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December 2019 GCDD Quarterly Business Meeting Minutes
Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities Quarterly Meeting
The Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) met on Thursday, December 12, 2019 at 10:00 a.m., in the Crain Community Room, located at Pulaski Technical College-South, 13000 Interstate 30, Little Rock, Arkansas.
Agenda Item I-Call to Order
Chairperson Katherine Donoven called the meeting to order at 10:04 a.m. with a quorum present.
Agenda Item II-Roll Call
Chairperson Katherine Donoven conducted the roll call with the following results:
Katherine Donoven, Chair
Lud Kozlowski, Vice Chair
Alan McClain – sent representative
Rhonda Saunders – sent representative
Melissa Stone – sent representative
Eric Munson, Executive Director
Assiah Lewellen, Program & Outreach Manager
Melissa Trostel-Hall, Program Coordinator
Chloe Davenport, Operations Coordinator
Kim Gatewood, Admin. Specialist
Daniel Faulkner, Arkansas Attorney General’s Office, GCDD’s Legal Counsel
Colbie Jones, Mangan Holcomb Partners (MHP)
Julie Robins, MHP
Ally Tomlinson, Friendship Community Care (FCC), Community of Champions
Marci Young, Friendship Community Care (FCC)
Jon Taylor, Marshall’s
Darren Morris, Statewide Self Advocate Coordinator, Disability Rights Arkansas
Mike Thornton, Self-Advocate
Autumn Hemphill, Department of Finance and Administration
Zofia Higginbotham, Department of Finance and Administration
Jim Moreland, Representative for Alan McClain
Kristin Hughes, Representative for Rhonda Saunders
Portland Gilbert, Representative for Melissa Stone
Agenda Item III-Welcome and Guest Introductions
Katherine Donoven welcomed attendees and acknowledged the guests that were in attendance for the meeting.
Agenda Item IV-Approve September 12, 2019 Meeting Minutes
Donoven requested the approval of the minutes for the previous Council meeting on September 12th, 2019. She asked if there were any additions or corrections needed to be made. With no changes requested, a motion was made by Ke’Arus Henderson and seconded by Cynthia Fong to approve the minutes of the September 12, 2019 meeting. All members present voted unanimously in favor and the motion to approve the minutes passed.
Agenda Item V-Council Staff Update
Donoven turned the Council’s attention to Agenda Item V, the Council Staff Update. GCDD Operations Coordinator, Chloe Davenport, gave the Council Budget Report. She updated the Council on the balances and statuses of the federal awards that are currently active. She explained that the 2017 award will be closed by the end of December 2019; the 2018 award is fully obligated, except for a small amount that was not able to be re-obligated due to the time constraint that was given; the 2019 award is in the process of being fully obligated; finally, the 2020 award is coming to the Council in multiple actions due to the federal government currently operating under a continuous resolution. Donoven asked the Council if they had any questions concerning the budget report, there being none, she called for a motion to approve the Council budget report. Henderson motioned to approve, and Mark George seconded the motion. All members present voted unanimously in favor; none were opposed, and the Council budget report was approved.
Melissa Trostel-Hall, GCDD Program Coordinator, gave the Council the updated Report on the Funded Project Status. She briefed the Council on the funded project and subgrantees that did not utilize all of their obligated funds; ACCESS and University of Arkansas Partners. She noted that the amount being returned was small and that in the future this issue will be avoided thanks to the Council’s vote to change the grant period cycle. She went on to give the status of the bridge grants that were awarded to Friendship Community Care (FCC), Disability Rights Arkansas (DRA), University of Arkansas Partners (UAP), and Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services, Developmental Disabilities Services Division (DHS/DDS). She reported that FCC has already invoiced twice; DRA has not invoiced yet but will once we are closer to their guardianship event in March; UAP has not invoiced yet due to accounting system delays; and that DDS has been stalled due to internal issues, including a contract change and changes in their staff. Trostel- Hall concluded her report by giving the fiscal year 2019 funded project year end summary. She acknowledged the success that FCC has had with their second year of funding with the Council. She noted that the Independence project through ACCESS Group and the Transition for Life and Career project with Arkansas Community College were at an end and neither of these will be continued in the next fiscal year. Donoven opened the floor to the Council for questions and comments. Donoven then requested a motion to approve the Funded Project Status report; Henderson motioned to approve, and Annette Mencer seconded the motion. All were in favor, none opposed.
