.  The UCEDD has been conducting parent training through its federal Leadership Education Excellence in Caring for Children with Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) training grant and supporting Connecticut Kids As Self Advocates (CT-KASA) with funds from the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

          Lisa Caron, (ADACC), asked for the Council’s support for training and monitoring of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  She noted that there have been amendments to ADA and that there is a need to train state agencies, and others, on these amendments and on conducting self-evaluations for compliance.

          Wendy Kwalwasser, DCF, thanked the Council for its support for the Connecticut Parents with Cognitive Limitations Task Force.

          Patti Carrin, intern in the Council office, asked for the Council’s support for a Wrightslaw special education workshop specific to Connecticut, for parents and educators, in collaboration with the Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center (CPAC).

          Anna Doroghazi, CONNSACS, thanked the Council for its participation and support in addressing changes in state legislation to clarify language regarding “physically helpless”.  She noted that the State Supreme Court will be hearing a case on this matter at about the same time that legislation is being entertained.  Legislation will be needed if the Court does not clarify the concept.

          Ms. Tremarche thanked everyone for their presentations. 




          Mr. Curtin moved to approve the minutes of November 9, 2010.  Ms. Mayo seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.


Budget Update


          Mr. Preneta distributed a budget update on the 2010 Budget and the Draft 2011 Budget.  A copy of the report is attached and made part of the minutes.


Old Business


Committee Reports


Advocacy, Public Information and Education Committee


          Ms. Lortie reported that the Committee is continuing to work with First Communications Experience on a complete, broad and encompassing Marketing and Public Relations Plan.


Legislation, Policy and Planning Committee


          Mr. Knight reported that the Committee had agreed to support the establishment of wheelchair accessible taxis in Connecticut.  He reported concern with the Committee’s ability to obtain a quorum at meetings.  The Committee will be exploring holding meetings on dates that are not the same dates as Council meetings.  The Committee will be watching and studying legislation that consolidates state agencies to see what effect, if any, such consolidation will have on the Council.  The Committee proposes the establishment of a “Rapid Response Team” to respond to legislation that arises during the current Connecticut General Assembly.  It will be an extraordinary year of change.  Many bills of interest to the Council are likely to arise.  The Council will not have much time to respond.

          After considerable discussion, Mr. Sullivan described the process for a “Rapid Response Team”.

          Mr. Sullivan proposed that (1) when Council members or staff identify bills needing response that are consistent with the DD Act, the Council’s mission, philosophy, values and priorities, (2) staff or a Council member prepare a summary of the bill, (3) the summary be emailed to Committee members with a time, date and instructions for a conference call, (4) staff will call Committee members to alert them to the email, (5) those on the call use a simple majority to decide whether or not to comment, (6) a decision to provide comment is shared by email with all Council members, particularly if any state agencies represented on the Council may be affected, (7) expertise amongst Council members on the subject, including Council members who may wish to testify, will be sought, (8) staff will draft testimony and (9) staff will present testimony if no appropriate Council member is available to testify.

          Mr. Knight moved that the Council authorize a “Rapid Response Team” as described.  Ms. Baker seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.


          Ms. Cohan and Ms. Langton noted that the Connecticut Department of Transportation was holding hearing next week on the expansion of Yellow Cab services to include wheelchair accessible taxis service.


Membership and Support Committee


Ms. Mayo introduced Michelle Johnson as the newest Council member.  She reported that in 2011, five (5) Council members were retiring, four (4) may be reappointed and three (3) Council members will be asked about their continued interest in serving on the Council.  The Council will be losing an advocate, a parent and representatives of the Departments of Developmental Services, Social Services and the Office of Protection and Advocacy. The Committee will be meeting in the Spring to assess Council member attendance, retiring Council members and vacancies to fill.  Ms. Mayo noted that, up until this Council meeting, average Council attendance was 81%.

Ms. Tremarche asked that Council members be provided with a list of Committee membership to be sure that all Council members are active on one or more Committees.


Proposal Review Committee


          Ms. Freyre-Calish, Mr. Sullivan and Ms. Smyth all expressed frustration with working with the state system to implement internships with students with developmental disabilities.  Ms. Smyth said she was frustrated with bringing Project SEARCH into Connecticut but she is still working to pilot internships with Stamford Hospital that may be a Project SEARCH model in the Fall.  Mr. Sullivan said a Council member is continuing to work with the state system on the possibility of internships with a major financial institution but that the pace of progress is very slow.  He said that it is puzzling why a multimillion dollar corporation would need Council funds but, at the same time, it is an opportunity for the Council to leverage a large public-private partnership.  M. Freyre-Calish, speaking from a parent perspective, said it was frustrating to deal with bureaucratic hassles as time and money is running out.

          Mr. Carlson clarified that student eligibility for Medicaid waiver services complicates the process.

