Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Report Examines NY's Justice Center

NEW YORK -- The Justice Center for the Protection of People With Special Needs was created in 2013 to ensure the health and safety of New Yorkers with disabilities. But according to an Associated Press report, of more than 25,000 claims of abuse and neglect the center has received since the start of 2014, just 169 have led to criminal charges.
Experts say cases such as these can be hard to prove, in part because they often rely on victims with disabilities who are viewed as poor witnesses. Susan Dooha, executive director of the Center for Independence of the Disabled New York, said a shift in this thinking could lead to more prosecutions. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Cuomo Vetoes Reprieve for Center

Interesting developments and understand that some individuals and families are familiar only with developmental centers, it's the only environment they know. Proud that we are partnering with NYS and providing a home (very soon) for individuals from the Brooklyn Developmental Center. Check out the bill itself, interesting read.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed bipartisan legislation this past weekend that would have given a reprieve to the embattled Broome Developmental Center.
The bill would have required the state to keep its residences for people with severe developmental disabilities open if group homes and other facilities can’t provide the services requested by 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Business Owners Overcome Sterotypes

This is just so inspiring. Watch the video.
NEW YORK (AP) — Soon after customers arrive at Mozzeria for the first time, they notice something's different about the restaurant: Virtually every staffer is deaf.
Owners Russ and Melody Stein also are deaf, and have run their San Francisco restaurant since 2011. They've managed to have a thriving business by overcoming the obstacles deaf people often face when they become business owners, including stereotypes about what deaf people are capable of doing.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Providers Fear Iowa Cuts

DES MOINES — The state government's plan to privatize Medicaid services includes a new payment system that organizations helping people with physical, mental or developmental disabilities say cuts their reimbursements enough that it could force smaller organizations to close and leave people they serve scrambling to find needed services.

The providers include mental health centers and organizations that serve the most vulnerable adults and children in Iowa who rely on Medicaid for treatment, assisted living, behavioral programming and improving day-to-day living skills. These services often are used by people with brain injuries or those born with physical or intellectual disabilities.

NYS Families Seek More Residences

Change is indeed difficult and the uncertainty of what to expect in our field is making it more difficult for organizations, individuals and families alike. We know that change is not optional. 
Ilion resident Kyle Gay, 25, is ready to spread his wings and leave home.
His mother, Robin, wants him to live his dreams.
“I am capable to live on my own and do own my own stuff, like I could go grocery shopping,” said Kyle, who has Down syndrome.
But state policy is getting in their way. Kyle wants to move into a house with people with developmental disabilities. He wants to learn to be more independent. But local advocates say that right now, group homes are so full that only people in emergency situations get in.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

CDC: Rise in Autism Prevalence

The number of autism cases in the United States appeared to jump dramatically in 2014 according to new estimates released Friday, but researchers said that changes in the format of the questionnaire likely affected the numbers.
The report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Center for Health Statistics shows that the prevalence of autism in children ages 3 to 17 went up nearly 80 percent from 2011-2013 to 2014. Instead of 1 in 68 children having autism – a number that has alarmed public health officials in recent years and strained state and school system resources — researchers now estimate that the prevalence is now 1 in 45.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Trapped and Seeking Independence

If you haven't had a chance to read any of the Minnesota Star Tribune's A Matter of Dignity 5-part series, you should check it out. It's interactive and extremely well done. Reinforces why Personal Outcome Measures and Person-Centered Thinking is so critical for our field. This was part 1.

In a field on the outskirts of town, a man with Down syndrome is spending another day picking up garbage.
He wears faded pants, heavy gloves, a bright yellow vest and a name tag that says “Scott Rhude.”
His job is futile. Prairie winds blow debris from a landfill nearby faster than he and his co-workers can collect it. In the gray sky overhead, a turkey vulture circles in wide loops.
Rhude, 33, earns $2 an hour. He longs for more rewarding work — maybe at Best Buy, he says, or a library. But that would require personalized training, a job counselor and other services that aren’t available.
“He is stuck, stuck, stuck,” said his mother, Mary Rhude. “Every day that he works at the landfill is a day that he goes backward.”
Rhude is one of thousands of Minnesotans with disabilities who are employed by facilities known as sheltered workshops. They stuff envelopes, package candy or scrub toilets for just scraps of pay, with little hope of building better, more dignified lives.
Many states, inspired by a new civil rights movement to integrate the disabled into mainstream life, are shuttering places like this. Not Minnesota. It still subsidizes nearly 300 sheltered workshops and is now among the most segregated states in the nation for working people with intellectual disabilities.