Click to view this email in a browser


logo vertical 2

 

 Speaking out for people with
intellectual & developmental disabilities





 VOR

836 S. Arlington Hts Rd.  #351

Elk Grove Village, IL  60007








  web icon   www.vor.net


    facebook-icon 2       /VOR



   twitter_logo   @VOR_NET



    YouTube 3    VOR4Choice



    envelope icon     info@vor.net

 











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.
















SAVE THE DATE!

VOR'S
ANNUAL MEETING & LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVE

Capitol-for-Forum-crop 3

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 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






















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.




















PRESS CONTACTS NEEDED!

presse-2


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.



November 17, 2017

VOR Weekly News Update
News and views for VOR Advocates

horn-of-plenty

grey_box_top.gif

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

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

VOR and YOU

Happy Thanksgiving!

VOR wishes your family a very Happy Thanksgiving

Due to the Holiday, there will be no

Weekly Newsletter next Friday.

We will be back with another issue on

December 1st.


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


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. Trump Taps New Special Education Chief

By Shaun Heasley, Disability Scoop, November 16, 2017


The nation may soon be getting a new top special education official.

ds170313_idea-668x418

President Donald Trump said this week that he will nominate Johnny Collett to be assistant secretary of education for special education and rehabilitative services at the U.S. Department of Education.


This is Trump’s first effort since taking office earlier this year to fill the post which is tasked with overseeing the federal government’s implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and other laws.


Collett has most recently served as director of special education outcomes at the Council of Chief State School Officers. He previously was the special education director for the Kentucky Department of Education and has worked as a high school special education teacher.

john_collet_portrait

“Johnny recognizes we must set high expectations and provide the necessary supports for each and every child to create a more equitable education system,” said Chris Minnich executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers. “He has experience at the national, state and local level that will be a strong asset to the U.S. Department of Education.”


Trump’s secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, has faced significant pushback on special education issues since being nominated for the post. At her confirmation hearing in January, DeVos admitted that she “may have confused it” when speaking about the IDEA.


Continued


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


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

2. ISRAEL - Israeli Teens' 3-D Printed Kit Motorizes Plain Wheelchair

By


A team of about 30 teenage robotics enthusiasts in Ra’anana recently unveiled a 3D-printed kit that transforms a standard $500 wheelchair into the equivalent of a $2,500 electronic wheelchair with enhanced maneuverability and powerful braking.


A team of about 30 teenage robotics enthusiasts in Ra’anana recently unveiled a 3D-printed kit that transforms a standard $500 wheelchair into the equivalent of a $2,500 electronic wheelchair with enhanced maneuverability and powerful braking.


The add-on doesn’t interfere with the chair’s folding mechanism and is easily removed, so it can be attached to a rented wheelchair that must be returned in its original condition.


The Electric Wheelchair Kit was devised by “Team 1577 Steampunk” from Aviv High School as part of its participation in the regional round of the global FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). But the kids are not keeping it to themselves.


“Our idea was to release it on an open-source platform to nearly 7,000 FRC teams in the world who can become a hub for making these kits,” team member Roee Bar-Yadin tells ISRAEL21c.


The design, 3D printable programs and software are available for free online“ so anyone can build it from scratch” using tools, programs and printers commonly available to FRC teams everywhere, adds teammate Yuval Dascalu.


Continued


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

STATE NEWS

3. TEXAS - Special Education Enrollment Surges in Texas

By Alejandra Matos, Houston Chronicle, November 14, 2017

Texas enrolled its largest number of students in special education programs last school year, the same year the state’s education department officially got rid of an arbitrary cap it put in place more than a decade ago.

In the 2016-17 school year, 477,281 students received special education services, an increase of about 14,000 students compared to the previous school year. That’s about 8.9 percent of Texas students receiving special education resources, according to the latest data from the state’s Public Education Information Management System.


The increase in enrollment, while only a fraction of a percent, is noteworthy given a policy the Texas Education Agency quietly enacted in 2004 that directed school districts to limit special education services to no more than 8.5 percent of students.


