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!

No Update November 28, 2014 - HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
No Update November 7, 2014
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Getting Olmstead Right: Expand Options in Connecticut

Familiar myths are leveraged in the Op-Ed “Phase out Southbury Training School and similar institutions” (January 13, 2015)

Families whose loved ones are alive today because of the highly specialized care provided at Southbury Training School (STS) and similar state-operated programs have grown weary of this finger pointing. Their family members have profound intellectual disabilities with multiple physical, medical and/or behavioral challenges. They have expensive needs. Changing addresses will not change that.

Authors Shelagh McClure and Tom Fiorentino get Olmstead all wrong – and they know better. The U.S. Supreme Court considered what constituted discrimination according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – not the Constitution – and, most importantly, the Supreme Court did NOT require the closure of programs. The Court said that “[t]he ADA is not reasonably read to impel States to phase out institutions, placing patients in need of close care at risk.” Instead, the Court held that community placement is only required when chosen by the individual according to his/her specific needs.

Where we do agree with the authors is that “the time is NOW to address the waiting list crisis.” The winning formula to address unmet needs, however, is not to displace individuals now receiving appropriate care into an already strapped service system, creating even more need. Instead, STS and programs like it, now underutilized, should be made accessible to those-in-need now and in the future.

Read full letter to the editor
 

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

 

VOR To Attend American Health Care Association’s National Conference and Expo

For Immediate Release
October 1, 2014
For More Information
Julie Huso, Executive Director
605-370-4652
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Julie Huso, Executive Director of VOR, a national organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, will attend the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living’s Convention & Expo in Washington, D.C. on October 6, 2014.

VOR advocates for high quality care and human rights for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the country. The annual AHCA/NCAL event includes educational sessions, inspiring general sessions, and an interactive Expo Hall for long-term and post-acute care professionals for seniors and people will developmental disabilities.

“VOR represents many individuals with profound intellectual and developmental disabilities who receive high quality care in the private long-term care facilities represented by AHCA/NCAL,” said Huso. “As an exhibitor and participant, we get a chance to thank these providers for their compassionate and skilled care.”

Read more and share (click here for Word version)
 

National Disability Advocate to Speak on History and Future of Deinstitutionalization

For Immediate Release
November 6, 2014

ELDRIDGE – Tamie Hopp, a national advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, will give a free presentation on the history and future of deinstitutionalization at the Sonoma Developmental Center in Eldridge on Saturday, November 8 at 10:00 am.
 

Georgia Families Issue Resolution Opposing Settlement

The East Central Georgia Family Council, representing residents of the "Gracewood" ICF/MR, have issued a Resolution in opposition to the Settlement Agreement between the Governor of Georgia and the United States Department of Justice, which if implemented will displace more than 10,000 people with mental illness and mental retardation from licensed psychiatric and ICFs/MR settings in Georgia.

"The United States Department of Justice has undermined the U.S. Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision by being forceful and aggressive with regard to community transitions and thereby omitting the element of resident choice, whether that be a community or ICF/MR setting," states the Resolution. "[I]f everyone is forced to accept community living, then no one has choice."

The East Central Georgia Family Council, in furtherance of the Resolution, vows to "step up to the plate, rise to the occasion, remain advocates, and reckon with the Governor, and the U.S. Department of Justice, with passion, zeal, zest and steadfastness on behalf of Georgia’s most frail population with mental retardation and developmental disabilities."

Click here to read the full Resolution.

 
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