- DRAFT - - NOT APPROVED - - DRAFT -
CT Council on Developmental Disabilities
COUNCIL MEETING, Snow Date
March 20, 2018, 10:10 a.m. - 2:55 p.m.
UCONN UCEDD, Conference Room
The Exchange Bldg #4, 270 Farmington Ave., Suite 181, Farmington, CT
The 212th meeting of the CT Council on Developmental Disabilities was held on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 from 10:10 a.m. to 2:55 p.m. at the UCONN UCEDD in Farmington, CT. The meeting was rescheduled from March 13th due to a snow storm.
Presiding: Shelagh McClure, Chair
Recorder of Minutes: Donna Devin
Members Present: Chris Blake, Vice Chair; April Burke, Kevin Daly, Gary Gross, James Hexter, Bryan Klimkiewicz, Gretchen Knauff, Alicia Kucharczyk, Joyce Lewis, Shelagh McClure, Chair; Megan O’Neill, Antonio Orriola, Patricia Richardson, Linda Rammler, James Rosen, Michael Scanlon Brenda Stenglein,
Members Absent: Ann Gionet, Margaret McDermott, Kathy Wolkner, Robin Wood
Non-Voting Members Absent: Ellyn Little,
Staff: Donna Devin
1. Call to Order: With a quorum present, Shelagh McClure, Chair, called the meeting to order at 10:10 a.m.
2. Approval of Agenda: Gary Gross motioned to approve the agenda. April Burke seconded the motion. The agenda was approved.
3. Approval of January 9, 2018 Minutes: Gary Gross motioned to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by April Burke. The minutes were approved. April Burke, Gary Gross, James Hexter, Bryan Klimkiewicz, Megan O’Neill, and Michael Scanlon abstained.
4. Introduction of New Council Member: A warm welcome was extended to Bryan Klimkiewicz, Chief, Bureau of Special Education at the Connecticut State Department of Education. He is the Governor’s appointee to serve on the Council as the representative of the DOE. He brings with him, formidable knowledge honed from many years of experience in the field of Special Education. Former positions he held include Director of Student Services in Plainfield, Director of Special Education at Canterbury and Woodstock Academy, Special Education Teacher, and Paraprofessional.
5. Legislative Update: Since the Legislative session is well underway, Shelagh McClure, Chair, began a refresher of the proposed policies facing Legislators, that the Council supports or opposes. She screens legislative bills daily, and has submitted testimony on the following ones, and on the DDS Budget:
- DDS Budget – Opposing cuts to Behavioral Services Program; in favor of new funding for Emergency placements; requesting full funding for Day and Employment Program for new high school grads.
- House Bill 5245 – An Act Establishing a Taskforce to Study Best Practices for Providing Transportation for Disabled Persons, Senior Citizens and Veterans; SUPPORT
- Senate Bill 312 – An Act Concerning the Needs of Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities; SUPPORT
- House Bill 5253 – An Act Concerning Expanding Access to The Money Follows the Person Demonstration Project; SUPPORT
- House Bill 5462 – An Act Concerning Transition Services for Special Education Students; SUPPORT
- House Bill 5216 – An Act Concerning Communication Between the Disability Rights Organizations and the DDS Regarding Abuse and Neglect of Persons with Disabilities; SUPPORT with additional recommendations
- Senate Bill 218 – An Act Prohibiting Involuntary Sterilization of Persons with Disabilities; SUPPORT
- Senate Bill 296 – An Act Establishing a Pilot Program to Serve People Seeking Residential Services from the Department of Developmental Services; SUPPORT
- Senate Bill 400 – An Act Concerning Graduate Funding (Part 1: SUPPORT) and the Provision of Support and Services for Persons with Disabilities (Part 2. A. SUPPORT Raise, NO POSITION on how amount is determined.), and (Part 2. B. Calls for a training and advisory committee; NO POSITION on need for this committee, but SUBMITTED COMMENTS.)
- Senate Bill 463 – An Act Concerning the Development of a Facilities and Resources Plan for Persons with Intellectual Disability; OPPOSE, as bias is to further institutional settings.
- Senate Bill 17 – An Act Promoting Fairness in Access to Information, Support and Justice for Sexual Assault Victims; SUPPORT with comments.
At the recent 5th Annual Arc CTFamily Hearing Day at the Capitol, a number of self advocates provided very effective testimony in front of the Legislature on how the bills would affect their friends and them.
Chris Blake, Vice Chair, gave an update on the Cross Disability Lifespan Alliance and the issues being followed closely by them. One piece of federal legislation they are thrusting into the public eye concerns changes to Section 1115 Medicaid waivers, that allows states to impose work or community requirements on recipients of Medicaid. Most states have been approved to act on this policy change, are awaiting approval, or are in the act of crafting state legislation to be approved. The states which are against, or are unresolved regarding the policy are: California, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
A brief history of Special Education policy was presented by Council Member, Kevin Daly, a Special Education Consultant and Parent Advocate. The Council was advised to be watchful for a proposal to alter the Excess Cost Sharing formula used by the state to cover the cost of students with a high level of educational need. The design of an insurance based model for Special Education funding, where funds are pooled, and a switch to a Special Education Cost Cooperative Predictable formula was discussed.
