What's in a name?

What's in a name?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mismanagement at the District Department of Disability Services

For Immediate Release 

Press Conference

Thursday 14 April 2011 7:00 PM, at Sherman Circle, NW 

 Learn facts surrounding mismanagement at the
District of Columbia's
Department of Disability Services
Rehabilitation Services Administration

 How they’re taking actions to pull funding out from under Disabled residents of the District of Columbia. Services are badly needed and well deserved: Supported Employment, Tutoring and Job Training, and other services for the disabled are having the funding cut.

Laura Nuss, Director, District of Columbia Department of Disability Services, and Roy Albert of the Department of Rehabilitative Services Administration are both void of the experience and the skill set to continue in these positions. (Both Fenty Administration holdovers.)  The Department of Disability Services Administration is charged with improving the employment outcomes of people with disabilities. Not tearing down individuals that have proponents that work on their behalf to get the services that this city should deliver without thought.

Sadly, this agency is failing deserving residents and costing the tax payers of the District untold dollars.  They are currently fully engaged in a negative campaign to deny services to a young man that initially was in their system more than two (2) years with no guidance, or assistance whatsoever.  Only after public testimony and guidance from the United States Department of Education, along with legal counsel from the University Legal Services, RSA began to offer some services.   Rehabilitation Services Administration completely failed him from the initial onslaught of this resident's eligibility and are failing him now by notifying him that they will no longer fund his school, supported employment and other services.  This after he has been receiving services for years now.  These services are being denied all of a sudden due to DDS/RSA misinterpretation of the law for legal refugees and those that through the federal government are fully authorized to accept employment. And according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services these services are rightly due this young man and anyone of his residency and status.

This is not due to budget shortfalls or the lack of funding this is an internal decision and one that speaks volume to the degree this department Director, Laura Nuss and others will go to get back at someone that has served as a watch dog over their antics of this agency for years now.  

Today I ask how many residents are in the same situation with no one to advocate for them.  If the Department of Disability Services is failing them, and they are not being represented in Probate Court fully and without prejudice then who is looking over our disabled?

I look forward to bringing this matter to light so that more and more a transparency is provided to allow us all to know exactly what residents are experiencing and just how our taxes and federal dollars are being spent.


Keith Jarrell
Resident of Ward 4


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