Speaking out for People with
 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

P&A Class Action Litigation

Class action lawsuits have closed many ICFs/IID and reduced options for those who need fulltime care

Federally-funded attorney groups have pursued at least 30 class action lawsuits against ICFs/IID, driven primarily by a bias against ICF/IID care. In fact, since 1996, every federally-funded lawsuit against an ICF/IID has been for the primary purpose of removing residents from their ICF/IID home (“community integration”); the condition of care at the targeted ICFs/IID was not at issue in any of these cases.

Fifteen of these cases have led to the closure of ICFs/IID, affecting thousands of individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Despite the fact that ICFs/IID are a residential option created by federal law and funded and monitored by HHS, most of these lawsuits are filed under the Protection & Advocacy (P&A) program, whose lawyers are also funded by HHS. Because one program authorized by HHS is suing another program authorized by HHS, these suits could be labelled HHS v. HHS.

Download case documentation here

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VOR's Welcome Letter to the 115th Congress

At the beggining of every Congress, VOR delivers a letter to the members of the House and Senate, welcoming them to work on behalf of the people of this country, introducing ourselves, and outlining our issues.

This year's letter may be downoaded here

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New! VOR Action Center. One Click Advocacy.

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Celebrating the 17th Anniversary of the Olmstead Decision

Opportunities and Choices

Recently, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Administration for Community Living (ACL) issued press releases celebrating the 17th Anniversary of the Olmstead decision. VOR shares their view that there is much to celebrate in opening doors to community living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) who are able and wish to take advantage of such opportunities. Unfortunately, their ideological preoccupation with one key part of Olmstead, community integration, at the expense of the other key part, choice, has reduced options for all people with I/DD. This crimped and, VOR would submit, inaccurate application of the plain language of Olmstead has done significant harm to many of our most disabled citizens.


P&A Class Action Litigation

Class action lawsuits have closed many ICFs/IID and reduced options for those who need fulltime care

Federally-funded attorney groups have pursued at least 30 class action lawsuits against ICFs/IID, driven primarily by a bias against ICF/IID care. In fact, since 1996, every federally-funded lawsuit against an ICF/IID has been for the primary purpose of removing residents from their ICF/IID home (“community integration”); the condition of care at the targeted ICFs/IID was not at issue in any of these cases.

Fifteen of these cases have led to the closure of ICFs/IID, affecting thousands of individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Despite the fact that ICFs/IID are a residential option created by federal law and funded and monitored by HHS, most of these lawsuits are filed under the Protection & Advocacy (P&A) program, whose lawyers are also funded by HHS. Because one program authorized by HHS is suing another program authorized by HHS, these suits could be labelled HHS v. HHS.

Download case documentation here

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.

Federal Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Final Rule: Background, Overview and Observations

On January 10, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a long-waited final rule (regulation) about home and community-based services (HCBS) provided through Medicaid’s 1915(c) HCBS Waiver program, 1915(i) HCBS State Plan Option, and 1915(k) Community First Choice. The final rule is the result of multiple proposed rules and public comments over the past five years.

The rule and related CMS fact sheets are available at www.medicaid.gov/HCBS.

Medicaid Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICFs/IID) are not directly affected by this rule; however, the rule continues to demonstrate an ideological bias against disabled people who find friendships and benefits from living together and accessing services and amenities "under one roof.”  

Click here to read additional VOR Observations, Advocacy Opportunities, and an Overview of Key Provisions.