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 Speaking out for people with
intellectual & developmental disabilities





 VOR

836 S. Arlington Hts Rd.  #351

Elk Grove Village, IL  60007








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Donate to VOR today that we may continue to provide a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.

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DOUBLE YOUR DONATION?

Many companies and employers match employee donations to non-profit organizations like VOR.

We now feature a quick and easy link on our Membership & Donation
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SAVE THE DATE!

VOR'S
ANNUAL MEETING & LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVE

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will be held at the

HYATT REGENCY CAPITOL HILL
in
WASHINGTON, D.C.

JUNE 8 - 13, 2018



















Membership Matters!

We are only as strong as our supporters

Join-Renew Blue

Please keep your membership current!



If you are unsure when your membership will expire, please write to
info@vor.net




















Free One-Year Digital Memberships for Direct Support Professionals


We want to show our appreciation to the people who provide the long-term care for our loved ones with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.


We are offering 100 free one-year digital subscriptions to VOR's weekly newsletter and Action Alerts. The subscriptions are available to Direct Service Professionals and Nursing, Medical, or Dental Staff at state-run or privately operated Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IID).


Members are encouraged to share this offer to caregivers in their loved one's facilities. There will be a limit of five subscriptions per facility. Subscriptions will be active until January 1, 2019.


To apply, simply send an email to info@vor.net with the subject line Free Digital Subscription and include:


1. The name, address, telephone, and email address of the applicant

2. The name and address of the facility at which they are employed

3. The name of the VOR member who has referred them.
























FREE OFFER
 


Exceptional Parent Magazine
(EP)
is now available for free to digital subscribers!

Click here to subscribe:
New.EP-Magazine.com















NOTICE:
Tennessee - Public Meeting - Human Rights Review Process
November 27, 2017 - December 27, 2017

The Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (Department) is giving notice through the Tennessee Administrative Register of the following Public Meeting:


The Department will be publishing the Human Rights Review Process policy, # 80.6.1. The purpose of this policy is to clarify the human rights review process requirements for people enrolled in one of the State’s 1915(c) Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers or state-funded services. This policy supersedes, in its entirety, Provider Manual Chapter 2, Section 2.9 effective 3/15/14.


This public meeting will take place on Monday, November 27, 2017, 1:00-4:30 P.M. (CST) at One Cannon Way Drive, Clover Bottom Development Center Campus 275 Stewart’s Ferry Pike, Nashville, Tennessee 37217.  Interested persons may provide written and/or oral comments to the changes made to the Policy.

Contact Solita Morris Solita.Morris@tn.gov





















PRESS CONTACTS NEEDED!

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VOR's Marketing Committee is compiling a list of media contacts who are familiar with I/DD issues and understand the importance of ICF's, Sheltered Workshops, and other services that impact the lives of our family members.


If you know of any reporters or media outlets in your area, please send their name, the name of their organization, and contact information to us at info@vor.net




















WHAT'S HAPPENING IN YOUR STATE?
Share the news with us at 
info@vor.net
or call us toll-free at 877-399-4867

And of course, visit our website at:
www.vor.net


















Guardianship Resources

VOR understands the valuable role that guardians play in the emotional and physical well-being of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). We want to ensure that guardians, the majority of whom are family members or close friends of the person with I/DD, have all the information they need to make informed decisions about this vital part of the safety net. 

Attacks on guardianship have become more frequent, especially with the advent of funding to promote Supported Decision Making as a replacement for guardianship. For more information, see the links on the VOR Website:

http://vor.net/get-help/more-resources/item/guardianship

Many states have guardianship associations affiliated with the National Guardianship Association (NGA)


The NGA advocates for high quality standards in guardianship and certification of guardians and the protection of the rights of incapacitated adults. That said, as with any large advocacy organization, you may not agree with all their policy positions, but they are a good source of information and an avenue for family and friends who have taken on the responsibility of guardianship to make sure their perspective is represented in proposed policy changes.

The NGA lists affiliate organizations for 25 states:

www.guardianship.org/
state_affiliates.htm


If your state is not listed or you know of other local or state guardianship organizations, send VOR an email and we will add a link to our Website.
























TO BECOME A MEMBER OF VOR

or to

RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP

Please click here:

Join-Renew Blue






















Donate to VOR today that we may continue to provide a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Donate-button-BRIGHTER RED


DOUBLE YOUR DONATION?

