CTCDD: CTCDD Meeting 5-9-17

CTCDD Meeting 5-9-17

- DRAFT -                      - NOT APPROVED -                      - DRAFT -



CT Council on Developmental Disabilities


May 9, 2017, 10:00 AM to 2:45 PM

Temple Beth El, 2626 Albany Avenue, West Hartford, CT



The 207th meeting of the CT Council on Developmental Disabilities was held on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 from 10:00 AM to 2:45 PM at Temple Beth El in West Hartford, CT.

Presiding:  Shelagh McClure, Chair

Recorder of Minutes:  Donna Devin

Members Present:  Chris Blake, Vice Chair; April Burke, Kevin Daly, Ann Gionet, Gary Gross, James Hexter, Joyce Lewis, Ellyn Little, Shelagh McClure, Chair; Margaret McDermott, Megan O’Neill, Patricia Richardson, Sergio Rodriguez, James Rosen, Michael Scanlon, Brenda Stenglein, Danielle Webber, Kathy Wolkner, Robin Wood

Members Absent:   Michelle Chase, Alicia Kucharczyk

Staff:  Cathy Adamczyk, Donna Devin

Meeting Assistants:  Tiffanie Allain, Ellen Mathis

Guests:  Emily Ball, Bob Cloonan, Loretta Jay, Colleen McGill, Jamie Roland, Kathleen Strauss, Lisa Weisinger


Public Forum:  Shelagh McClure, Chair, welcomed visitors to the Forum, and opened the floor to hear comments from those wishing to address the Council.

West Hartford residents, Lisa Weisinger and her son, Jamie, are working on the creation of a 2 year certificate program in higher education for high school graduates who have an intellectual and developmental disability. They deserve to be afforded the same rights as other college students: to gain and expand on academic, socialization, independent living, and employment skills. Although, there are over 262 higher education programs in the U.S. for students with IDD, Connecticut offers zero, and Lisa is fighting to change this. With help from a group she assembled, she is exploring the use of grant monies to put a program in place. Her long term vision is an integrated program, in which some students may elect to work towards a college degree, while using program amenities as a support and resource. Lisa is seeking both guidance and funding from the Council to increase support and awareness of the initiative.


The Council had many questions about the developing program, and expressed unbridled enthusiasm for it. Chris Blake, Vice Chair, asked what the requirements would be for admission to the program. Meg McDermott spoke about how helpful BRS was in helping her find supports when she lived on one of the SUNY campuses in New York. Sergio Rodriguez questioned if there was an evaluation piece to the program, to which Lisa answered that it's in development. Shelagh McClure, Chair, suggested DDS, DORS, and BRS would be good resources.

Next, Bob Cloonan, also a West Hartford resident, took the podium. He has two children with disabilities, and has been actively involved in the disability community for 40 years. His daughter has a job through supported employment, and he conveyed his gratitude to the Council on their outreach work for customized employment.

Over the last couple of years, Bob's advocacy focus has been on employment. "I think we spend years and years and years bringing our children up and helping them to become independent, and to do the best that they can. But, if they don't have that next step of some sort of supported employment program, than we're wasting all of our efforts."

Bob spoke out against the many jobs that companies have out-sourced to independent contractors. A lot of these jobs could have been filled by people with disabilities. To address the problems with employment, he's worked with the Legislature and identified three important steps he feels need to be taken:

·         Recognize employers who have successful supported employment programs.

·         Offer more tax incentives for employers with successful supported employment programs.

·         More employment of persons with disabilities by the state.


1.      Call to Order:  After the Council heard comments from the public, Shelagh McClure, Chair, called the meeting to order at 11:00 AM. 


2.      Approval of Agenda:  Sergio Rodriguez motioned to approve the agenda. Gary Gross seconded the motion. The agenda was approved.


3.      Approval of 3/28/17 Minutes and 4/4/17 Retreat Minutes:  Sergio Rodriguez motioned to approve the minutes from the March 28th Council meeting and the April 4th retreat. The motion was seconded by Meg McDermott. The minutes were approved. Sergio Rodriguez abstained.