Donoven directed the Council’s attention to Executive Director, Eric Munson, to give the Federal Report Update. Munson first acknowledged the continuing resolution involving the Council’s 2020 award. He assured the Council that it would receive it’s award but to be patient given the current status of events going on in Washington, D.C. He reported that the Empower Care Act’s current funding has been extended to December 31st, and there are federal coalitions is meeting to extend this Act for the next five years. Munson updated the Council on the Medicaid Expense Deduction; he noted that the bill has been filed. Another bill he addressed is the Home and Community Based Services Infrastructure Act; Munson noted that this would be a seven-year program to allow states to improve home and community-based living services. He highlighted the upcoming 2020 census, and the importance involved with it. Next, he briefed the Council on the status of the Program Performance Report (PPR); noting that staff is on track and will have it completed and submitted by December 31st. Lastly, Munson noted that 2020 is the 50th Anniversary for DD Councils.
Agenda Item VI -Council Education and Training
Donoven advanced to the next agenda item, Council Education and Training. Munson directed the Council’s attention to the first educational item: the new Administration for Community Living (ACL) organizational chart. He explained the changes and the new layout of our federal offices. Next, Munson briefed the Council on assistive technology and what the Developmental Disability Act (DD Act) says about it. He noted that the DD Act gives an analysis of the extent to which community services and opportunities related to the areas of emphasis directly benefit individuals with developmental disabilities, especially with regard to their ability to access and use services provided in their communities, to participate in opportunities, activities, and events offered in their communities, and to contribute to community life, identifying particularly the availability of assistive technology, assistive technology services, or rehabilitation technology, or information about assistive technology, assistive technology services, or rehabilitation technology to individuals with developmental disabilities.
Agenda Item VII-Reports from Committee Chairs
Donoven turned the Council attention to agenda item VII, Reports from Committee Chairs. Ludwik Kozlowski, Chair of Nominating Committee, briefed the Council on his Committee’s last meeting. He reported that all 2019 expiring Council members have re- applied, except for one, who is retiring.
Mark George, Chair of Public Policy and Outreach (PPO), gave the Council an update on his Committee’s most recent meeting. He called on Colbie Jones to brief the Council on the report she gave at the previous PPO meeting. She started by praising the Committee and their constituents for the 2,500 views that were had on the Emergency Preparedness video that was launched on Facebook and Youtube in September. Jones went on to acknowledge the “Ready, Set, Know” event that was also held in September at the Museum of Discovery in Little Rock. She then briefed the Committee on the success of the GCDD Blog that she and staff Program Manager Assiah Lewellen have been collaborating on together. Jones concluded by giving the Committee the updated numbers of hits, likes, shares, and views on GCDD social media accounts.
C.W. Gardenhire, Chair of State Plan and Implementation (SPI), advised the Council that his Committee has subject matter that requires the Council’s vote. He turned the floor over to GCDD Program Manager, Assiah Lewellen to start the discussion on the Developmental Disabilities Advocacy Training Fund (DDATF). Lewellen explained in the past this fund was used to send self-advocates and parent advocates to trainings. She pointed out that at the time this was the best practice for supporting training and consumer participation, however, Partners in Policymaking (PIP) has a proven best practice that we would like to adopt along with other States. By switching to PIP, this would align strategies with the Developmental Disabilities Act and allow GCDD to better record outcomes. Donoven asked the Council if they had any questions or concerns on the SPI recommendation. There being none, she requested a motion to approve; Hollis-Anthony made the motion and Maria Villagran seconded the motion. All were in favor, none opposed.
Donoven called on Lewellen to give the state plan and implementation report. She addressed the proposed state plan update. She explained that objective one would be updated to provide additional training as needed to the existing provided support to community partners to strengthen access to information, training, and education for Arkansans with developmental disabilities and their families about available programs and services within the State and about emergent issues affecting the intellectual and developmentally disabled (IDD) community. She further explained that an additional activity would be added to include the ability to provide training, through in-house activities, as needed to meet state plan outcome goals. Lewellen reminded the Committee that with the new five-year state plan being due, this Committee will be needing to meet more regularly. She explained that the Council has request for proposals prepared for fiscal year 2020 to fund a regional community partner to reduce barriers to support services. In addition, these funded projects will target the Marshallese population and the limited English proficiency population. She explained that these goals and activities will be the focus of our work in fiscal year 2020/2021.
Lewellen informed the Committee on what the staff is doing to reach the Council’s State Plan employment goals. She explained that we have signed up for a group Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE) membership that includes eight members: five staff members, Council Chair, Council Vice chair, and a representative from the Council’s Designated State Agency (DSA), the Department of Finance and Administration (DFA). She further explained that we are looking at sponsoring self- advocates to join APSE in the future. She then informed the Committee about the Arkansas APSE conference that will be March 4th – 5th ,2020 and about the one- day pre- conference training on March 3rd, 2020; which is an activity of our funded Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) Provider Transformation Project. Lewellen proposed that the Council sponsor 10 self-advocates to join APSE and attend the 2020 APSE conference. The Council also would sponsor 5 personal care professionals, so that way potential sponsored individuals would not be excluded from being sponsored because they could not afford to pay for their personal care to attend with them. Donoven asked the Council if they had any questions on what Lewellen reported on. Discussion was had amongst the Council on the proposed APSE sponsorships. The Council did not object to staffs plan to implement these activities.
