October 8, 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
Our Voices, Our Stories

Earlier today we sent out an announcement about the Severe Autism video that debuted last week, and the panel discussion that followed it.*

The authors of the video openly admit that the content is disturbing.

For years, this "disturbing" nature of people with severe and profound I/DD has presented a problem in gaining access to the media and receiving coverage that would illustrate the needs of individuals and families like our to the general public.

Newspapers and television stations like to cover happy stories. They like to show people with I/DD and autism who appear happy, who have graduated from high school, or found jobs in community settings, or become successful in business ventures. People like Ari Ne'eman paint a picture of I/DD where everyone can achieve anything they want - they just have to set their minds to it. The Administration for Community Living just gave a $2 million grant to SABE, a well-funded group of self-advocates who promote inclusion and community integration as being the universal values desired by all people with intellectual disabilities. Even Sesame Street promotes autism inclusion, never mentioning those with severe/profound autism.

None of these people or organizations ever acknowledge that there are exceptions to these sunny scenarios. None of them ever acknowledge our loved ones with severe/profound I/DD or autism, or the struggles our families face in trying to find the resources required to help them live their best possible lives.

After years of being told "Everyone does better in the community", we are seeing all of the faults of the HCBS system on full display as the DSP crisis worsens and more and more group homes and day programs shut down every day. Nonetheless, these "one-size-fits-all" advocates continue to push the message that all people with I/DD are alike, and that all do well in HCBS system. Our families know this is not true. Not for our loved ones.

So how do we get our message out?

Good question. We wish there were an easy answer. We are open to suggestions.

Here in New York City, a local news station has a regular feature, "New Yorker of the Week". If there is a similar feature in your town, consider nominating a DSP or Behavioral Therapist, working with your loved one to help make their life better. Point out their their achievements and accomplishments. And be sure to show the severity of their intellectual disability and highlight the need for institutional care for this exceptional cohort of individuals.

There must be other ways to get positive media coverage. Show the value of a sheltered workshop, where people are being given an opportunity to engage in meaningful work, in a safe, sheltered environment, surrounded by a community of their peers. Show the value and dignity of their work, and illustrate what would be lost if this opportunity is taken away, and those who cannot adapt to competitive employment in "integrated" settings will be forced into group homes.

Again, we are open to suggestions. If you have any ideas for how we can get positive local, state, or national coverage, please submit them to us at [email protected] or [email protected].

Likewise, if you have positive media coverage you can share, please send it to us, so that we can post it to this newsletter and share it with others.

Help us to get our message out.

Help us to give voice to those who have no voice.

*A link to the video and panel appear further down in today's newsletter.
The days are getting shorter, there's a crispness in the air, leaves are turning,
and it's time for

VOR's Annual Fall Membership Drive!

Simply put, we hope to greatly increase our membership rolls over the next few months.
Please help us to amplify our voices, to help us to better help you.

Now is the time to reach out to
Friends, Family, and Members of your Community
Ask for their support.
National News:
Uncertainty Surrounds Biden Plan To Boost Disability Services
By Michelle Diament, Disability Scoop, October 8, 2021

With President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion plan to expand the nation’s social safety net being chopped, disability advocates are fighting to keep a massive investment in Medicaid waivers alive.

Biden acknowledged this week that his spending plan would be slashed by at least a trillion dollars after Democrats were unable to secure enough support to pass the measure.

“Look, my objective is to get everything that I campaigned on passed eventually. It won’t all happen at once,” Biden said.

The plan includes Biden’s proposal earlier this year to invest $400 billion in Medicaid home and community-based services. The money would go toward two major undertakings — getting people with disabilities off of waiting lists for Medicaid waiver services and shoring up the workforce of direct support professionals.

Already, the U.S. House of Representatives cut spending on the home and community-based services proposal in what’s known as the reconciliation bill by more than half to $190 billion. Advocates said that number would be inadequate to increase access to services and address workforce issues and they were pressing for more. But now they fear that funding for home and community-based services could get scrapped from the bill altogether.

