CTCDD: CTCDD Meeting 3-10-09

CTCDD Meeting 3-10-09



The 156th meeting of the CT Council on Developmental Disabilities was held on Tuesday, March 10, 2009, at the Institute of Technology and Business Development/Central Connecticut State University, New Britain.  The meeting included the CT Councilís annual Public Forum.


Council Members Present:  Cathy Adamczyk, Chair; Patricia Anderson, Joyce Baker, Stephen Belske, Lisa Davis, Mary Eberle, John Flanders, Fred Frank, Gabriela Freyre-Calish, Leo Germain, Robyn Hescock, Paul Kachevsky, Hayley Kelley, David King, Bill Knight, Armand Legault, Vice Chair; Jennifer Lortie, Tom McCann, Peter Morrissette, Frank Reed, Anita Tremarche and Patricia Tyler.


Excused Absence:  Larry Carlson, Patricia Carrin, Sheila Crocker, Kathryn duPree, Jamie Graham and Nancy Taylor.


Guests Present:  Guests included five (5) personal assistants, one (1) meeting assistant, Jill Correnti, The Correnti Group, Inc.; Diana Creamer, Michael Fuller, Department of Public Health; and Melissa Pinnick, Service Employees International Union.


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


          Ms. Adamczyk called the CT Council meeting to order at 11:00 a.m. 




          Mr. Knight moved to approve the minutes of January 13, 2009.  Mr. Belske seconded.  There was no discussion.  The motion passed with Ms. Anderson, Ms. Baker, Mr. Germain and Mr. McCann abstaining.


Budget Update


          Mr. Preneta reported that the CT Councilís 2009 budget was in good shape.  All unexpended funds from 2008 have been carried over into 2009, thereby, reducing the projected deficit to $445.  He said the projected deficit is only a paper deficit.  The CT Council is actually likely to have substantial unspent funds during 2009 as a result of (1) three major initiatives that may not be implemented ( start-up of a CT Family Lives in-home nursing agency, a transportation initiative with United We Ride and Visitable Smarthomes), (2) a possible 2.2% increase in the CT Councilís 2009 federal formula grant and (3) voluntary participation in cutting back on various spending as requested by the Governor.

          Mr. Preneta reported that the CT Council funds are all federal funds and not part of the CT General Fund.  Reductions in CT Council spending does not save the State of Connecticut any money.  Funds from reduced spending stays in the CT Councilís budget.  At the same time, the CT Council office will be selective about which directives, policies and procedures regarding spending reductions to argue in order to avoid the extra time, paperwork and expenditure of political capital.  Staff will not be taking furlough days but a number of steps have been taken to reduce other spending.

          [UPDATE:  On March 10, 2009, President Obama singed an omnibus spending bill.  The CT Council could realize as much as a 2.6% increase.  Our federal formula grant could grow from $695,615 to $713,434, which is a gain of $17,819.  Since 5% of our formula grant goes directly to the CT General Fund, our contribution to mitigating the state deficit will grow from $34,781 to $35,672, which is an increase of $891.]


Ms. Adamczyk thanked Mr. Preneta.


Advocacy, Public Information and Education Committee


          Mr. Germain reported that Community Inclusion and Education Toolkits are at the printer and delivery to the CT Council Office is expected this week.


          Mr. Germain shared a draft of the CT Councilís 2008 Annual Report.  The annual report will not be sent out for graphic design or printing.  


          Ms. Adamczyk thanked Mr. Germain.


Legislation, Policy and Planning Committee


          Mr. Flanders moved that the following standard statement to be used with all legislative and policy proposals:


          ďIt is the position of the Connecticut Council on Developmental Disabilities that people with disabilities are unique individuals.  Each individual has needs for accommodations and or services that are unique to him or her, and which must be provided to enable each person to fully participate in the community.  We believe that the existing criteria towards the use of medical model, relying on labels or diagnosis codes, has too great a potential to leave men and women and children without elements of the support they require.  The Council considers it our mission to ensure that all the needs of individuals with disabilities are met.  We encourage the State to make and or revise the policies of all departments so the services and accommodations provided are designed to meet the unique needs of individuals and are not limited to an unthinking diagnosis code.Ē 


          Ms. Eberle seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.


          Mr. Flanders reported that in addition to testimony provided in support of legislation implementing the Program Review and Investigations Committee report on aging and developmental disabilities (bills 752 and 753), Ms. Langton provided testimony against legislation that would allow broad application of guardians ad litem (bill 6629).


[UPDATE:  On March 12, 2009, the SEIU representative was informed that the CT Council is not taking a position on bill 6668 regarding a personal care assistants quality home care workforce council (see section 2 of the bill).]


          Ms. Adamczyk thanked Mr. Flanders.


