CTCDD: CTCDD Meeting 11-15-11

CTCDD Meeting 11-15-11



CT Council on Developmental Disabilities

November 15, 2011


The 172nd meeting of the CT Council on Developmental Disabilities was held on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM at the CT Office of Protection and Advocacy, 60B Weston Street, Hartford, CT.

Presiding: Frank Reed,  

Recorder of Minutes: Molly Cole, Director

 Members Present: Darlene Borre, John Curtin, Gabriela Freyre-Calish,  Michelle Johnson, Mark Keenan, David King, , Maryann Lombardi, Jennifer Lortie, Zuleika Martinez, Sabra Mayo, Peter Morrissette, Dwayne Paul, Sarah Rafala, Frank Reed, Monica Smyth, Guy Sullivan

Staff: Molly Cole

Guests:  Jennifer Throwe, DSS, Laura Marcinauskis, Kathleen Wolkner (new members, pending governorís appointments); Emily Melendez, Assistant Attorney General; Ada Suarez, Pending appointee from OPA. 

Meeting Assistant:  Lorraine Defreitas

 Excused Absence: William Knight, Fred Frank


Mr. Reed called the meeting to order at 10:05


1.    Approval of Agenda: Monica Smyth moved to accept the agenda with no changes. John Curtin secondedThe agenda was approved unanimously without change. 


2.  Comments from the Chair:  Chairman Reed opened the meeting by thanking the Council for their confidence in electing him Chair at the September meeting.  He brings an array of experiences to the Council which will enhance hi leadership in addressing the issues facing people with disabilities.  Mr. Reed stated that, like other members of the Council, he came to the Council to make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities.  He serves at the pleasure of the Council and asked for the help and support of all Council members.  He stated that his expectations for Council members are that they attend all meetings, behave in a professional manner and conduct themselves with civility and respect for other members and the public.  There are many challenges facing people with disabilities, including massive staff vacancies at our state and private agencies, which will mean less assistance and supports available to people with disabilities.  The Council must step up to be a strong voice for people with disabilities in Connecticut. 


3.  Approval of Minutes: Jenifer Lortie moved to approve the minutes of the September 15 meeting of the Council.  Monica Smyth seconded.  The minutes were approved with no changes.


4.  Approval of the 2012 Calendar of Meetings:    the Council discussed the possibility of moving the meeting dates from Tuesdays to Wednesdays.  Mrs. Cole reminded the Council that they had recruited members based on a Tuesday meeting date, and that changing this could mean that some members would no longer be able to make the commitment to attend meetings.  Several Council members agreed that changing the date would make it difficult for them to attend due to work and other commitments.  Monica Smyth moved to approve a calendar of meetings for the second Tuesdays in 2012.  Zuleika Martinez seconded.  The Council approved a calendar of meetings for 2012 as follows:

         January 10th

         March 13th

         May 8th

         June 12th

         September 11th

         November 14th (Wednesday, Tuesday is Election Day)


5.  Executive Session:  The Council Adjourned to Executive Session from 10:30 to 10:50 to discuss pending litigation with Assistant Attorney General Emily Melendez. The council resumed its public meeting at 10:50 AM. 


6.  Mission Moment:  Molly Cole introduced this new feature in the Council Agenda.  Each meeting will include a brief, five minute presentation by one member about an experience or issue that they have encountered.  These presentations are intended to assist the Council in maintaining its focus on the mission of the Council.  She introduced Jennifer Lortie to present the first Mission Moment.  Jennifer discussed her experiences in using a PCA Waiver to attend and complete her college education. She said that as seniors in high school, both she and her twin sister, who does not have disabilities, wanted to attend college.  Her sister had no challenges, but Jenniferís parents could not understand how Jennifer could pursue her dream of attending college as well.  She was able to access supports through her PCA waiver, and used nursing students at the college to assist her.  Jennifer was one of the first individuals to use the waiver to complete her college education. 


7.  Presentation on Parliamentary Procedure.  Molly Cole provided a brief PowerPoint presentation on the purpose of parliamentary procedure.  She reminded the group that these rules are intended to keep order at meetings, ensure that all Council members are respected and that the business of the Council is completed in a civil and professional manner. 


8.  De-Brief on the Council Retreat:  Maryann Lombardi provided an overview of the retreat.  The retreat was held on October 17-18.  Seventeen Council members and six members pending appointment attended the Retreat. All who attended felt that this was a wonderful opportunity to get to know other Council members and gain a vision and clear understanding of Council roles and responsibilities. They also heard information about the challenges facing people with disabilities in the current economy and the need to focus on outcomes for the vast amounts of funding already being spent on person with disabilities. The message was: learn to do better with less funding.   John Curtin, David King and Sarah Rafala said that they enjoyed the meeting and learned a lot, but felt that some of the presentation and materials were difficult for them to understand.  Jennifer Lortie stated that she was on the planning committee and was disappointed that the materials were not sent in advance.    The Council agreed that the retreat was beneficial and should be considered in the future, but that materials should be sent out in advance so that all members could better participate in the discussions.  