Many companies and employers match employee donations to non-profit organizations like VOR.

We now feature a quick and easy link on our Membership & Donation
pages so that you can see if your company participates.




























Support VOR while you shop!


If you shop at Amazon, shop at AmazonSmile


AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support VOR every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same prices, selection and shopping experience as Amazon, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to VOR.


To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to smile.amazon.com from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. Fill in the form and select "VOR - Elk Grove Village".


You may also want to add a bookmark to AmazonSmile to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile.



December 8, 2017

VOR Weekly News Update
News and views for VOR Advocates


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VOR is a national organization that advocates for high quality care and human rights for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities

VOR promises to empower you to make and protect quality of life choices for individuals
 with developmental 
disabilities

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VOR and YOU

VOR’s 2017 Membership Drive:

  

A MEMBERSHIP LETTER FOR YOUR FAMILY GROUP


As part of our Fall Membership Drive, we have created a letter that we hope you will send out to the members of your family organization. The purpose of the letter is to show the other families in your group who advocate locally that VOR can help them advocate nationally and unite with families in other states with shared experiences.


Please ask your family group to print copies of this letter and include them in their mailings. You may include this with your newsletters, advocacy campaigns, or post it to your group's website. You may also consider including this letter with the "Thank You" letters that go out to members to after receiving donations to your group.


Download the Membership Letter here


=============================

NATIONAL NEWS

1. Ryan Eyes Push for "Entitlement Reform" in 2018

By Nathaniel Weixel, The Hill, December 6, 2017

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Wednesday said House Republicans will aim to cut spending on Medicare, Medicaid and welfare programs next year as a way to trim the federal deficit.

Ryan

“We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit,” Ryan said during an interview on Ross Kaminsky's talk radio show.


Health-care entitlements such as Medicare and Medicaid “are the big drivers of debt,” Ryan said, “so we spend more time on the health-care entitlements, because that's really where the problem lies, fiscally speaking."


Ryan said he’s been speaking privately with President Trump, who is beginning to warm to the idea of slowing the spending growth in entitlements.


During his campaign, Trump repeatedly promised not to cut Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security.


“I think the president is understanding choice and competition works everywhere, especially in Medicare,” Ryan said.


House and Senate Republicans are currently working on their plans for tax reform, which are estimated to add more than $1 trillion to the deficit. Democrats have voiced concerns that the legislation could lead to cuts to the social safety net.


Ryan is one of a growing number of GOP leaders who have mentioned the need for Congress to cut entitlement spending next year.


Continued


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2. Feds Urged to Clarigy IDEA Rights at Private Schools

By Shaun Heasley, Disability Scoop, December 6, 2017

Parents need to be better informed about the implications of moving their children with disabilities from public to private schools, a new government report concludes.

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The number of voucher and other private school choice programs allowing families to use public funds to pay for private schools has more than quadrupled in the last decade.


Even though more than half of these programs are solely for students with disabilities, families are often left in the dark about how moving to a private placement will alter their child’s rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said.


The investigative arm of Congress examined documents for all 27 school choice programs operating as of January, conducted interviews with officials at six of the largest programs, reviewed websites for hundreds of participating schools and talked with families and other stakeholders.


GAO found that 83 percent of students with disabilities participating in a private school choice program were either provided with no information about how their rights under IDEA would be impacted by moving to a private setting or they were given information that contained inaccuracies.


And the information is meaningful, investigators noted. Under IDEA, students with disabilities are entitled to a free appropriate public education, but that protection and others go out the window when students enroll at private schools even if it’s paid for through school choice programs.


Continued


Related content available here


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STATE NEWS

3. PENNSYLVANIA - Falling Off The Cliff - As children with disabilities age into adulthood and well beyond, their families face a crisis that will impact us all (a four part article)

Note on content:

The article featured below makes some fairly broad statements about "institutions" without acknowledging the quality of care offered by the public Intermediate Care Facilities currently operating in Pennsylvania. VOR state coordinator Susan Jennings, Executive Director Hugo Dwyer, and President Joanne St. Amand have contacted the author in an effort to get a more even treatment and to show the importance of a full continuum of care in meeting the needs of the I/DD population.


The author does make some valid points in this piece, and we feel it deserves the attention of our readers:


By Ronnie Polaneczky, The Philadelphia News, December 2, 2017

Philly 2


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4. TENNESSEE - Audit Finds Problems at Tennessee Department of Intellectual Disabilities
 
By Jordan Buie, The Tennessean, November 29, 2017

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A state audit of the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities has found several areas where it says the department failed to meet its responsibilities and provide important services.