Note: VOR fully supports the increased funding in the bill. We only ask that Intermediate Care Facilities receive parity - equivalent funding - in whatever settlement is reached. The residents of ICFs and their support staff deserve no less than people who have waived their right to ICF or the staff that supports them.
‘Sesame Street’ Expands Autism Resources
By Shaun Heasley, Disability Scoop, Oct. 7, 2021
“Sesame Street” is offering up a host of new resources designed to help children with autism and their families.

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind the television show, said it is expanding its collection of online materials featuring Julia, a 4-year-old Muppet with autism.

The rollout includes an animated video where Julia learns to cope with her fear of the dark as well as coloring and activity sheets and a set of “Good Night” routine cards to help kids create a bedtime schedule.

“Autistic children and their families are facing unprecedented challenges this year, and Sesame Workshop is here to help kids create healthy routines, develop self-regulation and calming strategies and build resilience,” said Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice president of U.S. Social Impact at Sesame Workshop.
In addition, Sesame Workshop is adding content aimed at the Chinese American autism community. There are Mandarin and Cantonese versions of the digital storybook “We’re Amazing 1, 2, 3” that show how Elmo and Abby Cadabby learn to engage with their friend Julia. The nonprofit is also introducing articles addressing the unique challenges of being a Chinese American child with autism.

The resources are part of the “Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children” initiative.

We are proud to share a new video on the importance of acknowledging people with

Severe Autism

and the needs of these individuals and their families within the broader Autism Community. 

After the video, there was a panel discussion on the need for equity in service provisions and a comprehensive continuum of care,
featuring advocates from:

VOR - A Voice of Reason
National Council on Severe Autism
Together For Choice

Opinion: Five Common Myths About Intellectual Disabilities
By Diane Morrow-Kondos, Tulsa Kids, October 6, 2021

here are many myths and misunderstandings about people with intellectual disabilities. People tend to believe what they’ve heard or experienced, but sometimes that means information that isn’t entirely accurate. As the sibling of a brother with disabilities, I’ve experienced some of these misperceptions. I may have even believed a few of them at one time. We all make mistakes. The important thing is being open to learning and changing. Today’s blog will scratch the surface by looking at five common myths or misperceptions.

1. People with intellectual disabilities are always happy.

There are some syndromes, such as Williams Syndrome, which include a happy temperament amongst the defining characteristics. Williams Syndrome is a genetic condition that is present at birth. One of the common attributes found in people with Williams Syndrome is a highly social personality. However, most people with intellectual disabilities experience the same gamut of emotions we all do. One recent evening, I was attempting to have a phone conversation with my brother. He was struggling more than usual to express his thoughts. Finally, he sighed and said, “bad day.” We all have good days and bad days, including people with intellectual disabilities. It would be unfair to place an unrealistic expectation of perpetual smiling happy attitudes on people based solely on their intellectual disabilities.

2. Down Syndrome is the only cause of intellectual disabilities.

When most people hear the term intellectually disabled, they envision someone with Down Syndrome. Persons with Down Syndrome are most likely to be featured in television shows and advertisements when an intellectually disabled person is presented. The image of a person with Down Syndrome has become almost synonymous in most people’s minds with intellectual disabilities. Down Syndrome is the result of an extra chromosome, forty-seven instead of forty-six. Worldwide, Down Syndrome occurs in one out of every 600-700 births.

Analysis Examines Insurance Coverage, Affordability and Access to Home and Community-Based Services for Children with Special Health Care Needs
Kaiser Family Foundation, October 4, 2021

A new KFF analysis examines key characteristics of children with special health care needs, the affordability and adequacy of their health coverage, and the implications for such children of potential new federal Medicaid money to assist families in caring for them.

Medicaid is a significant source of coverage for medical, behavioral health, and long-term services and supports for children with special health care needs, including home and community-based services (HCBS) that they need to live at home with their families. During the pandemic, children have experienced health care disruptions, mental health challenges, and economic hardships, and these issues may have been intensified for those with special health care needs.

International News:
UK - 'Explosive' Jump in Autism Diagnoses as Number of Children Thought to be On The Spectrum Rises Eight-Fold in Two Decades,
Vy John Ely, Daily Mail, September 27, 2021
Autism diagnoses in England have soared nearly eight-fold in the past two decades, a study has shown.

