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.

 

Delaware: Repurposing Stockley

The News Journal * October 16, 2013

Summary: State Report recommends opening access to Delaware's Stockley Center: Report proposes ways to expand public use of state-run complex

The Stockley Center, an underutilized state-run facility for people with developmental disabilities, also should be a medical training center, a public nature preserve, a community center and possibly the keystone of a mixed-use development, the state's health secretary said Tuesday in summarizing a years-long effort to re-imagine the complex.

"We do see this as one of Delaware's gems," said Rita Landgraf, secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services, at a conference on public health. "What can we do to enable the public to have access and see this gem?"

The 750-acre facility, just outside Millsboro near Sussex Central High School, is one of the largest parcels of state-owned land in Delaware outside of its state parks.

In 2009, there were 84 adults at Stockley; today, there are 61 full-time residents getting intensive care, with some more residents in a group home on the property, said executive director Adele Wemlinger.

Read more

Read the Report and Recommendations of the Stockley Initiative Task Force

 

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.”
 

New Jersey Survey on Residential Choice

VOR's Past President, the late-Robin Sims, held a press conference in her state capitol to announce the results of a residential survey that she helped spearhead. The survey was simple. It was sent to family members and guardians of New Jersey State Developmental Center residents. The survey asked recipients if they were happy with the current placement of their loved ones, or would prefer community-based care instead. The results were overwhelmingly (96%) in support of continued ICFs/MR placement. The press conference at the state capitol was an effort to reach lawmakers and the press with these statistics, and point out the serious flaws of earlier state surveys and studies that have been used to justify downsizing and closure proposals. In coalition with many families, Robin fought fire with fire, developing a survey for families and guardians that asked just one simple, unbiased question.

A Press Release was issued and The Star Ledger featured the event and survey.

Videos from the press conference are also available: http://vimeo.com/8177809 (Sims, intro), http://vimeo.com/8057837 (Sims, extended), http://vimeo.com/8059191 (Rocco Mazza, sibling), http://vimeo.com/8177135 (Assemblywoman Huttle on Choice), and http://vimeo.com/8177251 (NJ State Senator Bucco on Choice).

 

2010 VOR State Report Forum

VOR’s Annual Conference included a State Report Forum.  Reports from 15 states were received. Where available, a more detailed report is also linked.

ARKANSAS
By Alan Fortney, State Coordinator

DOJ filed a lawsuit against the Conway Development Center in Jan. 2009 after 6 years of investigation/negotiations. Arkansas is represented by attorney Tom York, and Robin Sims is an expert witness for the state. In May 2010, DOJ filed a separate lawsuit against all 6 development centers in Arkansas claiming the state is out of compliance with the ADA. The Arkansas P&A, like other states, have used our case as a “rallying cry.”   On May 18, 2010, Gov. Mike Beebe announced his intention to close the Alexander HDC due to losing Medicaid funding for being out of compliance with CMS, but has vowed to support the other five centers.

Read more...
 

An Open Invitation to Families and Advocates of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Fragmented, we are just whispers. United, we are a chorus.

The Lander Journal, August 20, 2014
By Shawn Humberson, VOR Wyoming State Coordinator

My name is Shawn Humberson. I am a State Co-Coordinator for VOR and a Friends of Wyoming Life Resource Center (WLRC) Board member.

My profoundly disabled aunt has lived at the WLRC for the past seven years after spending the first 34 years of her life at home and receiving services from community programs. She was one of the first enrolled in the Medicaid Waiver Program. I am one of her co-guardians. I also work as a home trainer in a community program.

As you can see, I am deeply, personally and professionally, vested in Wyoming’s intellectually and developmentally disabled (I/DD) population. From my perspective, our current and future DD population is at risk. The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is making critical changes across the board. These changes are in response to state legislation and new federal regulations. These changes are not necessarily in the best interests of the Developmentally Disabled.
Here in Wyoming, the DD has been fragmented into three segments: those living at home, those being served in community programs, and those who live at WLRC. Each segment, counter to each other, has been forced to grovel over funding and the quest for those rare dollars has caused dissention amongst the families of the I/DD population. While we’re bickering over who deserves the funding, the Department of Health is making changes in services that affect the quality of life for our loved ones.
Read more...
 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next > End >>

Page 2 of 7