In March of 2018, the National Council on Disability issued a position paper, "Beyond Guardianship, Toward Alternatives That Promote Greater Self-Determination". In September, VOR's Issues Oversight Committee submitted a report on our position and findings regarding that report.
VOR's Response is available to download here
This report, released in January, 2018 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,' Office of the Inspector General, Administraton for Community Liiving, and Office of Civil Rights acknowledged the systemic shortcomings in protecting residents of HCBS waiver group homes from incidents of abuse and neglect. OIG found that up to 99 percent of these critical incidents were not reported to the appropriate law enforcement or state agencies as required. The report stated, “Group Home beneficiaries are at risk of serious harm. OIG found that health and safety policies and procedures were not being followed. Failure to comply with these policies and procedures left group home beneficiaries at risk of serious harm. These are not isolated incidents but a systemic problem – 49 States had media reports of health and safety problems in group homes.”
In September, 2018 VOR sent out 2 Action Alerts, asking Congress to pause and reconsider HR 3506, the EMPOWER Act to renew the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program.
On July 11th, Mary Lazare, Principal Deputy Administrator and Acting Commissioner on Disabilities at the Administration for Community Living (ACL) spoke at the Autism Society's 2018 Convention in Washington, D.C. During her keynote speech, Ms. Lazare expressed recognition for Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IID) as part of the full system of care. While no recording of the speech exists, third hand accounts of Ms. Lazare's comments have spread throughout social media. "Community Only" advocates were outraged, and have raised their voices demanding retraction of her comments and calling for her resignation.