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Community Capacity Building Committee Minutes, Aug 2014

Community Capacity Building Committee
DRAFT Minutes
August 14, 2014
12:30 – 3:00 pm
North Raleigh Hilton – Raleigh, NC

Members Present: I. Azell Reeves (Chairperson), Lisa Byrd, Bill Hussey; Alternate: Beverly Colwell, John Carbone, M.D.; Alternate: Larry Huggins, Anna Cunningham, Wilson Finks, Amanda Bergen, Jim Swain; Alternate Gina Price and David White

Members Absent: Desiree Peterson and Senator Tommy Tucker

Guests: Rene Cummins (NC ADA Fiscal Agent), Jaci Harris (Power of the Dream), Cassie Cunningham (Power of the Dream), Curtis Dew (Citizens Together), Linda Emery (Cincinnati Children’s Hospital – Project SEARCH), Pat Keul (Project Consultant – Project SEARCH), David Taylor Jr., and Judi Taylor

Staff/Contractors/Council Chair: Shayna Simpson-Hall, Karen Hamilton (NC ADA Network), Shelsey Hall (NCCDD intern) and John McCallum  

Welcome: Chairperson I. Azell Reeves welcomed all members and provided an opportunity for all to introduce themselves.

Approval of Minutes: Chairperson I. Azell Reeves asked for approval of May 15, 2014 Minutes.   

MOTION: Wilson Finks made a motion to accept the May 15, 2014 Community Capacity Building Committee minutes.  David White seconded the motion.  The motion passed.

Initiative Updates
Karen Hamilton (NC ADA Network Coordinator) reported:
This past year the NC ADA Network project worked with grassroots groups and advocates in 46 counties, to provide Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) training and technical assistance to individuals and businesses in over 87 NC counties.  These activities included:

  • Conducted or hosted 32 ADA Trainings serving 1043 people
  • Distributed 1625 ADA publications to 1178 people
  • Provided ADA Technical Assistance to 1170 individuals or businesses
  • Conducted 8 Public Awareness events including ADA exhibits, presentations and news articles

NC ADA Network representatives are serving on planning committees and task forces including:

  • 10 statewide planning committees
  • 18 local task forces

NC ADA Network is collaborating with 3 other Council initiatives and other groups including:

  • Advocacy Ambassadors initiative
  • Emergency Preparedness for People with I/DD initiative
  • NCCDD Policy initiative (Beth Stalvey)
  • Disability Rights NC

Jaci Harris and Cassie Cunningham (Power of the Dream Self Advocacy Group) shared about their group’s local ADA Project activities.  Over the next year the group plans to work on the Americans with Disabilities Act issues of accessible parking, service animals, accessibility in stores and employment rights.  Ms. Harris emphasized the importance of learning about your rights and speaking up.
Additionally, David Taylor – and Judi Taylor discussed issues surrounding parking control and gave an introduction to a new parking app.

Initiative Update and Authority to Draft
Rene Cummins (Director of Alliance of Disability Advocates) reported on her organization’s role as the NC ADA Network Fiscal Agent.  She shared how as the Fiscal Agent they enable people with disabilities and small grassroots groups to access the funds they need to conduct and participate in advocacy activities that promote the Americans with Disabilities Act as follows:

  • Provide cash advances for groups and individuals with disabilities with limited financial resources.
  • Distributes funding for small ADA projects conducted by grassroots groups led by people with disabilities ($250 - $1000).  Many of these groups would otherwise not have the capacity to apply for NCCDD or other grant funds.
  • Enable small grassroots groups to apply for funds and successfully conduct projects in their local communities.
  • Enable individuals with disabilities to serve on boards, committees and task forces by providing funds for travel and accommodations.
  • Enable people with disabilities to participate in ADA trainings and events by providing funds for travel and training costs.
  • Provide quick reimbursement for groups and individuals that have limited budgets (less than 15 business days).
  • Provide technical assistance, as needed, to assist individuals with disabilities to complete forms and reports.

Ms. Cummins also reported that this year, Alliance of Disability Advocates had the following outcomes as Fiscal Agent to the NC ADA Network:

  • Met or exceeded all project objectives for this past project year.
  • Went beyond scope of work as fiscal agent and conducted 8 ADA trainings serving more than 90 people.

Curtis Dew with Citizens Together Advocacy Group spoke on the important role the NC ADA Network Fiscal Agent plays in supporting small grassroots groups and individuals with disabilities that have limited financial resources.  Mr. Dew shared examples of how the current fiscal agent, Alliance of Disability Advocates, has helped self-advocates:

  • Provides cash advances for gas or food so advocates with limit resources can participate in meetings and training events;
  • Processes reimbursement requests in less than one week in most cases;
  • Will make arrangement with hotels if advocates do not have credit cards to check into their hotel rooms; and
  • Will handle emergencies by immediately making arrangements to handle accommodation needs.

