Sweeping Changes at the Therapeutic Intervention Program in Holyoke
DLC has been working very hard to investigate and monitor schools where children with disabilities have been abused or neglected. We recently had a very nice outcome in one of our systemic cases we thought you might be interested in hearing about:
In 2015, The Disability Law Center (DLC) conducted an extensive abuse and neglect investigation of the Therapeutic Intervention Program (TIP) at the Peck school in Holyoke, Massachusetts. In December 2015, DLC released the results of its investigation, finding many areas of substantial violation including; improper restraint, failure to report, improper seclusion, failure to provide a safe environment, and failure to carry out individual student plans. DLC reached a settlement with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Holyoke Public Schools (HPS) that included in-depth monitoring and data review. Since that time, HPS has made substantial across the board improvements which have transformed the program and improved the lives of these children.
The sweeping changes include contracting with a private special education school to provide program support and partnering with a consulting group to conduct a thorough review of the program. HPS did a complete overhaul of the staff and initiated policies to prevent seclusion of students, reduce restraint, and eliminate the use of excessive force. HPS is also working to engage the families of students in the program and made facility improvements to improve safety. HPS is setting up systems to help students transfer out of the TIP to more integrated settings and implementing a training schedule for staff that includes restraint protocols, de-escalation techniques, and proper reporting. DLC will continue to work with HPS to further reduce restraints, increase therapeutic supports to the program, and work to develop supports in neighborhood schools for children with social emotional learning needs. These sweeping changes at the TIP have substantially transformed the program and made a positive educational impact.
Barriers to wheelchair repairs
Barriers to wheelchair repairs and replacements have been a huge problem for many years. Long delays, wrong parts, and incorrect repairs are some of the biggest obstacles faced by people who use wheelchairs, which can impede their ability to live independently. Take Emma’s story for example:
DLC was recently contacted by Emma. She was having trouble getting discharged from the hospital because she had a broken wheelchair. DLC provided Emma advice on what she needed to do in order to get home. However, Emma was unsafe at home because of the long delay in getting her wheelchair repaired. DLC took the case to advocate for the repair (or replacement) of her chair. MassHealth approved a new chair for Emma and DLC was able to expedite the process. Emma is now living safely in her home and so happy to have her independence back.
DLC is looking for cases, like Emma’s, where people with disabilities are seeking assistive technology to help them live independently in their community. Give us a call if you or someone you know is having an issue with assistive technology. 1-800-872-9992
On November 27 we’re joining a national day of generosity, #GivingTuesday. It’s a day when you can make a big impact on the work DLC does on behalf of our clients.
With your help, we’ll raise funds to help people with disabilities get the services and programs they need to be as independent as possible and to keep people with disabilities safe from abuse and neglect wherever they live and receive services.
How can you be a part of it? Here are a few simple ideas:
- Consider making a gift on #GivingTuesday – see donation form below
- Help us get the word out on social media, using @DLCMA and the hashtag #GivingTuesday
- Take photos demonstrating why you love DLC and post them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram
- Do something kind for another person
With your support, we can raise $3000 for those we serve.
Thank you for giving.
DLC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and your donation is tax deductible. DLC’s tax ID # is: 04-2741869.
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