April is Autism Awareness Month: VOR Speaks Out About National Crisis: A Lack of Choice, Quality and True Person-Centered Care For The Disabled

For More Information
Julie Huso, Executive Director
605-370-4652
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Elk Grove Village, IL – April 15, 2015: Across the country, tens of thousands of individuals with developmental disabilities, including autism, are suffering due to lack of access to appropriate care and services.

The numbers representing present and future need are alarming. Almost all states have waitlists for accessing adult support services, with more than 280,000 individuals with developmental disabilities, including autism, going without necessary care in 2013. Almost one million individuals with developmental disabilities, including autism, are still living with caregivers over the age of 60. In the next decade, over 800,000 on the autism spectrum will transition to adulthood.

So where do we go from here?
 

VOR's Michael Klurfeld To Participate at New York Family & Professional Resource Fair

For Immediate Release
December 4, 2013
For more information: Julie Huso, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
MANHATTAN - Michael Klurfeld, VOR’s New York State Coordinator, will represent the national organization at the Family & Professional Resource Fair, sponsored by the Manhattan Developmental Disabilities Council, on December 11, 2013.

VOR advocates for high quality care and human rights for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) across the country.

Klurfeld’s twin sister, Jessica, has Cornelia de Lange Syndrome and an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and like a substantial percentage of the ASD population, Jessica has some challenging behaviors.

“Because of her behaviors, Jessica has lived in New York State-approved out-of-state residential schools for the past ten years,” explained Klurfeld. 

Although Jessica is now 24 and is supposed to be moved back to an age-appropriate placement in New York, she remains at her school in New Hampshire until an alternative in her home state becomes available.

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At Home in Georgia; Respecting Choice and Ensuring Safe Care

November 19, 2013 (submitted)
Augusta Chronicle * Letter to the Editor
Ann S. Knighton, VOR President and President of East Central Georgia Regional Hospital

Dr. Kenneth Fuller’s editorial (“Closure of Georgia hospitals endangers mental health care,” Nov. 17) is like water in a dry desert: refreshingly right and necessary, but painfully scarce. I share completely his concerns about Georgia’s misguided effort to evict fragile, disabled citizens from their homes.

In 2010, without legislative approval or notice to individuals and their families, and contrary to the Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision supporting choice, Georgia and the U.S. Department of Justice entered a settlement agreement that requires the closure of Georgia “hospitals” – specialized residential programs (ICFs/IID) for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).  Aptly called “safety nets” by Dr. Fuller, Georgia’s hospitals provide life-sustaining care to Georgia’s most fragile citizens.

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Bill Choslovsky and Scott Mendel, attorneys who championed choice in Illinois to receive prestigious award

VOR, a national organization who participated as Amicus Curiae in Ligas v. Hamos, offers its congratulations

For Immediate Release, November 8, 2013

Elk Grove Village - Under any circumstance, acts of generosity deserve recognition, especially when it is not sought.

On November 15, Bill Choslovsky and Scott Mendel, two Chicago attorneys who were motived by doing right and not by recognition, will get the honor they deserve.

Both will be receiving the Sister Rosemary Connelly Service Medallion at the annual Misericordia Heart of Mercy Ball for their pro bono legal representation of Misericordia in Ligas v. Hamos, a class action lawsuit that threatened to close private facility homes of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) across Illinois.

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VOR to Visit Wyoming Life Resource Center and Speak to Center Families

For Immediate Release
October 28, 2013

Julie Huso, Executive Director of VOR, a national non-profit, non-provider, advocacy organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), will travel to Lander next week to tour the Wyoming Life Resource Center (WLRC) and meeting residents’ families.  She will meet with WLRC families on Monday, November 4, following the center tour, at the Lander Public Library, Carnegie Room.

“I’m excited to tour WLRC and meet the residents served so well there,” said Huso. “With the help of our State Coordinator, Connie Howard, whose son receives WLRC services, VOR has been a present help in need for families, offering advocacy resources to show elected officials that WLRC is a quality, cost-effective home to residents.”

Read more

Read VOR's Statement to the Wyoming Joint Labor, Health and Social Service Interim Committee (November 4, 2013)

 

VOR Brings Choice Message to Chicago-area Citizens with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and their Families

For Immediate Release
October 4, 2013

    Julie Huso, Executive Director of VOR, a national advocacy organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), traveled to the Chicago-area last week to meet with individuals with I/DD and their families. During her week-long visit, Huso toured public and private facilities for people with I/DD, shared information about VOR’s national advocacy with families of disabled individuals, and met with VOR leaders and members.
 
     “VOR was founded in Illinois 30 years, right here in the Chicago-area,” said Huso. “While I enjoy all my travels on behalf of VOR, visiting the Chicago-area is a bit of a homecoming. I enjoyed visits with advocates like Sam and Paula Golden, and Caroline Walsworth, who have been dedicated VOR advocates for 30 years, and Barbara Cukierski whose family has supported VOR for more than 20 years. That sort of commitment is special.”

Read complete press release.

 
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