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Image says Accessability - graphic in grey for Access and green for Ability with dove in grey on newpaper that says Extra! Extra! Read all about it.

 

The Times, Are They A'Changin?

by Ken Dibble

We recently elected a new president who claimed to be a true “agent of change.” The post-election analysis suggested that fewer than half of those who cast ballots wanted major change, while many other citizens were uninspired by the choice offered to them and did not vote.

It remains to be seen if “real” change will come in the way that many voters imagined, but Donald Trump and his representatives have talked about changing things that affect people with disabilities, so we thought we should offer some preliminary remarks here...

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COURTS WATCH

E.B. and others are adults with developmental disabilities and their parents or guardians. They are suing the state for failing to provide “supported community residential opportunities necessary to prevent the unjustified isolation of adults with developmental disabilities and the concomitant adverse impact on the residential caregivers for these adults.” According to OPWDD, there are over 11,000 people on its waiting list for residential supports. The state has slowed down its process of creating new group “homes,” and nearly all new development is focused on residences for four or fewer people to house those leaving the developmental centers and ICFs that the agency must close.

Why is that? Two reasons: Cost and federal regulations.

Financially, New York can’t afford a rapid pace of building or renovating residential real estate. That’s expensive for anyone, and the regulatory demands that the state imposes on the design of these facilities inflate their cost well beyond what ordinary homeowners would pay for similar housing. Plus, it’s a lot of high-value residential property that is permanently off the tax rolls...

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Your Money or Your Life

In October the NYS Inspector General released a report criticizing OPWDD facilities for allowing employees to steal money. In a statement reported in the media, Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott said, “With disturbing regularity we have seen the shameless preying on a vulnerable population by those charged with their care.” She also said the problems were the result of “systemic mismanagement” and a “lack of adequate accounting or safeguards.”

The IG’s office investigated ten cases, nine of which involved OPWDD misuse of personal funds belonging to residents of group homes. In one such case, a house manager stole over $7,400...

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Winter 2016-17 Issue No. 125 - web site version

Winter 2016-17 Issue No. 125 - pdf version