Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities Quarterly Meeting
The Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities (Council or GCDD) met on Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 10:00 a.m., in the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute (CAHMI) Building, at Pulaski Technical College (PTC) - South Campus located at 13000 I-30 in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Agenda Item I Call to Order
Chairman Chris Johnson called the meeting to order at 10:06 a.m. with a quorum present.
Agenda Item II Roll Call
Chairman Chris Johnson conducted the roll call with the following results:
Chris Johnson, Chair
Kasey Hodges (phone)
Alan McClain, represented by Linda Morgan
Toni Roy (phone)
Melissa Stone, represented by Tommy Tarpley
Stacey Sebree, Vice Chair
Assiah Lewellen, Business Operations Specialist
Eric Munson, Executive Director
Diana Wilson, Program Planner/Manager
Daniel Faulkner, Arkansas Attorney General’s Office, GCDD’s Legal Counsel
Darren Morris, Statewide Self-Advocate Coordinator, Disability Rights Arkansas (DRA)
Steve Varady, Independent Case Management Inc. (ICM)
Agenda Item III Welcome and Guest Introductions
Chairman Chris Johnson welcomed attendees. Johnson stated that guest, Darren Morris would be introduced later in the meeting.
Agenda Item IV Approve September 7, 2016 Meeting Minutes
Johnson asked Council members to refer to the handout of the 09/07/16 Council meeting minutes. Johnson asked if anyone had corrections to the minutes or comments. There were no corrections. Johnson asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the 09/07/16 Council meeting. Hollis-Anthony moved to approve the minutes and Watson seconded the motion. Johnson asked if there was any further discussion regarding the minutes. There was no further discussion. Johnson proceeded with the vote. All voted in favor, none were opposed, and the motion passed unanimously to approve the 09/07/16 Council meeting minutes.
Agenda Item V Council Budget Report
Johnson stated that he was turning the discussion over to staff for the budget update. He referred attendees to the green budget handout. Munson recognized Wilson, staff program and planning manager, as the staff expert on budget. Munson stated that there would be a detailed budget breakdown for 2016 presented at the 2017 Spring Retreat scheduled for March of 2017, which is the next regular business meeting for the Council. Munson directed members to look at the program funds, indicated in purple, and explained that these numbers represent the funded projects currently active (three, all pursuant to interagency agreements, from FY15 funding). Munson asked Wilson to discuss budget report structure, transparency and maintaining compliance with federal regulations and our Corrective Action Plan (CAP). Wilson presented the Council budget report (see attachment). Wilson stated that the amounts listed in purple are the totals approved by Council for the interagency agreement projects. Wilson explained that to date, no reimbursement requests had been submitted or paid; she noted that by the next business meeting, Council would begin to see the amounts reimbursed and would be provided utilization data as well. Wilson explained that reimbursement is only made when backup documentation shows proof that expenses submitted were used in compliance with federal and state regulations and Council policy. She reminded Council that the FY15 funds must be spent by 09/30/17. Wilson stated that if members have further questions on any of the budget details they are always welcome to send those inquiries to Wilson and she will respond. Johnson suggested that the quarterly budget report to the Council on the federal funding and the report on the state appropriation budget become separate documents, and members can contact Wilson directly for more detailed information or with questions. Munson and Wilson discussed the matching requirements for Council funding. There was general discussion regarding the report presented. Wilson discussed poverty data for the State of Arkansas and how those rates affect the amount of match required for funded projects. Johnson asked if there were any further questions or discussion on the budget report. Deere and Kozlowski made comments. Johnson again asked if there were any further questions or discussion on the budget report. There was no further discussion. Johnson accepted the staff’s budget report and continued on to the next agenda item.
Agenda Item VI Status Report on Funded Projects
Johnson referred attendees to the funded projects overview document (yellow handout). Munson asked Donoven, Chair of the State Plan and Implementation Committee (SPI), to present the report to attendees. Donoven presented the information on the projects currently funded by the Council: the Department of Human Services/Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Partnership (EFSLMP) Project; the University of Arkansas System /Partners for Inclusive Communities (Partners) Self-Advocate Network Development (SAND) Project (sub recipient is DRA, position funded is the Statewide Self-Advocate Coordinator-Darren Morris); and the Council’s outreach initiative, the creation of a new website and additional marketing materials (social media, publications, etc.). Donoven invited Darren Morris, Arkansas’ new Statewide Self-Advocate Coordinator, to speak. Morris introduced himself and gave details on his background in self-advocacy and reported on his progress with the SAND project to date. Munson stated that staff and Council was glad to have Morris on the job. Munson noted that the SAND project is a good representation of our collaboration with the Arkansas Developmental Disabilities (DD) network, which is primarily made up of the Council, the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (Partners), and the Protection & Advocacy organization for Arkansas (Disability Rights Arkansas). Deere (of Partners) spoke about the SAND project and discussed how that project will also help support the self-advocacy organization Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE).
Munson stated that he had again received positive feedback, from federal monitors, on the Council’s 2017-2021 five year state plan. This plan was one of the only state plans which received full, unconditional approval from AIDD and Munson stated that the committee members and the Council should be commended on that accomplishment.
Donoven noted that she, as chair of SPI, reports to the Council on all the funded projects because those fall under the purview of the SPI Committee but that details regarding the outreach initiative/website project fall under the purview of the PPO Committee. Johnson thanked Donoven for the report and stated that it was time to move on to committee chair reports.
Agenda Item VII Committee Chair Reports
Johnson asked committee chairs to present reports.
Public Policy & Outreach Committee (PPO) - Mark George, Chair:
George presented a report on the Council’s new outreach initiative. George spoke about the new website being created by Information Network of Arkansas (INA), Munson spoke about the new logo created by INA and how staff followed the state process to select and contract INA for this project. Johnson asked for assurances that the new website would be created with accessibility as a focus. George agreed and assured attendees that INA was aware of the need for accessibility and have agreed that they are capable of delivering a suitably accessible product and that the tools would also be available to meet the needs of individuals who speak English as a second language (ESOL). Wilson stated that staff will also work to contract to have the website content “transcreated” into Marshallese. There was general discussion on the new logo. George suggested a small change which was agreed upon (INA had agreed, at the 11/15/16 PPO meeting, to revise the logo and send the file to Council staff). George asked that Council members send any requests for changes or comments on the new logo (and eventually website) to him and he stated that he would pass those along to staff. George and Munson discussed the upcoming legislative session (the Arkansas 91st General Assembly will convene on January 9, 2017). Johnson asked for clarification on how staff will present legislative updates to Council members. Munson stated that he plans to send Council members weekly updates via email to keep them updated on legislative matters during the session. Masseau stated that DRA will also have a daily presence at the Capitol during the session and that Morris will update self-advocates across the state and promote self-advocate participation during the session. Johnson thanked George for his report.
Johnson stated that Council member Watson’s husband was a newly-elected state representative and offered her family his congratulations.
Lewellen referred attendees to the November 2016 issue of Little Rock Special Family Magazine (handout); she noted that this was one of the Council’s latest outreach actions – a full page article re-introducing the Council and explaining how the Council works with its partners in the Arkansas DD network. Johnson thanked Lewellen. Johnson asked for the next committee report.
Oversight Committee (OS) – David Deere, Chair:
Deere presented a report on the CAP status (handout). He noted that the Council is at 50% compliance with the CAP and that the remainder of CAP items will be evidence of implementation of processes which will occur in 2017 and 2018. The Council has met the approved compliance timeline, to date, and feedback from federal monitors is all positive. Deere stated that Morris had accompanied him to the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) conference and that AIDD representatives had been in attendance. Deere had positive discussions with his AIDD contacts about GCDD’s work and forward progress. Johnson asked when the next deadline was for a CAP deliverable. Wilson stated that April 2017 is the next deliverable and it will be evidence of the completion of the new website. Deere noted that the dates shown in the CAP are self-imposed targets and are not hard deadlines determined by the federal monitors. These dates are goals but can be adjusted with the approval of the federal monitors if need be (by request of staff on behalf of the Council). Deere asked if there were questions. There were no questions or further discussion. Munson and Johnson thanked Deere and all the OS Committee members for their hard work and thanked Deere for the report. Munson thanked the OS Committee members again for the dedication shown in meeting almost monthly, for the past 14 months. He noted that the OS would no longer need to meet monthly. Evans noted that the 11/16/16 OS meeting was the first without the presence of an ITACC technical advisor and/or other federal monitor in attendance and this spoke to the success of the Council. Deere noted that the fact that Arkansas had such a solid state plan help achieve this milestone. Deere and Evans agreed that this was additional evidence of the Council’s federal monitor’s growing confidence in the Council’s ability to properly self-govern and maintain compliance. Johnson asked if there was anything else to address. Deere said no and asked if there were any other questions. There were no further questions. Johnson thanked Deere for the report.
Johnson noted that he believed that the SPI Committee report had been given but gave Donoven the floor.
State Plan & Implementation Committee (SPI) Report – Katherine Donoven, Chair:
Donoven stated that she had presented most of her committee report during the report on funded projects. Donoven referred attendees to the orange handout which is a timeline of the federal state plan deadlines for the 2017-2021 plan. Donoven asked if there were any questions on that report. There were no questions. Johnson accepted Donoven’s report.
Agenda Item VIII Council Staff – CAP Item Q1
Munson stated to Chairman Johnson that the next agenda item is CAP Item Q1 and referred attendees to the handout. Johnson gave Munson the floor. Munson related the history of the previous Council’s use of “in-house funds”. He stated that previous to January 2016, there were three main Council funds: the parent activity fund, the self-advocacy fund and the transition fund. Munson reminded members that these funds, and how they were administered by the previous Council, were noted in the last audit by the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) and by the federal auditors as items designated for corrective action. Munson stated that when the AIDD gave the Cease and Desist order, these funds and funded activities were shut down. Munson said that the Council now only funds projects and activities called for in the 2017-2021 state plan. Director Munson recommended that the Council formally state that they will no longer engage in those types of funding programs which were called into question. To address this CAP item, Wilson said that Council should affirm that the three funding programs (the parent activity fund, the self-advocacy fund, and the transition fund) that the Council used prior to 2016 were dissolved. Johnson asked, to clarify the issue, if the Director was asking the Council to affirm that these funds are dissolved and that the Council will now only be funding projects that fit the current, approved state plan. Munson replied yes. Johnson asked for a motion. Hollis-Anthony made a motion that:
1. The Council affirmatively dissolves the in-house funding programs that the Council staff used prior to 2016. These previous funds were the Parent Activity Fund, the Self-Advocacy Fund and the Transition Fund.
