Friday, November 23, 2012

Disability rights leaders call for an end to abuse and neglect in Washington State.

The disability rights movement in Washington State has released a document entitled: Too little too late: A call to end tolerance of abuse and neglect.

Disability Rights Washington are challenging the Washington state government to reform their abuse response system. Andrea Kadlec, the Director of Community Relations for Disability Rights Washington stated:
The state’s abuse response system is largely unresponsive to reports of individuals with intellectual disabilities in supported living, who are subject to physical harm, psychological trauma, sexual assault and even death, according to a new report issued by Disability Rights Washington and Columbia Legal Services. 
These two organizations conducted an in-depth investigation and contracted with two nationally-recognized abuse response system experts who uncovered a Washington state-run system ineffective at keeping people safe. In 85% of serious allegations of abuse and neglect against Supported Living employees, including physical harm, sexual assault and death, there was no evidence, 9 to 12 months later, that an investigation into the specific allegations against the employee had been started. The report also shows how Supported Living providers, certified to serve individuals with intellectual disabilities, operate with very little oversight.   
The report outlines five recommendations for the state which include mandating prompt investigations for abuse and neglect, and allocating sufficient staff to complete investigations.
Mark Stroh, the Executive Director of Disability Rights Washington stated:
“It is important that Washingtonians reject the state’s flawed abuse response system.  We cannot continue tolerating abuse and neglect that is robbing people with intellectual disabilities  of their safety and dignity. We must do what we can to respond quickly and effectively to reports of abuse and neglect so that if it is happening, it gets stopped immediately. The current system’s failure to do this is putting too many valuable lives at risk.”
Disability Rights Washington and Columbia Legal Services conducted an in-depth investigation and contracted with two nationally-recognized abuse response system experts who uncovered a Washington state-run system ineffective at keeping people safe. The report outlines five recommendations for the state which include mandating prompt investigations for abuse and neglect, and allocating sufficient staff to complete investigations.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition encourages Disability Rights Washington in their demand to protect people with disabilities from abuse and neglect.
EPC wonders if the societal tolerance of abuse and neglect of people with disabilities may also affect the availability of end-of-life care for people with disabilities and we wonder whether people with disabilities have been encouraged to seek assisted suicide, which is legal in Washington State?
Link to the To little too late full report 

No comments:

Printfriendly