disabled care

Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of -and fosters collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

Falling Into Place is supported by The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation, Providing a helping hand to turn inspiration into accomplishment. See more possibilities … see more promise… see more progress.

This week we focus on the prevention of violence against people with disabilities. People with disabilities are abused at alarming rates. In 2012, for example, 1.3 million violent crimes -- including rape and physical assault -- occurred against people with disabilities and that number has been steadily increasing since 2008, making people with disabilities one of the most harmed groups in the United States.

In 2014, three agencies in Rensselaer County joined forces to develop a system of care that addresses the unique circumstances of survivors of domestic violence and/or sexual assault who have disabilities. Unity House of Troy, the lead agency in the coalition, has worked for the last 4 years with Samaritan Hospital’s Office of Sexual Assault and Crime Victim’s Assistance (part of St. Peter’s Health Care Partners), and the Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley, to educate providers on creating services that are disability appropriate.  

We are joined by Director of Community Resources & Organizational Development at Unity House Dave Warren; Director of the Sexual Assault and Crime Victims Assistance Program with Samaritan Hospital and St. Peter’s Health Partners Lindsey Crusan-Muse; and Director of Development at the Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley Barbara Devore.

At least three times in recent years, families whose disabled loved ones allegedly suffered devastating mistreatment while in state institutions were later billed at least $1 million by the state of New York for the cost of the patient's care.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has vetoed legislation intended to clear what one lawmaker said in June was a waiting list of 12,000 disabled individuals who needed services or housing.

Cuomo says the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities keeps improving its process, that the legislation largely duplicates what's happening, and the issue should have been addressed in the budget.

NYS Assembly

A New York assemblyman and longtime advocate for the disabled has settled a federal lawsuit claiming his disabled son was hit and verbally abused at the Long Island group home where he resides…

Terms of the settlement are being kept confidential ---

Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg and his wife, Ellen, claimed AHRC Nassau was responsible for an employee they allege repeatedly abused their son Ricky, now 55.

A new survey of medical specialists by researchers in Springfield Massachusetts found many could not accommodate patients who use a wheelchair.   The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act  mandates that all medical practitioners must provide full and equal access. 

Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

One of the areas of disagreement in the state budget centers on funding for services for New York’s developmentally disabled people.  

A congressional committee has been looking into why the federal government overpaid New York State by more than $10 billion for the care of developmentally disabled people in state developmental centers. Congress began its probe after reports in the Poughkeepsie Journal. Mary Beth Pfeiffer, projects writer with the journal, says even though the overpayments were first detected in 2007, they still continued. She spoke with WAMC’s Brian Shields.

The Assembly and Senate have passed legislation they say will curb abuses against disabled people in state care.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports… 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders say they have agreed on a sweeping reform of the state's system of caring for the disabled that has been marked for years by abuse and death.  WAMC’s Ian Pickus reports…

For Cuomo, the deal announced Sunday fulfills a major legislative goal.

Recent governors have been dogged for years by outcry from whistle blowers and a chilling New York Times series was published this year about abuse within the massive bureaucracy caring for 1 million people.