March 5, 2014
Read letter here
A letter signed by 41 organizations, including VOR, was sent this week to Marilynn Tavenner, Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Organizations, representing the Coalition for Community Choice, expressed “appreciation of the earnest effort to balance many perspectives in your consideration of Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Settings Final Rule (CMS 2249-F/2296-F),” while also requesting that CCC have “opportunity to review proposed State Guidance Letters and provide input before publication.”
The Courier Journal * January 25, 2013
While Kentucky maintains a registry of people found to have abused or neglected children, disability advocates say there is no accessible system to track personal caregivers who abuse, neglect or exploit elderly or disabled adults.
Since 2009, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services has substantiated more than 7,400 such allegations, state figures show. But most do not result in criminal charges, and the findings aren’t accessible to potential employers, according to the Kentucky Protection and Advocacy Division.
After a handful of failed attempts in recently years, advocates and several lawmakers are undertaking a new push in this year’s legislature with two bills to create an Adult Abuse Registry, aimed at keeping abusers from moving from job to job among group homes, personal care companies and families who hire such workers
Senate Bill 98 (SB 98), is sponsored by Senator Sara Beth Gregory of Monticello and co-sponsored by Senator Denise Harper Angel of Louisville.
House Bill 256 (HB 256), is sponsored by Representative Ruth Ann Palumbo of Lexington.
Highlights of the Kentucky Adult Protection Registry Bill
Several years ago the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) was awarded $3 million federal grant (matched with $1 million in state funds) to provide national fingerprint background checks for caregivers. In 2013, the Interim Joint Committee on Health and Welfare adopted the Kentucky Applicant Registry and Employment Screening Program (KARES) regulation, 906 KRS 1:190, to implement fingerprint background check program; KARES was officially implemented by the Governor implemented on December 10, 2013. KARES adoption is mandatory for all state-operated and owned long-term care providers. It is voluntary for all privately-operated facilities (e.g., nursing homes and 3-bed community homes), although there is much pressure for these to fall in line. The Adult Protection Registry legislation, if passed, would make it mandatory for them.
Read KARES Overview
Darrell also serves as VOR's Arkansas State Coordinator and the Subcommittee welcomed testimony from Tamie Hopp
, VOR's Director of Government Relations & Advocacy:
"Central to VOR’s advocacy is the highest respect and deference to the individual choice – true person-centered planning – and where necessary, the input of families and legal guardians. Here, where the Subcommittee is considering the value of Arkansas’ five Human Development Centers, the proper place to start is with the view of the families.
"In the case of Human Development Center residents, the input of families and legal guardians is vital to ensuring good care decisions. Over 83% of the residents have severe (18%) or profound (65%) intellectual disabilities and require the informed help of their families and legal guardians who know them best."
October 25, 2013
California is proposing to make permanent existing emergency regulations relating to 15 person home and community-based services (HCBS) waiver and Intermediate Care Facility homes with delayed egresses and secured perimeters for difficult-to-serve individuals with developmental disabilities. VOR's testimony raises questions with regard to the adequacy of minimum staffing criteria for resident safety, whether these residences will promote hoped for integration in any real and meaningful way (in contrast to the expansive campuses of existing public ICFs/IID), and raises the question of whether these homes will be eligible for HCBS funding based on current federal policy and proposed regulation which, if finalized, would redefine "community" for purposes of HCBS coverage.
Read VOR's testimony
* Testimony of Kathleen Miller, President of the Parent Hospital Association of Sonoma Developmental Center
* Testimony of the California Association of Psychiatric Technicians
June 21, 2013
VOR's strength rests on the time, talent and ingenuity of our board and committee members, with much of the work getting done in committee.
VOR has a number of standing committees and we’d like to make sure that VOR members have the opportunity to indicate your interest to serve on the committee(s) that reflects your interests and availability. We are also seeking candidates for VOR's Board of Directors for the term beginning July 1, 2013.
A volunteer form and descriptions of each VOR Standing Committee and form to indicate in your interest in serving on a VOR Committee and/or the VOR Board of Directors is available here.
Forms can be returned to:
(Sybil Finken, VOR Immediate Past President)
U.S. Mail: VOR, P.O. Box 1208, Rapid City, SD 57709
Thank you for your consideration.
Ann Knighton, VOR President
VOR’s Nominating Committee seeks individuals interested in serving on the VOR Board of Directors.
Please respond by January 20, 2014.
The Committee is seeking applicants who:
• Have a passion for our cause on behalf of individuals with intellectual disabilities.
• Can commit time for board meetings, committee planning and meetings, assist in reaching out to current and prospective members, and attend the Annual Conference.
• Are team players who work well with others in a group.
• Listen well and are thoughtful in considering issues.
• Are willing and able to assist in development efforts.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact Sybil Finken, Chair of the VOR Nominating Committee, at
or 712-527-3250; or Julie Huso, Executive Director at
or at 605-370-4652, with any questions and to receive a VOR Board application form.