Among those of us who care deeply for and about people with developmental disabilities, I hope to hear emerge a new voice, ours, rising together for the benefit of all, harmonizing with reason, respect and hope, and transcending divisions, giving birth to a new era of creative cooperation.

Toward this potential, DD EXCHANGE is for conversation, civil sounding off, sharing of stories, experience, information, resources, and inspiration, giving and receiving support, and creative problem solving.

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Monday, August 19, 2019


$45 Million Abuse Law Suit: Oregon Group Home
     State sponsored abuse. Even though the article is about allegation, I find the reporting believable. Several years ago, I interviewed several parents and guardians of people who had been forced out of their state-run institution in Oregon when it was arbitrarily closed to supposedly improve the lives of it's residents who were assigned to smaller venues. Their reports were both sad and consistent with some of the allegations in this article. 
      While it's true that not everyone with DD belongs in a large facility, it's also true that the large, intermediate care facilities around the country are held to higher federal standards than the smaller, privatized homes.   In Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs) and their DD specialized Nursing Facility counterparts, there is  serious  federal and state oversight with strict regulations, which inspire frequent drop-in oversight within each. 
     How can we cause the states to create preventive oversight of group homes and supported living arrangements in privatized homes, including mandatory unannounced visits?  Such oversight is sorely needed to  protect non-verbal people with intellectual developmental disabilities and others who may be verbal, but who are otherwise too disabled to advocate effectively for themselves?
      In my last post, I referred to my perception that people needing care in residential habilitation centers were being discriminated against.  In regards to oversight, I see the reverse in play.  People who deserve protection, but who happen to live in the community-at-large, whether by choice or by bureaucratic assignment, are being discriminated against by virtue of a comparative lack of preventative oversight  which could help dissuade abuse and/or neglect.  This is a drum I have beaten for many years.  A few years ago, ActionDD whoch advocates in Washington State for all people with DD, no matter where they live, began lobbying for unannounced visits.  We need to create a national clammor for them. 
      I  hope this young man's abuse can be the needed wake-up call that will inspire real revision of  the system in order to prevent neglect and abuse rather than simply wait for a  complaint or report and then investigate it.  It takes a village! And friends, WE ARE THAT VILLAGE.

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