Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Debate Over Institutions Flares As Feds Seek Comment - Disability Scoop


A government agency’s proposal to “eliminate congregate care” for people with disabilities is stirring strong reaction from advocates on both sides of the debate over institutions.

The issue came to the forefront as the Administration on Developmental Disabilities works to finalize a five-year strategic plan.

The federal agency plays an influential role over the state councils on developmental disabilities and the protection and advocacy organizations throughout the country in addition to other programs benefiting Americans with disabilities.

After holding listening sessions in five cities, the agency drew up a list of priorities — touching on everything from access to competitive employment to strengthening family support — which will be used to establish the final plan.

But a recommendation to support closing the nation’s remaining institutional care facilities seems to be evoking the greatest response in the final days of an online public comment period, which ends Friday.

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