Speaking out for People with
 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

VOR Cautions Against Closure: Asks California Senate Committee to "Fix it, Don't Close it"

March 13, 2012

In response to the troubling report by California Watch, please listen to the families.  They will implore a “fix it, don’t close it” response.

As noted in the Senate Human Services Committee background paper, the 1,800 individuals with ID/DD who reside in California’s Developmental Centers are among the most vulnerable California citizens. The vast majority have severe to profound ID/DD, in addition to complex medical conditions and physical disabilities, or dangerous behavioral challenges.

Families of developmental center residents follow a moral charge to do what is best for their loved ones. Their family members are like small children, and absent evidence to the contrary, the law presumes that parents and family members of minor children and intellectual disabled adults, will act in the best interest of their loved ones:

“Individuals with developmental disabilities and their families are the primary decisionmakers regarding the services and supports such individuals and their families receive and play decisionmaking roles in policies and programs that affect the lives of such individuals and their families.” DD Act, 42 U.S.C. 15001(c)(3)(1993) (Findings, Purposes and Policies) (emphasis added).

We would no more tell parents of minor children where they should seek professional health care and educational supports than we should dictate or judge the care and support decisions of parents of adult children of individuals whose cognitive abilities equate to that of infants and small children.

Read complete testimony here.