A 2016 Houston Chronicle investigation found that tens of thousands of students with disabilities were denied access to services because of the de-facto cap. TEA eliminated the policy in November, two months after the Houston Chronicle revealed the existence of what officials described as the 8.5 percent “benchmark.”


A spokeswoman for the Texas Education Agency said districts are obligated to identify and provide services to all students who require special education services. “All Texas students who are entitled to special education services at school should have access to the services they need,” said Lauren Callahan, the spokeswoman.


The agency has previously denied that it kept students with disabilities out of special education programs, saying the benchmark was not a cap or a target but an “indicator” of performance by school districts.


In 2016, Texas served the lowest percentage of special education students of any state in the country. As the state was setting the 8.5 percent target, about 13 percent of students nationally were receiving special education services.


Continued


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

4. INDIANA - Task Force For Assessment of Services & Supports For People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to  Hold First Meeting

WBIW Radio, November 14, 2017

The first meeting of the Task Force for Assessment of Services & Supports for People with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities will be held Monday, Nov. 20, at Bosma Enterprises, 6270 Corporate Drive in Indianapolis. This will be the first of several meetings of the task force.

The task force was established by House Enrolled Act 1102 in the 2017 session of the Indiana General Assembly and will be chaired by Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch. The task force members were named by Governor Eric J. Holcomb in October, and will prepare a complete plan for implementation of community-based services provided to people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.


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.



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

5. SOUTH CAROLINA - DDSN Commission Picks Pat Maley to be Interim Agency Director

By Tim Smith, The Greenville News, November 16, 2017

Former State Inspector General Pat Maley will soon become the interim executive director of the state's disabilities agency.

SC-DDSN

The selection occurred Thursday at the monthly meeting of the state Department of Disabilities and Special Needs Commission after advocates pleaded with board members to look outside the agency and pick a change agent.

Maley, who has worked for DDSN for about nine months, urged everyone to work together as one team and asked that any harsh rhetoric "die down."


"There's a lot of commonality between the provider community and the employees at DDSN," he said. "But we've got to keep our eye on the ball, the issues, the legitimate questions, the legitimate things that we need to do better."


The 58-year-old former FBI agent, who was hired to be program manager in February five months after delivering a report to the board about DDSN's biggest private, for-profit residential provider, said he agreed with advocates that the agency is at a "crossroads."

Maley will succeed outgoing Executive Director Beverly Buscemi, who will leave the agency Dec. 8.


Buscemi, who was hired almost exactly eight years ago, received a standing ovation Thursday at her last regular commission meeting as the agency's leader. "It's been an honor," she said.


Maley will not be a candidate for the permanent director's job, according to Commission Chairman Eva Ravenel. "He's really qualified to run an agency," she said. "He doesn't know our agency as well. He's been here nine months so he knows a little bit of it. I'm just happy we have an interim director. I think he's going to be wonderful."


Maley will inherit an agency with about 1,700 employees and a $748 million annual budget, most of it federal money, and a host of issues. Both legislative chambers are examining the agency in their oversight roles.


Continued



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


6. SOUTH CAROLINA - At Hearing, More Support Voiced For Making DDSN Part of Governor's Cabinet

By Tim Smith, The Greenville News, November 14, 2017


The seven-member board governing the state's disabilities agency lacks a coherent vision and the agency the board oversees does not evaluate the providers objectively who care for some of the state's most vulnerable residents, a legislative report has concluded.


The oversight report, presented Tuesday to members of the Senate Medical Affairs Committee, recommends the state Department of Disabilities and Special Needs abandon the system it has used for more than a decade to pay county disabilities agencies and other providers and that lawmakers consider  placing the agency  in the Governor's cabinet.


In fact, Philip Willis, the author of the 33-page report, told Senators that the cabinet idea is viewed more favorably in the DDSN community than placing the agency in the state's Medicaid agency, the Department of Health and Human Services.


"The majority of providers are not uncomfortable with being a cabinet agency," he said.


The report comes after a year of stories in The Greenville News about that examined problems in the agency, including a waiting list for services totaling almost 8,000, rising rates of critical incidents and allegations of abuse, neglect and exploitation and a payment system blamed for one county facility's recent decision to stop operating some of its facilities.

