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).

 

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.

 

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
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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?
 

Illinois Judge sides with choice, rejects settlement

Update: Judge accepts revised settlement; preserves choice

Illinois Judge sides with choice; rejects proposed settlement and decertifies class

Residents of Illinois’ private facilities for persons with developmental disabilities and their families celebrated an early-July decision in Ligas v. Maram. The lawsuit, filed by Illinois’ Protection & Advocacy against the State of Illinois, has concerned families of private facility residents after learning of its filing in 2005. The lawsuit, filed by just nine plaintiffs, was filed on behalf of a class of 6,000 people.

Read more...
 

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...
 

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.

Read full release

 
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