The Tennessee comptroller’s office released the sunset performance audit for the department responsible for administering services for Tennesseans with intellectual and developmental disabilities on Wednesday.


The department listed 14 findings and nine observations of potential concerns since the last audit was conducted in 2013.


Among the top concerns cited was the department's failure in 2016 to transfer critical information to TennCare about Tennesseans on a wait list for services, inadequate contact with individuals with aging caregivers, and improper development of support plans, timely background checks and other bookkeeping issues.


Several of the concerns identified pertained to a growing problem for the department and the state of a shortage of caregivers "largely driven by the demands of performing physically and emotionally challenging work at low pay," according to a news release.

The release cited a 2015 study that ranked Tennessee last among 16 states in average hourly wages for entry-level and experienced direct support professionals.


Continued


To view the DIDD audit report online, go to www.comptroller.tn.gov/sa/.


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5. SOUTH CAROLINA - Audit of Greenville County's Disabilities Agency not "A Pretty Picture," County Councilmen Say


By Tim Smith, The Greenville News, December 2, 2017


635827599342472588-ButchKirvenCounty Council Chairman

Butch Kirven says a critical audit of Thrive Upstate, Greenville County's disabilities agency, doesn't present "a pretty picture."

Another Greenville County councilman, Joe Dill, said the audit left him with many questions. He said he plans to seek a meeting with Thrive board members to get more answers.


"I'm hearing all kinds of mixed things so I've got to talk to some people and find out," Dill said. "Some of the comments in (the audit) were really disturbing."


Thrive's current chairman, Bob Ariail, however, said the report is not so bad because it does not criticize the agency's care of the disabled.

"If we had problems and the problems were systemic, that is in the staff and the senior leadership staff, I would be concerned," said Ariail, former chief prosecutor for Greenville and Pickens counties. "If the audit had uncovered things in our day program, abuse in our residential program, that would be what I call a bad audit."


The 25-page audit covering three years alleged a wealth of problems, including pressuring vendors to make donations, questionable spending and internal conflicts so bad that the agency hired a psychological consultant.

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Thrive Upstate is the county’s largest and oldest provider of services to those with intellectual disabilities and special needs, serving more than 2,200 people annually in Greenville County and neighboring counties.


It receives no funding from Greenville County but instead is funded by the state Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, which contracts with local providers such as Thrive and conducts administrative audits of them. The County Council nominates Thrive's board members, who are appointed by the governor.


Continued


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SHELTERED WORKSHOPS

6. The Uncertain Future of Segregated Workshops
, WXXI AM Public Radio, December 4, 2017


Sheltered workshops, where many people with disabilities go to work, have been around for decades.


But they’re controversial for a few reasons: They’re usually segregated, and most workers earn less than minimum wage because they’re paid based on how many things they produce.

Ruit_Carrie_ArcWorks_004

Sheltered workshops are changing now, though. Some are being phased out, and some are integrating into more traditional businesses — whether people who are working in them like it or not.


Article and Podcast availble here

 
=============================
 
7. WISCONSIN - Workshop for Disabled Closing Down - County to Close WCI

By Robert Cloud, Waupaca County News, December 6, 2017

Waupaca County Industries (WCI), a facility in Manawa that has provided a sheltered workplace for disabled adults since 1989, will shut down at the end of December.

CO-wci-170504

Chuck Price is director of the Waupaca County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), which operates WCI. He spoke to the county board at a special meeting Monday, Dec. 4.


Price said the state has shifted the responsibility for long-term care of disabled adults from the county DHHS to private organizations.


The county’s current role is as a service provider for Community Care Inc., a private, nonprofit that has been responsible for area long-term care since 2010.


Community Care “has full responsibility for the safety, care and service of the members being served at WCI,” Price said.


He noted Community Care was unwilling to pay higher rates to cover costs for WCI’s services. So earlier this year, when Community Care sent out its request for proposed services, the county DHHS did not reply.


=============================


8. MISSOURI - Sheltered Workshop in Dexter, MO Loses Funding

 

By Kelsey Anderson, KFVS 12, December 6, 2017


The Sheltered Workshop in Dexter, Missouri has been running on taxpayer money for more than 30 years.

Sheltered Workshop

The Workshop employs adults with physical and mental disabilities, to do recycling and packaging jobs.


Supervisor, Devin Miller said he's not sure how they will continue business without the S-B 40 money, but they will do whatever they can to make sure their employees keep their jobs.


"We're gonna have to keep moving regardless, we are just staying busy with what we have and all we can do is just hope that we can get this resolved and get this taken care of the way it needs to be because we need these funds to keep operating," said Miller.


We reached out to Dana McClure, director of the board in Stoddard County.


She said they decided not to renew the workshops contract because they were dissatisfied with the services they were providing.


This shelter isn't the first to go through this, other Missouri shelters have taken their cases to court and won.


Article available here


=============================

CALENDAR EVENTS:


                     VOR Logo No By Line

SAVE THE DATE!

Capitol-for-Forum-crop 3
VOR'S
ANNUAL MEETING & LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVE
 
will be held at the

HYATT REGENCY
CAPITOL HILL
in
WASHINGTON, D.C.

JUNE 8 - 13, 2018
VOR Logo No By Line
=============================


TENNESSEE - Public Meeting - Human Rights Review Process - November 27, 2017 - December 27, 2017

The Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (Department) is giving notice through the Tennessee Administrative Register of the following Public Meeting:


The Department will be publishing the Human Rights Review Process policy, # 80.6.1. The purpose of this policy is to clarify the human rights review process requirements for people enrolled in one of the State’s 1915(c) Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers or state-funded services. This policy supersedes, in its entirety, Provider Manual Chapter 2, Section 2.9 effective 3/15/14.


This public meeting will take place on Monday, November 27, 2017, 1:00-4:30 P.M. (CST) at One Cannon Way Drive, Clover Bottom Development Center Campus 275 Stewart’s Ferry Pike, Nashville, Tennessee 37217.  Interested persons may provide written and/or oral comments to the changes made to the Policy.

Contact Solita.Morris@tn.gov



=============================

INDIANA - Task Force to Examine Support Needs for Hoosiers with Disabilities

A state plan for the support needs of Hoosiers with intellectual and developmental disabilities will get an update soon for the first time in 20 years. A new state task force aimed at helping the estimated 100,000 Indiana residents has scheduled meetings across the state.


The link to the livestream can be found here.

Dates, times and location for each meeting of the task force are as follows:

  • Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, 11:30 a.m.--3:30 p.m. ET, Bosma Enterprises, Indianapolis
  • Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, 11 a.m.--3 p.m. ET, Bloomington
  • Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, 10 a.m.--2 p.m. CT, Boonville
  • Wednesday, April 18, 2017, 11 a.m.--3 p.m. CT, Lafayette
  • Wednesday, June 27, 2018, 10 a.m.--2 p.m. CT, Valparaiso
  • Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, 11 a.m.--3 p.m. ET, New Albany
  • Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, 11 a.m.--3 p.m. ET, Columbia City

All meetings are open to the public and will be streamed live. Public comment will occur prior to the start of each meeting to provide input regarding services and supports for people with disabilities. Requests for accommodations for meetings of the task force should be made by contacting Kristina Blankenship at Kristina.Blankenship@fssa.in.gov at least 48 hours in advance of the task force meeting.

For more information, visit:

www.in.gov/fssa/ddrs/5455.htm.



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If you have a conference or group event that you would like posted here, please write to info@vor.com with a description
of your event.


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MEMBERSHIP MATTERS


There is Strength in Numbers. 
Keep VOR Strong!
 
The size of our membership base makes a noticeable difference to legislators, grant foundations, private donors - and to the advocacy organizations that share or oppose our views.

YOUR MEMBERSHIP COUNTS!


TO BECOME A MEMBER OF VOR

or to

RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP

Please click here:

Join-Renew Blue


=============================

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Volunteers Needed! Volunteers are needed for several committees and specific tasks. VOR relies on its members to perform many of its key responsibilities. Please join us, and help us to continue our mission.


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Please remember to "like" VOR on Facebook, and to follow us on Twitter. Every time you share our posts or re-tweet our tweets, you are helping VOR to reach a wider audience.

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VOR   836 S. Arlington Heights Rd. #351   Elk Grove Village, IL   60007 

Email: info@vor.net           Call toll free: 877-399-4867

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836 S. Arlington Heights Rd.
#351
Elk Grove Village, Illinois 60007
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