Executive Committee


Ms. Adamczyk advised CT Council members that it is the position of the Executive Committee that CT Council members should not reference their membership on the CT Council when writing or presenting testimony on legislation of personal interest.  In the event that such reference should occur, the CT Council will immediately write a letter to the representative, senator or committee stating that the opinion of the CT Council members is not the position of the CT Council.


          Ms. Adamczyk reported (1) that Nancy Taylor resigned as Chair of the Advocacy, Public Information and Education Committee and that Leo Germain assumed the role of Chair of that committee, (2) a letter was sent to Governor Rell asking that all Connecticut residents be brought back to Connecticut from the Judge Rotenberg Center in Massachusetts, that no future placements be permitted, and that reference to past Connecticut placements be removed from the Centerís website; (3) the CT Council will not be attending the annual national public policy seminar in Washington, DC., but that the Legislation, Policy and Planning Committee will be organizing an event in Connecticut with Connecticutís Congressional delegation and or their staff early this summer; and that Mr. Reed represented and presented on behalf of the CT Council at a February 7, 2009 forum on health care hosted by  Sen. Chris Dodd and Rep. Chris Murphy at Western Connecticut State University, Danbury.


          She reported that Ms. Spino is working on a letter to be sent to Connecticut NBC affiliate WVIT 30 on the pros and cons of Applied Behavioral Analysis.


          Ms. Kelley reported that she has 2 children who spent 4 years placed out-of-district in an ABA program at a cost of $2 million and they gained very little.  She encouraged not opposing ABA but showing other approaches.


          Mr. Flanders said the intent of the letter was to inform the media that the CT Council may be a source for an alternative point-of-view on various issues.


          Ms. Eberle suggested that the TV affiliate might be encouraged to do a series on different approaches to educating and working with children with disabilities.


Transition Committee


Mr. Legault reported that his Committee is coordinating events to allow for a smooth, efficient and effective executive transition, and the search for a successor, with the planned retirement of Mr. Preneta in March 2011.  The Committee will evaluate all tools and efforts taking into consideration the cost and benefit of such arrangements.  All Committee members (two self advocates, one parent and two state agencies) have no conflict-of-interest and all are voting members. 


The position of Director of the CT Council will be posted as of October 1, 2010.  CT Council members who intend to apply for the position must resign from the CT Council before October 1, 2009.


          Mr. Flanders challenged a February 2006 ruling by the Office of State Ethics that a CT Council member may not, for one year after leaving state service, apply for and accept a paid position on the CT Council staff.  He believes that ruling applied only to a position where the Director of the CT Council manages, evaluates and supervises the staff person.  Mr. Flanders believes the ruling does not apply to a position managed, evaluated and supervised by CT Council members.


          Ms. Eberle also suggested that clarification is needed as to whether CT Council members must resign on October 1, 2009, one-year before the posting of the position vacancy (October 1, 2010) or on April 1, 2010, one-year before the proposed date of employment (April 1, 2011).


          Mr. Flanders offered to write clarifying questions for the Transition Committee to submit to the Office of State Ethics. 


          Mr. Legault said this issue needs to be settled as soon as possible.  The Committee plans to meet again on April 23, 2009.


          Ms. Adamczyk thanked Mr. Legault.


Site Visit with Connecticut Family Support Council


          Mr. Reed reported that the site visit team visited with the Family Support Council on February 5, 2009 and decided to continue funding the Family Support Council for the remainder of this fiscal year.  In addition, the Family Support Council will be permitted to carry over unspent funds for use during the next fiscal year.  There may be sufficient carry over funds to enable support for the Family Support Council for a second year.  The CT Council will not need to consider making new funds available for the Family Support Council.


          Ms. Adamczyk thanked Mr. Reed.


Statewide Youth Event Reviewers Report


          Ms. Davis reported that the review team met before the CT Council meeting and decided to recommend to the CT Council to award $5,000 to the Disability Resource Network to work with youth to plan a statewide youth event and to reserve an additional $10,000 for implementation of the event, contingent upon a more detailed description of the event.


          Ms. Davis moved that the CT Council award $5,000 to the Disability Resource Network to assist youth to plan a statewide youth event in to be held in September 2009 and that the CT Council reserve an additional $10,000 for the Disability Resource Network to assist youth to implement the event.  Awarding the additional $10,000 is contingent upon receiving a detailed description of the activities, speakers and timeline.  Mr. Germain seconded.


          Ms. Tyler was concerned that the CT Council was committing additional funds before knowing about its 2009 allocation and before its May 2009 Retreat.


          Mr. Kachevsky was concerned the CT Council was committing funds during hard economic times.


          Mr. Frank said it made no sense for the CT Council to award $5,000 to plan the event without a commitment to help with implementing the event.


          The motion passed with Ms. Adamczyk, Mr. King and Ms. Lortie abstaining due to conflict-of-interest.