4.      Report from Council Chair:  Shelagh McClure, Chair, updated the Council on several issues, including the state budget. On a bright note, approximately 130 people are scheduled to attend the 2020/Building a Great Life Documentary Screening on Wednesday evening, May 10th. Some Legislative members have reserved seats for the event, and tickets are still available. Dr. James Conway's Pennhurst Memorial Display will be set up Wednesday morning in the concourse connecting the LOB and the Capitol.


The state's ABLE Committee made some progress when they issued an RFI (Request for Information) to all states with an ABLE program, including those who are part of the National ABLE Consortium. They want to find out what their terms and conditions would be if CT decided to be part of their program. The ABLE Committee requested responses by May 18th.


A federal budget was passed and a shutdown has been avoided. This means Council funding is secure until the end of September.


5.      Membership:  The Membership Committee will be meeting to discuss filling vacant seats on the Council. Jackie Jamison has resigned from the Council. Ada Suarez has retired from the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities. Dr. Isabelina Rodriguez has left the Department of Education. Plus, the Council has an opening for a self-advocate.


6.      The Council voted to go into Executive Session to discuss a personnel matter concerning a Council employee. The Council voted to exit from Executive Session.


7.      Report from Cathy Adamczyk:   Melissa Marshall, Executive Director, has resigned from the position. The busy Council's office is now being operated by 1 f/t and 1 p/t staff. The Council's 5 Year Plan is on track. Site visit were completed for CT-KASA, the Governor's Prevention Partnership, and People First with the Arc of CT.


Council Vote on People First Initiative Funding:  Shelagh McClure, Chair asked for a motion to approve the continued funding for the People First initiative. Sergio Rodriguez made a motion to approve funding for the People First program for the amount that is listed on the MOU. Gary Gross seconded the motion. All approved.


Council Vote on Governor's Prevention Partnership Funding:  Shelagh McClure, Chair asked for a motion to approve the next payment for the Governor's Prevention Partnership initiative. Sergio Rodriguez made a motion to approve funding for the Governor's Prevention Partnership program for $12,150. April Burke seconded the motion. All approved.


The 2017 National Sibling Leadership Network Conference is June 24-25, in Hartford. The Council is funding up to 40 scholarships to cover the cost of registration for the event. Further details can be found on the Council's website.


The second part of the Connecticut Customized Employment project's three part training will be held on Wed., May 10th through Fri., May 12th in Hartford. The training will focus on job development. A third training will be conducted by Marc Gold and Associates in August on Systematic Instruction.


Cathy Adamczyk is traveling to Kansas City, MO, the week of May 15th with Robin Wood, Sherri Romblad, and Lis Phillips, to participate in the Community of Practice Annual Meeting and LifeCourse Showcase. It is the 5th and final year of the 5 year grant that CT was awarded.


Community of Practice LifeCourse Planning Funding as a Three Year Commitment:  Cathy Adamczyk clarified for the Council that the request funding for the CoP initiative was in the nature of membership fees; what the benefits are of continuing funding of the initiative; and what deliverables the Council can gain from a three year commitment to it. Shelagh McClure, Chair asked for a motion to approve the funding of the CoP LifeCourse Planning initiative for $2,250 per year for three years. James Hexter made a motion to approve funding for the program. Sergio Rodriguez seconded the motion. The Council approved funding. Robin Wood abstained.


8.      Other Business:  Shelagh McClure thanked Cathy Adamczyk and Donna Devin for their hard work in the absence of a director. She indicated that she will be asking for Council members to volunteer to be on the hiring committee when the Director position is posted and interviews are scheduled.


9.      Adjournment of Meeting: Shelagh McClure asked for a motion for adjournment. Sergio Rodriguez made a motion for adjournment. Brenda Stenglein seconded the motion.  The meeting adjourned at 2:45 PM. The next Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 in West Hartford.




Content Last Modified on 5/17/2017 10:36:23 AM