PCPID Quarterly Meeting: November 19–20, 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
Minutes: Summary of Proceedings
(Meeting Agenda at End of Summary)
November 19, 2008
Greetings, Call to Order, and Introduction of Staff
Sally Atwater, Executive Director and Federal Official
The November 19–20, 2008 meeting of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID) was called to order by Sally Atwater, Designated Federal Official Representative and PCPID Executive Director, who welcomed meeting participants. Ms. Atwater stated that it was her privilege to work on the New Freedom Initiative (NFI) established by President George W. Bush 10 days after he was sworn-in to tear down barriers to full community inclusion for people with disabilities, including intellectual disabilities. She thanked Committee members for participating in the meeting and expressed, on behalf of the President, appreciation for their service. Ms. Atwater then addressed several housekeeping items, including: 1) location of restrooms; 2) lunch arrangements and location of the cafeteria; 3) availability of a hard copy of 2009 Report to the President…left at the hotel front desk for citizen members upon arrival for check-in, and placed in the Meeting Resource Packets for ex officio members; and 4) arrangements for van transportation to the Newseum. Ms. Atwater turned the meeting agenda over to PCPID Chairman, Steve Rhatigan.
Opening Remarks and Approval of the Minutes and Agenda
Steven C. Rhatigan
Chairman Rhatigan greeted meeting participants and announced that: Stephanie Preshong Brown would be joining the meeting via audience conference; although Tom Reilly arrived at the hotel the evening before for the meeting, illness prevented him from remaining for the meeting; Billy Edwards’ work schedule would prevent his participation; and Casey and Judy O’Halloran would be participating via audio conference. The Chair expressed his excitement about the 2009 Report to the President and stated his appreciation for the amount of input that came from ex officio and citizen members, and the work of the Project Officer, Laverdia Roach, and the writer, Dr. David Mank, and his team. Mr. Rhatigan noted that although Dr. Mank’s morning presentation regarding the report will occur via audio conference, his PowerPoint is available and will be shown during the presentation; and that he will call in again during the afternoon session when members have had an opportunity to discuss the draft report and presentation.
Chairman Rhatigan expressed belief that the issue of refining 34 voices into one is what the writer and Project Officer have achieved on behalf of the Committee.
The Chair called for a motion to approve minutes of the September, 2008 quarterly meeting. Mr. Harris Hollin entered the motion, which was seconded by Mr. Eric Treat. Responding to the Chair’s call for comments, Mr. Richard Balkus, ex officio representative from the Social Security Administration (SSA), referring to the statement on page 13 in previous minutes where he discussed the cost of living increase and the publication of the new Ticket to Work Regulations. He stated that he needs further clarification in terms of what he was talking about…adding that there’s a possibility that we can’t do it until October, he did not think the statement is correct. Ms. Kodie Ruzicka of the PCPID staff indicated that she would further check. Chairman Rhatigan asked if there were other comments. Hearing none, he called for and received approval of the minutes. Mr. Rhatigan then called for a motion to approve the meeting agenda. Eric Treat entered the motion that was seconded by Harris Hollin and approved by the full Committee.
Review of the Writer’s Role, Responsibilities and Methodology for Preparing the PCPID 2009 Report to the President
David Michael Mank, Ph.D. Professor, School of Education Indiana University Bloomington, Indiana
The Chair presented Dr. David Mank, who began by stating that it was an honor to work with the Committee and staff to write the Report to the President. He thanked Committee members for their thoughtful ideas, comments and input, noting that it was interesting to work to blend 34 voices [of 21 citizen members and 13 ex officio members] into one voice in the Report. He informed the Committee that Alice Porter, his friend and colleague, had been a great technical writer and that, together, they’ve come a long way in a short period of time. After sharing his pleasure with the title, Report to the President: Dignity Through Employment,” Dr. Mank stated that 99 percent of the suggested edits received from Committee members were reflected in the draft, and proceeded to present several highlights of the Report, including:
- The photograph of members with the President in the Oval Office;
- the Table of Contents; and
- the emphasis on quality, individualized, full-time employment.
- The major sections of the Report, each with a statement of recommendations that pertains to that section:
- The Executive Summary, with recommendations all together in one place;
- the Introduction, setting up the circumstances of why employment is one of the most important things that can happen in any life, including the lives of people with intellectual disabilities;
- descriptions of the Current Employment Status of People with Intellectual Disabilities, defined by unemployment, under-employment, and segregated rather than community settings;
- the Evolving Policy and Legal Framework that directs the USA;
- the Need for Comprehensive Implementation;
- promising Employment Practices, and research indicating what we clearly know is possible, highlighting a few stories that help to setup recommendations;
- building an Education, a Resume and Experience highlighting high school transition and through life, highlighting volunteer experience where appropriate, highlighting post-secondary education as an important part, building not only the ability to work, but to invest in a career over time;
- family and Systemic Supports, acknowledging that there are many, and that government programs have a direct effect on the extent to which individuals are working, have an incentive, or have a disincentive to work;
- acknowledgments, with Committee’s name, Ex officio and Citizen Members, contributors to the September 8, 2008 PCPID-ODEP Employment; and
- forum, participants and other contributants.
Dr. Mank acknowledged that the heart of any such Report is the recommendations given by member of the Committee. Thus, he highlighted many of these suggestions:
- Encourage a Presidential Call to double the number of people with intellectual disabilities who are working in well-paid and integrated jobs in five years, beyond the 150,000 people estimated in community employment now.
