Amid Reopening Plans, New York not allowing Disabled Group Home Residents to Leave
While businesses around the state of New York continue to open, the New York Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) has yet to finalize plans that would allow residents in disabled group homes the freedom to visit and take part in activities outside of their grounds.
One parent described his current issues with the governor's lack of response by saying, “OPWDD won’t let [our son] in our car and refuses to let residents ride in agency vans for anything other than doctor visits. Why? Won’t say.” Said Jim Mulvaney in a recent Opinion piece for the NY Post.
Mulvaney’s son, Dan, a physically active 32-year-old who lives in a group home in Long Beach, has been quarantined since late March. Dan has a passion for the beach and surfing but is currently only allowed a daily walk to get fresh air or take routine visits to the doctor. According to Mulvaney, Dan needs the ocean more than another medical checkup.
With many places and parks opening up with safety precautions in place, Dan would not be allowed to return to the group home if he goes out to partake in any activity, this is due to the fact that many of the residents at the homes are at high risk because of a variety of medical conditions.
Dr. Joshua Weinstein, the founder and CEO of ICare4Autism says, “We can’t let fear stop us from taking care of those who need it most.” Dr. Weinstein is an advocate for the special needs community and is urging the New York governor to look for more innovative and creative approaches to actually start helping people like Dan rather than hindering them at this most critical time in their lives.
The International Center for Autism Research and Education (ICare4Autism) serves as the lead global non-profit organization dedicated to improving the life of children and adults who live with autism. Founded in 2004 by Dr. Joshua Weinstein, ICare4Autism has established itself as the catalyst that drives collaborations among similar international institutions to discover the etiology of autism, search for biologic and environmental causes, and ultimately work toward better methods of detection and treatment. We connect researchers and practitioners through renowned conferences and workshops to discuss state-of-the-art findings and innovative treatment practices to best serve people with special abilities and their families.