CTCDD: CTCDD Meeting 9-13-11

CTCDD Meeting 9-13-11



Council on Developmental Disabilities

September 13, 2011


The 171st meeting of the CT Council on Developmental Disabilities was held on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 from 10:30 AM to 2:15 PM at the Institute of Technology and Business Development/Central Connecticut State University, New Britain.


Presiding: Frank Reed, Acting Chair

Recorder of Minutes: Molly Cole, Director


Members Present:, Darlene Borre, Larry Carlson, John Curtin, Gabriela Freyre-Calish,  Michelle Johnson, David King, William Knight, Maryann Lombardi, Jennifer Lortie, Zuleika Martinez, Peter Morrissette, Dwayne Paul, Frank Reed, Monica Smyth, Pat Tyler


Excused Absence: Joyce Baker, Stephen Belske, Kathryn duPree, Fred Frank, Mark Keenan, Haley Kelley, Sabra Mayo, Sarah Rafala,  Guy Sullivan, Anita Tremarche,


Staff: Molly Cole, Mary Ann Langton

Guest:  Jennifer Throwe, DSS (new member, pending governor’s appointment)


Upon arrival of sufficient members for a quorum Frank Reed, Council Vice-Chair called the meeting to order at 10:30 A.M.


1.                  Approval of Agenda: William Knight moved to accept the agenda with no changes. Monica Smyth seconded.  The agenda was approved unanimously without change. 


2.                  Approval of Minutes:  The Council agreed to amend the minutes by redacting two sentences from the draft. 


William Knight moved to approve the June 14 minutes and the July 7 amended minutes.  Monica Smyth seconded.  The minutes were approved unanimously. 


3.                  Recognition of outgoing Council members.   Frank Reed presented certificates of appreciation to outgoing Council Members Pat Tyler and Larry Carlson. Certificates will be mailed to other outgoing members: Kathryn duPree, Anita Tremarche and Joyce Baker. 


4.                  Executive Director’s Report.  Molly Cole reviewed highlights of the Director’s Report, which will be sent prior to each Council meeting.

·       Proposals and data.  The Council will be focusing on collecting more data from meetings, the web site, calls to the office and training.  Additionally, the Council, through the proposal review committee will improve accountability and consistent reporting and data collection on outcomes related to the five year plan.

·       Website.  The web site needs re-design to include more information on Council members, Council initiatives, and current issues as well as to provide data from the web site.

·       Outreach and public awareness.  The Council will have new brochures, materials and a poster display.  Council staff are connecting with numerous committees to increase the presence of the Council across the state.  They are looking for conference opportunities to present or to have a poster display, and are seeking Council input for additional opportunities. 


5.       Budget Presentation.  Molly Cole presented a PowerPoint overview of the budget.   


Discussion:  Several Council members inquired about why Trinity Robotics is included in the budget when the Council voted last spring to  de-fund this initiative.  There was discussion regarding the process of identifying Council initiatives, since the Proposal Review Committee  should see any proposal for funding, and there was no proposal submitted. There was similar commentary regarding the funding in the budget for the internships. 


Motion: Dwayne Paul moved to approve the budget without funding for Trinity Robotics and the internships, and pending approval of funding for Partners in Policymaking.   Monica Smyth seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously. 


Discussion :  There was continued discussion regarding the Housing Task Force and initiatives to be approved by the Council that would encumber the undesignated funds in the budget. The Council requested that Council staff use the notes from the May and June meetings to develop the ideas generated at those meetings into specific funding initiatives.  The Council will then discuss these and determine next steps. Molly Cole agreed to have these materials ready for the retreat in October.  Once initiatives are developed they can be broadly disseminated across the state.


6.      Membership Committee.  In the absence of Sabra Mayo, Molly Cole did an update on the Membership Committee.  A letter with re-appointments and new appointments has been submitted for approval to the Governor’s office.  Specifically, Armand Legault indicated that he would like to come back to complete his term on the Council and his name has been put forward to fill Joyce Baker’s vacancy.  Five names were put forward for new parents to fill current and expected vacancies.  Regarding agency vacancies, Protection and Advocacy will be identifying someone soon, BRS has identified an individual whose name will be submitted to the Council office for submission to the Governor.  There are still no identified designees from DDS or SDE. 