UK researchers said the 'explosive' rise was likely due to increased awareness and screening for the condition.

But they added that an increase in cases of autism itself may have contributed to the increase in prevalence.

The causes of autism are still unknown but health professionals' ability to recognise the condition has improved vastly over the past 20 years.
Children are routinely screened for the condition during paediatrician visits and a UK policy introduced in 2009 to invest in adult autism assessment centres may have contributed to the rise in adult diagnoses, the researchers said.

Publishing their findings in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, they found autism diagnoses had risen by an 'exponential' 787 per cent in 20 years.

Canada - 'What We Need Doesn't Exist' - Jean-Marc Lang has been in The Ottawa Hospital more than 19 Months, Sedated, Restrained and Getting Sicker
By Blair Crawford, Ottawa Citizen, Sept. 29, 2021
Nearly 20 months after Jean-Marc Lang entered The Ottawa Hospital, the 27-year-old Orléans man with autism, developmental delays and severe behavioural issues is still waiting for meaningful help, his parents say.

Jean-Marc has been in a secure acute psychiatric ward at The Ottawa Hospital since February 2020, when his parents, Boisvert and Michael Lang, had to call 911 after a particularly violent outburst during a trip to IKEA. When they first contacted this newspaper in November 2020 — after Jean-Marc had already spent nine months in hospital — there was an opening for him at a Kingston treatment facility for adults with developmental issues. But they were told there was no money available from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services to pay the estimated $2,000 a day cost for treatment.

Now that opening is gone and, as he closes in on two years in his hospital room, Jean-Marc’s behaviours have become so bad that the hospital says it’s unlikely they would be able to discharge him anyway. He spends his days sedated, often in physical restraints.

“We are convinced that, had the government come up with the funds in the first place, his overall quality of life would have been much better,” Boisvert said.
Jean-Marc’s life is ruled by harrowing rituals and behaviours. It includes self injury, where he pulls out his own fingernails and toenails. He incessantly picks at wounds and scabs. “He’ll pick at his skin until it bleeds,” Helene said. “And then he’ll match it on the other side of his body. Then he’ll repeat it so the sore gets bigger and bigger, deeper and deeper.”

“When these behaviours happen, if they’re not addressed, they just get worse,” Boisvert said. “The hospital told us that, even if the government came up with funding, they’re not sure if they would release him. It might be another six months … They’re not addressing his behaviours. They’re just sedating him. He’s just staying there and getting worse and worse.”

The family estimates it’s costing $2,000 a day for Jean-Marc to stay at the hospital. The daily cost for an acute bed at TOH is about $1,000. In addition, the hospital pays for an around the clock security guard. A personal-care assistant is paid to stay with him overnight, and there are two behavioural specialists from an outside agency that work with Jean-Marc during the day. Helene or Michael, sometimes both, are with him from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

State News:
Oklahoma - Legislative Report Shows Long Wait, No Answers for Families In Need of HCBS Medicaid Waivers
By Augusta McDonnell, News on 6, October 5th 2021
The Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency (LOFT) released a report which raised questions about how the Department of Human Services is managing a very long waiting list for home and community-based (HCBS) Medicaid services.
Families caring for someone with a developmental disability can wait longer than a decade for support.

This legislative group had three key findings including that DHS has not made real progress toward getting services to people in need.
LOFT reports three key findings
  1. DHS’ management of the waiver program has not led to substantial progress toward the state’s goal of providing services to all those waiting.
  2. DHS continues to serve fewer people than they have said they can serve. 
  3. There are both immediate and long term opportunities to increase the number of people served.

In Maryland, 21,000 are on the Wait List.
By Rebecca Tan, Washington Post, Oct. 8, 2021
Tiffanie Rivers was running out of time.

Over the past year, as the coronavirus swept through nursing homes across the country and as dementia deepened its hold on her mother, she had promised herself that she would do everything possible to keep Gayle Love, 75, at home with her in Hyattsville, Md.

She had pestered state employees about her paperwork for a Medicaid waiver, filed two years ago, that would help her afford home-based care. She had hired a consultant, who told her that the waiver that she was applying for in Maryland has a waitlist of 21,000 names — one of the longest in the country — and that the vast majority of families see their loved ones checked into nursing homes or die before they hear back.

