CT Council on Developmental Disabilities
July 31, 2018, 10:14 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Beth El Temple, 2626 Albany Avenue, West Hartford, CT
The 214th meeting of the CT Council on Developmental Disabilities was held on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 from 10:20 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Beth El Temple in West Hartford, CT.
Presiding: Shelagh McClure, Chair
Recorder of Minutes: Donna Devin
Members Present: Charles Bergamo; April Burke, James Hexter, Bryan Klimkiewicz, Gretchen Knauff, Alicia Kucharczyk, Joyce Lewis, Ellyn Little; Shelagh McClure, Chair; Megan O’Neill, Patricia Richardson, James Rosen, Michael Scanlon, Brenda Stenglein, Robin Wood
Members Absent: Chris Blake, Vice Chair; Kevin Daly, Ann Gionet, Gary Gross, Antonio Orriola, Kathy Wolkner
Staff: Walter Glomb, Director; Cathy Adamczyk (call-in)
Meeting Assistants: Jennifer Raymond, Rosa Serrano
Members of the Public: Linda Rammler
1. Call to Order: With a quorum present, Shelagh McClure, Chair, called the meeting to order at 10:20 a.m.
2. Approval of Agenda: Gretchen Knauff motioned to approve the agenda. Brenda Stenglein seconded the motion. The agenda was approved.
3. Approval of March 20, 2018 Minutes: James Hexter motioned to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Megan O’Neill. The minutes were approved. Robin Wood abstained.
4. Approval of May 8, 2018 Minutes: Charles Bergamo motioned to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by James Rosen. The minutes were approved. Michael Scanlon abstained.
5. Report from Council Chair: Shelagh McClure, Chair, spoke on the topic of special education funding and other concerns. She referenced an article published by the New London Day newspaper on July 9, entitled “Legislators, Municipal Leaders Discuss Special Education Cost Issues”. The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities has formed a task force on special education funding in order to make recommendations to the State Legislature. Council members were cautioned to be vigilant, and monitor the task force and its recommendations. Among the ideas being floated by the group are shifting the burden of proof to parents in special education hearings, and regionalizing special education services. These action would reduce the opportunities for inclusion and violate IDEA
Members’ goal, both individually and as a Council, is to remind their Legislators about IDEA and its requirements: that all students, regardless of the severity of their disability, have the right to a free and appropriate education; that they are entitled to individualized education plans; and that the presumption is services can be delivered in their neighborhood schools. Members must stress to their Legislators that they reject pitting special education students against any other group. Shelagh encouraged members to reach out and talk to their Legislators and their local public officials, and said special education should be part of their discussions. Linda Rammler from the UCONN UCEDD offered to provide members with some old data that may be useful in accomplishing this objective.
The U.S. House and Senate each have An ABLE Age Adjustment Act bill under consideration, that raises the ABLE Act eligibility age, or when a disability occurs, from age 26 to 46. This would be beneficial to more veterans and people with traumatic brain injury. Council members were asked to contact their Federal Legislators and express their support of the age expansion.
6. Executive Session: April Burke motioned to open the Executive session. The motion was seconded by Gretchen Knauff. Voting Council members, the Council’s Director, and Meeting Assistants remained in the room.
7. Closure of Executive Session: James Hexter motioned to close the Executive session and return to the regular Council meeting. The motion was seconded by Joyce Lewis. Staff returned to the room.
8. Report from Director: Walter Glomb gave a run-down on the status of the Council’s objectives. The Council continues to work with the 2020 Committee to close Southbury Training School. An activity scheduled addressing this objective is showing the “Building a Great Life” documentary in key regional areas of the state. Unfortunately, this is proving to be more complicated than expected, as the Arcs are busy with events. Larc is ready to support the endeavor, but their showcasing of the documentary probably won’t occur until the Fall. Marc Community Resources, New London and Manchester Arcs have expressed interest.
Patty McQueen is working closely with the 2020 Committee on their plans for the 2018 Candidates’ Forum, being held on Thursday, October 11, at the Red Lion Hotel in Cromwell, CT.
The Proposal Review Committee has decided Disability Rights Connecticut (DRCT) should take the reins on Supported Decision Making. They will be compiling materials for promoting supported decision making to judges, lawyers and families. A meeting is scheduled for Thurs., August 23. Gretchen Knauff is excited Michael Kendrick accepted her invitation to attend the meeting. He is the Director of the Supported Decision Making Program at the Center for Public Representation in Northampton, MA. They are the Technical Assistance Provider to Protection and Advocacy Agencies, like DRCT, across the country.