SC-DDSN

DDSN has worked to make improvements in the past year, including a study of how to overhaul its payment system, asking for increased pay for direct-care workers, developing an online scorecard of provider reviews, and creating a penalty system for providers with repeat internal audit findings.


Continued


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


7. NEBRASKA - State Seeing More Mental Health Needs, Less Money to Address Them

By Tyler Ellyson, The Columbus Telegraph, November 13, 2017

The state of Nebraska made the decision more than a decade ago to move away from institutional care for mental and behavioral health services in favor of local programs.

5a068c43e78e9

The plan was to close state-run regional centers and shift that money to community-based services addressing the same needs.


However, the second part of that equation has failed to materialize in many parts of the state.

“We were able to save money by closing the regional centers and we didn’t make the necessary commitment on the other end,” said Sen. Paul Schumacher.


That has led to a “real deficiency” in mental health services and workers in Nebraska, the Columbus senator said, particularly in rural areas where it’s hard to recruit and retain trained professionals.


“There’s a real lack of facilities in outstate Nebraska,” Schumacher said.


And that’s created some serious problems.


Continued



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

BLOG REPORTS

8. MASSACHUSETTS - It's Time for the Legislature to Investigate the Privatized System

By Dave Kassel, The COFAR Blog, November 13, 2017

Although seven employees of a corporate provider have been found to be at fault in a case in which a developmentally disabled client nearly died in a group home after aspirating on a piece of cake, we hope the Baker administration, the Legislature, and the media will not treat this as an isolated case.


We understand that the Department of Developmental Services has issued an “action plan” in response to this incident, and the Legislature’s Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities Committee is reviewing documents regarding the matter.


The Essex County District Attorney has opened an investigation that could result in the lodging of criminal charges against one or more of the employees of the Beverly-based provider, Bass River, Inc.


Both The Boston Globe and The Salem News have reported (here and here) on the DDS investigation of the case, which found that inadequate care by the staff of the group home caused the 29-year-old man, Yianni Baglaneas, to contract severe pneumonia nearly a week after he reportedly aspirated on the piece of birthday cake on April 9.


The DDS report also alleged that a high-level Bass River employee attempted to obstruct the investigation by instructing group home staff not to cooperate with the investigation and by removing records from the residence.


On April 15, Yianni was admitted to Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester in critical condition, six days after aspirating on the cake, and then spent 11 days on a ventilator and a week in the Intensive Care Unit at Mass. General Hospital.


Despite the relatively quick response to the DDS report by the legislative committee and others, what we haven’t yet seen is evidence that those in administrative and other positions of authority understand or are concerned that Yianni’s case is a symptom of a larger problem. He is the victim of a dysfunctional system overseen and managed by the DDS that is rife with abuse and neglect and a disregard for the rights of developmentally disabled individuals and their families. It is also a system that has been subject to extensive and ongoing privatization.


Continued


CALENDAR EVENTS:


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



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


4. INDIANA - Task Force For Assessment of Services & Supports For People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to  Hold First Meeting

WBIW Radio, November 14, 2017

The first meeting of the Task Force for Assessment of Services & Supports for People with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities will be held Monday, Nov. 20, at Bosma Enterprises, 6270 Corporate Drive in Indianapolis. This will be the first of several meetings of the task force.

The task force was established by House Enrolled Act 1102 in the 2017 session of the Indiana General Assembly and will be chaired by Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch. The task force members were named by Governor Eric J. Holcomb in October, and will prepare a complete plan for implementation of community-based services provided to people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.


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.




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


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
=============================
 
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.


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


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


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

volunteer_hands

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.


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

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.

                                facebook-icon                twitter_logo
 qrcode

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

grey_box_bottom.gif

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

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

     DONATE TO VOR                MAKE A DIFFERENCE




You may opt out of VOR's emails, but if you click Unsubscribe you will be removed from all of our mailings. If you would like to receive fewer emails, write us at info@vor.net.Unsubscribe" Unsubscribe

Click here to forward this email to a friend

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

Read the VerticalResponse marketing policy.

Non-Profits Email Free with VerticalResponse!