CTCDD: CTCDD Meeting 5-10-16

CTCDD Meeting 5-10-16


CT Council on Developmental Disabilities


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 approved unanimously.


3. Approval of Minutes of 3/8/16:  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.


The Ella T. Grasso Regional Center in Stratford and Meriden Regional Center in Meriden are still scheduled for closure by June 30th.


Molly Cole said the taping of videos for the 2020 Campaign  will be scheduled in June at the availability of the digital media videographer.


Molly 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.


Helpful 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 #294An Act Concerning Individuals with Intellectual Disability The Council supported this bill. A modified version of it passed.
  • House Bill #5176An Act Concerning Community Residences

The Council opposed this bill and it died in the House.

  • House Bill #5050An Act Modernizing Parking Signs for People with Disabilities:  The Council supported this bill and it passed.
  • House Bill #5587An Act Concerning Recommendations for Services Provided to Children and Young Adults with Developmental Disabilities

The 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 Early Childhood.


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.


Molly Cole 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:  Molly 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 meeting. 


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.


A small 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.


To fund 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.


The CT 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 Meeting:  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.

Content Last Modified on 7/19/2016 8:44:32 AM