Both groups of the Partners in Policymaking Program are only 2 sessions away from graduation. Their Legislative training session was very successful, with 11 State Legislators participating in the Saturday event. Invitations were extended to Representatives Whit Betts, Holly Cheeseman, Mike Demicco, John Hampton, Noreen Kokoruda, Kathleen McCarty, Prasad Srinivasan, Pam Staneski, Michael Winkler, and Senators Beth Bye, Steve Cassano, Paul Formica, George Logan, and Len Suzio.
A site visit was conducted last week for the Cross Disability Lifespan Alliance. They were reminded to continue collecting the data needed by the Council to meet ACL requirements. Emphasis was placed on the Alliance developing a more formal sustainability plan.
People First of Connecticut experienced a successful site visit. Their 2018 annual conference was held at the Sheraton Hotel in Rocky Hill on Saturday, June 23. 156 people attended and benefitted from the conference.
A final training in the Discovery Process for Customized Employment training by Marc Gold and Associates will take place Wed. – Thrs., Sept. 26-28, at the Training and Conference Center in Hartford, CT. The DOE, DDS, and DORS are exploring the crafting of an MOU for a pilot customized employment program, and DDS has created an opening for an Employment Director.
The AARP has done a remarkable job on community issues in the Livable Communities portion of their website. It addresses all of the Council’s key items. In July, Walt met with the CT Board President and another Executive from AARP. An additional meeting is scheduled.
CT KASA had their site visit at the end of July. They introduced a new mentoring program where they reach out to adults. The Council would like to see more collaboration between them and the People First group.
In regards to the Council’s Housing initiative, Shelagh McClure, Chair, is arranging to speak with affordable housing groups to identify their issues.
9. 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.
10. Vote on Acceptance of Proposal Review Committee Recommendations:
Joyce Lewis motioned to accept the recommendations from the Proposal Review Committee. The motion was seconded by Robin Wood.
11. Discussion on PRC Recommendations: 3 new initiatives recommended by the PRC are: Promoting Self-Directed Services and Other Under-Utilized State Services; Building a Statewide Self-Advocacy Organization for Parents with Cognitive Limitations in Connecticut; and Researching and Documenting the Limitations of Current “On-Demand” Transportation Services.
The 4th recommendation made by the PRC was to have DRCT handle work on Supported Decision Making. This will be addressed through the Council’s Work Plan, so a vote on it isn’t required at this time.
Shelagh McClure, Chair, stated the amendment to the 3 RFP’s. Changes to the language of the first RFP, Promoting Self-Directed Services and Other Under-Utilized State Services: The word “state” will be removed and replaced with “publically funded” in the first line, and within the “Statement of Work”. Within the list of entities that are to be consulted, after “the Connecticut Department of Social Services”, “the State’s No Wrong Door 211 System” will be added. The 2nd RFP, Building a Statewide Self-Advocacy Organization for Parents with Cognitive Limitations in Connecticut is removed from consideration at this time, until Walter Glomb, Council Director has a chance to confer with Robin Wood and DDS. On the third RFP, Researching and Documenting the Limitations of Current “On-Demand” Transportation Services: At the end of the sentence on “Scope”, the words “in Connecticut” will be added.
12. Vote to Amend Original Motion: Gretchen Knauff motioned to amend the original motion. April Burke seconded the motion. There was no further discussion. The amendment was approved by the Council.
13. Vote on the Amendment Motion for RFP’s, with the Exception of the RFP for Parents with Cognitive Limitations: All Council members voted to accept the 2 amended RFP’s.
14. Draft 2019 Work Plan and Budget: The Council worked on drafting a work plan and budget for 2019. It will be voted on at the Council’s Annual meeting in Sept.
15. DRCT Report on REV UP Voting Campaign: Gretchen Knauff and Disability Rights Connecticut are rolling out the Rev Up Voting initiative; Register, Educate, Vote – Use Your Power. They are looking for individuals and agencies who are interested in sponsoring voter registration drives and ask organizations to check the voting status of their members. Invitations and info cards are being sent out.
16. Announcements and Adjourn: Chuck Bergamo made a motion for adjournment. Robin Wood seconded the motion. The meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m. The next Council meeting will be held on Thursday, September 27, 2018 at Beth El Temple in West Hartford. It will be the Council’s Annual Meeting.