Speaking out for People with
 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Florida: Parent NON-involvement in Brown v. Bush

Parent NON-involvement in Brown v. Bush, a P&A lawsuit
By Don Stover
Stover Objectors – proposed Intervenors – Brown v. Bush

The Advocacy Center (Florida’s Protection and Advocacy (P&A) agency) and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities were two parties in Brown v. Bush, a federal lawsuit filed on March 24, 1998) (formerly Brown v. Chiles). This lawsuit resulted in the closure of the Community of Landmark. On June 16, 2004, a settlement agreement required that the state develop a plan by June 30, 2005 for the closure of Gulfcoast Center no later than July 1, 2010.

The families and guardians of Gulf Coast residents, or other Florida Developmental Service Institutions (DSI’s) were not invited to participate in negotiations. Families learned about the settlement in the Ft. Myers News-Press in July 2004. In October 2004, notices of a “fairness hearing” to consider the settlement were mailed to residents, parents and guardians. A group of Gulfcoast families and guardians – the Stover Objectors – quickly arranged for legal representation and organized opposition to the settlement agreement. By November 23, more than 200 letters were sent to the federal court in Miami. Counsel for the Stover Objectors also appeared in federal court at the Fairness hearing on December 10, 2004.

Illinois: Illinois League of Advocates for the Developmentally Disabled (2006)


Review of Equip for Equality , Illinois’ Protection and Advocacy Agency
by Rita Burke, President
Illinois League of Advocates for the Developmentally Disabled (IL-ADD)

IL-ADD’s membership is composed of the presidents or other representatives from the parent/guardian organizations from all nine of Illinois’ State Operated Developmental Centers (SODCs)

Equip for Equality is a state appointed agency receiving Federal funding which is intended to advance the causes of all Illinois citizens with disabilities. This agency should be even-handedly supporting and advocating for all disability needs and embracing a full continuum of appropriate services. It does not.

Kentucky: Parent Leader Testimonial (2007)

Kentucky Protection and Advocacy Testimonial
By Louise Underwood, President, Hazelwood Friends and Family
VOR Board M ember (retired) 2007

In February 2002, the Kentucky Protection and Advocacy System filed Michelle P. v. Holsinger in federal court. The Complaint alleged that Kentucky improperly wait listed individuals for Medicaid services.

In January 2006, the parties reached a settlement agreement that called for the state to put about $45 million into Medicaid services through 2008, but also requires that the state close admissions to Kentucky’s state operated ICFs/MR as individuals are transferred from the facilities to community settings.

Maryland: Parent testimony (2006)

Testimony for Public Forum
Before: Administration on Developmental Disabilities
By: Mary Lou Chandler, Parent, Salisbury, MD
Re: Maryland Disability Law Center (Maryland's Protection and Advocacy System)
Date: July 10, 2006

To Whom It May Concern,

I am a parent and legal guardian of a thirty-eight year old resident of Holly Center, ICF/MR in Salisbury, MD.

I strongly disagree with the agenda of the MDLC and the MD DD Coalition – close State Residential Centers.  I find it outrageous that these agencies receive Federal dollars to promote an agenda that is not supported by MANY taxpaying citizens.  These agencies do not represent my daughter and her rights to continue to receive care in the most appropriate setting – Holly Center.

Ohio: OLMR (statewide family association) testimony (2006)

OLMR Response to the State Plan for the Ohio Legal Rights Service, Ohio's Protection and Advocacy System

Sonya Mawhorter, Executive DirectorOhio League for the Mentally Retarded (OLMR)
June 2006

The Ohio League For The Mentally Retarded (OLMR) is a consumer organization representing over 7000 Ohio citizens with disabilities and their family/caregivers.

We are pleased to have an opportunity to offer input into the state plan for the Ohio Legal Rights Service (OLRS), Ohio’s Protection and Advocacy system. We will provide some background in our comments, as well as make some recommendations.

Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania League of Concerned Families of Retarded Citizens (2006)

Testimonial from Pennsylvania
by Bert springstead, President
Pennsylvania League of Concerned families of retarded citizens
VOR Board Member

May 15, 2006
Pennsylvania Protection and Advocacy (PP&A) is required to protect and advocate the rights of people with mental retardation.  However, as the father of a son with mental retardation and statewide advocate for VOR’s position regarding choice, I am well aware of the hundreds of families of people with mental retardation within Pennsylvania who are extremely concerned about PP&A’s calculated selection of rights it will and will not protect.  More specifically, families are troubled by PP&A’s callus disregard for people with mental retardation and their families when, as primary decision makers, they seek to exercise their right to choose services provided by an ICF/MR instead of a community-based setting.  The string of consistent examples over the course of more than fifteen years that contributed to that conviction include: