In a petition dated June 23, 2020 filed with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the ACLU, SEIU, and several partner groups outlined concerns with the federal response to the novel coronavirus epidemic and used these concerns to call for a 50 percent reduction in congregate care nationwide. The petitioners defined congregate care to include nursing homes, intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICFs/IID), psychiatric facilities, and home and community-based services (HCBS) group homes.
On July 1st, VOR issued a firm response in opposition to ACLU and SEUI’s irresponsible and unreasonable demand which would remove all forms of long-term care for the elderly and persons with mental disabilities, except for the family home or private residence.
Michelle Ballan, PhD, a professorat SUNY Stony Brook, created a COVID Disability Form to help all individuals with IDD communicate their needs in the event of hospitalization. This form is usefiul whether the patient is verbal or non-verbal.
If your loved one is going to the hospital with COVID-19 symptoms, you may fill out this form to provide useful information to his/her medical team.
On May 22, VOR submitted tesimony to the Senate Appropriations, Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies regarding the need to protect Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities as the Appropriations Committee negotiates continuing funding ot the Money Follows the Person Rebalancing Act (MFP) in its FY2021 Appropriations Bill.
In March, 2020 VOR's Legislative Committee sent a letter to the Senate Finance Committee, asking for an opportunity to provide testimony from families whose loved ones’ interests, health and welfare are directly impacted by the Money Follows the Person Rebalancing Program.
VOR continues to speak out about the shortcomings of MFP, and the manner in which it has been used to undermine Intermediate Care Facilities and to deny individuals and families their right to choose ICF care.
Read VOR's March 12, 2020 letter here
Read VOR's July 23, 2019 letter here
VOR's Ongoing Document:
Updated October 3, 2019
This document provides a bibliography of investigative media series, state audits and peer-reviewed research in more than half the states that detail systemic concerns with regard to quality of care in community-based settings for persons with developmental disabilities. Tragedies range from physical, emotional, and financial abuse, neglect and even death. Many of these outcomes are associated with a zest to move to a "community for all" vision people with developmental disabilities without adequately considering the ramifications of separating vulnerable people from specialized care and then doing away with a critical safety net (a/k/a deinstitutionalization). The lessons learned from more than 25 states should cause policymakers and lawmakers to take pause and recognize that a range of needs requires a range of service options.