Meeting Minutes – May 16, 2012
Fort Collins Marriott, Fort Collins
May 16, 2012, 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Members present: Debbie Petersen, Julia Beems, Anna French, Larry Williams, Martha Mason, Hope Krause, Joe Anzures, Sue Fager, and Chris Roe (pending)
Excused absence: Buna Dahal
DVR staff: Kelley Hartmann, Rob Buzogonay
Guests: Nancy Jackson, John Wooster
Staff: Judy Neal
Call to Order and Introductions:
Debbie Petersen, Chair, opened the meeting and asked participants to introduce themselves. She reminded the SILC that this was the last full meeting that she would share. Debbie spoke of how much she has enjoyed her time with the SILC, and thanked the SILC for all their contributions.
Approval of Minutes:
Julia Beems made a motion to accept the minutes of the March SILC meeting. Hope Krause seconded the motion. The minutes were approved with no changes.
Sue Fager reported that that Rob Buzogany has been named Manager of the Program and Program Development Unit that will include the Independent Living Programs. She announced that the new CIL contracts with the revised Statement of Work will go out next week. Sue also went over the state travel regulations and the SILC’s travel policy gave instructions for filling out the travel forms.
SILC Coordinator Report:
Judy Neal said that her time had been filled with SILC Committee meetings, website training, and planning activities for later in the SILC meeting.
Larry Williams told the SILC that the ACCIL is coping with many changes. With three CILs experiencing difficulties, some are unable to pay their dues, and are not taking advantage of the outreach offered by other directors. A suggestion was made that the SILC should send a “welcome” note to the new directors. Nancy Jackson remarked that most of the centers are in survival mode. Larry spoke about renewing one’s passion after acquiring a disability. He suggested that training could focus on empowerment and regaining passion. He reported that the ACCIL’s best practices manual should be completed by the end of September.
Debbie talked about the SRC’s participation in DVR’s statewide conference. Using completed consumer surveys, there were discussions about consumer’s perceptions of the DVR program. DVR is concentrating on improving communication, retaining consumers throughout the employment process, improving employment outcomes, and retaining counselors.
Judy Neal reported that a number of purchase decided at the last meeting had been made, and the remaining funds were committed to a few more purchases and the CIL Suite training for all ten centers.
SILC Recruitment Activity
Judy conducted an exercise to focus on the qualities we are looking for in new SILC members. The SILC needs to recruit up to nine new members over the next year, and Judy challenged all SILC members to recommend members. To increase our diversity on several levels, the SILC needs to recruit from minority populations in the northwest, northeast, and southwest parts of the state.
Membership: All of the applications put forward have been approved and the governor has made the appointments. Judy sent recruitment emails to former applicants, but has received only two replies.
Public Policy: Anna reported that the committee has determined that housing is a huge barrier in the transition process. After a review of goals by the SPIL committee, the Public Policy committee will compose an issue brief on broadband access for people with disabilities.
SPIL: The SPIL committee met in person in Boulder on Monday to review the goals and activities for the SPIL year ending September 30. The group discussed RSA’s mandate to include in the next SPIL, the criteria for opening a new center and also for closing an existing center.
Finance: The finance committee prepared a draft budget to be presented later on the agenda.
Nancy Jackson, executive director of Disabled Resource Services (DRS), told us about growing up with family members with disabilities and how that influenced and informed her work with DRS. The center has been in business for 34 years, serving Larimer and Jackson Counties. In addition to the IL core services, DRS collaborates with volunteers to build or install home modifications. The center also has a loan closet of over 700 items that brings in additional income. DRS also provides OIB services. The center recently moved to new offices with room to stretch out. They applied to the City onhealthy.net Council for CDBG funds to use as a down payment to purchase the building, but the City Council voted to furnish the funds for the full purchase.
Old Business: There was no old business to discuss.
New Business: The slate of new officered: Julia Beems, Chair; Anna French, Chair-Elect; Buna Dahal, Secretary; and Joe Anzures, Treasurer. There were no nominations from the floor. A motion was made by Larry Williams, seconded by Hope Krause to accept the full slate of officers. The officers were approved by a unanimous vote. The new officers will meet for training on June 20.
A budget for the next fiscal year, based on no reduction or increase in funds, was presented by Debbie. Anna made a motion to accept the budget. It was seconded by Martha Mason, and approved by the council.
During lunch, Judy presented information about the SILC’s standing committees, the duties of the committees, and the obligation of each member to serve on at least one committee. Each member, and some guests, filled out a card with their top three committee choices.
Voting Rights and Responsibilities
Faith Gross, from the Legal Center for People with Disabilities, spoke to the group about the impact of the disability vote. She reviewed current state legislation concerning voting rights, and informed the SILC that there is a national effort to register one million new voters with disabilities prior to the fall presidential election. Faith talked about the state website that allows people to check their registration status or update information with their driver’s license or state ID number. She encouraged the SILC and guests to get involved in local politics and make voting a habit.
The public was invited to let the SILC know about local issues that may need to be addressed in the next SPIL. A mix of DRS staff, consumers, and local residents provided the following information:
Pamela Napier, resident of Larimer County, is near the end of her stay at a women’s shelter. When her time is up, she has nowhere to go. There is a lack of transitional housing for women leaving shelters, and it forces many woman to go back home to their abusers. Pamela has also exhausted all of the local healthcare resources and will soon have no access to insurance or health care. She expressed a need for affordable housing and access to healthcare. She said that all that many women in shelters have is hope. With no place to go, hope is lost.
Nancy McDuffy, recently moved to Fort Collins with her husband who is legally blind. She suggested that local driver’s license offices should offer a list of resources available in the community, including transportation and social activities.
Sally Broste talked with a woman at her church who feels very isolated and is not meeting people.
Alison Dawson, case manager with DRS, reiterated the difficulties of transitions people from nursing homes with no housing available in the community
Jerry Welch, employment coordinator with DRS, also represents the CIL at Murphy Center, a homeless clearinghouse in Fort Collins. Jerry expressed the difficulty of helping people find jobs when their basic needs are not being met. He has been focusing on getting volunteer positions for his consumers, so that they have some work experience, but volunteer jobs are not considered part of the DVR process.
Nancy Jackson talked about the disproportionate number of people with disabilities who live with poverty. She described several local programs and suggested that eh SPIL reflect the need for collaboration among programs within the state and across the country to develop best practices in working with people with disabilities living in poverty.
Brian Collins, born and raised in Larimer County, talked about the difficulties people with disabilities experience in transportation related to employment. Even in towns with reasonable transportation, there is no way to get to a town just a few miles away. He suggested that the transportation providers develop a “convening point” between towns so that people could travel for work and medical appointments outside of their own small town. .
A general discussion among those present, identified domestic violence, homelessness, and youth transition services to be topics for consideration in the new SPIL. Committee members reminded the council that information will be collected from all over the state, and the SPIL will contain measurable goals.
Adjourn: The meeting was adjourned at 3:15 p.m., and SILC members were invited to tour the new DRS offices.