Congregate is not the same as segregate

I am very disappointed with the Joint Position Statement published June 23, 2016 by The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD).

While there is quite a bit of quality information in this statement it is obviously clear that these organizations also have a strong bias against choice of residential settings.  It is unfortunate that these organizations do not understand that congregate care is not the same as segregated care.

“Everyone with an intellectual or developmental disability deserves to live in the community where they have the opportunity to experience vibrant lives that include work, friends, family, and high expectations for community contributions.”  These goals can and are also accomplished in congregate and campus type communities.

Many states have built systems that utilize group homes as a key way to support people in the community. When people find themselves in a situation where they need to live outside of their family home, they are often placed in an “open bed” versus being offered person-centered supports designed specifically to meet their needs. In many of these situations, people remain as isolated in these settings as they do in a large-scale institution. A process for creating and sustaining supports that make their living situation a home in a neighborhood is needed.

It is clear from the above statements that these organizations realize there is a problem with the funding and system that many supports are built around.

Yet AAIDD and AUCD are doing exactly what they chastise others for doing – categorically denying the individual the personal choice for individualized care in the residential setting they choose.  The setting is not what necessarily causes the segregation – separation from familiy, friends and community causes segregation.  Unfortunately that segregation can happen in any residential setting.

It is the segregation that needs to be called out – not the setting.

 

 

Protect Olmstead Report Language

Deinstitutionalization – The Committee notes the nationwide trend toward deinstitutionalization of patients with intellectual or developmental disabilities in favor of community-based settings.  The committee also notes that in Olmstead v. L.C. (1999), a majority of the Supreme Court held that the Americans with Disabilities Act does not condone or require removing individuals from institutional settings when they are unable to handle or benefit from a community-based setting, and that Federal law does not require the imposition of community-based treatment on patients who do not desire it.  The committee strongly urges the Department to factor the needs and desires of patients, their families, and caregivers, and the importance of affording patients the proper setting for their care, into its enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

Although this language simply requires the Department of Justice to adhere to Olmstead when enforcing Olmstead, some federally-funded organizations that favor serving everyone in community settings without regard to individual choice and need, have somehow found this report language threatening and are now urging the Senate to reject it when it takes up the Senate Commerce, Justice and Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill as early as this coming Monday.”

Your letters and support are needed NOW to inform your Senators of this issue.  It is very simple – just follow this link:

VOR – Protect Olmstead Report Language

 

Please take action before it is too late!

THANK YOU!

 

Text above taken from the VOR website

Universal Kinetic Park – Phase 1

We are rolling out our Phase 1 for our Universal Kinetic Park at Fircrest.

Phase 1 will be the survey, detailed construction design for the Pedestrian Promenade – the backbone and community connection for the whole campus.   Fircrest is a beautiful campus community which is home to over 200 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  In addition to our long term residents, we also provide short term and respite care for others from the surrounding community.

Help us with our vision for an active, thriving community hub for our residents, the people who love and care for them and for the local community.  We can only do this with your support!

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Park Design

Help us transform the narrow, cracked, uneven sidewalks left over from the old Seattle Naval Hospital to a wide, smooth and ADA accessible Pedestrian Promenade.  The Pedestrian Promenade will be a winding walkway, inviting people to enjoy walking and the sights and activities along the way.  In addition to the community connections of the Pedestrian Promenade, we will also pave walkways from the main corridor to the entrances of each home.  Currently, this is a muddy path with puddles for the majority of our year in Seattle.

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As you can see Fircrest is a beautiful campus – but it does not have ADA accessible walkways even though it is home to over 200 residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

 The sidewalks pictured below are hazards.  We need to remedy the situation.

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Please contribute to our campaign for Phase 1 –

All donations go directly to the cause – no overhead!  

You know your dollars will go to a great cause. 


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