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VOR is a national organization that advocates for high quality care and human rights for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

VOR promises to empower you to make and protect quality of life choices for individuals with developmental disabilities.

EASI Foundation - Ending Aggression and Self-Injury in the Developmentally Disabled

EASI Foundation was started by four parents with developmentally delayed kids whose dangerous behaviors put themselves and others at risk every day. We know how difficult it is to manage aggression and self-injury, and how little information has traditionally been available. We maintain a comprehensive resource guide to doctors, schools and other providers that treat this population, educate stakeholders through our conferences, and provide a networking opportunity for parents to connect with and support one another.

We are a registered 501(c)3 organization. Your donations fund resource guide development and outreach, as well as research and education projects geared towards maximizing quality of life for afflicted kids and their families.

Testimony of Amy Lutz, president of EASI

How to Contact Your Pennsylvania General Assembly Legislator

Email and Phone for Legislators

Chicago Tribune, 2016

Amy S.F. Lutz, The Atlantic, May 26, 2015

Danny Hakim and Russ Buettner, NY Times, Nov 5, 2011

Liz Holland, The Daily Times, May 8, 2017

Ronnie Polaneczky, The Philadelphia News, Dec 2, 2017

Editorial Board, The News & Advance, March 26, 2017

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THE INQUIRER - January 4, 2018

“This is beyond tragic. This man did not have to die, ” said Kathy Sykes, former director of intellectual disability services in Philadelphia. “This is a colossal failure of responsibility to provide basic care and supervision, a colossal systemic failure to manage a transition, a breach of trust for those who were promised their sons and daughters would be cared for, let alone have an everyday life.”

HARTFORD COURANT - Josh Kovner - December 27, 2017

JILL ESCHER - Autism Society - April 19, 2016

JILL ESCHER - Autism Society - September 21, 2016

Amy Lutz - Psychology Today - January 22, 2017

Amy Lutz, May 2, 2017

The idea that one residential model is appropriate for the entire spectrum of intellectual and developmental disability — from college-educated self-advocates to profoundly impaired individuals at risk of detaching their own retinas or bolting into traffic — is patently absurd.

Having eliminated many mental health treatment facilities, the State of Pennsylvania finds it is being sued for having a shortage of treatment facilities.

NY Times, Christine Montross, February 18, 2015

"Neither my chronically psychotic nor my mentally disabled patients can safely care for themselves on their own. They deserve the relief modern institutionalization would provide. Naysayers cite the expense as prohibitive. But we are spending far more on escalating prison and court costs, and inpatient hospitalizations. More important, we are doing nothing about the chaos and suffering in patients’ lives."

Even if some license is afforded to “hope”—a “hope” that history would not repeat itself when deinstitutionalizing individuals with I/DD—there is no excuse for continuing down a path that has in its wake repeated, widely reported tragedies in small settings for people with I/DD.

The Florida Times Union, May 16, 2016

Congregate care village in Jacksonville, Florida for the IDD

COFAR blog, David Kassel, May 5, 2015

This viewpoint by the DOJ is a misinterpretation of the Olmstead decision, and it has had tragic consequences, according to the VOR. The organization pointed out in its testimony that higher mortality rates have been documented in Virginia, Nebraska, Tennessee, and Georgia in the wake of the DOJ’s deinstitutionalization settlements.

Forgotten Lives, Invisible Lives

Forest Haven is Gone But the Agony Remains

Katherine Boo

Washington Post, March 14, 1999

In its place, the city fashioned one of America's costliest reform efforts for the retarded: dispersing Forest Haven's 1,100 residents, and the other people subsequently committed to city care, into small, privately operated group homes scattered throughout the District.

But today this reform is failing. In the 1990s, District and federal taxpayers have unwittingly financed a system marked by municipal ineptitude and private profiteering: a system that has fostered abuse and even death. 

Forgotten Lives, Invisible Lives

Residents Languish, Profiteers Flourish

Katherine Boo 

Washington Post, March 15, 1999

Today, the District's mentally retarded population is among the most deinstitutionalized in the country.

A decade into reform, however, a Washington Post investigation has found that the ideal of compassionate care and municipal accountability has yielded to a reality of profiteering and fraud, facilitated by city agencies that have for years demanded little accountability and little human decency in return for a vast outlay of public money.

Heather Vogel, ProPublica

December 10, 2015

But the sprawling system of privately run residential programs is quietly — and with few repercussions — amassing a record as grim as the institutions it replaced, a ProPublica investigation found.

Stephanie Makin, The Record, July 16, 2014

Advocacy groups argue that, driven by financial and political interests over human concerns, state and national governments are simply moving from one unworkable extreme to another.

Shaun Heasley, Disability Scoop, 2014

Those with cognitive disabilities had the highest rate of victimization and about half of violent crime victims with disabilities had multiple conditions, the Bureau of Justice Statistics said.

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