Speaking out for People with
 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

VOR Letter to DOL Supporting Sheltered Workshops & 14(c)

In May, a collaborative of self-advocates, disability "rights" organizations, the National Disabilty Rights Network, and others  wrote a letter to the Department of Labor calling for the elimination of 14(c) programs and sheltered workshops for people with I/DD and autism. The people who submitted the all appear to work in competitive employment, professional- or university-based advocacy organizations, or are senior management at agencies that receive federal funding. None were among the cohort of individuals who work in, and benefit from, the opportunities offered by sheltered workshops.
In response, VOR submitted a letter in support of these  programs, asking that the DOL clear up the misrepresentations about them and actively support funding them and increasing the number of 14(c) certificates it issues.

Response to Senate Committee on Aging "Celebrating Olmstead" Panel

By Carole Sherman
On June 20, 2023, the Senate Special Committee on Aging, chaired by Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) convened a panel to "Celebrate Olmstead". The panel clearly misrepresented the Olmstead Decision, and joyfully celebrated their own re-interpretation of the decision.
In response, long-time member of VOR and Arkansas advocate Carole Sherman sent a letter reprimanding the Senate Special Committee for putting on such a presentation that disregards the needs of so many people they are responsible for protecting.

Joint Commission Recommends Redesignating Ohio's Protection and Advocacy Agency

On April 11, 2023,  Ohio's Joint Commission to Examine the State Protection and Advocacy System and Client Assistance Program recommended to the Governor that the state "redesignate" its P&A, having found Disability Rights Ohio for "intentionally not protecting and advocating for all individfuals with disabilities."

The report came in response to hearings on Nov. 1 and Nov. 15, 2023 in which families testified about their dissatifaction with the DRO's actions and biases against people in ICFs and sheltered workshops.

Download the report here

VOR Comments to Senate HELP Committee on Workforce Crisis

On February 16, 2023, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions (HELP) Committee held its first hearing on the health care workforce crisis. The meeting focused on the shortage of doctors and nurses, especially the imprnding retirement of most of the nursing force in the years ahead and the current/recent lack of enrollees in nursing schools. Only one brief mention was made of the crisis in the workforce of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) that has been shutting down care services systems for people with I/DD and autism.

On March 20, 2023, VOR submitted comments to the Senate HELP Committee, asking them to expand the scope of their investigations to include this essential workforce and take action to this critical shortage of caregivers.

Please download (and share) VOR's comments here