CTCDD: CTCDD Meeting 1-13-09

CTCDD Meeting 1-13-09


The 155th meeting of the CT Council on Developmental Disabilities was held on Tuesday, January 13, 2009, at the Institute of Technology and Business Development/Central Connecticut State University, New Britain.  The meeting included the CT Council’s annual Public Forum.


Council Members Present:  Cathy Adamczyk, Chair; Stephen Belske; Larry Carlson; Patricia Carrin; Sheila Crocker; Lisa Davis; Kathryn duPree; Mary Eberle; John Flanders; Fred Frank; Gabriela Freyre-Calish; Robyn Hescock; Paul Kachevsky; Hayley Kelley; David King; Bill Knight; Armand Legault, Vice Chair; Jennifer Lortie; Peter Morrissette; Frank Reed; Nancy Taylor; Anita Tremarche; and Patricia Tyler.


Absent:  Jamie Graham.


Excused Absence:  Patricia Anderson, Joyce Baker, Leo Germain and Tom McCann.


Guests Present:  Guests included four (4) personal assistants and two (2) American Sign Language interpreters.  Guests who identified themselves to present to the Council are listed below.  Representatives of several gubernatorial and legislatively appointed councils were also in attendance but they did not formally identify themselves.


Staff Present:  Mary-Ann Langton, Ed Preneta and Angela Spino.


Public Forum


Ms. Adamczyk opened the Public Forum at 10:00 a.m.  She informed the public that American Sign Language interpreters were available.  She invited the public to take copies of CT Council documents.  Ms. Adamczyk asked members of the public to sign-in if they would like to present to the Council.  Written statements were to be left with staff.  She reminded the public that the CT Council was there to listen and that the CT Council would not be answering questions or try to solve problems.  Questions and debate among the public would also be prohibited.  Ms. Adamczyk said that all presentations will be considered by the CT Council as initiatives over the next few months in committee, task force meetings and Council meetings for possible inclusion in 2010 amendments to its 5 Year State Plan.  The CT Council will not be able to address all requests but all requests will be subject to deliberation.


Ms. Adamczyk reminded the CT Council that it was their role to listen.  She would not allow debate.  Questions for presenters should be limited.


Youth Leadership Meeting


Nick Glomb, accompanied by Tyler Anderson and  Zulieka Martinez, with support from Molly Cole, University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, and John Esteves, Disability Resource Network, asked the CT Council to provide funding for a statewide youth event for up to 150 youth in September 2009 to be held at Camp Harkness, Waterford.

Walt Glomb, Connecticut Down Syndrome Congress, and Stan Kosloski, Disability Advocacy Collaborative, also encouraged the CT Council to support a statewide youth event.


Unionizing In-Home Workers


     Melissa Pinnick, Healthcare Organizer, District 1199/Service Employees International Union, asked the CT Council to support improving access to in-home care services under person-directed Medicaid waiver programs.  She proposed that organizing in-home care workers would improve wages, benefits and training and lead to more availability, and better quality of, in-home care workers and personal assistants.


People with Brain Injuries in the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) System


     Carrie Kramer, Director, Advocacy and Community Relations, Brain Injury Association of Connecticut (BIAC), asked the Council to support BIAC’s on-going advocacy with families to acquire adequate support from DDS.  Prior to the Acquired Brain Injury Medicaid waiver established in Connecticut in the early 1990s, some people who acquired brain injuries that manifested as an intellectual disability, and whose tests qualified them for services from the Department of Mental Retardation (now Department of Developmental Services (DDS), received services and supports under the DDS Medicaid waiver.  These people are inadequately supported by DDS, since the theory and practice for supporting people with brain injuries is different from the theory and practice for supporting people with intellectual disabilities. 


Connecticut Family Support Council


     Jennifer Carroll, Statewide Family Support Network Coordinator, Moira O’Neill, Office of the Child Advocate, Chris Sloss, staff to the Family Support Council, and Karen Zrenda, Chair, Family Support Council, all requested that the CT Council provide a second year of funding to support the only staff person to the Family Support Council.


Disability Convention and Expo 2010


     Stan Kosloski, Disability Advocacy Collaborative, asked the Council to support the 3rd Disability Convention and Expo 2010.


Electronic Recording of Interrogations of People with Disabilities


     Bob Perske, Friends of Richard Lapointe, asked the CT Council to support legislation requiring the electronic recording of police interrogations of people with disabilities suspected of committing a crime so that those recordings can be used to determine whether or not people with disabilities understood the proceedings and consequences.  Lyn Warner, Arc of Connecticut, joined with Mr. Perske in encouraging the CT Council’s support.

