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Community Capacity Building Committee Minutes, Nov 2014

Community Capacity Building
DRAFT Minutes
November 20, 2014
9:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Hilton Garden Inn, Cary, NC

Members Present: I. Azell Reeves (Chairperson), Desiree Peterson, Lisa Byrd, Larry Huggins (for John Carbone, M.D.), Wilson Finks, Amanda Bergen, Jim Swain and David White

Members Absent: Anna Cunningham and Senator Tommy Tucker

Guests: Beverly Colwell and Dreama McCoy (for Bill Hussey, NC Dept. of Public Instruction, appointment pending)

Staff/Contractors/Council Chair:  Shayna Simpson-Hall, Karen Hamilton (NC ADA Network), Kim Corzine (Western Carolina University), Gordon O’Neill (O’Neill Communications), Abby Cameron (NC Dept. of Public Safety), Joanne Pierce (NC Dept. of Public Safety), JoAnn Toomey, Yadira Vasquez, Melissa Swartz 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 August 14, 2014 Minutes.   

MOTION:  David White made a motion to accept the August 14, 2014Community Capacity Building Committee minutes.  Desiree Peterson seconded the motion.  The motion passed.

Authority to Release RFA

Desiree Peterson exited the room and recused herself from the discussion. Shayna Simpson-Hall reviewed aspects of the RFA including the objective which states that the Council will fund training, consultation and technical assistance for individuals to affect policies and practices that support integration, productivity, independence, and inclusion for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities and their families. She also mentioned the activity which is to allocate funding that would support citizen action for voluntary compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Specific activities shall include the following:

  • Provides cash advances for groups and individuals with disabilities with limited funds for travel and other ADA activities.
  • 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.
  • Enables small grassroots groups to apply for funds and successfully conduct projects in their local communities that increase compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Enables individuals with disabilities to serve on boards, committees and task forces by providing funds for travel and accommodations such as aids, interpreters, etc.
  • Enables people with disabilities to participate in ADA trainings and events by providing funds for travel and training costs.
  • Provides quick reimbursement for groups and individuals that have limited budgets (less than 15 business days).
  • Provides technical assistance, as needed, to assist individuals with disabilities to complete forms and reports.

Karen Hamilton (NC ADA Network Coordinator) stated that the services provided by the current NC ADA Fiscal Agent is vital to 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.  The members agreed that the services were essential.  Prior to making the motion the committee requested that JoAnn Toomey, the NCCDD Director of Operations, give the group the fiscal perceptive of increasing the administrative fee and if the Council had a cap on the amount of the administration fee which a contractor could bill.  JoAnn explained the Council’s guidelines on indirect cost and administrative fees. Following the discussion, the group decided that the administrative fee associated with this initiative should not exceed $5,000.

MOTION:  Wilson Finks and Amanda Bergen made a motion to grant NCCDD staff authority to release the Request for Application (RFA) for the “NC ADA Network Fiscal Agent” 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.  Dreama McCoy seconded the motion with the recommended change that the amount of administrative fees shall not exceed $5,000.   The motion was approved.

Jim Swain stated that he was not comfortable with a flat administrative rate as opposed to a percentage.

Initiative Updates

Kim Corzine, Project Coordinator - Western Carolina University, Learning and Earning After High School: The Role of Transition Services in Raising Expectations and Attitudes for Students with Intellectual Disabilities.  She began by reviewing the main objectives of the initiative which are:

  • Raising expectations of students, families, teachers, administrators;
  • Demonstrating possibilities of competitive employment, post-secondary education/training, and independent living options for youth with intellectual disabilities (e.g., highlighting success videos and stories across NC); and
  • Providing teachers, families, and school districts with a web-based resource as a guiding blue print for preparing students with intellectual disabilities the opportunities for positive post-school outcomes.

