Speaking out for People with
 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

VOR Advocacy Letters


VOR Comments To CMS' Request For Information

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!

SSA Administrative Funding FY 2016 Conferee Letter

October 21, 2015

The Honorable Roy Blunt
Chairman, Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services, Education, & Related Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Tom Cole
Chairman, Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services, Education, & Related Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
U.S. House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Patty Murray
Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, & Related Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Rosa DeLauro
Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services, Education, & Related Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
U.S. House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Blunt, Ranking Member Murray, Chairman Cole and Ranking Member DeLauro:

As organizations representing stakeholders of the Social Security Administration (SSA), we respectfully ask that as you work to finalize the Fiscal Year 2016 Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill that the final bill includes the President’s Budget Request of $12.513 billion for SSA’s Limitation on Administrative Expenses (LAE) account. We believe this level of funding is critical to ensure that SSA can continue service level improvements while addressing stewardship responsibilities. In order to balance those stewardship responsibilities and provide appropriate service to the American public, SSA must have adequate funding.

The Olmstead Decision Has Been Misinterpreted

The Olmstead decision, which interprets the Americans with Disabilities Act, is so clear that persistent misinterpretation by federal agencies can only be described as purposeful.

Introduction

VOR is a national nonprofit advocacy organization that has for 32 years supported the right of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) to receive services and supports according to their individual choice and need, regardless of setting.

We take this opportunity – the 25th Anniversary of the ADA - to set the record straight about what the landmark Olmstead decision actually says about the ADA’s “integration regulation.”  

July 26, 2015 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999)  is the landmark Supreme Court decision interpreting the ADA’s “integration regulation,” which states:

“a public entity must administer services, programs, and activities in the most integrated, least restrictive setting appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities.” [28 C.F.R. § 35.130(d)].

The Olmstead Court considered whether the ADA’s prohibition of discrimination by a public entity required “placement of persons with mental disabilities in community settings rather than in institutions.” (Olmstead at 587)

The Court’s answer: A “qualified yes.” (Id., emphasis added