RD7 - Virginia Disability Commission Executive Summary 2009


    Executive Summary:
    The first meeting of the Virginia Disability Commission for the 2009 interim was held on Thursday, June 18, 2009. Following opening remarks and an overview of the purpose and recent activities of the Disability Commission, the Commission received information about legislation enacted during the 2009 interim that impacted disability services in the Commonwealth presented by staff; efforts to increase access to higher education presented by Ms. Debby Wilkerson and Mr. Winfred Stevens of the Association on Higher Education and Disabilities; and local research and planning for housing needs, presented by Ms. Maureen Hollowell, Advocacy Coordinator, Virginia Association of Centers for Independent Living. The Disability Commission also received a report from the Virginia Disability Commission Housing Work Group regarding the consolidation of the Virginia Disability Housing Work Group with other groups focused on disability housing issues.

    The second meeting of the Virginia Disability Commission for the 2009 interim was held Thursday, October 22, 2009. At this meeting, the Commission received information on other states' approaches to identifying and addressing disability issues through state boards, commissions, or other similar bodies; responses to emails sent to stakeholders requesting information about services and needs; and reports on the activities of the Department of Rehabilitative Services, the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired, the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities, and the Virginia Disability Commission Housing Work Group.

    The third and final meeting of the Virginia Disability Commission for the 2009 interim was held Monday, December 7, 2009, at the General Assembly Building in Richmond. Members of the Commission discussed findings and recommendations, and voted to:

    1. Recommend a budget amendment providing funding for the Disability Commission for the next fiscal year.

    2. Recommend a budget amendment to provide funding to create/support additional front line Adult Protective Services and Child Protective Services workers.

    3. Recommend a budget amendment to provide funding to reduce waiting lists for home-based companion and chore services by 5% in each year of the next biennium.

    4. Recommend a resolution requesting the Department of Social Services work together with public and private partners to conduct a comprehensive public awareness and education program on the identification, prevention, and reporting of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of adults who have a disability.

    5. Recommend a letter to encourage Virginia's Congressional Delegation to support the federal Elder Justice Act, which would provide federal coordination of and funding for state Adult Protective Service programs.

    6. Support adoption and implementation of recommendations and strategies included in the Olmstead Strategic Plan.

    7. Recommend a budget amendment providing funding for 100 new Developmental Disability Waiver slots.

    The Commission also discussed ideas for its 2010 work plan, including consideration of expanding the scope of the Commission beyond issues affecting persons with physical and sensory disabilities to include persons with all disabilities, and development of Regional Deaf Service Centers.