“Gatekeepers” to Mental Health Care Asked to Remove Barriers, Make Improvements

A report released today by Spectrum Institute calls attention to the consequences to adults with developmental disabilities when they do not receive needed mental health services in a timely manner. It is being sent to those who control access to such services for this vulnerable population – “gatekeepers” – with a recommendation that they examine any policies and procedures that may impair prompt and equal access to effective therapies for these adults. “Consequences: A Report on the Adverse Effects of Delayed or Denied Mental Health Services to Adults with Developmental Disabilities,” is being distributed to parents, primary care physicians, guardians, […]

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The Route to Conservatorship Reform

For the past eight years, Spectrum Institute has been showing judges, lawmakers, administrators, disability rights advocates, and conservatorship reform activists the way forward. The sign markers we have placed along the route have included conference materials, administrative complaints, public meeting presentations, policy reports, guidebooks, legal commentaries, amicus curiae briefs, letters, and webinars. We have identified the flaws and fixes. We have matched the solutions with the officials who have the jurisdiction to adopt and implement them. We have literally handed conservatorship reform advocates a template for change titled “A Path Forward.” Yet, although we have led people to the refreshing water […]

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Register Now for March 30 Legal History Webinar

The presentation focuses on research, education, advocacy, and community service activities by gay law students in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Madison, Buffalo, and New York City in 1972 and related legal activism occurring that year in Ohio, Colorado and Kentucky. A PowerPoint slide show is narrated by attorney Thomas F. Coleman, founding president of the first gay law student association in the nation and who graduated from Loyola Law School in 1973.   It also provides a preview from LLS student Maria Reyes Olmedo about a presentation they are working on for LGBTQ History Month in October regarding the emergence […]

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Noontime Webinar on May 4

Benefits for Clients and Risks to Attorneys in Probate Conservatorship Proceedings. AB 1194 became effective in 2022 and SB 602 is likely to become effective in 2023. Both measures have significant implications for clients and attorneys in probate conservatorship proceedings. This webinar will explain those implications – not only for conservatees and proposed conservatees but for their public defenders or court-appointed attorneys. It will provide information valuable to conservators, temporary conservators, and public guardians, as well as the lawyers who represent them. It also will identify potential ramifications for the public entities that appoint or fund lawyers in conservatorship proceedings. […]

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Disability and Spirituality: Freedom from Religion

This article is based largely on an interview with attorney Eddie Tabash about the right of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to religious freedom.  Eddie Tabash is on the Board of Trustees of Americans United for Separation of Church and State–an organization devoted to preserving equality before the law for both believers and nonbelievers. He also chairs the Board of Directors of the Center for Inquiry, a worldwide organization devoted secular humanism, atheism, secular government, and scientific skepticism.  Tabash has been advocating for freedom from religion for decades.  This article is premised on the principle that spirituality and religion […]

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California Legislator Asked to Strengthen his Conservatorship Reform Bill

January 19, 2022 California Assembly Member Brian Maienschein issued a press release today announcing that he “has introduced AB 1663, The Probate Conservatorship Reform and Supported Decision-Making Act, to address the misuse, overuse, and exploitation of probate conservatorships in California.” Spectrum Institute has written to Mr. Maienschein, commending him for sponsoring the bill but asking that it be amended to eliminate loopholes that judges, lawyers, and conservators may exploit to evade the bill’s intended protections for seniors and people with developmental disabilities who are targeted by conservatorship petitions.  For a copy of his press release, click here. For a copy […]

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Disability and Spirituality – Recovering Wholeness

This feature story focuses on the issue of religious freedom for adults with developmental disabilities.  It discusses the research, education, and advocacy done by Rev. William C. Gaventa, author of Disability and Spirituality: Recovering Wholeness.  As the book description explains: “Disability and spirituality have traditionally been understood as two distinct spheres: disability is physical and thus belongs to health care professionals, while spirituality is religious and belongs to the church, synagogue, or mosque and their theologians, clergy, rabbis, and imams. This division leads to stunted theoretical understanding, limited collaboration, and segregated practices, all of which contribute to a lack of […]

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End The Fee for All in Probate Conservatorships

More than 1,700 viewers have watched this one-hour video in which panelists explain how they witnessed or experienced the “fee for all” dynamic depleting the assets of conservatees. The moderator discussed how the Funding and Fees Review Project of Spectrum Institute plans to tackle this problem with a thorough study of what has been happening in local courts throughout the state. The project will issue a major report with recommendations on how to tame this asset-eating beast.  To watch the video, click here.

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