          Stan Kosloski, Disability Advocacy Collaborative, supported Mr. Perske’s request and thanked Mr. Perske for his decades of work with people who are most vulnerable.  Walt Glomb, Connecticut Down Syndrome Congress, also supported Mr. Perske’s request.


Increased Use of Law Enforcement in Schools


     Walt Glomb, Connecticut Down Syndrome Congress, asked the CT Council to address the increased use of law enforcement personnel to deal with children with challenging behavior in schools, instead, schools should be trained in, and use, positive behavioral interventions.


Ms. Adamczyk thanked the public for their comments and invited the public to join the CT Council for lunch and to stay for the CT Council meeting.  She said all CT Council meetings are open to the public.


Council Meeting


          Ms. Adamczyk called the CT Council meeting to order at 11:30 a.m.  She introduced new CT Council members and asked all CT Council members to introduce themselves and their role on the Council.  Ms. Adamczyk noted that Governor Rell has been very good about making appointments to the CT Council.  The CT Council has a full slate of members and has received some very good press about appointments.


          She reminded CT Council members to be mindful about conflicts-of-interest.  Members should abstain from voting on a question of direct personal interest.  State and federal ethics rules compel Council members to disclose conflicts.  State law requires Council members to avoid actual or potential conflicts – specific to financial gain.  The CT Council’s federal law requires Council members to avoid the appearance of conflicts.


          Ms. Adamczyk asked for a motion to move 7.  New Business – Youth with disabilities statewide event funding decisions to after 4.  Budget update.


          Ms. Eberle moved to move 7.  New Business – Youth with disabilities statewide event funding decisions to after 4.  Budget update.  Mr. Knight seconded.  There was no discussion.  The motion passed unanimously.




          Mr. Flanders moved to approve the minutes of November 18, 2008.  Ms. Lorite seconded.  There was no discussion.  The motion passed with Ms. Davis, Ms. duPree, Mr. Frank, Ms. Hescock, Ms. Kelley and Mr. King abstaining.


Budget Update


          Ms. Adamczyk asked Mr. Preneta for a budget update.


Mr. Preneta said final 2008 payments the Disability Resource Network for CT Youth ADAPT, Social Role Valorization Training and  to the Office of Protection and Advocacy for CT Kids As Self Advocates are being held pending the receipt of end of the year paperwork.  Neither a final expenditure report nor outcome and satisfaction reports have been submitted by CT KASA.  A meeting will be requested with CT KASA to negotiate a settlement regarding the final $6,700 payment. 


At the Council’s July 2, 2008 meeting, a draft 2009 budget was planned with an intentional deficit.  Since July, that projected deficit has been whittled down to $3,905.  He expected that deficit will be eliminated by the beginning of February.


At the federal level, the Council budget was to be frozen at the 2008 level until March 6, 2009, however, the new Congress is expected to pass all appropriations bills this month.  The CT Council should realize a small increase.


The Council’s current budget is in good shape.  Expenses are on track except for subscriptions.  That $17 deficit will be covered. 


New initiatives are slowly rolling-out.  The first payment to People First of CT has been made.  Agreements are in the works with the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) at the UCONN Health Center for a Parent Leadership and Training Program, and with the Disability Resource Network for a second year of support for CT Youth ADAPT.  A draft of a agreement with Trinity College for a third year of support for robotics competition is on my desk.  Agreements for a Day Of Respect, an symposium with the Beacon Hill Aging-In-Place Community and a Day of Respect are on the horizon.  All other initiatives are still in the planning stage.


While the CT Council does not receive state funds, the CT Council is directly and indirectly effected by state fiscal policies and directives.  The latest is a ban on all out-of-state travel, including all of state travel with federal funds, unless that travel is required.  A copy of a letter from the Governor’s Office was distributed. It is expected there will be more bans and  restrictions of various types on spending.  If needed, the Council can argue against heeding some state policies and directives, but this should not be done lightly. 


Finally, funding for a statewide youth event or to continue funding for the CT Family Support Council are not in the Council’s 2009 budget.  The Council can still fund these initiatives by “mortgaging” 2010 funds, that is, committing today, or the near future, to fund these initiatives with 2010 funds, which become available to the Council in October 2009.  The Council has successfully used a mortgaging strategy in the past.  In practice, if the Council agrees to use mortgaged funds, any unspent 2009 funds will be used before 2010 funds are used, thereby, reducing the Council’s mortgage.  It is all a matter of cash flow.


