PCPID Quarterly Meeting: June 25–27, 2008
President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
- The President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID)
- Announcements, Meeting Announcements, Publication (Documents and Resources), Meeting Minutes
- Meeting Minutes, Meeting Announcement
Ms. Atwater called the meeting to order and Ms. Roach gave an overview of the ex officio clearance process for the annual report.
Chairman Rhatigan pointed out the handouts given to the Committee members—the first a document written by Mr. Cantos synthesizing the discussion from the previous day’s session, and the other an excerpt of the PCPID annual report from 1983 entitled The Mentally Retarded Worker. Chairman Rhatigan mentioned that the 1983 report may serve as a useful template for the 2009 report. He also reiterated the previous day’s discussion about using a “Christmas tree and ornaments” model for assembling the pieces of the report.
Mr. Hollin noted that the Research Application subcommittee would participate by including a research component, as applicable, to topics chosen by the Committee.
The Committee briefly discussed the New Freedom Initiative Progress Report and the lack of content specific to people with intellectual disabilities. They discussed the potential title for the report and Chairman Rhatigan encouraged the Committee to adopt a title beginning with the phrase, “heightening public awareness of…”
Mr. Cantos gave a brief explanation of the synthesized issues previously handed out to the Committee members. He suggested that the members review the document, recommend changes, and then divide into subcommittees to begin work on specific assignments.
The Committee discussed the possible inclusion in the report of a section on employment for people with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and it was suggested that the issue be addressed in a separate forum dedicated solely to the topic of FAS/ID.
The Committee discussed using past reports addressing employment to highlight the progress made and the steps still to be taken to increase employment opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. They also discussed the need to put the previous reports on the Committee’s website and Ms. Ruzicka explained that the PCPID staff was currently in the process of making that possible.
The Committee discussed possible formats for the report and how to organize the subtopics under employment. They discussed whether or not the report would be a tactical report or a strategic report, and the need to address the inspirational importance of people with intellectual disabilities in the workforce. The Committee again discussed potential titles for the report including inclusion of the term “innovative approaches,” and also further discussed whether the report should primarily focus on paid employment, or the broader concept of work.
Chairman Rhatigan—in response to the clarification that the topic/framework had not yet been officially adopted—called for a motion on the topic of the report and the Committee voted unanimously to support the topic of employment.
The Committee discussed the need to focus on innovative approaches to employment for people with intellectual disabilities. They also discussed the importance of using personal stories and examples to highlight the successes of people with intellectual disabilities in the work force.
The Committee discussed the need for public awareness and Mr. Weis volunteered to serve as an asset to the Committee for getting the message out when necessary.
Several Committee members noted the increasing levels of volunteerism on college campuses and discussed the potential of tapping into that resource. The Committee turned again to discussing the differences and preferred language for discussing work versus paid employment and determined to separate volunteerism into two categories: people that volunteer with people with intellectual disabilities, and people with intellectual disabilities that volunteer.
Several members suggested additional ornaments for the framework of the report, including: transportation, employment for people with fetal alcohol syndrome, stepping stones to employment, work incentives, self-employment, asset development and benefits.
Mr. Tienken suggested that for its next meeting the Committee should (as suggested in previous meetings by Neil Romano) partner with the Office on Disability Employment Policy at the US Department of Labor and bring in employers currently hiring people with intellectual disabilities.
The Committee discussed the importance of recognizing that people with intellectual disabilities represent a diverse group of talents and levels of ability. They also discussed the importance of addressing the obstacles to employment in relation to small, medium and large size companies as well as the available tax incentives.
Ms. Ruzicka stressed the importance of developing concrete recommendations that are specifically connected to the text of the report. Mr. Aponte added that the first step in accomplishing the goals of the report is to convince the President to use the power of the Executive to implement the Committee’s recommendations.
The Committee then took a brief recess.
Chairman Rhatigan initiated the next portion of the meeting with a discussion of several pieces of pending legislation relating to asset development for people with disabilities.
The Committee then began a discussion of the suggested subtopics (ornaments) for the report and Mr. Weis noted that the public awareness piece should be broken down into two sections: the big picture and the specifics. Ms. Roach read aloud the current suggested title of the report, Heightening Public Awareness of Innovative Approaches for Enhancing Work Incentives, Opportunities and Economic Self-Sufficiency, and the ten subtopics identified by the Committee throughout the meeting: public awareness, innovative approaches including success stories and testimonials, volunteerism, education, housing, transportation, FAS, benefits—including work incentives and employer benefits and incentives—self employment and asset development. The Committee discussed combining benefits, asset development and incentives into one group. They discussed again the possibility of working with Neil Romano and ODEP. They discussed the possibility of using Mr. Weis’ access to the media (particularly during football season) to communicate messages to the public regarding people with intellectual disabilities, and networking through the nonprofit and advocacy community to disseminate Committee information.
The Committee considered whether housing and transportation should be treated together or separately in the report. They debated the need/appropriateness of including certain topics in the report (employment for people with FAS/ID, housing) and Chairman Rhatigan noted that the list of topics currently under discussion reflected only the interests of Committee members as expressed during the meeting, but did not necessarily mean that all of the issues would be included in the final report. He noted that as the Committee moved forward in its work, some issues may need to be excluded from the final report. He also noted that members whose particular interests do not make it into the final report may wish to consider putting together a separate report for the Committee’s consideration. Mr. Aponte noted that the Executive order and charter provided parameters for which topics the Committee should focus its attention on.
Ms. Bazilio-Bellgarde suggested that the success stories run throughout the document and Chairman Rhatigan agreed it was a good approach to integrating the success stories into the larger document.
The Committee discussed the schedule for the following day and Mr. Aponte suggested that the Committee consider how it might reenergize the ex officio representatives (at the secretary level) to become active participants in the Committee.
The Committee then recessed.