VOR's Past President, the late-Robin Sims, held a press conference in her state capitol to announce the results of a residential survey that she helped spearhead. The survey was simple. It was sent to family members and guardians of New Jersey State Developmental Center residents. The survey asked recipients if they were happy with the current placement of their loved ones, or would prefer community-based care instead. The results were overwhelmingly (96%) in support of continued ICFs/MR placement. The press conference at the state capitol was an effort to reach lawmakers and the press with these statistics, and point out the serious flaws of earlier state surveys and studies that have been used to justify downsizing and closure proposals. In coalition with many families, Robin fought fire with fire, developing a survey for families and guardians that asked just one simple, unbiased question.
A Press Release was issued and The Star Ledger featured the event and survey.
Videos from the press conference are also available: http://vimeo.com/8177809 (Sims, intro), http://vimeo.com/8057837 (Sims, extended), http://vimeo.com/8059191 (Rocco Mazza, sibling), http://vimeo.com/8177135 (Assemblywoman Huttle on Choice), and http://vimeo.com/8177251 (NJ State Senator Bucco on Choice).
by Ethan B. Ellis, President, Next Step
August 26, 2009
Congressman Frank Pallone, unruffled and cool, managed to turn the provocative questions and comments [at a recent “Town Hall” meeting] into opportunities to provide real, substantive information about the bill he supports and the legislative alternatives being considered in the Senate. Despite the din, I learned more in an hour than I had in months of sorting through news and opinion on TV and online. I even got in a question that filled in some of the blanks. Here’s how H.R. 3200 will affect people with disabilities:
When it comes to their top legislative priority, disability activists fear later will mean never.
Update: Judge accepts revised settlement; preserves choice
Illinois Judge sides with choice; rejects proposed settlement and decertifies class
Residents of Illinois’ private facilities for persons with developmental disabilities and their families celebrated an early-July decision in Ligas v. Maram. The lawsuit, filed by Illinois’ Protection & Advocacy against the State of Illinois, has concerned families of private facility residents after learning of its filing in 2005. The lawsuit, filed by just nine plaintiffs, was filed on behalf of a class of 6,000 people.