In the caregiver Facebook groups that Rivers was in, people talked about a bill in Congress — recently absorbed into the $3.5 trillion spending plan mired in debate on Capitol Hill — that would permanently bump up the federal match for home-based care and designate $400 billion for states to expand access to such services.

Surging demand

In 2005, facing criticism that the long-term care system in the United States had an “institutional bias,” the federal government made it possible — but not mandatory — for states to offer home and community-based services (HCBS) with Medicaid dollars. The goal was to let regular families access at-home help, a type of care usually reserved for the affluent. But over the past decade, experts say, these waiver programs have fallen far short of meeting demand.

Across the country, at least 820,000 people — primarily the disabled and the elderly — are on waitlists for waivers that could help them afford home care, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Eligibility requirements, resources and wait times for these programs vary from state to state, but most were under-resourced even before the coronavirus pandemic, leaving applicants to wait an average of 39 months.

When the coronavirus tore through skilled-nursing facilities, killing as many as one in every 10 residents, occupancy rates across the country plunged to record lows and the waitlists for home care ballooned.

Worker Shortage Puts Florida Group Homes in ‘Survival Mode’
By Dara Kim, News Service of Florida, October 5, 2021

A labor shortage has unleashed a litany of problems for Florida employers scrambling to fill vacant slots and hold on to workers.

But for some of the state’s most vulnerable citizens who receive around-the-clock care in residential facilities, the competition for workers is having more-dire consequences.
More than 100 group homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have shuttered since March, and more closures might be on the horizon, providers warn, unless the Legislature boosts funding for the facilities.

Craig Cook, executive director of Attain, Inc., told The News Service of Florida his nonprofit organization has closed four group homes in Orange, Lake and Seminole counties over the past year and has stopped taking referrals because he can’t staff the facilities.
“Basically we’re in survival mode. Right now, our turnover is higher than our recruitment level. So we’re losing staff faster than we’re hiring them,” Cook, whose organization is down to 20 group homes in Central Florida, said in a phone interview.

Attain and other facilities provide residential care and day services to people with intellectual disabilities who often have other complex behavioral issues and can require one-on-one attention. The majority of the group homes, which are overseen by the state Agency for Persons with Disabilities, have four or six beds.

The facilities, which rely largely on Medicaid funding, are paid by the state through a complicated reimbursement schedule based on the types of services residents need.

Clint Bower, president and CEO of MACTown, Inc., said the state’s reimbursement rates for services equate to an average of about $10 an hour for direct-support professionals. “We’re really getting under $10 an hour, and we’re making up the difference because we have to. We have no choice,” Bower, who operates group homes in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties and in the Treasure Coast region, told the News Service.

Based on a survey of providers, the Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities estimates group homes are paying an average wage of about $11 an hour to direct-support professionals, up from an average $9.50 an hour last year, association CEO Tyler Sununu told the News Service. While wages have increased, reimbursements from the state have not.

“Most of our members are telling me they’re bleeding dry right now by paying their staff more than they can afford, hoping that something will change before they go out of business,” Sununu said.

The association is asking lawmakers, who will begin their annual legislative session in January, to increase reimbursement rates for services to the equivalent of $14 an hour for direct-support employees.

“To be competitive right now we need to be paying $14 or $15 an hour, and that’s what these people are worth. These people work hard. They shouldn’t be making $10 an hour,” Bower said.

New York - Workers at Group Homes Remain Outside Vaccine Mandate
But inpatient hospital OMH, OPWDD staff must be vaccinated by Nov. 1
By Joshua Solomon, Times-Union, Oct, 5, 2021
Gov. Kathy Hochul’s vaccination mandate for health care workers will get broader, though group home employees will remain outside its requirements — at least for now.

The new vaccination schedule mandates workers at psychiatric hospitals run by the state Office of Mental Health and certified "speciality" hospitals run by the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities must receive at least one shot by Nov. 1, Hochul said Tuesday. The governor has been forceful in seeking to make the mandate as broad as possible, but has received criticism regarding why certain workers were not initially covered.

