Speaking out for People with
 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Joint Report from HHS OIG, ACL, and OCR: Group Home Beneficiaries are at Risk of Serious Harm

This report, released in January, 2018 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,' Office of the Inspector General, Administraton for Community Liiving, and Office of Civil Rights acknowledged the systemic shortcomings in protecting residents of HCBS waiver group homes from incidents of abuse and neglect. OIG found that up to 99 percent of these critical incidents were not reported to the appropriate law enforcement or state agencies as required. The report stated, “Group Home beneficiaries are at risk of serious harm. OIG found that health and safety policies and procedures were not being followed. Failure to comply with these policies and procedures left group home beneficiaries at risk of serious harm. These are not isolated incidents but a systemic problem – 49 States had media reports of health and safety problems in group homes.

NY State OPWDD Placing Sex Offenders into Group Homes for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Recent media reports have indicated that NYS’s Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) has been placing Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders into residential group homes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. NYS classifies Level 2 offenders as having a moderate risk of repeat offense. Level 3 offenders are classified as having a high risk of repeat offense and pose a threat to public safety.

If you live in NY State and wish to take action on this issue, please go to:

http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/50829/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=25589

VOR Testimony at House Judiciary Committee Hearings

Rep GoodlatteOn March 6th, 2018 the House Judiciary Committee convened to examine the harmful effects of class action lawsuits aimed at closing Intermediate Care Facilites for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF's/IID). The hearing came at the request of Chairman Bob Goodlatte.Martha Bryant 2 Testimony was presented by Martha Bryant, Mother, RN, BSN & VOR member, Caroline Lahrmann, Mother, VOR Ohio State Coordinator & past president, and Peter Kinzler, Father, longtime VOR Member, Director & Legislative Committee Chair. Alison Barkoff of the Center for Public Representation. PK Testimonyspoke on behalf of those in favor of using class action lawsuits against ICF's/IID and opposed to providing notification to families and guardians of individuals residing in these homes.
 

VOR 2018 State Reports

Each year, VOR hosts a State Report Forum as part of our events at the VOR Annual Conference. Members and conference participants are encouraged to share their experiences with one another, with the hope that we may learn from one another and gain insights into how we may best address our own challenges.

VOR Reply to Congressional Letter to the ACL

On July 11th, Mary Lazare, Principal Deputy Administrator and Acting Commissioner on Disabilities at the Administration for Community Living (ACL) spoke at the Autism Society's 2018 Convention in  Washington, D.C. During her keynote speech, Ms. Lazare expressed recognition for Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IID) as part of the full system of care. While no recording of the speech exists, third hand accounts of Ms. Lazare's comments have spread throughout social media. "Community Only" advocates were outraged, and have raised their voices demanding retraction of her comments and calling for her resignation.