2. The Council affirms that the only in-house project that the Council will participate in (fund) will be for reimbursement of travel and registration for self-advocates for training. There will be a limit of $600 per self-advocate per calendar year and documentation must be received from the self-advocate in order to receive the reimbursement. Only 1 reimbursement will be made for an individual each year. The Council staff will develop a process for this funding with the above limitations included. Reimbursement will be directly tied to the self-advocacy goal in the 2017-2021 five-year-state-plan. Reimbursement will either be administered through a fund set up in accordance with the requirements of the DD Act or through an interagency agreement (if an option).
3. The Council affirmatively acknowledges that none of the program funds allotted to Arkansas for the Council will be used for direct services. DD Councils are specifically forbidden to engage in direct services by the DD Act.
Hollis-Anthony’s motion was seconded by Evans. Johnson asked if there was any further discussion. There was no further discussion. All voted in favor and none were opposed and the motion passed unanimously. Munson thanked Hollis-Anthony for her participation with this agenda item.
Agenda Item IX New Business and Announcements
Johnson asked if there was any other business to discuss. Munson said yes. Johnson replied I have something too. Johnson directed attendees to the blue handout, titled “2017 Meeting Dates and Locations”. Johnson read the dates, events and locations and asked all members to add the following dates to their calendars:
03/05/2017 Spring Retreat, Rockefeller Institute, Morrilton
03/06/2017 Spring Retreat/Quarterly Meeting, Rockefeller Institute, Morrilton
06/08/2017 Quarterly Meeting, Jonesboro
09/14/2017 Quarterly Meeting, Fayetteville/Springdale/Rogers area
12/14/2017 Quarterly Meeting, Arkadelphia
Johnson noted that in 2017 the Council quarterly meetings are located in different regions of the state. Johnson stated that while the Council is out in the state for these meetings, he wants members to reach out to the disability community in each of the areas and encourage public and stakeholder attendance. He asked that members who are from the areas listed, specifically make an effort to invite individuals known to them to be interested in DD issues to attend and even invite them to make short presentations to the Council, if there is interest. Johnson asked that members coordinate these efforts through the Council administrative staff. Evans and Kozlowski expressed support of moving the meetings around the state. Munson stated that this shows that we are bringing the Council to the public. He stated that the staff would, on the Council’s behalf, be inviting the local legislators of each region to the meetings. He noted that the meetings, as scheduled, have one meeting set in each Congressional District of Arkansas. Munson also stated that the staff recommends, that either before or after each business meeting in each of those regions, the members accompany the staff on a tour of a facility in that region, whether it is a state run Human Development Center (HDC) or a private community-based service provider or even a Council funded project. Johnson stated that they would rely on staff for planning and staff would communicate the plans to members. Johnson asked if there was any other new business. Donoven replied yes. Donoven reminded members that each member has an individual responsibility to file a financial statement with the Secretary of State’s office annually before January 31st. Johnson asked staff to send a reminder out to Council members with the form or directions to find the form before the due date. Munson agreed the staff would do this. Donoven clarified that the annual financial statement filed in 2017 was for the period of the previous year, January-December 2016. Johnson reminded attendees to fill out the in-kind form. Munson said that he had a few announcements. Munson reminded members that March 5th, 2017, is a Sunday and that is when the retreat will begin at the Rockefeller Institute. Munson asked that everyone attend. He stated that the business (quarterly) meeting would be the following afternoon, Monday, March 6th, 2017. Munson asked that members make it a priority to attend. Munson then announced that staff member, Assiah Lewellen, after working hard, had been promoted to Grants and Outreach Coordinator. He stated that Lewellen would be transitioning to take over administration of sub grants and tasks related to outreach, such as website, social media and publication content. Lewellen made a short statement thanking the Council for the opportunity to advance and continue the work of the Council. Munson then stated that he would be working to hire a new Business Operations Specialist, in order to be fully-staffed again. He invited everyone to stay and enjoy the meal that was about to be served. Kozlowski stated that he had a new self-advocacy related video he was ready to share if any attendees wanted to see it after lunch.
Johnson asked if there was any further business to discuss. There was no further business.
Agenda Item XI Adjourn
Johnson asked for a motion to adjourn. Donoven made motion to adjourn and was seconded by Hollis-Anthony. All voted in favor, none were opposed and the motion to adjourn passed unanimously. Johnson thanked everyone for their service and invited attendees to join the lunch service in the Le Culinaire dining room at 11:30.
Meeting adjourned at 11:13 a.m.
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