"I just have to be clear-eyed and laser-focused on the priorities that I must have as the governor of this state, which is to protect people's health," Hochul told reporters in the Capitol's Red Room.

Between Oct. 12 and Nov. 1, this specific set of unvaccinated OMH and OPWDD workers will face
weekly testing for COVID-19. 

Despite the more restrictive measures, Hochul has kept vaccination mandates out of group homes, which house some of the state’s most vulnerable. One potential reason: These facilities face particular staffing shortages in a wider field that is known to be chronically understaffed. 

Hochul expects to "continue expanding the vaccine requirement into the human service and mental hygiene care settings in the coming weeks, while also taking necessary steps to ensure staffing levels continue to be appropriate across those service systems," according to a release from her office. 

New Hampshire - Maggie Hassan Makes a Personal Case for More Caregiver Funding in the Reconciliation Bill
By Sara Luterman, The 19th, September 27, 2021
Sen. Maggie Hassan doesn’t often dominate headlines and cable news chyrons. The New York Times has described her as “low-key.” POLITICO called her “quiet” and “reserved.” But in an interview with The 19th, Hassan, a moderate Democrat from New Hampshire, laid out one of her major priorities in ongoing reconciliation discussions: Home care for people with disabilities and seniors, funded through Medicaid — an issue that is close to home for the senator.  

Hassan has been an advocate for home care funding since she entered politics. For her, the issue is personal: Her son, Ben, has cerebral palsy and needs around-the-clock support. Hassan credits her career to his care workers, especially his primary care worker, who has been with him for over 30 years. 

“I was able to work outside the home, develop a profession and support my family because I was able to find a talented caregiver I could partner with,” Hassan said.

Still, the future of the funding Hassan is fighting for is unclear. Reconciliation spending is frequently positioned as a standoff between the moderate and progressive wings of the Democratic party. Progressives, the story goes, want to spend more across the board, while moderates want to spend less. Hassan thinks that framing isn’t quite right, at least when it comes to funding home care. 
“I don’t see [home care] as a conservative, liberal or moderate issue,” she said. “I see it as an American issue that has been neglected in a lot of ways. People with disabilities have been overlooked for so much of our history.”

The amount of funding for home care is still being negotiated. President Joe Biden initially promised $400 billion to bolster long under-funded Medicaid home and community-based services. More recently, Huffington Post reported that amount may be cut in half. That possibility was reinforced by the House Energy and Commerce, which set the number at $190 billion – less than half.

Hassan has been in the room for Senate negotiations, but she declined to give a dollar amount. 

“The overall amount we are going to spend in this reconciliation bill is still being worked out, so it’s hard to know exactly where those numbers are going to land… [I’m] continuing to advocate for additional spending [on home care] in the final package,” she said.

State News: Sheltered Workshops
California - Workers with Disabilities were paid as little as $2 an hour. Why That Will Change

Workers with disabilities in California must be paid at least the state’s minimum wage by 2025, under a bill signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom Monday.

Senate Bill 639, by Sen. María Elena Durazo, D-Los Angeles, ends a practice known as 14(c) or sheltered workshops, in which workers with disabilities were paid as little as $2 an hour. The state will join ten other states including Alaska, Oregon and Texas in phasing out the practice.

Supporters of sheltered workshops have said the practice has given jobs to thousands of Californians with disabilities, giving them self-confidence and life skills. Opponents said it led to exploitation of workers and are pushing to end the practice across the nation.

Although the number of those in sheltered workshops has continued to drop, an estimated 10,000 or more California workers were in subminimum wage employment as of 2019, according to a recent report from the Disability Rights California citing the U.S. Department of Labor statistics.

Under the bill, the state can no longer authorize new employers to pay subminimum wages to their workers with disabilities. Those who have already been paying subminimum wages have until Jan. 1, 2025 to increase the pay for their workers.

There’s a condition, however. The State Council on Developmental Disabilities must create a plan detailing how the state can help workers with disabilities get the services and support needed to get jobs that pay them at least minimum wage. If the plan isn’t released by Jan. 1, 2025, employers can continue to pay their workers subminimum wages.

