Community Capacity Building
August 6, 2015
2:00 – 3:00 pm
Hilton Garden Inn, Cary, NC
Members Present: I. Azell Reeves (Chairperson), Jim Swain, Adonis Brown, Jason Faircloth, Kerri Bennett-Eaker, Beverly Colwell, Amanda Bergen
Members Absent: Anna Cunningham, Representative Verla Insko, Dr. Joshua Gettinger and David White
Guests: Joshua Strasburg, Dr. Kelley Kelly, Megan McLaughlin
Staff/Contractors: JoAnn Toomey and Yadira Vasquez
Welcome: Chairperson I. Azell Reeves welcomed all members. Members introduced themselves and the meeting began.
Approval of Minutes: Chairperson I. Azell Reeves asked for approval of the May 14, 2015 minutes.
Jim Swain made a motion to accept the May 14, 2015 Community Capacity Building Committee minutes. Amanda Bergen seconded the motion. The motion was approved.
Initiative Updates and Motion to Approve Continuation Funding
I. Azell Reeves asked the committee members whether they would prefer to hear the presenters present their PowerPoint presentation or if they would rather pose the questions to the committee by the members of the full Council (on the index cards). The committee members opted to address the questions given to them by the members of the full Council.
SELN: - Joshua Strasburg, MH/DD/SAS
- Who, exactly are you working with at OSHR, and what is the goal? Is the outcome measurable? What is the timeline for this?
He is working directly with David Pearce at OSHR. He is the substitute for their director. The goal is to utilize the state’s resources – how they expect employers to hire people with I/DD if the state doesn’t do that. Linking people with Temporary Solutions (a state agency that hires people on a temporary amount of time). Also connected them with people with the education and not the experience. Can be hired all across the state, including universities. Azell: What about LME’s, MCO’s? How do they know about it? Joshua’s answer: They aren’t state employees so not sure if they would know about it. He will find out more about it. Azell: Crystal Foreman is highly intelligent and interested in employment – but looking at state government, she would have to have support. Not enough information is out there. Maybe we need to go back to the initial contract and see if those components are still in place. The timeframe for this is continuing talks with OSHR – and it’s within the FFY. Kerri talked about micro-business not being talked about and maybe we could bring that back to the table. Adonis talked about the book by David Taylor about micro-enterprise in NC and David’s successful business called, Water Boy. Care needs to be taken to set up a business that is not in the individual’s name, so that they lose their services.
- Unless new information is provided tomorrow, I will be voting against any additional funding for this initiative. Very disappointed with the lack of details provided in this morning’s presentation.
Azell said he will hopefully fine-tune his presentations to the Council.
- While we appreciate Joshua’s efforts over the past six months, how has the grant money been spent thus far? What is the cumulative, multi-year results? For example, if a child’s therapy needs are funded for ages birth to 5, the expectation is that the child enters kindergarten at age 5, with their peers, with age appropriate skills.
Again, he’s not sure he can comprehensively speak to what has been accomplished since first funding. 2012 report was never finalized and distributed. There was frequent turnover and the membership was not fully utilized. Yadira said that $140,000 has been spent so far since first funding SELN in October 1, 2011. Barb and Cindy are finishing the report and members are wondering why they can’t see it now. Could the draft be received by tomorrow to the Council? Amanda feels biased about this initiative and questions the legitimacy. It was explained that this is an annual invoice for membership dues to SELN.
- Can you do the training as a webinar – opening it up across the state? Seems like a total waste of money – struggling to find what they have actually completed.
He has the accomplishments.
- I’m concerned that not enough progress has been achieved for a grant going into Year 5. Need more measurable outcomes.
Azell said he has been given food for thought for future presentations.
Joshua said Barb Brent said she was sorry she could not join the committee but offered to do a statewide webinar.
WCU: Dr. Kelly Kelley and Megan McLaughlin
- Without the benefit of survey data, how can we (as a committee or Council) see if the process Western Carolina has chosen is working and deserving of another year of funding? Other grantees have provided such data prior to Year 3.
Dr. Kelley responded that the first year was developing the project. You can’t change expectations until you have time in between to do an intervention to change their thinking. It’s a longitudinal research study. Their findings were Pre: that students felt they could live independently and their families didn’t feel that way. Teachers were also feeling that their expectations were low. Post: expectations should be markedly different and will be in a publication. Azell asked about toolkits that were not funded in the contract that they did produce: It’s hard to demonstrate success stories though a paper/writing. In order to change expectations, they were able to go beyond their scope by going to the schools and listening to their stakeholders. They had to give a “how” to allow more of the intervention piece.
Azell talked about how in the beginning it was 3 schools in the western part of Carolina and now there’s 4. There are 28 videos and it is felt that might not be enough. There was a 3 month lull where the Council asked them to change their objectives and proposal. Azell made it clear that there was not a full Council vote to make those changes. So, they started 3-4 months behind to start. With their school partnerships, they looked at districts with not many resources in the western part of NC. They wanted to showcase these schools and provide success stories and also do a coaching model to expand their high schools and middle schools. They hope this to be a statewide initiative. Another comment Azell heard earlier was to compare them with Project Search. Project Search is really more hands on. WCU prepares them for a hands on approach and competitive employment. Newsletters are important and our communications initiative should be linking with all Council initiatives for their latest information and updates. Azell asked if Beverly wanted to add information. Beverly said that even though we are a big state, we have to start small and it will take time for information to be disseminated. Also, the curriculum is something that teachers and parents are asking for. Dr. Kelley mentioned that they are getting this information out in their interactive workshops. There is so much information built into the tool and it’s easy to use and not over-whelming. Picture icons have been added to be receptive to making it more accessible and visually appealing. Perhaps the road map previously shown should be presented to the Council again.
The committee made a recommendation to not fund the annual membership fee to the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS) for the NC Division of Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services to participate in the State Employment Leadership Network, for an amount up to $35,000. All were in favor. Jim Swain recused himself since he collaborates with DMH/DD/SAS.
Comments: The draft report is pertinent to making a decision for continuation funding (see #3). Why didn’t the full council receive the SELN report for review prior to our Council meeting? The lack of information is why we made the recommendation not to fund the annual membership fee. Why didn’t they make themselves available to the committee today? In-house initiatives should have the same reporting requirements of all initiatives.
Kerri Eaker and Adonis Brown made a motion for continuation funding to Western Carolina University, for the Learning & Earning after High School initiative. Year 3 (of 3) funding will begin on November 1, 2015 and end October 31, 2016, for an amount not to exceed $150,000 with a required minimum of 50% non-federal matching funds. Jason Faircloth and Jim Swain seconded the motion. Motion was approved. The committee recommended that all members review the roadmap. Beverly Colwell recused herself from the vote since she is collaborating with Western Carolina University.
JoAnn updated the members with the fiscal information. Azell asked the members if there were any questions and there were none.
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 Gibson, NCCDD staff member, regarding upcoming conferences or other events.
The committee made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Chairperson I. Azell Reeves adjourned the meeting at 3:30 p.m.