Speaking out for People with
 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

News & Events

VOR Annual Conference and Washington, DC Initiative 2016


VOR Annual Conference and Washington Initiative 2016

VOR 2016 Annual Conference and Washington Initiative

June 4 - 8, 2016


All VOR meetings will take place at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

VOR Board Report to Membership                                                                 1:00 pm

Time will be provided for member questions and comments

Reports from the States                                                                                    3:30 pm

Participants report on news from their states. Session is moderated by VOR Board Members


Networking and Hospitality Reception                                                          5:30 pm

Join VOR board members and staff for an informal reception. Due to an overwhelming response in past years and hotel limitations, only certain participants will be invited to bring food. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Folders for Congressional visits will be available at this time.

Sunday, June 5, 2016


VOR 2016 Annual Conference and Legislative Briefing

          “Voices for Choice”


Legislative Committee Meeting                                                                                                              10:00 am


Registration: Network with families from across the country                12 Noon


Welcoming Messages to Conference Attendees                          _              1:00 pm

Ann Knighton, President and Hugo Dwyer, Executive Director

Speeches and Presentations                                                                            1:30 pm

     VOR Committee Chairs update members on recent activities and coming goals

     VOR Members share their personal stories about the ongoing struggle to keep their facilities open

     Speakers To Be Announced

     VOR Annual Raffle

Legislative Briefing                                                                                        4:00 pm

     Panel Discussion and Issue Briefing. Folders for Congressional visits will be distributed.

Installation of  2016-2017 Board Members & Officers                               5:30 pm


Monday, June 6 – Wednesday, June 8, 2016


The Washington Initiative

Visits to Capitol Hill - Personal meetings with Members and Congress and their staff are the most effective way to educate and influence federal lawmakers. Join choice advocates from around the country as we work together to convey the importance of residential choice and family decision-making directly to Members of Congress. Plan time to cover your state’s Congressional Delegation.

Monday, June 6, Informal De-briefing            6:30 - 8:00 pm

Tuesday, June 7,  Informal De-briefing            6:30 - 8:00 pm

Reports by state spokespersons regarding Congressional visits.


For more information:

VOR Annual Conference 2016

2016 Annual Conference and Washington Initiative

This year's Annual Conference and Washington Initiative will be held at the Hyatt Regency, Capitol Hill from Saturday, June 4th to Wednesday, June 8th, 2016. The Conference will be held on Saturday and Sunday, the Washington Inistiative and Congressional Visits will take place Monday - Wednesday.

There will be an optional dinner at The Dubliner on Sunday, June 5th, at 7:00 pm. This is a sign-on event.

Click here for more information about the conference

To register for the conference or reserve dinner at The Dubliner, click here.

To make reservations at the Hyatt, click here

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

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