“The whole point of the plan is to do it carefully that it avoids unnecessary harm,” said Andy Imparato, executive director of Disability Rights California which lobbied for the bill. “We certainly want to be careful and make sure those workers have the alternatives when things they are in now are no longer available.”

A 2019 report submitted to the California Department of Developmental Services had found that $1.8 billion in extra state funding is necessary to meet the needs of providers and those with disabilities, including helping them find jobs.

The bill almost failed to get a majority in the Assembly, passing the 80-member house with 45 votes. Some legislators spoke of their own experience raising children with disabilities as why they opposed the bill.

“We’re trying to help them. We’re trying to give them meaning in life and this piece of legislation takes that away from them,” said Assemblyman Devon Mathis, R-Visalia, when the Assembly debated the bill earlier this month.

The National Council on Severe Autism sent a letter to Newsom urging him to veto the bill.

“The State Council on Developmental Disabilities and Senator Durazo must do better than to champion one (high functioning) sector of the disability population while throwing another sector under the bus,” the organization said.

Illinois - Pritzker Order Aims to End Subminimum Wage for Disabled People in State Contracts
By Jerry Nowicki, Capitol News Illinois, October 4, 2021
Gov. JB Pritzker signed an executive order Monday that would prevent companies contracting with the state from paying disabled workers at less than the minimum wage.

Pritzker took the action in what he said was a broader effort to try to push federal lawmakers to change the law that allows companies to pay disabled people less than the minimum wage.

“Today, I'm very proud to sign an executive order that will ban state agencies from entering contracts with vendors who pay workers with disabilities a subminimum wage,” Pritzker said at a news conference in Chicago. “With this change, every contract the state of Illinois enters from now on will ensure that people with disabilities receive a wage that affirms the value of their work.”

Pritzker said the order requires state agencies currently contracting with vendors that pay a subminimum wage to renegotiate those contracts.
Barry Taylor, vice president of civil rights at the disability advocacy group Equip for Equality, said there would be about 35 contracts renegotiated due to the order.

The order would only apply to companies contracting with the state. Provisions in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act section 14(C) allow employers to obtain a certificate to hire disabled individuals at less than minimum wage. Private companies in Illinois will be able to continue to take part in that federal program despite the executive order.

VOR Bill Watch:
[Please click on blue link to view information about the bill]


Congressman Glenn Grothman (R-WI) has introduced two bills in the House to support
Vocational Centers and 14(c) Wage Certificates:

H.R.4761 - A bill to amend the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to ensure workplace choice and opportunity for young adults with disabilities.

H.R.4762 - A Bill to amend the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to clarify the definition of competitive integrated employment.


H.R.4131 & S.2210 - The Better Care Better Jobs Act - To be clear, we don't oppose this bill. We object to the fact that it excludes the most vulnerable members of the I/DD population.

While the Better Care Better Jobs Act would greatly increase the amount of federal funding for people with I/DD, it only supports those in waiver programs receiving Home and Community Based Services. It unjustly discriminates against those who have chosen Intermediate Care Facilities as the necessary and proper form of residential treatment. By giving a 10% increase n federal matching funds only to HCBS clients, and providing training and increased pay only to direct support professionals working in HCBS facilities, the act deliberately favors one form of treatment over another, one ideology over another, and one set of people with I/DD over another.

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.

H.R.1880 - To amend the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 to make permanent the Money Follows the Person Rebalancing Demonstration.

H.R. 2383 - The Transformation to Competitive Integrated Employment Act - this bill purports to assist employers providing employment under special certificates issued under section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 in transforming their business and program models to models that support individuals with disabilities through competitive integrated employment, to phase out the use of these special certificates. We feel that, if enacted, tens of thousands of people with I/DD and autism will still be forced out of opportunities they currently, needlessly, and left without viable alternatives to occupy their time or address their needs and their abilities.
Direct Support Professionals:

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.

What's Happening In Your Community?

Is there an issue in your loved one's home that you need help with?
Do you have information or a news story you would like to share?
Is there legislation in your state house that needs attention?

Contact us at [email protected]
836 South Arlington Heights Road #351 Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Toll Free: 877-399-4867 Fax: 877-866-8377