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    Document Summary
    - Report Published -

    Report Document No. 29

    Document Title
    Annual Report for the Board of Protection and Advocacy - FY 2011

    Virginia Office for Protection and Advocacy

    Enabling Authority
    51.5-39.2 (G.)

    Executive Summary
    Virginia Office for Protection and Advocacy (VOPA) was created by statute effective July 2002, by 51.5-39.2 of the Code of Virginia. VOPA is now in its tenth year as an independent agency with a Governing Board.

    The Board of VOPA, consisting of eleven members, is appointed according to 51.5-39.2 of the Code of Virginia. The Board also has two ex-officio members, the Chairs of VOPA’s two advisory councils. The Board, as required by statute, met quarterly, including one meeting as a two-day planning retreat.

    During FY 2011, the Governing Board carried out its duties as established in 51.5-39.5, including evaluating the Executive Director and monitoring and evaluating the operations of the Office. The Board received regular financial reports and developed an annual budget for the operation of the office. The Resource Development Committee, created in FY2010, proceeded with the creation of a 501(c)(3) named The Virginia Disability Law and Advocacy Fund (“The Fund”). This not-for-profit entity is charged with identifying alternative funding resources to support the work of the Virginia Office for Protection and Advocacy. Efforts towards alternative funding was necessitated by the General Assembly’s previous decision to eliminate all state funding for the agency and other considerations.

    The Board continued its review and revision of operating procedures and policies for the Office. The Board received regular and detailed information on the activities of the Office. The Board received public input throughout the year and through an online survey tool. The Board held a retreat in July, 2011, focusing on strengthening Board relations. Members of the Governing Board receive continuing education throughout the year to enable them to perform their statutory duties, including new member orientation and legal rights training.

    Additionally, one of the major activities for the Board each year is the development of goals and priorities. For fiscal year 2012, the Board continued the following goals and adopted new focus areas:

    Goals and Focus Areas
    October 1, 2011 – September 30, 2012

    Goal 1: People with Disabilities are Free from Abuse and Neglect

    1. Adequate System for Protection from Harm in Institutions
    2. Adequate System for Protection from Harm in Licensed Community Residential Settings
    3. Abuse or Neglect in Community or Institutional Settings Serving Children and Adolescents
    4. Timely and Appropriate Mental Health Services in Jails

    Goal 2: Children with Disabilities Receive an Appropriate Education

    1. Appropriate Therapy and Services for Children with Disabilities
    2. Equal Access to a Full School Day for Children in Special Education
    3. Children who are Suspended or who are at Risk of Long-Term Suspension
    4. Special Education for Children with Traumatic Brain Injuries
    5. Transition from School to Work

    Goal 3: People with Disabilities Have Equal Access to Government Services

    1. Access to Vote for Persons with Disabilities
    2. Access to State and Federal Government Services
    3. Appropriate TBI Supports for Veterans
    4. Reasonable Accommodations for Individuals in Public Housing or Receiving Public Assistance in Housing

    Goal 4: People with Disabilities Live in the Most Appropriate Integrated Environment

    1. Maximize Individual Choice and Self Direction
    2. Right to Timely Discharge from State Facilities
    3. Due Process Protections Relative to Conditional Release for Individuals found NGRI
    4. Equal Access to Public Accommodations under the ADA

    Goal 5: People with Disabilities are Employed to their Maximum Potential

    1. Barriers to Work for Social Security Beneficiaries
    2. Maximized Employment for Vocational Rehabilitation Clients
    3. Employment Rights under the ADA

    Goal 6: People with Disabilities have Equal Access to Appropriate and Necessary Healthcare

    1. Assistive Technology through Insurance
    2. Denial of Needed and Appropriate Medicaid Services
    3. Accessibility of Medical Offices and Clinics under the ADA and Rehabilitation Acts
    4. Dental Care for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities