Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Roundup

From the Los Angeles Times in Los Angeles, California, July 9, 2009 - Twenty people were arrested this morning in a $4.6-million Medi-Cal fraud scheme that allegedly used unlicensed individuals to provide in-home nursing care for disabled patients. According to the United States Attorney's office, about 75 patients, many of them children with cerebral palsy or developmental disabilities, were treated at home or at school by the unlicensed individuals who stole identities to pose as licensed nurses.

From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in Seattle, Washington, July 8, 2009 - A disability watchdog organization has filed a law suit against Washington state, claiming that hasty budget cuts threaten to push some 900 adults with disabilities into nursing homes. The law suit seeks to delay funding cuts to a nursing care program that allows adults with disabilities to live in a state-run group home and still receive Medicaid-supported health care services.

Press release from the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, July 8, 2009 - A coalition of disability advocacy organizations has sent a letter of support for Supreme Court candidate Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The letter is signed by more than twenty disability rights organizations, including the Alexander Graham Bell Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and the United Spinal Association, and cites Sotomayor's "extensive experience in, and careful approach to, deciding disability rights cases," as well as her life experience managing diabetes.

From BBC News, July 7, 2009 - According to a report by the cerebral palsy charity Scope, hate crimes against people with disabilities in Wales (UK) are unreported or unrecognised for what they are. While police recorded 132 such crimes last year, charities and campaigners said the true figures were much higher. According to Scope, of 50 serious assaults against disabled people, only one was recorded as a hate crime.

From Newsday and the Associated Press, July 7, 2009 - At the annual Little People of America (LPA) conference, the organization called for the Federal Communications Commission to ban the word “midget” from broadcast TV. The group said it had filed an official complaint with the FCC. The request was prompted by an episode of Donald Trump’s NBC reality show, “Celebrity Apprentice,” in which contestants created a detergent ad called “Jesse James Dirty with Midgets.” Contestants, including Joan Rivers, used sexual innuendo in talking about little people actors and suggested that they be hung up to dry.

From CBC in Canada, July 6, 2009 - Four Winnipeggers will be sentenced next Monday July 13) for their part in abusing a 23-year-old woman with developmental disabilities in early 2006. According to the report, the woman was subjected to beatings, pushed down a flight of stairs, and starved to the point of emaciation. She was also repeatedly burned with lighters, cigarettes and even a kitchen tool heated red hot on a stove. Thelma Hendricks, 63, and Amanda O'Malley, 21, have pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of assault causing bodily harm and are seeking conditional sentences that will keep them out of jail. Dale Hendricks, 34, faces 6 years in prison for his part in the abuse, and April Armstrong, 33, between four to five years.