March 12, 2021
VOR Weekly News Update
VOR is a national non-profit organization that advocates for
high quality care and human rights for all 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's 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting
Online Legislative Initiative
VOR's Legislative Initiative Is Online This Year

Legislative Briefing - Sunday, May 16 - 4:00 pm, Eastern
Virtual Hill Visits - May 17 - 20

Details & Registration to be Announced Soon
VOR's Virtual Annual Meeting

Sunday, June 6, 2021 on Zoom

Details to be Announced Soon
March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Contact your elected officials and tell them about our loved ones with I/DD.
Arrange for them to visit our facilities when they reopen to outside visits.

Bring awareness to those with the power to change lives for the better.

Our friends at the American Health Care Association have provided a link to help you find your elected officials.
and fill in your zip code and address.
National News:
Note: VOR has advocated for the American Rescue Plan Act to include an FMAP increase for all people with I/DD and their caregivers, not only those within the Home- and Community- Based Services (HCBS) sector. The House version of the bill called for a 7.35% FMAP increase, but the Senate raised that figure to 10%.

$1.9T Stimulus Bill Now Includes 10% Payment Boost for Home- and Community-Based Services
By Andrew Donlan, Home Health Care News, March 8, 2021

The $1.9 trillion stimulus package took a critical step on Saturday. It passed in the Senate, which then sent it back to the House of Representatives for final deliberation before ultimately landing on President Joe Biden’s desk.

From a home-based care perspective, one of the most noteworthy elements of the Senate passage was that the home- and community-based services (HCBS) Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage (FMAP) payment boost was even higher than expected. Instead of a 7.35% hike to HCBS funding, the stimulus bill now includes a 10% increase.

The 10% FMAP increase means an additional $12.67 billion in funding for HCBS from April 1 of 2021 to March 31 of next year.

Biden Signs Stimulus Bill Sending Funds To Disability Community
By Michelle Diament, Disability Scoop, March 12, 2021
President Joe Biden signed a massive pandemic relief package sending billions to special education and home- and community-based services and providing stimulus payments for many with disabilities who haven’t previously qualified.

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan signed Thursday provides the first major investment since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic a year ago in the hard-hit disability services system.

The legislation includes $12.67 billion for Medicaid home- and community-based services over the next year. The funding will go to states in the form of a 10% rise in the federal government’s share of spending on the program starting in April and extending through March 2022.
States are expected to have significant discretion in how the extra dollars are used, advocates say. The funds could go toward helping people with disabilities come off of waiting lists for services, increasing pay for direct support professionals or helping programs reopen safely, among other options.

After Old Age, Intellectual Disability is Greatest Risk Factor for Death from COVID-19
Thomas Jefferson University via American Association for the Advancement of Science, March 5, 2021

Intellectual disability puts individuals at higher risk of dying earlier in life than the general population, for a variety of medical and institutional reasons. A new study from Jefferson Health examined how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected this group, which makes up 1-3% of the US population. The study, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) Catalyst, found that intellectual disability was second only to older age as a risk factor for dying from COVID-19. "The chances of dying from COVID-19 are higher for those with intellectual disability than they are for people with congestive heart failure, kidney disease or lung disease," says lead author Jonathan Gleason, MD, the James D. and Mary Jo Danella Chief Quality Officer for Jefferson Health. "That is a profound realization that we have not, as a healthcare community, fully appreciated until now."

The authors examined 64 million patient records from 547 healthcare organizations between January 2019 to November 2020 to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients with intellectual disabilities. They identified variables such as COVID-19, intellectual disability or other health conditions, as well as demographic factors such as age.

The results showed that those with intellectual disabilities were 2.5 times more likely to contract COVID-19, were about 2.7 times more likely to be admitted to the hospital and 5.9 times more likely to die from the infection than the general population.

"Our failure to protect these deeply vulnerable individuals is heart-breaking," says co-author Wendy Ross, MD, a developmental and behavioral pediatrician and director for the Center for Autism and Neurodiversity at Jefferson Health. "I believe that if we can design a system that is safe and accessible for people with intellectual disabilities, it will benefit all of us."

US Government Accountability Report on Medicaid Long-Term Services and Supports: Access and Quality Problems in Managed Care Demand Improved Oversight
GAO-21-49 Published: Nov 16, 2020. Publicly Released: Dec 16, 2020.

Medicaid spends about a third of its budget on long-term services and supports for adults and children with disabilities and chronic conditions. Over half of states contract with managed care organizations to provide those services.

We examined 6 states, each of which reported finding significant problems with the quality of care provided through these contracts. In some cases, the problems led to patient injury or neglect. This suggests that problems may be widespread, raising concerns given gaps we found in monitoring and oversight.

At the state and federal levels, GAO found weaknesses in the oversight of Medicaid managed long-term services and supports (MLTSS), which assist individuals with basic needs like bathing or eating.

Through various monitoring approaches, six selected states identified significant problems in their MLTSS programs with managed care organization (MCO) performance of care management, which includes assessing beneficiary needs, authorizing services, and monitoring service provision to ensure quality and access to care. State efforts may not be identifying all care management problems due to limitations in the information they use to monitor MCOs, allowing some performance problems to continue over multiple years.
GAO found that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) oversight of state implementation of its 2016 requirements, and of access and quality in MLTSS more broadly, was limited. This hinders the agency's ability to hold states and MCOs accountable for quality and access problems beneficiaries may face.
  • Oversight did not detect quality and access problems. GAO identified cases where CMS learned about problems not through its regular oversight, but instead from beneficiary complaints, media reports, or GAO. CMS officials said that states had not reported these problems to the agency.
  • Lack of national oversight strategy and assessment of problems in MLTSS. Weaknesses in oversight reflect a broader area of concern—namely, that CMS lacks a strategy for oversight. CMS also has not assessed the nature and extent of access and quality problems across states. Without a strategy and more robust information, CMS risks being unable to identify and help address problems facing beneficiaries. As of July 2020, CMS had convened a new workgroup focused on MLTSS oversight, though the goals and time frames for its work were unclear.

Push Is On for States to Ban Organ Transplant Discrimination
By Sara Reardon, Kaiser Health News, March 8, 2021
Griffin Dalrymple is an energetic 7-year-old who loves going to school in Eureka, Montana. But two years ago, the boy described by his mother, Jayci, as a “ball of fire” was suddenly knocked back by severe bacterial pneumonia that hospitalized him for two weeks.

As her son lay in the intensive care unit with a tube in his tiny lungs, Jayci began imagining worst-case scenarios. She worried that if Griffin ended up needing a lung transplant, he might be refused because he has Down syndrome.

“It was terrifying knowing that they could deny him certain lifesaving services,” she said.
Denying organ transplants to people with intellectual and neurodevelopmental disabilities like Down syndrome or autism is common in the United States, even though it is illegal under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

According to one widely cited 2008 study, 44% of organ transplant centers said they would not add a child with some level of neurodevelopmental disability to the organ transplant list. Eighty-five percent might consider the disability as a factor in deciding whether to list the person.

After Griffin recovered, Jayci brought Montana lawmakers’ attention to the issue. Largely as a
result of her campaigning, the state is considering a bill that would ban physicians from denying an organ transplant based solely on a patient’s disability. Last month, the bill — nicknamed “Griffin’s Law” — passed the Montana Senate 50-0.

Although Montana has no transplant centers of its own, advocates hope this bill and others like it will draw attention to the issue and pressure physicians to examine why they are making certain decisions. Andrés Gallegos, chairman of the National Council on Disability, said he hopes such legislation will inspire “a change of heart so people understand that they are discriminating.”

If the bill passes the state House and is signed by the governor, Montana would become the 17th state to ban such discrimination. Seven other states and the federal government have similar bills pending, although some experts doubt such laws will be enforceable enough to eliminate discrimination.

Vocational Centers and 14(c) Wage Certificates:
Missouri: Subminimum Wages Become FB Topic
By Sarah Haas, Daily Journal, March 3, 2021
A thread on a local Facebook forum, regarding sheltered workshops and a reported plan of the Biden administration to do away with the 14(c), subminimum-wage clause of the Fair Labor Standards Act, brought out a rare, social media occurrence — a civil give-and-take with articulate points made by all sides debating the matter.

The federal, 14(c) clause that affects sheltered workshops — including Missouri Community Improvement Industries (MCII) in Farmington — has seen some changes since it was first enacted in 1938 to ensure disabled workers were paid a wage for work, most notably the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. But arguably, none of the previous changes would be as large as if the 14(c) clause was eliminated, which has been said President Joe Biden hopes to do.

MCII employees 44 disabled workers and 13 staff members — of whom five are full-time — fulfilling contracts for such entities as HandiCraft, MoCAP, Proffer’s Produce, and the workshop won a contract to service the rest area in Bloomsdale on Interstate 55. The non-profit has a total operating budget of about $1.15 million which it uses for the facility, transportation, operations, salaries and wages among other expenses.

Ginger Williams, MCII general manager for more than 25 years, said 14(c) comes up almost every time there’s a change in administration, regardless of political party. Ultimately, she said, elimination of 14(c) would result in the elimination of more than 6,000 Missouri jobs, perhaps more than 220,000 jobs on the national level.

”The bottom line is that the disabled community deserves the right for choice. While many disabled adults choose sheltered employment, some choose to move into supported or competitive employment,” she commented on Facebook. “Often times the sheltered workshop is the tool to help someone be successful in other types of employment. Having the ability to make that choice is very important.”

She said, although their work often involves comparatively simple tasks — sorting, packaging, light assembly — it might mean three or four disabled employees taking the same time to produce what a single able-bodied employee could do, the increased wages pricing sheltered workshops out of the market, contractually speaking.

“There’s no way we’d be able to compete on price,” she said. “And the companies we do business with are wonderful, they express that they like using our services and feel like they’re doing a good thing, but I know they do have a bottom line they have to look at, too.”

Williams said in the last 20 years, workshops have experienced increased oversight and regulation on federal and state levels. She said workshops are now required to periodically review employees’ skills and productivity to ensure their wages are commensurate with their ability. Nationally, workshops receive 14(c) certification from the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor. Statewide, workshops are accountable to a division of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

“If a sheltered workshop employee makes the choice to leave their job to go into another means of employment, the workshop helps them with the transition. But, all too often, that leaves them with only working 1 or 2 days a week for 3 or 4 hours a day, all while struggling to find transportation to and from work,” she commented on Facebook. “Most people would not view that as a successful placement. The reality is, it’s common to have a “bad apple” in every group, but most sheltered workshops support all of their employees, including those who wish to move on.

"Those same workshops also open their arms and doors to those who decide they no longer like that choice and would like to return to their old job. It’s all about choice.”
Joe Easter, now in his 60s with a disabled daughter nearing 40, said MCII has been her preferred employment for decades. He recalled, when he worked for the now-closed Mineral Area Regional Medical Center, he told his daughter Amy that he might be able to get her a job making more money in the hospital’s cafeteria, if she was interested.

“’Why would I do that?’” he recalled her saying, “’When all my friends work at the sheltered workshop!’ She just couldn’t imagine leaving her friends behind.”

A few years ago, Joe and Amy travelled to Washington D.C. to lobby Missouri’s federal lawmakers regarding 14(c).

“We visited (U.S. Rep.) Jason Smith, who said he had a disabled relative who worked at a sheltered workshop. We talked to a guy from the southwest part of the state who said he realized the importance of workshops, and another guy from St. Louis who also knew what 14(c) meant to the disabled,” Easter said. “It was reassuring.”

Congressman Jason Smith hosted a call with leaders from Missouri Sheltered Workshops this week. During the call, attendees were able to share their concerns with President Biden’s proposal to implement a $15 Washington hourly mandate on small businesses that would have resulted in eliminating a program that allows Missourians with disabilities to find their place in the workforce.

“Sheltered workplaces are more than a job for many of these individuals,” said Rep. Jason Smith. “Sheltered Workshops are a second home and family to many Missourians with disabilities that would not otherwise have the opportunity to join the workforce. I am proud to work to ensure these workplaces will continue providing a welcoming community for so many great people.”

Earlier this year, sheltered workplaces throughout Southern Missouri contacted Congressman Smith’s office after learning that President Biden’s proposal would eliminate Section 14(c), the provision in law that allows sheltered workplaces to exist. Last week, the Senate Parliamentarian ruled that the wage hike does not meet the criteria to be included in a reconciliation package.

However, Washington Democrats now plan to advance their Raise the Wage Act separately, which would eliminate employment opportunities for the disability community who do not wish, are not ready, or are not able to participate the competitive workplace.

Currently, only 35% of disabled individuals are employed in the competitive market.

Congressman Jason Smith
State News:
Oklahoma - One Of A Kind Club Gives Oklahomans With Disabilities Chance To Serve Community
By Brian Miller, News 9, March 3, 2021
True to their name, AKtion Club members are always on the go. 

“Sometimes we’re so busy it makes my head spin. But they never stop," said Jessicia Smith the founder of AKtion Club of Santa Fe Place.
The AKtion Club is Oklahoma’s only service club for adults with disabilities. 

Monday they were cleaning at Fresh Start Community Church in Moore. 

“You can ask any one of them, they’ll tell you their heart is to give back to the community," said Brian Marlett, Fresh Start Community Church lead pastor.

“It’s outgoing, uplifting. I’m paying them back because the Bible says, ‘Do to others as they do unto you’ so I’m doing back what they would do for me," said AKtion Club member Tina Seiler.
Jessicia started the club four years ago, co-sponsored by the Kiwanis clubs of Moore and South OKC. 

This week marks International AKtion Club week, the one time of the year where members of the club are celebrated for their work. 
Most of the 44 members live at Santa Fe Place in Moore, an intermediate care facility. 

They have their hands full with a number of service projects on a weekly basis, helping out their community, all while wiping away stereotypes. 

“Their motto is, ‘where development has no disability.’ There’s a lot of people in the communities that see them as not able to do things. AKtion Club goes out there every day and proves it wrong, and they do it with a smile," Smith said.

As much as these club members give back, they are also receiving something in return. 

“What’s most amazing I think, it teaches the AKtion Club members their value. It teaches them how valuable they can be to other people,” Smith said.

Arkansas - Those with Intellectual Disabilities now Eligible for Vaccine
KATV, March 8, 2021
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Monday that the state has expanded vaccine group 1-B to include those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and government employees; allowing 180,000 more Arkansans to receive the vaccine.

The state has also set up a call center to assist Arkansans in setting up vaccine appointments, the governor said.

Health Secretary Dr. Jose Romero said the state is still on track to vaccinate group 1-B by the end of the month. The Arkansas Health Department has set up a call center made up of 30 people to help people schedule vaccines.
The toll-free number for members of 1-B is 1 (800) 985-6030.

The line will be open seven days a week, Hutchinson said.

Officials said they expanded the group because the demand for the vaccine in Arkansas is too low.

Tennessee Prioritizes COVID-19 Vaccine for those with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
By Anita Wadhwani, Tennessee Lookout, March 6, 2021

There was a "terrible spell" beginning last October, when 22 individuals with disabilities fell ill in group homes or other programs operated by Development Services of Dickson County.

Katie Powers, associate executive director of the nonprofit organization, said she watched helplessly as one in every five individuals aided by her agency got sick with COVID-19, along with 55 staff members. Despite strict precautions including mask-wearing, handwashing and limited outside interactions, the virus still crept into group homes where staff provide 24-7 care and private residences where, typically, aging parents require a few hours a day of support for adult children with disabilities.

Then came a flicker of good news: The day before Christmas Eve, Powers got word that state officials would head to their Dickson offices the next day, providing vaccines to anyone able to make it in. It marked a hopeful turning point for a virus that has hit people with disabilities at disproportionately high rates. Since then, 70 individuals with disabilities and 75 staff have been vaccinated at the agency.
"It's going to open the world back up for us," Powers said. "They've been in their home for months. They're looking at going back to church, to work, seeing friends and family. It's a huge relief after an awful time."

Tennessee was the first state to prioritize vaccinations among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the very first phase of vaccine distributions. On December 21, five days after hospitals began giving out the first vaccines to health care workers, the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, or DIDD, held its first mass vaccination event for people enrolled in state programs.

Minnesota - Caregivers Now Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine
By News Tribune Staff, Duluth News Tribune, March 8, 2021

Eligible paid caregivers include personal care assistants and direct support professionals. This includes those working on waivers and in-home and community-based services. Eligible unpaid caregivers work in similar capacities as personal care assistants, direct support professionals and nurses for persons with complex medical needs and tactile interpreters for people who are deaf-blind.

Eligible caregivers can schedule a vaccine through their primary medical facility or pharmacy. Individuals who do not have a medical provider can register for a vaccination appointment through St. Louis County Public Health either at or by calling the county's COVID vaccine scheduling line at 218-726-2623. Calls are answered weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Texas - Rep. Frank is Advocating for Visitation Rights in Residential Care Facilities
By Eli Kirshbaum , State of Reform, March 9, 2021

Patients in residential facilities have undergone increased isolation this past year, as COVID-19 safety concerns spurred the termination of visitation rights last March. According to Rep. James Frank, this isolation is detrimental to the mental and physical health of these individuals, who often rely on visitors for care and companionship. He is sponsoring both HB 892 and HJR 46 to avoid this issue in the future.

Frank, Chair of the House Human Services Committee, said he has had more constituents approach him about this issue than about any other. According to him, many patients in these facilities have died within the past year, a time during which time they were allowed zero or minimal visitors.

Although visitation restrictions have relaxed since last March, Texas currently only allows visitation in facilities that have had 14 days without exposure to COVID-19. Under HB 892, patients in state-supported living centers and nursing home assisted living facilities would be able to designate at least one essential caregiver and grant them visitation rights. 

These rights would be absolute, barring facilities from preventing them from visiting — something that occurs frequently, according to Mary Nichols, leader of the advocacy group Texas Caregivers for Compromise.

The bill stipulates that facilities can remove caregivers if they refuse to comply with facility guidelines. Residents can appoint a replacement caregiver if this is the case. In addition, training requirements for essential caregivers can’t be more strenuous than those for hospital staff, and the caregiver will be under no obligations to perform specific tasks.

Hawaii - 90% of Small Care Homes on Big Isle, Oahu have Received Vaccination Visits
By Tribune-Herald staff, Hawaii Tribune-Herald, March 11, 2021

Independent pharmacies on Oahu and Hawaii Island have administered first doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to about 10,000 residents and caregivers in approximately 1,700 small care homes and have now begun returning to administer second doses.

As of mid-February, 1,537 small care homes on Oahu and 152 small care homes on Hawaii Island, or about 90% of the total number of such facilities on those islands, have received vaccination visits, according to the state Department of Health.

Five major categories of homes were visited: adult residential care homes, most of which house five or fewer residents; community care foster family homes; developmental disabilities domiciliary homes; intermediate care facilities; and adult foster homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Connecticut - Bipartisan Commission Urging Lamont to Provide COVID-19 Vaccine to Those with Intellectual, Developmental Disabilities
By Brian Hallenbeck, The Day, March 11, 2021

Citing constituents’ concerns, members of the legislature’s Bipartisan Commission on Intellectual Disabilities and the Impact of COVID-19 have urged Gov. Ned Lamont to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Sens. Cathy Osten, D-Sprague, and Paul Formica, R-East Lyme, are among the six members of the commission, which was created under the Joint Rules of the Senate at the start of the legislative session.
“We believe that this vulnerable population should have been prioritized to receive the vaccine as soon as possible or as originally planned under Phase 1B due to elevated health concerns and not based on the new age-based plan that was announced recently,” the commission wrote in a March 3 letter to Lamont and Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz.

Lamont announced Feb. 22 that those 55 and older, as well as teachers, school staff and child care providers, would become eligible March 1 and that subsequently, eligibility would be solely based on age.

“Our immunocompromised population and many in our I/DD community are at serious risk for developing adverse complications that will only exasperate their underlying medical conditions if they are not given priority," the commission members wrote. "Furthermore, our I/DD population has been impacted greatly during this pandemic and they have faced even greater social isolation and setbacks that range from issues from not being able visit with family or being able to learn or work in the developmental programs normally offered to them. Due to their condition, many in this population are also not able to wear masks and have not been vaccinated because they receive services at home or may not be in other group settings."

"We would also appreciate if you could give serious consideration to allotting a certain number of dedicated vaccines for this population based on need," the commission wrote.

COVID Cases In New York Group Homes Under Scrutiny After Nursing Home Controversy
By Michael Roppolo, CBS News, March 10, 2021

In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration issued a memo instructing hospitals and group homes to "expedite" the release of asymptomatic group home residents back to their communal living sites. The order may have had terrible consequences. State data obtained by CBS News shows the virus ravaged group homes in the state, infecting more than 20%, or one in five, of their residents.

More than 34,500 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities live in group homes in New York, and there have been 552 COVID-19 deaths reported as of March 7, with 6,934 residents testing positive since 2020, according to the data provided by the state's Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, the agency that oversees support services and group homes.

Over the past few weeks, Cuomo has been under fire over the state's misleading reporting of nursing home residents' COVID-19 deaths, which left thousands of cases out of the nursing home tally if the person died at a hospital instead. The governor now admits it was a "mistake." The controversy drew renewed attention to a highly criticized policy from the first wave of the pandemic — allowing the release of recovering coronavirus patients from hospitals into nursing homes even if they might still be contagious. The March 25, 2020 memo authorizing the nursing home policy was rescinded May 10.

What's gotten less attention is that the now-embattled administration also issued a similar directive on April 10, 2020 affecting group home residents. The state's Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) told the operators of residential facilities to be ready to "expedite the return of asymptomatic [group home] residents from the hospital." The directive noted that there must be clinical staff available to meet their medical needs and that "[s]tandard infection control precautions must be maintained."

"Consistent with public health recommendations, OPWDD issued guidance instructing providers to accept individuals only if they could safely accommodate them in the group home," Jennifer O'Sullivan, the office's director of communications, told CBS News in an email. "People who could not be safely accommodated either remained at the hospital or were served in one of the over 100 temporary sites established for COVID-19 recovery efforts."

The OPWDD's April 10 order still remains in effect, according to the agency. Cuomo's office did not respond to a request to comment on the policy. 

Coronavirus Updates:
Covid-19 Tracker:
More Than 345 Million People Have Gotten Vaccines Worldwide;
The U.S. has Administered 101 Million Doses

A Quick Guide to Statewide Vaccination Plans

Littler Publications is offering a free guide to vaccine plans for each state.

This chart is not all-inclusive and does not cover municipalities, some of which have issued their own guidance. Nor does the chart include vaccine provider registration procedures or industry-specific guidance. The purpose of the below information is to give employers a general idea of what vaccine-related actions various jurisdictions are taking.

VOR Bill Watch:
Click on blue link to view information about the bill


H.R. 603 & S. 53 - The Raise the Wage Act - These bills are aimed at raising the minimum wage, but they also have provisions to phase out and ultimately eliminate vocational centers and 14 (c) wage certificates over the next six years and to immediately stop the issuing of any new certificates. VOR believes the issue of employment options for individuals with intellectual disabilities should not be buried in a bill for raising the federal minimum wage. Both issues deserve clean, stand-alone bills.


At this writing, there have been no bills entered in the 117th Congress that support a full continuum of care, or advance the interests of Direct Support Professionals.
Stay tuned.
Direct Support Professionals:
Pandemic Helpline For Caregivers of People With IDD

As the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, a new 24-hour support line is working to help individuals with developmental disabilities and those who care for them cope during this tough time.

Known as Project Connect, the telehealth line is free and available anytime for people with disabilities, their families, caregivers and other members of their support teams across the nation.

Project Connect is available by calling 888-847-3209.

Our loved ones' caregivers are essential to their health, safety, and happiness.
In appreciation of their good work and kind hearts, VOR offers free digital memberships to any DSP who would like to join.

We encourage our members to speak with their loved ones' caregivers to extend this offer of our gratitude.

If you are a Direct Support Professional interested in receiving our newsletter and e-content, please write us at

with your name, email address, and the name of the facility at which you work. Please include the name of the VOR member who told you of this offer.
VOR's Campaign For Change

This year, VOR's Annual Meeting will be held virtually, via Zoom. The date and details are yet to be announced. But to support our work, we are have a fundraising event we call the Campaign For Change.

It's easy. At the end of each day, empty your pockets of all your loose change and put it into a jar. You can dig into your couch cushions, too. On May 1st, gather up all of that change and take it to the bank or a CoinStar machine and cash it in, deposit it into your bank account, and send a check to VOR for the amount of change you've gathered. You are welcome to get family and friends, children and grandchildren involved.

At our virtual Annual Meeting, five winners will be announced. So start saving those pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters today, and we look forward to seeing you all in June!

"Be a part of the change you want to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi

What's Happening In Your Community?

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Do you have information or a news story you would like to share?
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