Discussion:  There was discussion regarding attendance, since there are several members who have missed a significant number of meetings.  The by laws state:

Section 4. Absences

(1)    A member who is unable to attend:

(i)  a regular or special meeting of the Council, shall notify the Council staff by telephone or by E-mail prior to the meeting. The Council staff shall notify the Council Chair.

(ii) a committee meeting shall notify the Council staff by telephone or by E-mail prior to the meeting. The Council staff shall notify the Chair of the committee.

(2)  A member who is absent from two consecutive meetings of the Council or two consecutive meetings of a committee or any combination thereof, shall receive a letter from the Chair of the Council inquiring about the member's desire or ability to continue to serve as a Council member.

(3)  A member who is absent from three consecutive meetings of the Council or three consecutive meetings of a committee or any combination thereof, and who has not received from the Chair of the Council or in the case of a committee meeting, the Chair of such committee, prior to a meeting, authorization for the absence, shall be deemed to have resigned from the Council.  The Chairperson shall provide the Governor with notification of the resignation.

(4) Resignation from Council Membership.  Any member desiring to resign from the Connecticut Council on Developmental Disabilities shall submit his or her resignation to the Governor in writing with a copies to the Executive Director and Chairperson of the Council.”


The Council decided that effective October 1, the Council will begin to enforce this section of the by-laws and will notify all council members of their intent. 


Discussion:  Phone participation.  The by-laws currently prohibit participation by phone at regularly scheduled Council meetings.  The Council discussed amending the by-laws to allow for phone participation.  The Council recommended hiring a technology consultant to determine if there is technology that would support remote participation by any Council member using SKYPE, webinars or other alternative technology.  Council staff will explore this option and report back to the Council.


7.                   Revise the Agenda.  Monica Smyth stated that both she and Darlene Borre would need to leave at 12:30.   This would mean that there is no longer a quorum present, and there are still some action items remaining on the agenda.


 Monica moved to revise the agenda and Dwayne Paul seconded.  The council voted unanimously to revise the agenda so that all action items were voted on prior to 12:30 PM.


8.                  Vote on Chair/Vice Chair.  Molly Cole disseminated the ballot developed by the Membership Committee according to the process in the by-laws.  She also provided the job descriptions for Chair and Vice Chair as stated in the by-laws. The Membership Committee nominated Frank Reed for Chair and Maryann Lombardi for Vice Chair.  The ballot included a space for nominations from the floor. There were no nominations from the floor.     Each Council member completed a ballot which were tallied by Council staff.   


Election Result:  Frank  Reed, Chair and Maryann Lombardi, Vice Chair were elected unanimously by those voting members present.   


9.                   Report from the Proposal Review Committee.   Gabriele Freyre-Calish, Co-chair of the committee, gave the report.  The Committee reviewed the report from WeCAHR and was generally positive about the project.  There are some specific criteria relating to outreach, population served, specific activities and the percentage of the budget that will go  to administrative costs that will be addressed through a requested budget revision and the MOU.  The PRC recommends funding this proposal at the requested $60,000. 


Motion:  Monica Smyth moved to accept the Proposal Review Committee recommendation to fund WeCAHR for $60,000 through December 2012.  John Curtin seconded the motion.  The motion carried with William Knight voting against the motion. 


10.              Discussion and vote on Partners in Policymaking.   Molly Cole presented a brief overview of this leadership training program that is implemented in over 25 DD Councils across the country.  Connecticut is proposing to allocate $60,000 for this training, and will have additional staff and monetary support through the DD Network members (Protection and Advocacy and the University of Connecticut Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities). 


Motion:  Monica Smyth moved to  allocate  $60,000 to fund a Partners in Policymaking Training Program which will be run through the DD Council office with assistance from the DD Network.  William Knight seconded the motion.  It passed unanimously. 


