June 3 - 7, 2017
We expect that this will be a very busy year for VOR members and advocates, with multiple opportunities and multiple challenges to be presented by the Trump administration and the 115th Congress.
Please register early and reserve your hotel rooms now. The hotels predict that rooms will be hard to find and at a premium, with many other groups expressing their interest to speak with elected officials.
For more information on the conference, registation, and hotel reservations, click here. Note: Web links will become active after you download the pdf.
To Donate to the Ball v. Kasich Legal Defense Fund, please Click Here
VOR has established a fund to receive contributions from Ohioans who wish to donate to a legal defense of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) whose individual rights, interests and wishes are at risk as a result of claims asserted in the class action suit filed by Disability Rights Ohio (DRO). Monies collected will be used for legal fees relating to representation in connection with the lawsuit.
At the beggining of every Congress, VOR delivers a letter to the members of the House and Senate, welcoming them to work on behalf of the people of this country, introducing ourselves, and outlining our issues.
This year's letter may be downoaded here
Opportunities and Choices
Recently, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Administration for Community Living (ACL) issued press releases celebrating the 17th Anniversary of the Olmstead decision. VOR shares their view that there is much to celebrate in opening doors to community living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) who are able and wish to take advantage of such opportunities. Unfortunately, their ideological preoccupation with one key part of Olmstead, community integration, at the expense of the other key part, choice, has reduced options for all people with I/DD. This crimped and, VOR would submit, inaccurate application of the plain language of Olmstead has done significant harm to many of our most disabled citizens.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently requested submissions and recommendations for how they might improve service in HCBS Waiver settings. VOR's comments focused on the need to expand and improve services for people not well suited to group homes as a way to imporve the services for people for whom those settings might be deemed appropriate.
We provided links to articles in our archives and from newspapers that illustrate VOR's position on these issues. The resources in this article should prove useful to many of our members in making presentations to their representatives, decision makers, and family groups.
All of the links in the footnotes will work once you download the pdf.
Please read and comment!
By Harris Capps and Joan Kelley
Sheltered Workshops are private non-profit, state, or local government entities that provide employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Persons served in this environment may include those with developmental, physical, and/or mental impairments, ranging from mild to extreme/profoundly affected individuals. Sheltered workshops:
- Provide prevocational training, with the goal to prepare for competitive employment for available jobs in the open labor market
- Emphasize support of individual needs, based on ability to choose work activities that fit with a person’s skills
- Often include additional training in personal care, living skills and developing social skills
- Honor the depth and scope of the DD population, recognizing that some individuals may not ever be able to be competitively employed
After completing a rehabilitation program, many individuals are able to leave the workshop environment and enter regular employment, if there is a job available for which they qualify. Individuals unable to obtain regular employment because of the severity of their impairments or unavailability of jobs can remain in the workshop environment. Individuals performing services are paid a fraction of, or up to minimum wage, depending on their capacity to perform the services.