Speaking out for People with
 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

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.

Three members of Congress wrote to the ACL to express their views on the matter. Their letter included reterences to the Supreme Court's decision in Olmstead that either willfully misrepresented the ruling or showed a lack of understanding of what is actually written in the decision. VOR wrote to the three representatives, along with ACL Administrator Lance Robertson and Ms. Lazare, to emphasize the need for ICFs/IID in a full continuum of care and to clarify the true meaning of Olmstead for these lawmakers and their associates.

In a separate letter to Ms. Lazare, Senator Tammy Duckworth expressed her criticism of the Deputy Administrator's comments.

Read Deputy Administrator Mary Lazare's retraction here

Read the letter from Representatives Schakowsky, Harper, and Langevin to the ACL here

Read the letter from Senator Duckworth here