Community Capacity Building
November 19, 2015
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
North Raleigh Hilton, Raleigh, NC
Members Present: I. Azell Reeves (Chairperson), Adonis Brown, Jason Faircloth, Joshua Gettinger, Anna Cunningham, Kerri Bennett-Eaker, Jim Swain, Beverly Colwell, Amanda Bergen
Members Absent: Bill Hussey, Representative Verla Insko, and David White
Guests: Danielle Matula, Michael Roush (on phone)
Staff/Contractors: Karen Hamilton, Gordon O’Neill, JoAnn Toomey and Yadira Vasquez
Welcome and Introduction:
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 August 6, 2015 minutes.
Adonis Brown made a motion to accept the August 6, 2015 Community Capacity Building Committee minutes. Amanda Bergen seconded the motion. The motion was approved.
Karen Hamilton, NCCDD contractor, reviewed with the committee the ADA Network initiative and their partnership with the Southeast ADA Center. SE ADA Center provides ADA training, technical assistance, publications (for readability) and links to national initiatives and collaborations. Alliance of Disability Advocates is the fiscal manager. They have been working with grassroots groups and advocates in 36 counties, that includes 16 new counties. Grassroot groups include cross disability groups and they are any group that is led by people with disabilities. They provide supports for local groups, mini grants, monthly ADA teleconferences, ADA publications, technical assistance, statewide meetings and the National ADA Symposium. Local ADA project members develop project plans that address specific ADA issue. They pick a measurable outcome or change that they want to happen and develop action steps to achieve that outcome or change and ways to measure the change.
One project is the People First of NC, consisting of four (4) self-advocacy groups from across the state: Charlotte, Wilmington, Chapel Hill and Winston-Salem. They talked to businesses about heavy restroom doors. It should only take five (5) pounds or less of force to open a door and they used a door pressure gauge for testing. To date, nine (9) businesses adjusted the tension on restroom doors.
Other activities include collaboration with statewide partners and participation on boards and committees.
Outcomes include: provided ADA technical assistance for 956 individuals and businesses. Conducted or hosted 44 ADA trainings, serving 602 individuals. Disseminated over 2300 ADA publications to over 1100 people and conducted 35 public awareness events.
Grassroots groups conducted 26 ADA projects addressing: service animals, medical offices, recreation, parking, employment, public transportation, theater ticketing, emergency preparedness, local government services, effective communication and facility accessibility.
ADA projects resulted in policy changes (effective communication, service animals, theater ticketing). Facility Accessibility improvements (recreation trails, medical offices, restrooms, accessible parking). Better access to public services (improved public transportation, etc.).
National ADA Symposium had11 NC ADA Network members attending. Jaci Harris led a symposium session. She was the first self-advocate to be a speaker at a National ADA Symposium.
Opportunities for 2016 include NC self-advocates assisting National ADA Network to develop a plain language “ADA & Your Employment Rights” publication. They are also invited to coordinate an access team to give feedback on state government websites.
Committee members asked questions regarding recreation and also about how members participating in ADA training get reimbursed for their travel expenses. The network includes people ready to take action. The members asked how they could support this initiative more - if the Council was able to provide additional funding. The Council members also encouraged collaboration with Disability Rights NC and the Council’s Communications initiative and other new initiatives that are funded in the new state plan. New initiatives should include the cost for self-advocates to be involved. We also talked about the need to have some self-advocates as ADA certified coordinators.
Michael Roush, Director of National Disability Institute, and Donna Gallagher, Executive Director of The Collaborative, called in remotely to update the committee on the Upward to Financial Stability initiative. They thanked the members for their support over the first year. The summit was hosted in October and Council members Anna Cunningham, Crystal Foreman and Adonis Brown attended. The state treasurer, Janet Cowell, also attended and there were 74 participants in total. The disability community was able to learn more about how to build financial assets and bring more information to NC. Next steps to enhance will be the creation of an action plan over the next year. They will do a webinar when the report is ready. Adonis felt the Summit was useful and Azell shared that Crystal reported to the full Council on the Summit at the November 18 meeting. There will be an Advisory committee meeting December 9th. They have taken the feedback from May very seriously. Train the Trainer events will be held in Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh and Greenville. They’ve done a lot of outreach: 357 individuals in the first year.
Committee members asked if people requesting information are getting quick responses. They are getting in-depth questions that require federal research. There is currently not a specific NC e-mail. Regarding the train the trainer model, what’s the capacity? There are 25 trainers in each program and they will train 100 people this year with eight (8) master trainers getting an additional two (2) day training to enhance their knowledge even more. Third year will have more people trained. Will there be corporate sponsors to help with the cost of the training? The training itself is free but there is an application process. The training is not designed to charge or be used elsewhere. Michael will contact Chris Egan and staff to talk about sustainability, branding and copyright issues. It’s branded with the NCCDD logo.
Yadira Vasquez updated the members with the fiscal information. Members asked if any of the initiatives that are pending Council approval are not funded, would the funds be available then for other initiatives. The answer is yes. Azell asked the members if there were any further questions and there were none.
News from members:
Joshua Gettinger talked about Asheville’s medical health homes and capacity to take care of people with disabilities. Kerri Eaker talked about a patient/family centered support services unit and how families are getting their needs met. She also mentioned that her son has an application in with the state for a micro enterprise for building bird houses.
Discussion of Potential RFA Topics:
Azell asked the members if they had any additional topics, other than increasing ADA grassroot groups that was discussed earlier. The Access NC book was discussed and if the book can be accessed through technology. It is available through pdf – but that is a large download. Perhaps an app would be more accessible. Cost of an app can be expensive. Other discussion included: the number of paid ADA coordinators and how sustainability can occur in all 100 counties. The need to have an additional staff person hired to assist with the work of our ADA Network initiative and the grassroot groups lead by self-advocates across the state. The need to ensure monies are in all our initiatives for self-advocates to be involved – for them to be able to travel and get reimbursed.
“Nothing about us, without us” was quoted from SABE. Train the Trainers for Upward to Financial Stability and funding their travel was discussed. Getting there is expensive – Rossi fund a possibility? Make it a requirement to have self-advocates on the boards or involved in the DD Council initiatives. Road to Learning and Earning – a method to help train and support families and self-advocates at a younger age. Sibling education is also important. Include self-advocate participation/travel reimbursement in RFA releases. Project Search sustainability? Data that comes back will inform the Council on how to move forward. Need more collaboration across the agencies. Aging caregivers are having to take care of their parents and we need to better address this quicksand.
Wrap Up and Reminders:
Chairperson I. Azell Reeves reminded members to check their packets and fill out the committee preference forms, the conference announcements and the minutes from meetings that didn’t make it into the mail out. 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.
Jim Swain announced that their director is retiring at the end of the year. Danielle Matula shared that their director position has been vacant for some time. Azell asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Anna made a motion to adjourn. Motion carried. Chairperson I. Azell Reeves adjourned the meeting at 5:05 p.m.