Joyce Lewis, Council Member, and Vice President and Director of Birth to Three at Key Human Services, contributed a Provider perspective to current legislation. Working jointly with the Cross Disability Lifespan Alliance, she submits testimony on the same policies frequently, sometimes even providing testimony for them. She’s open to suggestions for increasing her presence on some of the bills.
Alterations to the Medicaid Income Guidelines, scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2018, were mentioned by Council Member, Patricia Richardson, ADRC Statewide Coordinator and Field Representative at the State Department on Aging. A vote slated to reduce the Medicare Saving Program was delayed last year until spring of this year. Patricia is fearful the major impact to the guidelines has fallen off people’s radar and warned them to be vigilant of it, because the changes will be implemented if action is not taken.
6. Report from Council Chair: Shelagh McClure, Chair, brought a few federal items the Council’s attention. There is a federal House Resolution, H.R.620 – ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017, to amend the American with Disabilities Act. The proposal would require any person with a disability, who is unable to access public accommodations, to provide written notice allowing an owner of a facility 60 days to acknowledge receipt of the letter, plus an additional 120 days before any legal action can be initiated. The U.S. House of Representatives has already passed the measure. The resolution was received in the Senate on February 26, 2018. As Council Chair, Shelagh is signing a national letter from the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, opposing the measure.
Lastly, amidst the myriad cuts in the federal budget, is a proposal to cut significant funding from DD Act programs, including chopping 23% from the funding of state Councils on Developmental Disabilities, decreasing the funding of UCEDD’s by 13% and gutting 90% of the funding for projects of national significance. Since a budget deal was reached, it’s unknown at this time what the future is for these proposed funding cuts.
7. Report from Director: Walter Glomb opened his report with notice that the Building a Great Life Documentary will be shown at the Building a Great Life Conference on Thursday, April 19th at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Cromwell. The Arc of Litchfield has graciously offered to host a showing of documentary. Plans are underway for viewings in other parts of Connecticut.
Speaking of the Building a Great Life Conference, with the list of workshops and presenters complete, the registration link is now up on the Council website. One of the conference events is a panel of participants from the BAGL Documentary. Council members were reminded to reserve their spot at the conference, since the workshops will fill up fast.
The 2020 Committee met to discuss hiring a consultant to make the 2020 Campaign a major issue for the 2018 political campaign. They received a very promising proposal, but no action has been taken on it.
The Traditional and the Professional Providers' 2018 Partners in Policymaking programs are off to a good start. One of the Council members had spoken with someone participating in the new Professional Providers program. They are greatly enjoying the program and had nothing but effusive praise for it.
Since the Parent with Cognitive Limitations Professionals’ working group attended by Walt and Shelagh, Council Chair, lacked parents with cognitive limitations, Walt located and attended a meeting of the only remaining self advocacy group for Parents with Disabilities in the state; an evening, facilitator run group held at the DDS in Norwich. He wanted to ask them personally, what the Council could do for them, and get some direction from them, because they know their needs best. After speaking with the parents, his takeaway was the need for a facilitated state-wide self-advocacy group for Parents with Disabilities. He will create an RFP to present to the Council’s Proposal Review Committee.
The Chrysalis Center in Hartford was the site of a very successful Customized Employment Retreat on March 6th. Attendees included the Council’s Director, Chair, Vice Chair and a few Council members, along with Allan Bergman, state providers, and representatives from state agencies.
The Governor’s Prevention Partnership All Abilities Alliance Anti-Bullying Program is going National! The NACDD sponsored a roll-out of the program last month with a webinar attended by 25 states. More schools in Connecticut have signed on to the program.
Walt visited the Council’s Webmaster, Matt Smith, at Litchfield County Computer to realize his vision for the Council’s website. The goal is to have much more white space, larger fonts and a minimum of font styles. The Council has a DDS tech as a back-up webmaster, and for FOIA compliance.
The Council’s Legislative Breakfast on February 21st was a rousing success. The Council couldn’t have chosen a better day to hold it, then the Arc’s Annual Family Hearing Day at the CT Capitol! Although 25 of the Legislators signed the attendance sheet, there were other Legislators who chose to remain anonymous while visiting the atrium where the breakfast was held. The Council plans to hold another breakfast next year.
The Council has agreed to fund training through the University of Missouri at Kansas City for Connecticut Regional Educational Service Centers (RESCs) in the LifeCourse certification training.
A post-secondary education plan for individuals with I/DD is the objective of the Connecticut Think College Policy Sustainability Leadership workgroup. The Council is collaborating on its design with the UCONN UCEDD, who was awarded a grant to create a program.
Michael Scanlon attended a recent CT KASA meeting. They are hoping to begin a mentor program. Michael was asked to speak with the young adults, find out what they were looking for in a program and offer his ideas. By May of this year, they will have a more concrete framework.
Patty Richardson asked about CT Sibs, the sibling leadership and advocacy group. Walt will give an update from Mary Hayden at the next meeting.
8. Budget Report: The budget is on track and the staff continues to look for opportunities to save money and cut back on costs whenever and where-ever possible.
9. Announcements and Adjourn: The Council’s Retreat is scheduled for Tuesday, April 10th, at the Sheraton Hartford South in Rocky Hill. The start time is 9:30 a.m. Shelagh McClure asked for a motion for adjournment. April Burke made a motion for adjournment. James Hexter seconded the motion. The meeting adjourned at 3:05 p.m. The next Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at Beth El Temple in West Hartford. It will be the Council’s Public Forum.