Ms. Adamczyk thanked Mr. Preneta.


Youth With Disabilities Statewide Event Funding Decision


          Ms. Adamczyk asked for discussion regarding funding for a 2009 youth with disabilities statewide event with 2010 funding.


          Ms. Taylor expressed concern with mortgaging 2010 funds since we have no ideal what our budget will be in 2010.


          Ms. Tyler agreed and also said that maintaining the momentum of an established initiative was a compelling reason to mortgage funds in the past and several new compelling issues were raised today.  The CT Council should think carefully before mortgaging future funds.


          Ms. Davis asked what the time frame was for the event.


          Ms. Adamczyk asked Ms. Cole to respond.


          Ms. Cole said the meeting was planned for September 2009.  The total cost of the event, including 6 follow-up meetings, was $45,000.  She expected that other agencies would be willing to co-fund the event.  The CT Council was being asked to provide up to $10,000 to plan the event. 


          Mr. Legault asked if the CT Council already had funds in its budget that could be used for the event.


          Mr. Preneta said the CT Council’s 2009 budget projects a deficit of $3,905 but it is likely this deficit will be erased within the present fiscal quarter.  It is also typical for the CT Council to have undesignated funds float around in the budget during the course of the year as a result of funds returned to the CT Council or initiatives that do not need all the funds set aside.  Mr. Preneta said mortgaging $10,000 was a reasonable risk since $10,000 is likely to surface in the CT Council budget during the course of the year.


          Ms. Davis said the Department of Public Health was prepared to commit $5,000 to the event.


          Mr. Kachevsky said the CT Council now needs to commit only $5,000.


          Mr. Knight and Ms. Taylor both asked what entity was planning the event and what entity was managing the event.


          Ms. Adamczyk called upon Ms. Cole to respond.


          Ms. Cole said that a group of youth was planning the event and would decide on who they would like to serve as their fiduciary.


          Mr. Reed said that no specific agency has asked for funds.


          Ms. Kelley said more specific information about the agency would be in an application.


          Mr. Flanders said this initiative was a 2 step process.  The first step was to authorize funds.  The second step would be to choose the recipient of funds.


          Mr. Flanders moved to authorize up to $5,000 for a youth with disabilities statewide event.  Mr. Legault seconded.  There was no discussion.  The motion passed with Ms. Adamczyk, Ms. Carrin, Ms. Eberle, Mr. Frank, Mr. King,  and Ms. Lortie abstaining. 


          Ms. Adamczyk said that the draft request for proposal will be updated and released.  She asked for CT Council members who do not have a conflict of interest to volunteer to read applications and decide on the recipient.


          Ms. Davis, Mr. Frank, Ms. Kelley, Mr. Legault and Ms. Tyler volunteered.


Transition Committee


          Mr. Legault said the Transition Committee meeting scheduled for January 15, 2009 was cancelled and will be rescheduled.


Advocacy, Public Information and Education Committee


          Ms. Taylor reported that while the Able Lives Toolkits on Inclusive Education and Community Inclusion are still in the works, the CT Council will need to set aside funds in its budget for distribution of the kits.  Various distribution channels may be used, including putting CT Council members “on the road” to meet with local parent and other groups, providing links to the kits on the CT Council’s website, distributing at least one kit to every local director of special education and mailing the kits to all public libraries.  She estimated that each toolkit would cost $3 to $5 to mail.


          Ms. Carrin was concerned that local directors of special education may not do anything with the toolkits and that it would be better to distribute the toolkits to local parent groups.


          Ms. Carrin reported that A Day of Respect conference with clergy, religious leaders and religious educators will be held at The Hartford Seminary on Monday, March 16, 2009.  Up to 120 participants are expected.  A flyer describing the event was distributed and is posted on the websites of both the CT Council and The Seminary.  The conference will address practical and adaptive strategies for inclusion in services and ceremonies, adapting religious education and addressing theological, spiritual and pastoral issues.  Governor Rell will be asked to issue a proclamation and declare March 16, 2009 as A Day of Respect.  She will be invited to open the conference.  The Seminary will be sending the announcement of the conference to its mailing list of 2,500 and the Seminary will handle registrations.  The CT Council and the Seminary will be splitting the cost of beverages and food.  The planning committee includes the CT Council, UCEDD, the Autism Spectrum Differences Institute of New England and Emily Pemler, a Seminary student.  A meeting with the Seminary president will be requested to discuss the accessibility of religious institutions and the Seminary.


          Finally, Ms. Taylor reported that the Committee is working on the CT Council’s 2008 Annual Report.  Stories from Mr. Belske and Mr. Blum, Ms. Lortie ,and Ms. Taylor will be highlighted in the report.


          Ms. Adamczyk thanked Ms. Taylor and Ms. Carrin for their reports.


Office of State Ethics


          Ms. Adamczyk invited Ms. Meredith Trimble, Director of Education, and Mr. Brian O’Dowd, Assistant General Counsel, Office of State Ethics, to address the CT Council, and representatives of other gubernatorial or legislatively appointed councils, on state ethics.


          Ms. Trimble reminded gubernatorial and legislatively appointed members of councils that they are public officials subject to the state’s Code of Ethics.  As public officials, they are prohibited from voting and taking any official action on any matter from which they, their family or their business might derive monetary gain or loss.  Council chairs and staff are mandated to report violations.  In general, public officials are prohibited from accepting gifts costing more than $9.99.  Council members are also banned for one year after leaving state service from applying for and accepting a paid position on council staff. 


          Mr. Preneta reminded CT Council members that federal law requires CT Council members to also avoid the appearance of conflict of interest.


          Mr. O’Dowd answered several questions.  He reiterated that any CT Council member interested in applying for a paid position on CT Council staff must not participate in activities that might shape the job description, duties and responsibilities of the position.  He also stated that if a CT Council staff position becomes vacant within a year as a result of a resignation, firing or early retirement, no current CT Council member can apply for the position.


          Ms. Adamczyk thanked Ms. Trimble and Mr. O’Dowd.


Legislation, Policy and Planning Committee


          Mr. Flanders reported that his Committee will be meeting to consider what issues to address, including legislation requiring the electronic recording of interrogations of people with disabilities.  He said his Committee was open to other suggestions.  Mr. Flanders warned that issues that arise during this session of the CT General Assembly will require a rapid response.  His Committee will be operating on the assumption that it will have the freedom to make judgments about responding to issues.  CT Council members will be invited to provide testimony when and where the need arises.


          Mr. Flanders reported that the State Department of Education issued regulations on the restraint and seclusion reporting law that includes a number of suggestions made by the CT Council.


          Ms. Adamczyk thanked Mr. Flanders for his report.


Membership and Support Committee


          In Mr. McCann’s absence, and at Mr. Morrissette’s request, Ms. Adamczyk reported  that the Membership and Support Committee will be meeting in the late spring of 2009 to begin recruiting to fill vacancies created by retiring Council members.  We will have 4 parent vacancies as of September 30, 2009.  Retiring from the Council in 2009 will be:


Mary Eberle, parent

Patti Carrin, parent

Cathy Adamczyk, parent

          Sheila Crocker, parent


          The following can be reappointed  for a second and final term:


           Patricia Anderson, State Department of Education

           Fred Frank, not-for-profit agency

           Leo Germain, self-advocate

           Jamie Graham, self-advocate

           David King, self-advocate

           Jennifer Lortie, self-advocate

           Peter Morrissette, self-advocate


Site Visits


          Ms. Adamczyk said that the CT Council has scheduled several site visits, beginning with a site visit evaluation with the CT Family Support Council on January 28, 2009.  The site visit evaluation schedule was shared with the CT Council and the public.  She asked CT Council members to volunteer to participate on site visits.

          The CT Family Support Council site visit team includes Paul Kachevsky, Armand Legault, Frank Reed and Anita Tremarche.


Role of State Agencies on the CT Council


          Ms. Adamczyk said the CT Council needed to spend some time discussing the role of state agencies on the CT Council.


          Ms. Eberle recommended that representatives of agencies on the CT be asked to propose what roles they believe they can serve on the CT Council and that this topic be on the CT Council’s March 10, 2009 meeting agenda.


Ms. Taylor moved to adjourn.  Mr. Belske seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.


The meeting adjourned at 2:50 p.m.


The next Council meeting is Tuesday, March 10, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Institute of Technology and Business Development/CCSU, New Britain. 


                                                                   Respectfully submitted,




                                                                   Ed Preneta




Content Last Modified on 3/11/2009 11:47:06 AM