Weekly E-Mail Update

VOR’s Weekly E-Mail Update, distributed every Friday that provides members with “real time” news items from across the country.  Each week the most recent Weekly Update will be featured here. To receive the Update directly, please consider joining VOR. just $40/year for individuals. We welcome your referrals!


Developmentally disabled need Holly Center as choice

Linda Scherer, VOR Member
August 28, 2014
The Daily Times (Salisbury, MD)

With news of some changes at Holly Center, I am writing as a family member of a Holly Center resident who is happy in his home, thrives there and receives many services and relationships enhancing his health, well-being and independence.

My brother is 58, has multiple disabilities and has been a resident since 1976, when our parents (now deceased) moved to Salisbury specifically to help assure my brother's placement at Holly Center, which was and continues tob e a top-notch home for him. 

Read full editorial here


Colorado: VOR to Present on Rights of Individuals with Developmental Disabilities and their Families

For Immediate Release:
September 5, 2014
For More Information:
Julie Huso, Executive Director
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
ARVADA – Julie Huso, a national advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, will give a free presentation on the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families at the Jefferson County Public Library at 7525 W. 57th Avenue in Arvada, Colorado at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, September 10, 2014. The public is welcome to attend.

Huso has served as the Executive Director of VOR, a national nonprofit advocacy organization for high quality care and human rights for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, for over five years. She has been involved in disability advocacy for more than 25 years.

Save our Regional Centers, a coalition of concerned families and advocates and an affiliate of VOR, is hosting the presentation. Wheat Ridge, Pueblo, and Grand Junction Regional Centers are state-operated licensed facility homes to about 250 of Colorado’s most profound disabled citizens.

A new law creates a Task Force to study and review the operations of the three centers and will consider whether any should be closed. Families of regional center residents are concerned about future closings, a trend facing other states.

“To families, the threat of closure is obvious,” said Ellen Laurence, who heads up the Save our Regional Centers coalition, is a member of the Task Force, and also serves as VOR’s Colorado State Coordinator. “Although the State has not decided whether or not to close our family members’ homes, they are studying the issue.”

SUNY Empire State College’s Cristy Dwyer ’08, ‘10 Wins SUNY ACT Scholarship

VOR Congratulates Cristy Dwyer, our New York State Coordinator, for her outstanding academic achievement!

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Sept. 26, 2012) SUNY Empire State College School for Graduate Studies student Cristy Dwyer ’08, ’10, has received the Association of Council Members and Trustees of the State University of New York annual Award for Excellence and Student Initiative Scholarship.
“This scholarship recognizes your outstanding academic performance and extraordinary commitment to your campus and community. Your enrollment at Empire State College, attaining an associate and bachelor’s degree while working for the Alcoholism Council of New York, coupled with your dedication to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, were inspiring to our selection committee,” said Pierre Alric, president of ACT.

The $1,250 scholarship provides the recipient with a $1,000 award and $250 toward a donation to the charity of the recipient’s choice [VOR].

Read complete release


Holly Center closure chilling

By Mary Reese, VOR Board Member
August 25, 2104
The Daily Times (Salisbury, MD)

The Holly Center administration recently announced the closure of another of its residential cottages. After this closure, there will only be 4 of the original 9 cottages in service; the current census is well under half of its original capacity. Holly Center is a federally regulated facility operated by the state of Maryland to serve those with intellectual and / or developmental disabilities (IDD).

I am the legal guardian of a 70 year old woman, Ginger, with profound IDD who requires 24/7 total care and is medically fragile. Ginger has lived in a facility based setting and in a group home setting; we have experienced both. The group home, or community residential program, was inadequate to meet her complex needs. The state only allowed Ginger’s admission to Holly Center after she suffered serious injury at the result of the group home staffs’ neglect.

Read full letter to editor


VOR's Julie Huso Represents VOR at South Dakota Developmental Center’s Annual Celebration

For Immediate Release
September 3, 2014
REDFIELD - Julie Huso, Executive Director of VOR, a national organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, will attend the South Dakota Developmental Center’s annual Fall Festival celebration later this week in Redfield, South Dakota.

VOR advocates for high quality care and human rights for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) across the country. The South Dakota Developmental Center provides individualized treatment services and supports to people with developmental disabilities and challenging behaviors when these necessary services are not available in other settings.

Huso, who has served as VOR’s Executive Director for more than five years and has worked as a disability advocate for more than 25 years, will speak with families and staff about national issues impacting the lives of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, and spend the day enjoying the celebration.

“The South Dakota Developmental Center such a well-run and a beautiful home for its residents. It is a gem that South Dakota citizens should be very proud of,” said Huso. “South Dakota’s support for the center is a bright spot so unlike the service and funding challenges facing many individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the country.”
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