- Create a national public awareness campaign to build on a new wave of employment expectations. Employment should be a part of an adult life.
- Achieve clarity of legislation and policy that focus on employment outcomes, with both incentives and working particularly with government agencies to make clearer statements about direction and the importance of employment.
- Build and invest in the President's New Freedom Initiative, specific to incentives to states, and try to understand how some states achieve greater success in promoting the employment of people with intellectual disabilities.
- Encourage employers to hire people with intellectual disabilities in good jobs. Invest with employers in recognition of that fact. This investment should involve the business community with incentives for employers. It should also create ways for people with intellectual disabilities and their families to be active and informed about these kinds of initiatives with employers.
- Promote employment, especially in the public sector where people with intellectual disabilities will have opportunities for quality employment in the same way that every other citizen has opportunities.
- Promote large-scale demonstrations in states in order to fully implement employment outcomes in larger geographic areas. Many examples of high quality employment outcomes tend to be in pockets rather than wide- spread in a geographic area.
- Look for opportunities for the federal administration to promote state Employment First agendas. That is, support initiatives or states that want to offer Employment First as a service and a support.
- Promote national and community service for young people, fully integrating young adults with intellectual disabilities. This would expand community service opportunities and build experience, a resume, and an education required for successfully employed in the future. The Corporation for National Community Service is currently doing this in some ways.
- Invest in the Education Act and the Rehabilitation Act, aiding the transition from education to future employment.
- Invest in the Rehabilitation Services Administration in order to feed agencies to promote transition focus.
- Address areas of incentives for individuals. Currently, because of asset limits and some of the structure of Social Security incentives, success or investment in the intellectually disabled can be made possible.
- Look at existing resources, Medicaid waivers and Social Security work incentives, and ask how you can emphasize community outcomes.
Note: Dr. Mank then reminded the Committee of a previous engagement that would take him away for a portion of the meeting. He will be leaving at 9:50 a.m. and rejoining the meeting at 2:15 p.m.
Ms. Laverdia Roach invited Members of the Committee who suggested edits, questions, or concerns to share those with Dr. Mank. Specifically, Mr. Harris Hollin was invited to share his observation. Mr. Hollin sent a message the previous Friday afternoon regarding accuracy in the first line of the second paragraph on page 7 of the most recent draft of the Report. Dr. Mank had already made the change based on this comment and apologized for the mistake.
Mr. Eric Cole suggested that another bullet be added to recommendation ten. This bullet would develop dissemination strategies to remind the public sector of the information, communication, and physical access standards in Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Because it was not submitted in writing, Dr. Mank asked Ms. Roach to e-mail this suggestion to him. He said that he would see how he could incorporate it.
Mr. Eric Treat suggested self-advocacy as the best option for transition. He also discussed the “Reach Beyond Greatness” program used in Wisconsin, asserting that this program should be brought into school districts. The curriculum was created by people with disabilities to become their advocate. Ms. Roach requested that Mr. Cole email that information to her as soon as possible, and she will make sure that Dr. Mank gets it in writing.
Dr. Sambhu Banik complimented Dr. Mank on his report, and had only one comment to make regarding the content. He could not see anything in the Report about the importance of assessment for employment; although, he did remember recommending that an emphasis be placed on the importance of assessment in Title II for appropriate adequate employment opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. Dr. Mank pointed out that on page 24 under the rubric of discovering abilities is a process being called "Discovery" that includes a sentence on this topic. However, Dr. Mank agreed to see what could be done to clarify the issue. Ms. Roach suggested that Dr. Mank refer to the Forum papers in considering what can be done at this point. Dr. Banik’s paper on Assessment of People with Intellectual Disabilities for Vocational, Rehabilitative, and Employment Purposes was a part of the Forum papers. So he should have that in his record. Ms. Roach offered to forward it again, if he did not.
Ms. Berthy De La Rosa-Aponte thanked Dr. Mank for his work on the report. She also posed the following question: in the letter, when we talk about being the final Report, is this the final Report, or is this the final Report under this President's Administration? Ms. Roach clarified that it will be the final report under this President’s Administration. Ms. De La Rosa-Aponte asked if that should be stated more specifically in the report, and Ms. Roach thought such a statement might add clarity.
Ms. De La Rosa-Aponte also suggested a change to the letter to the President. In the third paragraph, when “the issue of real employment with compensation" is addressed, she proposed a substitution of the word compensation for something more like “equal pay.” Compensation may not have the intended meaning. Chairman Rhatigan said they would discuss the letter later, during their session.
Next, Ms. De La Rosa-Aponte asked that, in the Executive Summary, the self-pity discussed by the President be added to the sentence that says "when people cannot work, they receive personal indignity, poverty and isolation." Dr. Mank thanked her for the input, but expressed concern that there was not sufficient time to completely rewrite the report. Chairman Rhatigan said that he would handle the rewrite on the issue. Ms. Roach deemed it unnecessary to add another statement. Ms. De La Rosa- Aponte acknowledged that the report she had was probably not the most recent version, and may not be up-to-date.
Chairman Rhatigan invited any comments from members regarding the outline, and none chose to do so. Dr. Mank then was excused from the audio conference by the Chairman to attend his other meeting and return at 2:15 p.m.
After Dr. Mank left, Ms. Zeppuhar informed the committee that she had been having some technical difficulties and was unable to get through in time to speak with Dr. Mank. The Chairman assured her that she would have the opportunity that afternoon, and she said that would be fine.