• The 2019 CDCI Community Advisory Council.

All about the CDCI Community Advisory Council: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How

Who sits on the advisory council?

Members of our advisory council span a variety of different disabilities and experiences with disability. Members belong to different racial and ethnic groups, have a variety of sexual orientations and identities, ages, social classes, castes, and home languages.

A list of our current members.

Members of our advisory council include:

  • People with developmental disabilities (or their family members)
  • A representative of the state protection and advocacy system
  • A representative of the Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council
  • Representatives of other self-advocacy organizations in Vermont, such as the Vermont Family Network, and Green Mountain Self-Advocates

Vermont Agencies Who Sit On the CDCI Advisory Council

What does the advisory council do?

The CDCI staff present ideas to the Advisory Council for what CDCI should work on for the year. And the advisory council gives the CDCI staff feedback on their ideas.

A Year on The CDCI Advisory Council

At the beginning of the year, staff might propose producing a series of videos showcasing each project, or creating a new UVM course on disability, or starting a new research study on disability and COVID-19. Those are known as the CDCI annual priorities; they're the work the CDCI will focus on for the year. 

The advisory council members can ask staff questions about those ideas, and propose their own ideas as well. 

Then, at meetings throughout the year, the staff present the council with updates on the work they agreed to focus on for the year. They talk about how it's going, and explain any problems they're running into. They also ask the council members for feedback about how the work is going. 

When are council meetings?

The advisory council meets four times per year. They are in September, December, March, and June. Meetings are 3 hours long.

Where does the Community Advisory Council meet?

Council members can join meetings in-person, online, and by phone.

For much of 2020, 2021, and 2022 members could only join online or by phone. Starting June 2022, members can meet in person in the Burlington area. 

Why does the CDCI have an advisory council?

We believe that we need regular input from people with disabilities and their family members across Vermont in order to be successful and equitable in our work. The advisory council leads us in this work.

The CDCI is a University Center on Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD); that's a national network coordinated by the Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD).

The Developmental Disabilities Act of 2000, mandates every that every center must get regular feedback from an advisory committee. This law says that each committee must include: 

  • A majority of members who are people with developmental disabilities (or their family members)
  • A representative of the state protection and advocacy system
  • A representative of the state council on developmental disabilities. In Vermont, this is the Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council.
  • A representative of a self-advocacy organization
  • A diverse population reflective of the state

Additionally, the law states that our council must include representatives of other disability-related organizations, such as:

  • parent training and information centers
  • Assistive Technology groups
  • relevant state agencies
  • and other community groups concerned with the welfare of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families

How does it work to take part in the advisory council?

How to join the council

In order to join the CDCI Community Advisory Council, you fill out this short online application.

Jesse Suter, is the executive director of the CDCI. He will contact you and ask you any follow-up questions about taking part in the council. He will also ask if you have any questions about participating on the council.

After that, Jesse will put forward your name to the current council members, and they will formally approve your application to join. 

At that point, you will start receiving emails from Jesse about upcoming council meetings. These emails will include asking for your feedback on which day works best for upcoming meetings, and sending you updates written by CDCI staff about the annual priorities, as well as the minutes, or notes from the last council meeting.

You will also be contacted by Rachel Cronin, the CDCI business manager. She will ask you to fill out paperwork with your tax information, so that the CDCI can pay you for your time. You will get paid $20.00 per council meeting, as well as $40.00 for the work you do before each meeting. 

Let's look a little more at the pre-meeting work.

How to prepare for a council meeting

Two weeks before a council meeting, Jesse will email you an update on CDCI work, written by CDCI staff members. This update is called "The CDCI Annual Priorities Update".

You can also have a copy of this document printed out and mailed to you if you prefer. Or you can ask to have the information emailed to you in audio format.

We ask that you read the update from start to finish, and write down any questions you have about it.

If you would like to ask questions about the Annual Priorities Update that you would like to ask privately, email Jesse with your questions. If you would like to go through the Annual Priorities Update with Jesse, email him and the two of you will find a time to talk before the council meeting. 

Jesse will also email you a calendar invitation to the council meeting. This will include the time and date of the meeting, and a link where you will join the meeting virtually. We use Zoom videoconferencing software for meeting virtually, so Jesse will send you directions for downloading that software onto your computer. 

At a council meeting

On the day of the council meeting, at the time the meeting begins, please click the link in the email where you can join virtually. The link will open up Zoom on your computer, and you will join the meeting.

After a council meeting

After the council meeting, Jesse will send you the minutes of the meeting, the notes of what happened at the meeting, for your review. 

The CDCI community advisory council meets four times a year.

What are the rules of the council?

The Council has written rules for how we meet and make decisions. These rules are called the Community Advisory Council Bylaws (PDF). They were updated March 16, 2022.

CDCI Community Advisory Council logo: a group of figures shown shoulders up, face the viewer, with a large speech bubble overhead in which sits the CDCI logo

Apply to be part of the Community Advisory Council (CAC)

We are currently accepting applications for new members. The application is entirely online, and you should get a response within one week's time.

Apply to the CAC


Save the date!

Next meeting: March 16 2022.