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Holiday Greetings - 

Our work with and for crime victims with developmental disabilities is defined, ultimately, by our capacity to care.

On behalf of the Board and staff of The Arc of Aurora, I wish you happy, warm, holidays that remind you of humanity's capacity to care and of how that care starts, individual to individual.

Joy and peace.

Jean Solis
Editor and Director of Marketing and Development
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(Tools to help us in our work to address crime victimization of people with I/DD in our communities)

Note to readers: One must wonder whether the conclusions of this report might not be applicable to adults with IDD who are not elders, also...
The extent of elder abuse by guardians nationally is unknown, due to limited data on key factors related to elder abuse by a guardian, such as the numbers of guardians serving older adults, older adults in guardianships, and cases of elder abuse by a guardian... Officials from selected courts and representatives from organizations that GAO spoke to described their observations about elder abuse by a guardian, including that one of the most common types appeared to be financial exploitation. Read the report here, or the summary of the report on the GOA's website here.

T he Bureau of Justice Statistics has updated its data on the rate of crime victimization of people with disabilities. In 2014, the rate of violent victimization
against persons with disabilities (31.7 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older) was 2.5 times higher than the age-adjusted rate for persons without disabilities (12.5 per 1,000). Every year between 2009 and 2014, the rate of violent victimization against persons with disabilities was at least twice that for persons without disabilities. After an increase in the rate of violent victimization for both persons with and without disabilities between 2011 and 2012, the rate remained steady through 2014. Read the full report
here and the summary here.

E nding Violence Against Women International has published its newest training bulletin, Understanding the Neurobiology of Trauma and Implications for
Interviewing.  The 38-page document provides basic information about the brain and explores the impact of trauma on behavior and memory. It then highlights the implications for law enforcement interviews conducted with victims of sexual assault and other traumatic crimes. Click
here to read/download the report.
Celebrating a Champion for Justice
(Recognizing and sharing information about a champion for justice for people with I/DD.  There are many of us out there - we hope sharing this information will help us network and further improve services to victims with I/DD.)

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Disabled Persons Protection Commission

The mission of the Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DPPC) is to protect adults with disabilities from the abusive acts or omissions of their caregivers through investigation oversight, public awareness and prevention.  The DPPC was created through legislation (M.G.L. c.19C) in 1987 as an independent state agency responsible for the investigation and remediation of instances of abuse committed against persons with disabilities in the Commonwealth.  As an independent state agency, DPPC, through its three Commissioners, is required to report directly to the Governor and the Legislature. The Executive Director, who reports directly to the Commissioners, is charged with the responsibility of the daily operations of DPPC and supervision of its staff.

That Executive Director, Nancy Alterio, and colleagues have, for many years, supported The Arc of Aurora's work impacting the victimization of people with developmental disabilities.  Nancy and her DPPC partners Sgt. Timothy X. Grant and Attorney Elizabeth Dunphy Farris have provided trainings to professionals in Colorado several times as The Arc of Aurora's guests.  They continue to share materials and expertise with us.  So for their unwavering commitment to their Massachusetts neighbors with disabilities AND their continued and ongoing support of The Arc of Aurora, we recognize the Massachusetts Disabled Persons Protection Commission under the director of Nancy Alterio as a Champion of Justice!

(If you would like to nominate someone as a Champion for Justice, contact Jean at jsolis@thearcofaurora.org.) 
(Activities for engagement to help improve our work to address crime victimization of people with I/DD in our communities)

(None this issue - please send yours to Jsolis@thearcofaurora.org for the next issue!)
(Abuse of people with I/DD occurs throughout the country, including in our own communities...)

A caregiver at a group home for people with disabilities in South Austin has been accused of punching a resident under his care several times after he threw his phone over a fence...  TEXAS - December 16, 2016 -- Statesman

Eighteen disabled residents of the Pueblo Regional Center, and their family members, have filed a lawsuit in Pueblo District Court challenging the unconstitutionality of mass strip searches conducted by Colorado Department of Human Services in March 2015. COLORADO - December 14, 2016 - The Pueblo Chieftain

Seven special-needs teenagers living near Houston were repeatedly locked away in a closet by their adopted mother and restricted to a lone room strewn with human waste, county and state officials said. TEXAS - December 7, 2016 - CNN

Two former Knoxville caregivers were indicted on neglect charges involving a disabled man, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the TBI were contacted by Adult Protective Services and the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities with allegations of neglect involving a 68-year old man. TENNESSEE - December 6, 2016 - WVLT-TV

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to examine whether the nation's busiest state for capital punishment is trying to put to death a convicted killer who is intellectually disabled, which would make him ineligible for execution under the court's current guidance. TEXAS - November 27, 2016 - The Associated Press

The house had no address; the dead man had no name.  Illinois officials blacked out those details from their investigative report. Nobody else was supposed to learn the man's identity or the location of the state-funded facility where his body was found.  The investigation was closed as it began, with no public disclosure, and the report was filed away, one of thousands that portray a hidden world of misery and harm.  No one would know that Thomas Powers died at 3300 Essington Road in unincorporated Joliet, in a group home managed for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.  Or that his caregivers forced a 50-year-old man with the intellect of a small child to sleep on a soiled mattress on the floor in a room used for storage.  Or that the front door bore a building inspection sticker that warned, "Not approved for occupancy..."  ILLINOIS - November 21, 2016 --- The Chicago Tribune
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