Search By Tag: Deinstitutionalization

By Sunrise Group on January 4, 2017

Advocacy Season Starts Now!

We’re mere weeks away from the first of the 2017 state sessions. As a disability advocate, your help is needed to promote, protect and defend the human rights of people with disability. In addition to the threat of a federal repeal of the Affordable Care Act, many states are proposing Medicaid Block Grants for all enrollees including people with disabilities. The challenge of block grants is compounded by the issue that many states already have existing Wait Lists with thousands of families in need of community-based disability services. Needless to say, there is a lot of work to do in the months ahead. Sunrise urges you to sign up as a self-advocate or ally via: advocacy@sunrisegroup.org.

By Sunrise Group on November 29, 2016

#GivingTuesday Starts NOW!!

We have a day for giving thanks. We have two days for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, November 29, 2016, Sunrise, our donors, volunteers, families, businesses, and 700,000 donors from 70 countries around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. Last year, $116,000,000 was raised during the 24-hour event. It’s a simple idea. Check out all of Sunrise's local initiatives and find the project closest to you, then make a donation today. Join Sunrise and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity.

By Sunrise Group on August 26, 2016

Greeneville Hikers Embrace Sensory Integration, “The Natural Way”

There are many forms of developmental disabilities which include sensory processing disorders. For those with sensory processing challenges, particularly those with intellectual disabilities, the use of sensory integration therapy helps improve the adaptability of the brain. During sensory integration therapy, an individual performs an activity that combines sensory input with motion. One of the latest therapeutic models used for sensory integration (to complement the physical, occupational and speech therapy) is immersion in nature. That’s right “Nature Therapy!” The smiles on the faces of Greeneville’s hikers attest to the positive impact that nature therapy can make in anyone’s day!

By Sunrise Group on August 10, 2016

Disability History: The Hidden History of Eugenics

The first eugenics law in the United States was passed in Connecticut in 1895. Then in 1927, the U.S. Supreme Court decided, by a vote of 8 to 1, to uphold a state’s right to forcibly sterilize a person considered unfit to procreate. The case, known as Buck v. Bell, centered on a young woman named Carrie Buck, whom the state of Virginia had deemed to be “feeble-minded.” All told, as many as 70,000 Americans were forcibly sterilized during the 20th century. The victims of state-mandated sterilization included people like Buck who had been labeled “mentally deficient,” as well as those who who were deaf, blind and diseased. Who was Carrie Buck, and why must we never forget her legacy?

By Sunrise Group on August 8, 2016

Public Policy: Implementing the New DOJ Agreement in Georgia

The United States v. Georgia case has now entered a new phase. The State has committed to taking additional steps to improve its community system for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in areas where the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Independent Reviewer found the State had not complied with terms of the 2010 Settlement Agreement. The goal of the “Extension Agreement” is to ensure that all people with I/DD can live and thrive in the community, including people with complex needs. The Extension Agreement has been approved by US District Court Judge Pannell and is court-enforceable. This agreement will have broad impact on ALL people in the I/DD system, like changes to support coordination and access to the clinical oversight program for anyone with complex needs.

By Sunrise Group on July 18, 2016

Summertime Gardening in Greeneville

Therapeutic Gardening has blossomed throughout the Sunrise System. Our first raised beds for seasonal planting sprouted up in Thomasville, Georgia. The green-thumb epidemic quickly spread to Tallahassee, Florida. And despite the summer heat, dedicated gardeners with disabilities in Greeneville, Tennessee are transforming their front yard flower beds into serene landscapes. Sunrise’s group home residents take pride in the transformation of their home environment where they exercise their independence and work towards common goals. Kudos to Greeneville for getting their GREEN on!

By Sunrise Group on July 5, 2016

ABLE United Opens in Florida

The ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Act authorized states to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. In Florida, self-advocates and allies make a difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities every day. Thanks to a dedicated group of Sunrise advocates and others in the greater disabilities community, the ability to open an ABLE United account in the sunshine state is now a reality. ABLE United launched the first week of July. The site has a wealth of information and the tools needed to help make Floridians with disabilities aware of this new financial option. The tax-free account allows families to save like never before and empowers self-advocates to invest in their future. It’s a new day for Floridians with disabilities. Learn more about ABLE United accounts and how to start saving for a better life experience.

By Sunrise Group on June 22, 2016

Sunrise Celebrates Community Inclusion on the 17th Anniversary of Olmstead

ODAY IN DISABILITY HISTORY: On June 22, 1999, the Supreme Court issued its landmark “Olmstead v. L.C.” decision fundamentally changing the lives of Lois Curtis and Elaine Wilson–who had both been languishing in an institution for years after their initial treatment ended. Lois and Elaine filed suit under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for release from the Georgia facility–and, in doing so, affirmed the constitutional right to self-determination not only for themselves, but also for other Americans with disabilities to live outside of institutions, opening avenues and increase opportunities to enhance our communities and our lives.

By Sunrise Group on June 6, 2016

Public Policy: Plan To End Subminimum Wage Stirs Debate

The presidential nominees’ call to raise the minimum wage for Americans with disabilities who earn pennies per hour has families and caregivers fiercely debating whether the real benefit of the jobs comes from pay or an intangible sense of self-worth. The lower pay, permitted by a policy in place since 1938, has been scrapped for federally contracted employees.. The issue, with shades of the national row over raising the minimum wage to $15, is hardly one of economics alone. It pits individuals’ capability and dignity against a business model built on a cheap labor pool. Sunrise supports the option that allows workers to choose from a wide array of employment options. Which side of the debate do you support?

By Sunrise Group on May 19, 2016

Public Policy: Georgia Commits To De-Institutionalization by 2018

On Wednesday, May 18th, Georgia state officials acknowledged their efforts, to to find appropriate, safe homes for people with disabilities who have been institutionalized for decades, have fallen short. In a statement from Governor Nathan Deal, he described the new agreement as “a significant accomplishment for the state of Georgia. They agreed to at least two more years of federal oversight, pledging new spending if necessary. Advocates for people with disabilities praised the new agreement, saying it indicates the state will try much harder to ensure quality care for patients transferred into community facilities. The state’s new efforts will specifically focus on former hospital patients with particularly complex medical issues. As of January, 266 Georgians with developmental disabilities remained in the hospitals.

By Sunrise Group on January 13, 2016

What Does The Disability Integration Act Propose?

On December 18, 2015, U.S. Senator Charles Schmer (D-NY) filed S. 2427 before the 114th Congress. The Bill is known as the “Disability Integration Act of 2015.” Many are asking exactly what the proposal will do for people with disabilities. Basically, the bill would expand access to community living for millions of Americans. Known as the Disability Integration Act, the legislation would dramatically alter the status quo. Current law generally assures people with disabilities care in nursing homes and other institutional facilities if they need assistance with eating, bathing, housekeeping and other daily activities. Unfortunately, the availability of community-based services is often more limited and subject to long waiting lists. Schumer’s proposal would outlaw such waiting lists and prohibit caps on services as well as other measures like low pay that may restrict access to community living. Sunrise encourages everyone to ask their Congressmen to support this bill!