Speaking out for People with
 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

VOR - Please Amend the American Rescue Act to Include ALL People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Congress is currently working on the American Rescue Act, a $1.9 Billion package that includes, among other item, a provision to grant additional funding to Home and Community Based Services for people with I/DD.

VOR is asking that this funding be given to all people with I/DD, regardless of their setting or the funding stream that pays for their services. We urge Congress to reject choosing winners and losers among people with intellectual disabilities and, instead, to provide relief equitably to all of them.

Read or download VOR's letter here

COVID-19 Hospitalization Form

Michelle Ballan, PhD, a professorat SUNY Stony Brook, created a COVID Disability Form to help all individuals with IDD communicate their needs in the event of hospitalization. This form is usefiul whether the patient is verbal or non-verbal.
If your loved one is going to the hospital with COVID-19 symptoms, you may fill out this form to provide useful information to his/her medical team.
Yu may download the form from SUNY Stony Brook, or through this link on VOR's website.

Your Legal Right To An Intermediate Care Facility

Right To Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICFs/IID)

Individuals who qualify for Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICFs/IID)* under Medicaid have a legal right to such facilities for as long as they remain eligible and choose to do so. Despite a deinstitutionalization effort by those opposed to congregate care, the ICF/IID program remains a legally enforceable federal entitlement under Medicaid. States which have included ICF/IID in their Medicaid State Plans, but instead offer only Waiver services, are in violation of federal Medicaid law.

VOR's Abuse and Neglect Document

VOR's Ongoing Document:
 Updated October 3, 2019
 This document provides a bibliography of investigative media series, state audits and peer-reviewed research in more than half the states that detail systemic concerns with regard to quality of care in community-based settings for persons with developmental disabilities. Tragedies range from physical, emotional, and financial abuse, neglect and even death. Many of these outcomes are associated with a zest to move to a "community for all" vision people with developmental disabilities without adequately considering the ramifications of separating vulnerable people from specialized care and then doing away with a critical safety net (a/k/a deinstitutionalization). The lessons learned from more than 25 states should cause policymakers and lawmakers to take pause and recognize that a range of needs requires a range of service options.
 
 
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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.

Improving Background Checks for Direct Support Professionals

VOR supports a well-trained, well-paid workforce of healthcare professionals to care for our loved ones with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). A fully coordinated nationwide program for background checks for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) would be essential to protecting individuals with I/DD while improving the quality and integrity of long-term caregivers.

VOR's position paper supporting National Background Checks is available here.