Speaking out for People with
 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Wyoming Department of Health Concludes Facility is Necessary Safety Net and Should Not Be Closed

After an 8 month legislatively-directed study, the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) concluded that the residents of the Wyoming Life Resource Center (WLRC) should not be forced to transfer to smaller programs. “The WDH considers the WLRC to function as a safety net in Wyoming. While there are many reasons for this recommendation, perhaps one of the most basic (yet critical) reason is the fact that a majority of the current WLRC clients have resided at the facility for the majority of their lives. A transition could impact their physical and mental well-being, resulting in a decline in their current conditions,” the report concluded. Lawmakers earlier this year asked the health department to study the most effective way to care for the center’s residents. Most of the people living at the Lander facility have severe developmental disabilities or acquired brain injuries that require intensive support. Many also exhibit severe behavioral problems.

In addition to resident well-being, community capacity and family/guardian perception of individual quality of life at WLRC factored into WDH’s conclusions. “In summary, guardians/family members of WLRC clients that chose to respond to this survey indicated they (and their clients) are very satisfied with the services at the WLRC. Some also stated that in previous placements outside WLRC, they and their wards were unsatisfied with the arrangement. Finally, the perception reported by the majority of the guardians/family members was that their clients would not experience as high a quality of life as they do at WLRC if they transitioned to a community setting.

Family members surveyed for the study said moving their loved ones to community programs would result in a lower quality of life.

Click here for a related article and copy of the final report

Stockley Center Opens 54-resident facility and Outpatient care

The News Journal - Wilmington, Delaware
January 4, 2009

A $30 million facility at the Stockley Center near Georgetown will be opening later this month, changing the way the state's residents with developmental disabilities are cared for.

The Mary A. Coverdale Center will provide residential care for Stockley residents who need full-time medical treatment and also will provide temporary and respite care for dozens of other people with developmental disabilities.

85 people live on the Stockley campus. Of those, 45 live in the current medical care facility. The rest live in cottages on the grounds.

Besides offering care to the severely disabled, the new center will provide an outpatient clinic for people who don't live on the grounds.

Read full article


Stockley Center to Expand Public Use
The News Journal - Wilmington, Del.
Aug 13, 2012

Now serving 60 residents, proposals that would open the Stockley Center to public use as a health center, a community garden or a new piece of infrastructure rated highly in a survey of 98 ideas for developing the 90-year-old facility.

"Many groups had come to my attention and said, can we think about utilizing Stockley in a broader way?" said Rita Landgraf, the department's secretary. She attended the meeting, along with other state officials and advocates for the disabled.

Read full article

Related: The expanded use of Stockley to serve more nonresidents and the public, along with its residents, is consistent with VOR's support for "Community Resource Centers," - public and private residential programs that offer an "outpatient" component to serve more people in a cost-effective way.

Connecticut: No cost savings if facility closes

Southbury Training School Press Release *  September 19, 2011

In studies done in 2002 and 2010, the state Department of Developmental Services projected high costs associated with closing the state-run Southbury Training School, and declined to project any significant savings in the closure.
The findings by the DDS are at odds with current statements by a number of Connecticut legislators and other policy makers that STS is prohibitively expensive to continue to operate and should be closed.
"We believe that when apples to apples are compared, the care provided at STS will be found to be cost effective," said Sally Bondy, president of the STS Home & School Association, a family-supported, nonprofit organization that is fighting to keep this critically important facility open for its current residents.  "In fact, we believe the DDS previously reached that same conclusion."
"No significant savings will ever result from the closure of Southbury (STS)," the 2002 DDS study flatly stated.   In a November 2010 update, which was provided to the incoming Malloy administration, DDS staff cited "substantial cost implications" in closing STS, which the update stated would be associated with "developing an infrastructure to accommodate a parallel service system in the community."  Read more.


IL-ADD Releases Cost Analysis

The Illinois League of Advocates for the Developmentally Disabled (IL-ADD) has challenged the myth that all persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) can be served for less cost in smaller, unlicensed settings.

On October 13, they released a summary and  detailed cost analysis that considered the actual cost of care for an individual in a state Intermeciate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IID) as compared to what that same individual would cost in a smaller setting. The analysis considered three care scenarios for BRB in a Home and Community-Based Services waiver setting (called "CILAs" in Illlinois).

BRB is a current resident of a state-operated ICFs/MR. BRB is 41 years old, 6' tall, 190 lbs, and healthy. He has a pervasive developmental disorder with borderline intellectual functioning. He is being treated for obsessive/compulsive behaviors which presently involve consuming huge amounts of fluid; interruptions of is O/C behaviors can bring violent responses. He also has a history of life-threatening PICA, however this has been completely extinguished in his present state-operated ICF/IID setting. He is prone to unpredictable explosive physical aggression toward peers, staff and property. He has been expelled from community-based programs.

While very challenging, BRB is not the most challenging among his peers at his ICF/IID; he cannot be dismissed as a uniquely expensive case. For example, he does not present severe medical conditions, seizure activities, sexual aggression, fire-starting, or (at this time) PICA.

Cost Comparison Findings (Summary)

Some closure advocates claim that people can be served in the community for "on average $55,000" per year. In fact, BRB's care would cost:

Families' Arguments Against Closure

November 17, 2006
The Toronto Star

Families fighting to keep Ontario's remaining institutions open the concerns that follow.  In the full article, each concern is more full explained. Click here for the full article:

  • Increased mortality rates (see also, California Comparative Mortality Studies; scroll down to Compartive Mortality reference)
  • Lack of medical expertise
  • Family wishes
  • Higher hospitalization rates
  • Community systems strained
  • Queue jumping
  • No fallback when placements fail
  • Public attitudes oppose closing