National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy

Protection from Abuse and Neglect in the Community

Dr. Clarence J. Sundram

Clarence Sundram, Governor Andrew Cuomo's Special Advisor on Vulnerable Persons,will discuss the implications of his recent investigation of NY's system for dealing with abuse and neglect of people with disabilities on similar issues across the country, especially in the community.

Traditionally, the responsibility for protection from harm was placed upon institutions and residential providers or custodians. Currently, with the emphasis on implementing the ADA and the most integrated settings, more and more people are not living in licensed or certified residences but in more independent and normalized apartments and houses. While many people remain vulnerable to abuse, neglect and exploitation, the locus of responsibility is no longer as clear. The safety net, such as it is, is Adult Protective Services which, by its own acknowledgment, is completely ill-prepared for the role that has been thrust upon it.