Speaking out for People with
 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

VOR Supports Texas Legislation For Tracking Pilot Program

March 30, 2015

House Human Services Committee

Texas House of Representatives

Dear Chairman Raymond, Vice Chair Rose, and Members of the House Human Services Committee,

Please accept this written testimony in SUPPORT of HB 967, a bill for a pilot project to evaluate the use of radio frequency identification technology (RFID) to transmit information regarding residents of certain group homes.

Of keen interest to our organization are best practices and strategies to ensure high quality care in all service settings. HB 967, which will provide for a pilot program for the use of RFID in Home and Community Settings (HCS) upon individual or guardian consent, will serve to ensure that individuals who willingly participate enjoy greater independence and protection.

HB 967, if passed, will help ensure medications are dispensed accurately and, with the potential of tracking which individuals have entered private bedrooms, either deter abuse or ensure justice when abuse has occurred.

Some individuals with I/DD and autism, who by vast majority are served in small community settings, have a tendency of wandering from their homes (“elopement”), placing themselves at risk of traffic, exposure to the elements, personal injury, law enforcement encounters, drownings, and more.

Read full letter testimony

VOR Supports New Jersey Bill to Protect Individuals with Disabilities Served Out-of-State

VOR Statement in SUPPORT of A3975 and S2600: Prohibiting the Transfer of Individuals with Developmental Disabilities from Out-of-State to In-State Placements if Written Objection Provided and One or More Conditions Exist

January 14, 2015

VOR supports A3975 and S2600 which protect against the transfers of individuals now receiving out-of-state care when the individual or his/her legal guardian objects in writing and when certain conditions relating to the length of placement, proximity to family, cost to the state or level of care needs exist. 

A3975 and S2600’s consideration of individual choice, need and state resources is consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Olmstead v. L.C. decision.

Read full statement

VOR and Save Our Regional Centers Submit Comments in Response to Colorado Olmstead Plan

Colorado’s Save Our Regional Centers (SORC) and VOR have submitted comments in response to Colorado’s Community Living Plan (July 30, 2014).

SORC, a VOR affiliate, and VOR represent individuals with profound intellectual and developmental disabilities receiving Regional Center supports, their peers across Colorado, and their families and legal guardians.

Colorado's Community Living Plan  - it's "response to the Olmstead decision" - “will be monitored and updated,” and that “its contents will continually evolve” (Plan, pp. 4-5). SORC and VOR offer input at this time with the expectation that we will be included as key stakeholders in all aspects of Plan implementation going forward.

We are necessary stakeholders with valuable input.

Read complete comment

Read CO Response

VOR and affiliate Friends of Wyoming Life Resource Center submit joint response to Facilities Task Force Report and Recommendations

December 16, 2014

A Task Force analyzing the role of Wyoming's state-run facilities for seniors, people with disabilities, and veterans presented its final report and recommendations to the legislature at a Tuesday meeting of the Joint Labor, Health and Social Services committee in Cheyenne.

Shawn Humberson, VOR’s Co Wyoming State Coordinator and member of the task force analyzing the role of Wyoming's state-run medical facilities, presented VOR/Friends joint statement to the legislature earlier this week, responding to the Task Force’s recommendations.

Read the VOR and Friends of Wyoming Life Resource Center Joint Response

Read Related Article

One Family's Quest for True Integration and Person-Centered Care

Nelen Norcross is a firm believer in community integration and a person-centered approach to planning care.

She has been a lifelong advocate for her son, Josh, who has profound behavioral challenges, and recently quit her job in corrections/treatment to work for the Wyoming Independent Living Center.

She knows how integration should look for her Josh, but seriously questions whether the State of Wyoming does.

Read full article

Disability Rights Ohio Does Not Speak for Everyone

Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities are Entitled by Federal Law to Residential and Employment Choice

October 28, 2014

Disability Rights Ohio (DRO), a federally-funded legal aid organization, has sent a letter to Governor John Kasich and the Directors of the Departments of Developmental Disabilities, Medicaid, and Health Transformation, threatening Ohio with a lawsuit if the State does not take action to “significantly reduce” the number of persons residing in ICFs (Intermediate Care Facilities), and transition them to what DRO characterizes as “small, integrated, community-based” placements. DRO begins its letter by stating, “We write on behalf of thousands of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Ohio...in private intermediate care facilities.” DRO also seeks to reduce employment choice by denying individuals the right to workshop and day settings.

DRO’s claim that they speak for the 6,800 severely developmentally disabled Ohioans who reside in Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs), and others who benefit from employment choice, is outlandish and wholly untrue. Nor does DRO speak for the tens of thousands of parents, guardians, family members, and friends who know first-hand that an ICF and employment workshops give their loved ones a safe and nurturing home and productive days that will ensure their long-term happiness, and provide for their complex medical and physical needs.

DRO’s disregard for the unique desires and needs of people with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) denies these individuals of their personhood and strips them of their constitutional rights to life, liberty (i.e. choice), and the pursuit of happiness.

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