She stated that the Advisory Teams met for the second time. Meetings were held in Catawba County (10/22), Harnett County (10/29), Graham County (10/24) and in McDowell County (10/21).  All of the meetings were very well attended by students with I/DD, teachers, parents, employers, service providers, and administrators. Additionally, information was given on the focus groups which met in February, April, and May 2014.  The group assessed the strengths, needs and identified barriers to implementation.  Also, the website was unveiled and the group discussed design, content, and usability of website.

Ms. Corzine also informed the group of the information related to the Transition Survey.  The survey was released in February 2014 to LEAs.  It was sent to
270 stakeholders with a 55.9% response rate.  It was disseminated to teachers, administrators, VR counselors, transition coordinators, job coaches, and families.
She closed with the next steps of the initiative. The next steps are:

  • RTLE.org is currently with LEAs; more videos, resources, lesson plans, and activities are being added;
  • Conduct Evaluation (January, 2015) and Expectation surveys;
  • Modify RTLE.org according to evaluation; and
  • Expand RTLE.org to other schools and to NCDPI.

Following Kim’s presentation, Joanne Pierce, Grant Coordinator - NC Dept. of Public Safety, Emergency Preparedness for People with I/DD initiative greeted the group.  She began by providing the group with a review of the year one activities and highlights which were as follows;

  • C-MIST committees meetings
  • Technical plan and Blueprint
  • Transportation survey
  • ShowMe shelter communication tool
  • ReadyNC updates
  • MyPREP personal preparedness

She stated that on November 12, 2014 the kick off implementation meeting was held.  Approximately, one hundred people attended the event.  During this time the Technical Plan/Blueprint was released.  The plan is inclusive with the whole community approach. The plan addresses the access and functional needs of people with I/DD. Moreover, the Blueprint is cross-functional, focusing on personal preparedness, local preparedness related to local infrastructure and emergency planning at the state level. Ms. Pierce then updated the members on next steps.  The next steps for this initiative are:

  • Implement C-MIST committees strategies;
  • Review and update Blueprint as needed; and
  • Emergency Preparedness Initiative Stakeholders’ Meeting in October or November of 2015.

Cindy Thomas, Institute for Community Inclusion, UMass, Reaching the Summit of Success, joined the group by phone. She stated that over the past year the project focused on developing policy directions for employment with a particular focus on transition.  The project team synthesized the findings from the summits that were held in September 2013 and used these as the foundation for a policy seminar that was held in June 2014.  This seminar was well attended and included a range of stakeholders including state agency representatives, representatives from post-secondary education programs, educators, providers, family members and individuals. Seminar participants were briefed on the recently approved Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee plan to study a range of issues related to vocational training for individuals with intellectual disabilities.  

 The seminar participants prioritized two recommendations:

  1. The primary option for students after high school should be a competitive place of employment.  This process should start early enough to allow the student to attend college, if this is their choice.  
  2. The DHHS (DMA, DMH/DD/SAS, DVR), community college system, DPI, UNC system and Department of Commerce shall assess policy barriers, identify revisions needed, set goals and advance coordinated policies and practices in regard to “Employment First” and post-secondary education for persons with I/DD.

The project team hosted a conference in September 2014 that was attended by over 100 stakeholders from throughout NC.  The conference included a keynote presentation and breakout session by Teresa Grossi, a nationally known expert in the area of transition and employment, a state agency panel, a young adult panel, and a keynote presentation on the second day by Dave Richard.  

Cindy also noted a challenge faced by the initiative.  She stated that the advisory team was unsure on how aggressive the state is willing to be involved in transition to employment for people with I/DD and this has hindered their efforts. Also, she and other staff are unable to fully participate in the NC Employment First Work Steering Committee due to their inability to participate remotely.  Cindy mentioned that she has reached out to the NC APSE to collaborate in their efforts to increase involvement and to leverage resources.  Additionally, the project team is continuing to work with the Council to insure that the work of this project aligns and is integrated with the work being done on other projects including the SEG and SELN.

During the final year of the Reaching the Summit of Success initiative, three additional summits are planned for the upcoming year to be held in different parts of the state.

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 and Lisa Byrd made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  It was seconded by Desiree Peterson.  Adjourned the meeting at 11:53 a.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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