Speaking out for People with
 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Mission Statement

VOR’s mission is to advocate for high quality care and human rights for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

Promise Statement

VOR promises to empower you to make and protect quality of life choices for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Who We Are

Founded 40 years ago in 1983, VOR is a national 501(c)(3) organization governed by a volunteer board of directors and funded solely by dues and donations. We receive no government support.

Throughout its history, VOR has been the only national organization to advocate for a full range of quality residential options and services, including own home, family home, community-based service options, and licensed facilities. We support the expansion of quality community-based service options; we oppose the elimination of specialized facility-based (institutional) option.

VOR represents primarily individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families/guardians. VOR advocates that the final determination of what is appropriate depends on the unique abilities and needs of the individual and desires of the family and guardians.

Meet VOR: An organization that refuses to redefine individual choice

By Tamie Hopp, VOR Director of Government Relations & Advocacy

I am delighted to have this opportunity to introduce you to VOR, an organization that is really like none other.

VOR is a national, nonprofit organization advocating for high quality care and human rights for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

We are the only national organization that has not redefined terms that other disability advocates have hijacked, like “choice,” “community,” and “self-advocacy.”

Do self-advocates really speak for you?

For 30 years, VOR has remained true to the families we represent by putting their seasoned insights and perspectives first. To us and them, “choice” really means choice. Our advocacy is driven and guided by an undeniable truth: Families know best.

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VOR Key Principles: The Rights of All People with Disabilities; Respecting Choice

For 30 years, VOR has been representing families of individuals with I/DD, many of whom experience severe and profound developmental disabilities, have multiple physical disabilities, and are medically fragile or experience dangerous behaviors. 

Underpinning each “Key Principle” (is respect for diversity of need and individual choice. Most individuals with disabilities are capable of determining job opportunities, leisure activities, and housing options, and have the right to exercise individual choice, with any necessary supports. Other individuals experience profound I/DD or other serious I/DD and medical and/or behavioral disabilities. These individuals have rights, too, and need the support of their families and legal guardians to ensure that their choices for housing, employment, and services are safe, comfortable and responsive to their needs.

In developing principles that reflect individual differences, VOR rejects a “broad brush” approach to rights and principles which apply to most individuals with disabilities, but not all. 

Click here to read more, including VOR Key Principles - General Principles, Choice, Employment, Housing, and Public Funding.

Click here to read a related article, "When Equitable Does Not Mean Equal: Respecting Diversity and Choice: VOR presents its Key Principles in Support of Ensuring the Rights and Opportunities for All People with Disabilities. The organization calls on the broader community of advocates to support and promote these principles," EP (Exceptional Parent) Magazine, October 2013

Read NJ DD Council Reaction, and VOR's Response (EP Magazine, December 2013)

VOR Policy and Positions Statements

VOR supports individual and family participation in decision-making.

VOR supports both ICF/IID homes and quality community-based service options based on individual need.

VOR advocates for the right of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families to choose from a full array of high quality residential and other support options including own home, community-based, and large settings, such as licensed Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICFs/IID)

VOR supports safe and appropriate quality care in the community.

VOR opposes the use of federal funds for any activity that would deny individuals with Intellectual and developmental disabilities benefits or rights available to them under federal law.

VOR supports a full array of employment options, including sheltered workshops, supported employment, and competitive employment based on individual abilities.

VOR supports guardianship for individuals who cannot speak for themselves in some or all aspects of their lives, when in the best interests of the individual as determined by a court of law.

VOR supports a full array of education options for students with disabilities, from mainstreaming to special education settings, as required by federal law.

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