          Mr. Sullivan said his Committee is exploring a process for entities applying for funds to provide enough but concise information in applications for Council funds. Transition Committee


Transition Committee


          Mr. Reed reported that applications for the position of the Director of the Council were due December 17, 2010.  The Committee does not yet know how many applications were received or who has applied.  The Department of Administrative (DAS) will provide the Committee with a certified list of applicants on January 24, 2011 of those who passed the eligibility test but it will not provide the Committee with substantiating documents.  The Committee is contesting the DAS decision.  Mr. Reed plans to visit DAS on January 25, 2011 to pick up the list with documentation for safekeeping in Ms. duPree’s office, the Department of Developmental Services,  which is the Councils federally recognized “designated state agency” (DSA).  The Committee will be meeting on January 26, 2011 to review the set of applicants.  January 27, 2011 is a “snow date” for the Committee meeting.  Applicants will be interviewed on February 3rd and 4th, 2011 between 9:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. in conference room “C” on the 3rd floor of the Department of Developmental Services.  Any Council members interested in participating in the interviews should contact Mr. Reed.  The Committee reserves the right to make the final decision.  The chosen candidate will be presented to the Council for ratification at its March 15, 2011 Council meeting.


Executive Committee


          Mr. Reed reported that the Committee had a Special Executive Committee teleconference meeting on December 9, 2010, to deal with several pressing matters that need ratification by the Council that could not be delayed until a Council meeting.

          Mr. Reed moved that the Council ratify the Executive Committee’s decision to allow up to $20,000 to be spent on the Council’s 40th Anniversary Celebration.  Mr. Curtin seconded.

          Mr. Reed reported that the estimated cost of the Celebration will be about $17,000.  Current Council members will be part of the Celebration and transportation will be provided to current Council members who need special transportation.

          The motion passed unanimously.

          Mr. Reed moved that the Council ratify the Executive Committee’s decision to not provide a letter of support for applicants for federal funds for a family-to-family health information center.  Ms. Lombardi seconded.

          Ms. Mayo and Mr. Knight said there wasn’t enough information from any of the applicants, and enough time, for the Committee to make an informed decision.

          The motion passed unanimously.

          Mr. Reed reported the Committee voting against tabling using up to $15, 000 in a memorandum of understanding with CPAC to co-sponsor a Wrightslaw workshop for parents and professionals.  The Committee then voted to support a Wrightslaw workshop contingent upon the Council finding another co-sponsor to share 50% of the Council’s cost.  Efforts to implement the motion failed.  Mr. Reed believed Council members had a change of mind regarding Wrightslaw.

          Mr. Reed moved that the Council not ratify the Committee’s decision to table using up to $15,000 in a memorandum of understanding with CPAC to co-sponsor a Wrightslaw workshop.  Ms. Lombardi seconded.

          Mr. Sullivan raised a point-of-order.

          Mr. Reed responded that not ratifying the decision enables the Council to consider a new motion during the current Council meeting.  He also noted that the subsequent motion could not be implemented, therefore, a new motion could be entertained.

          Ms. Smyth was not opposed to Wrightslaw but she was concerned that the Executive Committee was a vehicle to bypass the full Council.

          The motion passed with Ms, Freyre-Calish and Mr. Sullivan abstaining.

          There was considerable discussion regarding the content of a motion to support Wrightslaw.

          Mr. Sullivan moved to use up t $15,000 to support a Wrightslaw workshop on April 28, 2011, in collaboration with CPAC, that is specific to Connecticut, with content of the workshop shared ahead of time with the Council, and a cost structure in which parents do not subsidize the participation of professionals and agencies.  Ms. Lombardi seconded.  The motion passed with Ms. Mayo abstaining.


New Business



          Mr. Reed asked that the Council’s Bylaws Task Force be reconvened to review recent bylaw changes enabling agencies to Chair Council Committees that also enable two (2) advocates or two (2) parents to Chair Committees.  The Council member was concerned the change diluted the power sharing of advocates and parents. There is also a concern that recent changes enabling email voting did not provide enough guidance.  There may also be other changes.  Council members willing to serve on  the Bylaws Task Force should contact staff by the close of business Friday, January 14, 2011.


2012-2016 State Plan


          Mr. Preneta reported that today’s Public Forum was the beginning of the writing of a new 5 year state plan.  He distributed a timetable that included six (6) focus group meeting.  He said that the Council’s critical decision-making points will be the Council’s May Retreat and the Council’s budget setting meeting in June.  The Council must electronically submit a new 5 year State Plan by August 15, 2011.


          Mr. Knight moved to adjourn.  Ms. Mayo seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.


          The meeting adjourned at 2:00 p.m.


                                                                   Respectfully submitted,




                                                                   Ed Preneta













Content Last Modified on 3/23/2011 3:11:42 PM