Agenda Item VIII-DD Network Update
Donoven advanced the Council to the next agenda item, DD Network Update. She called on Council member Tom Masseau to start the DD Network Update. He reported that staff at Disability Rights Arkansas (DRA) has been wrapped up with end of the year issues and tasks and finishing their Program Performance Report (PPR). He noted that they are continuing business as usual, promoting self-advocacy and voting.
Donoven called upon Darren Morris, the Statewide Self Advocate Coordinator, to update the Council on the current status of the Self Advocate Networking Development (SAND) project. He noted that his meetings across the state have been going well. He reported on an individual that he helped bring into self-advocacy; and how this person has started a group called Legends of Self Advocacy. He reported that he likes the way these meetings are ran; Morris went on to express how happy he was to finally be a guest at a self-advocacy meeting and be the one listening instead of speaking. Next, Morris reported on the new brochures and pamphlets they are creating with a new logo and new content. Masseau noted that the SAND website is also being updated to be more user friendly. He also noted that Morris is the treasurer for Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE), so he represents Arkansas very well on the SABE Board. Discussion was had amongst the Council about SABE and the SABE 2020 conference.
Donoven announced that due to time, she would have to advance the meeting to the Disability-IN update from Jon Taylor; then she would circle the meeting back to finish agenda item VIII. Taylor briefed the Council on Disability-In; it is a business to business advocacy group trying to spread the message of disability inclusion within the business world. He explained that the last Disability-IN board meeting was October 19th and that they discussed creating a three series Job Accommodation Network (JAN) workshops in 2020. The first JAN will be held January 29-30th at the southwest ADA center, second will be May 19th in central Arkansas at Regions bank, and third will be August 19th in northwest Arkansas at J.B. Hunt. These brief workshops will be held to educate and inform businesses on how to be a part of the movement toward having an equal employment workforce. These workshops would help to educate businesses who are looking to hire individuals with IDD and continue to educate and coach those businesses who currently do employ individuals with DD/IDD. Information would range from how to make sure your business is Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant, to learning how to manage an employee whose medication has changed. He noted that the 2020 National Disability- IN conference will be held in Orlando, Florida, July 13th-14th.
Donoven called upon Ally Tomlinson from Friendship Community Care (FCC)/Community of Champions (Champions), to finish agenda item VIII. Tomlinson introduced the new FCC/Champions assistant, Marci Young. Tomlinson acknowledged the progress they have made with the coalition they are building across the state. She reported that they go out every day to add to the movement of pushing Arkansas in a positive direction for those with Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities (DD/IDD). She explained that through DRA and the Arkansas State Treasury, FCC/Champions has been able to implement Advocacy Takes Action across the state with mock voting, by training individuals on the voting process. This program gives the individual true experience with voting and equipping them with the knowledge and ability to vote. She reported that this training gives the individuals the confidence and knowledge to be able to make their voices heard through voting. She noted that at these events the participants have the ability to register to vote if they choose. Tomlinson advanced to her next speaking topic, the River Valley Champions Day for employment. Through this initiative, FCC/Champions was able to connect with 55 businesses in the River Valley area on employment for individuals with DD/IDD. Tomlinson turned the floor over to Young to give the Champions project report. Young reported that the Champions project would be implemented into schools as an organized school club whose mission is to make sure students of all demographics foster a positive and inclusive environment for themselves and their peers. She noted that they are communicating with school counselors and officials on bringing this project into their curriculum to educate their students and create the best environment for their students. Tomlinson and Young concluded by showing their FCC/Champions commercial.
Agenda Item IX-New Business and Announcements
Donoven moved to the next agenda item, New Business and Announcements.
Donoven called on Operations Coordinator, Chloe Davenport to announce the upcoming dates and events. She noted that staff will be finishing the PPR by December 20th. Next, she reported that the next quarterly meeting will be held on March 12, 2020, there is not a set location and time, but staff will be sending out more information on this meeting in the future.
Agenda Item XI-Adjourn
Donoven asked the Council if there was any further business to be discussed. There being none, she asked for a motion to adjourn. Mencer moved to adjourn the meeting and Fong seconded. The motion was approved unanimously. Meeting adjourned at 12:15p.m.
MINUTES WERE APPROVED AT THE 03-12-20 COUNCIL QUARTERLY MEETING