Speaking out for People with
 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

What's New at VOR


Ohio - Updates on the Ball v. Kasich Class Action

On March 31, 2016, Disability Rights Ohio (DRO) announced it filed a lawsuit in U.S. federal court against the Governor of Ohio and other state officials on behalf of six individuals and one organization for alleged non-
compliance of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504, and Medicaid requirements.
DRO claims that the state government has not done enough to prevent Ohioans with developmental disabilities (DD) from being unnecessarily admitted to care facilities that DRO considers to be institutions – places in which people with disabilities live, work, and receive care while separated from the wider community.
VOR supports the rights of families in opposing this action.
To track the progress of the lawsuit, see the links below.

Surviving the Inclusion Delusion: Danny at 40

By Jill Barker

My son Danny is forty years old this week. He has multiple disabilities resulting from brain damage acquired during his first few days after birth. He functions at the level of a 6 to 12 month old infant and always will. And, yes, I know he is not really an infant.  We do not love him less because he lives and survives with profound developmental disabilities.

I first heard the term Inclusion around 1990. Danny was 13 years old and attending High Point School in Ann Arbor. High Point was an outstanding program for Danny, bringing together services, expertise, and a supportive community to accommodate children with the most severe disabilities, including complex medical and behavioral conditions.  

Inclusion, when applied to schooling for disabled children, is the belief that all children, regardless of the severity or nature of their disabilities, can and should be educated in regular classrooms with their non-disabled peers.  Inclusion was promoted by many disability advocates as a “right” for every child. Most discussions of the idea did not include an examination of whether the premise on which the belief is based is true for every child or whether it is required by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (it is not). In the face of any disagreement with the idea, promoters of inclusion encouraged families to take sides: “Are you for ‘Inclusion’ or against it?” Or as many advocates would have it, “Do you want disabled children isolated and segregated from the rest of society or do you want them to be fully integrated into and embraced by ‘the community’”? This continues to this day.

Download this article here

Conference Materials and Reports from VOR's 2017 Annual Meeting & Legislative Initiative

June 3 - 7, 2017

VOR's 2017 Annual Conference and Washington Initiative was held at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill again this year. By all accounts the conference and initiative were a great success, both in terms of reaffirming our committment to VOR's mission and in our efforts to take our message to legislators and their staff members.

Please click on the links below to see some of the materials presented to Congress at the Legislative Initiative and some of the materials and presentations from the Annual Meeting.

Legislative Initiative Materials

2017 State Reports

2017 Supplementary Materials

VOR's Position on Sheltered Workshops

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. [1]