Authority to Draft an RFA (NC ADA FISCAL AGENT)
David White made a motion to grant authority to staff to release the RFA to support the implementation of the NC ADA Network Fiscal Agent initiative, for up to an amount of $35,000 (level-funded) for up to three years beginning with the period of July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016, with a required minimum of 25% non-federal matching funds.  Motion was seconded by Lisa Byrd, Wilson Finks and Amanda Bergen.  The motion carried. * Anna Cunningham recused herself.

Initiative Updates and Motion to Approve Continuation Funding
Linda Emery, Project SEARCH Project Coordinator with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Pat Keul, Project Consultant provided the members with an update.  They began with a general program description which consists of the following:

  • One year program (typically aligns with school year)
  • 10 - 12 young people (average)
  • Individuals with a variety of disabilities
  • Rotation through 3 unpaid internships with continual feedback to gain/increase job skills
  • Consistent on-site staff provided by service agencies
  • Outcome of employment

Purpose of the North Carolina Initiative:

  1. Establish three new Project SEARCH programs in North Carolina communities - MET THIS GOAL!!
  2. Provide Training and on-going support to the four existing North Carolina Project SEARCH programs – MET THIS GOAL!!

Linda informed the group that the contract negotiations were deliberate and difficult. They were able to begin work on the initiative goals in late January, 2014.

Goal 1 - Selecting the 3 new sites:
Established an Advisory Committee to assist with site selection process

  • Alice Farrar, Beverly Colwell, Karen Abourjilie, David Test, and Sid Smith agreed to help distribute information and review information from interested communities.
  • Distributed information to a wide variety of organizations/agencies.
  • Information flyer about process to become one of the new sites.
  • Webinar to clarify the information.
  • Answered questions from interested communities.

“Letters of Intent” Process

  • Distributed a Letter of Intent (LOI) form and asked that communities complete.
  • Advisory Committee plus Project SEARCH staff scored the LOI’s using a rubric. Looked for:
    • Understanding of Project SEARCH model.
    • Collaboration among education, Vocational Rehabilitation, community rehabilitation providers, potential business partners and families.
    • Commitment to participate as a team in Project SEARCH trainings.
    • All persons who scored the sites agreed upon the selected sites. All rated the top three in the same order.

Model requires technical assistance with up to 3 steps

  • Overview of the model including CORE components.
  • Presentations to potential host businesses and assistance with building high quality internships.
  • Presentations to families/students and assistance with the intern selection process.
  • Problem solving assistance with specific issues such as funding, collaboration, staffing, etc.

Three communities selected in early March 2014- the three new NC Project SEARCH sites are listed below:
1.) Alamance Regional Hospital Project SEARCH (partners below)

  • Alamance Burlington School District
  • North Carolina Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
  • Cape Fear, Inc.
  • Cardinal MCO
  • Family Advocate from Alamance Burlington School District

2.) Gardner-Webb University Project SEARCH – Boiling Springs (partners below)

  • Cleveland County School District
  • Cleveland Vocational Industries, Inc.
  • North Carolina Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Plan to enroll 10- 12 interns, students and young adults

3.) Harris Regional Hospital Project SEARCH (partners below)

  • Southwestern Community College
  • Smoky Mountain Center
  • Cherokee Nation

The goals for Year 2 are as follows:

  • Increase employment outcomes to 100% for all North Carolina programs.
  • Increase number of interns enrolled in each program.
  • Add three additional Project SEARCH programs through selection process with support from the Advisory Committee.
  • Hold at least one statewide training for all Project SEARCH programs in February – 2 days of training provided by Project SEARCH staff and augmented by shared learning among programs.
  • Hold regional meetings – 2 in each area, 1 in October and 1 in April (this need was identified by the teams at June training).
  • Training will include assistance in the establishment of Business Advisory Committees and implementing the Family Involvement Curriculum for each of the 7 existing Project SEARCH programs.

In closing, Linda read to the group a heartfelt letter written by one of the mother’s of a Project SEARCH graduate. The letter described the remarkable changes she has witnessed in her child since she has graduated from Project SEARCH and has begun working.

Continuation Funding – Project SEARCH
Wilson Finks and Anna Cunningham made a motion that the NCCDD will make available up to $100,000 (January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015), 100% federal funds of external, sole source funding for year 2 of 3 years, to Cincinnati Hospital to implement the Project SEARCH Technical Assistance Initiative, with a minimum 25% non-federal match requirement. Lisa Byrd seconded the motion.  
*Beverly Colwell recused herself.

Fiscal Update
The Council’s Business Officer, Yadira Vasquez, provided an update to the Community Capacity Building Committee of the current budget report and expenses by committee and the status of the three federal fiscal years.

Wrap Up and Reminders
Chairperson I. Azell Reeves reminded members to submit their financial forms.  She asked that if members are interested, to please respond promptly when they receive notification from Cora about upcoming conferences or other events.

Wilson Finks made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  It was seconded by   Amanda Bergen. Chairperson I. Azell Reeves adjourned the meeting at 3:01 p.m.



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This project was supported, in part by grant number 2001NCSCDD-02, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.

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