9.  Report from the Director:  Molly Cole reviewed the Directorís report that was sent to all Council members.  She highlighted that the Council will receive $724, 261 for 2012She also stated that $2000 was received from ITACC towards the cost of the retreat, $2000 was received from OPA towards Mr. Bergmanís expenses since there was a DD Network event with Mr. Bergman prior to the retreat    Comments were received back on the five year plan and changes can be made when the plan is revised in August, 2012.  She distributed the new brochures for Partners in Policymaking training and provided a brief overview of the training.  She stated that the DD Network is partnering on this event.  OPA will contribute $20,000 and the UCEDD will provide materials, printing and office support for the training and data collection and analysis.  Gretchen Knauff from OPA and Gabriela Freyre-Calish from the UCEDD are working with Molly Cole in the planning and implementation of the training. 


10.  Committee Reports:


         Membership:  Sabra Mayo presented the Membership Committee Report which she distributed to all members.  The Council has two new vacancies, one parent and one person with a disability.  There are four parents who are awaiting appointment, one self advocate awaiting appointment and three agency representative awaiting appointment.  No representative from SDE has been identified.  A new DDS Deputy Commissioner has been appointed to replace Kathryn DuPree and Molly will discuss a new DDS representative with the agency.

         APIE:  Dwayne Paul reported that APIE has not met and that he is awaiting direction from the Council on what area they want APIE to focus on.  He also stated that the committee had some issues in achieving a quorum at meetings and would like new members.  The Council discussed the importance of the work of APIE, especially the need to be a voice for people with disabilities in the state.

         Proposal Review Committee:  Gabriela Freyre-Calish reported on the PRC committee.  The committee is beginning to review and revise the grant application process, format and reporting, and will work with Molly Cole, who is receiving training on DD Suite to facilitate on-line grant application submission and reporting.  The committee will meet in early December to revise the application.

         Policy Committee.  In the absence of Bill Knight  Moll Cole informed the Council of several actions, including responding to issues related to EPSDT  and Medicaid issues, a well as providing testimony and input on Emergency Preparedness and Response after the last two storms.  The Committee has not met.


11.  Small Group Activity:  Revisiting five year plan priorities.  David King and Zuleika Martinez introduced this portion of the meeting by stating the importance of small group activities so that all Council members can participate.  John Curtin and Sarah Rafala agreed, and also stated that the pre-meeting at 9AM allowed an opportunity to review the material and be better prepared to participate.  Molly Cole provided instructions for the small groups to begin the process of identifying actions and funding initiatives for the coming year in the top three priority areas of Employment, Housing and Health.  The council members selected their groups and met for one hour to discuss the topics.  They then reported out as follows:



The Council could explore the following:

1.      Volunteer opportunities that lead to paid employment

2.      Federal level employment opportunities and initiatives

3.      Educate chambers of commerce on the benefits of hiring person with disabilities

4.      Holding an event that includes awards/recognition of those who employ people with disabilities

5.      Talk to unions and trade associations who have training programs that could include working with persons with disabilities

6.      Study the perceived barriers of employers and employees, and address those concerns

7.      Transportation as a barrier to employment

8.      The payment and training requirements for job coaches

9.      The use of technology to assist persons with disabilities in employment

10. the issues of state agencies who are not paid or motivated to move people with disabilities into meaningful employment

11. Addressing transition training earlieróin middle school

12. Project SEARCH: An onsite internships and training model

13. Use of tax incentives

14. Entrepreneurships

15. The Governorís employment initiative and persons with disabilities


         Molly will send information on employment issues  to the Council

         The Council will hold a topical call on employment for any member who wants to participate in more discussion on this topic

         The Council will be prepared to vote on an employment initiative in January



1.       Challenges:

         Choice of where you live

         Waiting lists

         Availability of accessible housing

         Location issues:  transportation and community access

2.      Define the types of housing:

        Family homes

        Section 8 housing

        Group homes: who does it well?  Give awards to those who do well

        Supported housing

        Your own home or apartment

3.      What are other states doing?  Arizona, California, Maryland, Massachusetts

4.      Research:

     Housing authorities

     Social services and waiting listsóare there model communities?  Establish monetary awards for communities who do well

5.      Talk to the disability collabortives

6.      Discuss with DDS : funding and housing models

7.      Look at other innovative approaches to housing


Next Steps:

         Work as a special interest group with DDS input

         Identify others in Ct who are working on housing and meet with them to identify possible initiatives


Focus on statewide emergency preparation and response.

         Ensure a database in each town

         Establish plans in each town that are developed by teams including persons with disabilities

         Ensure that proper tools are in place

         Identify methods for accountability

In two years:

Review the state plan: who is responsible? (People and agencies)

1.      Go to communities and look at who is responsible

2.      Print materials and communication

3.      Look at other state plans (Florida and California)

4.      Look at best practices, tools, services and communication protocols

In 3-4 years

1.      Implement the data base

2.      Identify a funding sources for the plan

3.      Conduct education and outreach

4.      Ensure local control of the emergency plan

5.      Ensure that people with disabilities are involved in the development of local plans

6.      Get data

The Council will elicit more input and vote on these priorities in time for spring RFPís


12.  Adjournment:  John Curtin moved to adjourn and Sabra Mayo seconded the motion.  The Council adjourned at 2:55 PM.

Content Last Modified on 1/17/2012 2:05:01 PM