Holly Center closure chilling

By Mary Reese, VOR Board Member
August 25, 2104
The Daily Times (Salisbury, MD)

The Holly Center administration recently announced the closure of another of its residential cottages. After this closure, there will only be 4 of the original 9 cottages in service; the current census is well under half of its original capacity. Holly Center is a federally regulated facility operated by the state of Maryland to serve those with intellectual and / or developmental disabilities (IDD).

I am the legal guardian of a 70 year old woman, Ginger, with profound IDD who requires 24/7 total care and is medically fragile. Ginger has lived in a facility based setting and in a group home setting; we have experienced both. The group home, or community residential program, was inadequate to meet her complex needs. The state only allowed Ginger’s admission to Holly Center after she suffered serious injury at the result of the group home staffs’ neglect.

Read full letter to editor

 

VOR to Meet with South Carolina Families and Participate at South Carolina Association of Residential Care Homes Conference

For Immediate Release: September 25, 2014
Julie Huso, Executive Director of VOR, a national organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, will represent VOR at the South Carolina Association of Residential Care Homes Conference on September 29, 2014.

“We know from our national advocacy that service options are decreasing,” said Huso. “That comes as a surprise to many families and advocates, but service cuts are resulting in fewer and fewer choices, especially when it comes to specialized care provided in residential settings.”
The South Carolina Association of Residential Care Homes (http://scarch.org/) represents assisted living, residential care facilities, home care, home health and hospice groups throughout the state, providing care to individuals with disabilities and the elderly.

Huso will also meet with families of residents of the Coastal Center in Summerville. Coastal Center is a licensed facility home providing specialized supports to more than 150 people with profound intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“Families are the most effective voice for their disabled loved ones,” Huso said. “They know best. It is critical that families be on the frontlines educating legislators and state officials about the unparalleled, comprehensive and highly specialized care provided at Coastal and the State’s other Regional Center homes. These centers are a true community of residents and caring people.”
 

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...
 

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

 

Austin State Supported Living Center Family Association Runs Ad Calling on Halt to Evictions

(Published in the Austin American Statesman, September 7, 2014
Front Page (A2), paid advertisement)


IF THIS WAS YOUR CHILD
HOW WOULD YOU FEEL?

A State agency and some politicians have decided to immediately close down seven homes for the severely disabled on the campus of the Austin State Supported Living Center. These innocents are being “kicked out” of the Homes/Community that they have known for years and told to go find somewhere else to live in Texas – evicted through no fault of their own. The reason: a developer wants that land and has contributed to a number of politicians to have them do his bidding. The facts follow.


IT JUST ISN’T RIGHT!

Read full ad

 

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).

 
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