Speaking out for People with
 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Seeking Board of Director Applicants

January 2015

VOR’s Nominating Committee seeks individuals interested in serving on the VOR Board of Directors for 3 year terms beginning July 1, 2015.

Please respond by January 23, 2015.

The Committee is seeking applicants who:

• Have a passion for our cause on behalf of individuals with intellectual disabilities.

• Can commit time for board meetings, committee planning and meetings, assist in reaching out to current and prospective members, and attend the Annual Conference.

• Are team players who work well with others in a group.

• Listen well and are thoughtful in considering issues.

• Are willing and able to assist in development efforts.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact Sybil Finken, Chair of the VOR Nominating Committee, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 712-527-3250; or Julie Huso, Executive Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 605-370-4652, with any questions and to receive a VOR Board application form.

IL-ADD Releases Cost Analysis

The Illinois League of Advocates for the Developmentally Disabled (IL-ADD) has challenged the myth that all persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) can be served for less cost in smaller, unlicensed settings.

On October 13, they released a summary and  detailed cost analysis that considered the actual cost of care for an individual in a state Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IID) as compared to what that same individual would cost in a smaller setting. The analysis considered three care scenarios for BRB in a Home and Community-Based Services waiver setting (called "CILAs" in Illlinois).

BRB is a current resident of a state-operated ICFs/IID. BRB is 41 years old, 6' tall, 190 lbs, and healthy. He has a pervasive developmental disorder with borderline intellectual functioning. He is being treated for obsessive/compulsive behaviors which presently involve consuming huge amounts of fluid; interruptions of is O/C behaviors can bring violent responses. He also has a history of life-threatening PICA, however this has been completely extinguished in his present state-operated ICF/IID setting. He is prone to unpredictable explosive physical aggression toward peers, staff and property. He has been expelled from community-based programs.

While very challenging, BRB is not the most challenging among his peers at his ICF/IID; he cannot be dismissed as a uniquely expensive case. For example, he does not present severe medical conditions, seizure activities, sexual aggression, fire-starting, or (at this time) PICA.

Cost Comparison Findings (Summary)

Some closure advocates claim that people can be served in the community for "on average $55,000" per year. In fact, BRB's care would cost:

Opportunity: VOR Board and Committee Service

June 2015

VOR's strength rests on the time, talent and ingenuity of our board and committee members, with much of the work getting done in committee.

VOR has a number of standing committees and we’d like to make sure that VOR members have the opportunity to indicate your interest to serve on the committee(s) that reflects your interests and availability.  We are also seeking candidates for VOR's Board of Directors for the term beginning July 1, 2015.

A volunteer form and descriptions of each VOR Standing Committee and form to indicate in your interest in serving  on a VOR Committee and/or the VOR Board of Directors is available here

Forms can be returned to by June 22, 2015

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Sybil Finken, VOR Immediate Past President)

Fax: 605-271-0445

835 S. Arlington Heights Rd #361
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

Thank you for your consideration.


Ann Knighton, VOR President

VOR Submits Federal Comments on Medicaid and Community

On August 17, 2009, VOR submitted its comments in response to the federal Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency within the U.S. Department of Health and  Human Services which oversees Medicaid programs. The ANPRM asked for comments relating to allowing states to combine home and community-based services (HCBS) waivers for people with different disabilties who have similar functional needs. CMS also sought input on how to define "community."

In its comment, VOR expressed significant concern that current state budget woes and administrative conveniences would prove too great of temptations to States, leading to dangerous comingling of people with incompatable disability-types, leading to tragic consequences. Many real life examples were cited to reinforce VOR's stated concerns. With regard to defining community, VOR pointed out that both facilities and smaller settings can be "integrated." Our comments reinforce the need for choice, and Olmstead's support for choice.