          Ms. Adamczyk thanked Ms. Davis.


A Day of Respect


          Governor M. Jodi Rell has issued a proclamation declaring March 16, 2009 A Day of Respect.  A Day of Respect conference with religious communities sponsored by the CT Council, and supported by the UCEDD, is taking place on March 16, 2009 at the Hartford Seminary.  Anyone interested in attending must send a registration to the Seminary.


Aging In Place Communities Symposium


          Ms. Lortie reported that an aging in place communities symposium sponsored by the CT Council is taking place on April 6, 2009 at the Institute of Technology and Business Development, New Britain.


Parent Leadership and Advocacy Training


          Ms. Spino reported that seventeen (17) parents are participating in a six (6) session parent leadership and advocacy training program sponsored by the CT Council and co-funded by the Connecticut Down Syndrome Congress and supported by the UCEDD.


Role of Agency Representatives on the CT Council


          Ms. Tyler reported that she communicated with agency representatives on the CT Council regarding how agency representatives on the CT Council can better contribute to the CT Council.  She proposed (1) that CT Council committees and task forces communicate with agency representatives when there are issues regarding the agency they represent, (2) the CT Council reserve time at CT Council meetings for agency representatives to give updates and (3) the CT Council may want to change its bylaws to allow for agency representatives to participate on the Executive Committee.  She said agency representatives may meet periodically and recommended that all CT Council members read the Developmental Disabilities Act.


          Ms. Adamczyk noted that the CT Council created bylaws that deliberately restrict the role of agency representatives more than the DD Act in order to empower parents and self-advocates on the CT Council.  She said all CT Council meetings and Committee meeting are open to the public and agency representatives are welcome to attend.


Retreat Planning Ė Governance, Management, Program Ė2010


          Mr. Preneta said the CT Council needs to make a decision about a Retreat.  If a Retreat is held, the CT Council may wish to address future management of the CT Council Office in addition to governance and 2010 initiatives.


          Ms. Lortie noted that discussion of CT Council management may pose a conflict-of-interest for those CT Council members who may be applying for the CT Council Directorís position.


          Ms. Tyler said the CT Council needs to first decide what it wants to do in 2010.  Discussion about governance and management should be postponed to a later date.  Ms. Adamczyk and Ms. Kelly agreed.


          Ms. Kelley moved that the CT Council hold a Retreat at the Institute of Technology and Business Development on May 12, 2009 to address 2010 initiatives, with follow-up at its June 9, 2009 CT Council meeting, and hold a separate special meeting on Transition in October 2009.  Mr. Knight seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.


Mothers From Hell 2 Connecticut


          Ms. Spino reported that an organizing meeting of a Mothers From Hell 2 Connecticut, supported by the CT Council, will be held in early April 2009.  As many as 60 people have expressed interest.


Service Robot Competition with Trinity College


          Mr. Legault reported that a service robot competition, supported by the CT Council, with Trinity College will take place on April 4, 2009.  There is interest in the competition from as far away as Israel and Florida.


Training for Direct Support Workers


          Social role valorization (SRV) training, supported by the CT Council, for direct support workers who assist children and adults with disabilities residing in diverse settings, begins in April 2009.  The CT Council office has already received seven (7) registrations.


Connecticut Family Lives In-Home Nursing


          Mr. Preneta reported that he and Ms. Spino had a disappointing meeting with parties in southeastern Connecticut regarding the start-up of an in-home nursing program modeled after Family Lives in Massachusetts.  The parties in southeastern Connecticut are more interested in creating supports for a different population.  It is expected a concept paper will be presented to the CT Council by the CT Councilís May Retreat.


Connecticut Medical Safeguards in Medical Facilities


          A meeting with eighteen (18) people interested in starting-up a Connecticut Medical Safeguards program for people with disabilities who enter medical facilities is taking place on March 31, 2009. 


United We Ride


          The Connecticut Department of Transportation has been sponsoring facilitated meetings on developing a human service transportation plan under the federal United We Ride program.  Ms. Langton, Mr. Legault and Mr. Preneta have attended these meetings but it is not clear if the CT Council will play an influencing role.


Personal Assistants Backup


          Connecticut Community Care, Inc., submitted a concept paper to use CT Council funds to implement a pilot on support brokers and peer mentorship as part of the stateís Money Follows the Person Rebalancing Demonstration program.  Ms. Baker, Mr. Germain, Mr. Legault, Mr. Morrissette and Mr. Reed volunteered on a task force to further explore the concept and decide whether or not the CT Council should play a role.


The meeting adjourned at 2:15 p.m.


The next Council meeting is also a Retreat and will be held on Tuesday, May 12, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Institute of Technology and Business Development/CCSU, New Britain. 


                                                                   Respectfully submitted,




                                                                   Ed Preneta




Content Last Modified on 5/14/2009 4:35:37 PM