11.              Web re-design.  Molly Cole discussed some of the challenges with the current web design, and the need for better access and current information on the website.  Data from August indicates that only 243 new hits were made on the website and visits were just over two minutes in length.  This indicates that there is not much usable information on the web site.  The Council discussed and was in agreement that the web needs a re-design. The Council recommended that staff seek bids from three web design consultants. 


Motion:  Bill Knight moved to provide the Director with authority to seek three bids to identify and engage a new web designer and to expend up to $5000 for an annual contract that included web master and web design. Monica Smyth seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.  


12.              Council Overnight Retreat on October 17-18.  Molly Cole  presented the plan developed by Allan Bergman for an overnight retreat in October. 


Motion:  Monica Smyth moved to authorize $12,000 for the retreat.  Gabriela Freyre-Calish seconded the motion. 


Discussion:  Dwayne Paul questioned the agenda for this retreat and further questioned why the Council would fund a retreat to develop the Council  when it did not agree to move forward with the FEC proposal.   


The motion passed with William Knight, Dwayne Paul and Peter Morrissette voting against funding the retreat.    


Further Discussion:  John Curtin and Jennifer Lortie agreed to work with Frank Reed, Maryann Lombardi, Molly Cole and Allan Bergman to plan the retreat. 



Monica Smyth and Darlene Borre left the meeting at  12:30 PM and there was no longer a quorum for official Council business.


DCF and Youth in Transition.   Maryann Lombardi discussed the issue of  DCF children who lose access to DCF supports if the young adult is not in school full time between the ages of 18 and 21.  This protocol has the potential to discriminate against children with disabilities who may not have access to a full time educational program.  Maryann and Molly have explored working with the SDE surrogate parents to support these children through their transition.  Maryann suggested using our grantee (ECONN) to implement PATH/MAPS training with DCF staff.    The discussion ended so that Council members could have lunch before our guest arrived at 1PM. 


Commissioner Macy:  The Commissioner was unable to attend at 1PM due to schedule conflicts and requested the opportunity to attend the November meeting. 


Emergency Planning and Power Outages During Irene.   Frank Reed and Maryann Lombardi discussed their own experiences during Irene and the need for the Council to present testimony whenever the legislative hearings take place. It is important the challenges experienced by people with disabilities are addressed at these hearings.    Mary Ann Langton stated that her town opened a shelter but that the Red Cross  volunteers were not trained to meet the unique needs of persons with disabilities, who were asked to leave the shelter.  The Red Cross volunteers receive minimal training, and Council members were not  sure whether their training included any issues related to disabilities.  John Curtin questioned what happens in small towns who may not even know where people with disabilities reside.  There is no uniform mechanism to identify persons with disabilities town by town.


DD Council Office Space.  Molly Cole discussed the challenges with the current office space:

1.       There are ongoing issues with a very old elevator—which may be addressed through a replacement at some time.

2.      There is no privacy between offices because there are not complete walls between the offices.  Molly cannot have confidential conversations or do supervision in the office.

3.      It is very challenging for Council members to come to the office at DDS central office—parking is restricted and access is challenging.

In light of these challenges, Molly discussed office issues with Commissioner Macy and subsequently looked at space in the DDS office in East Hartford.  This office also has challenges, including no automatic openers on the entrance doors or the bathrooms, and poor accessibility in the bathrooms.  The office space is good, and the parking and access are much easier.  However it is unclear whether the other needed accommodations can be made so that this space is appropriate.  She will continue to dialogue with staff at DDS. 


Money Follows the Person and the Katie Beckett Waiver. Bill Knight raised the issue of the hearing that would have increased by one slot the number of slots on the Katie Beckett waiver in order to accommodate one child being moved out under MFP.  Molly stated that there may be plans to add a few more slots to accommodate other MFP children, which raises the issue of how children who are on the waiting list (as long as 4 years) for this program. 


The discussion flowed to other challenges in limited resources, attrition in staffing and program reductions.  Council members expressed concern about the impact of cuts on people with disabilities.  The Council discussed funding  an impact study through an outside contractor to evaluate the impact of the cuts and program changes on persons with disabilities. 




The Council adjourned at 2:15.  






Content Last Modified on 12/1/2011 6:31:41 PM