Consultant: Close center for disabled people

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — The Black Hawk County Board of Supervisors is considering a recommendation to close a 34-bed unit for disabled people.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported (http://bit.ly/11WKabl ) Sunday a consultant gave the board a report last week that recommends closing an intermediate care facility for intellectually disabled people at the county-owned Country View Care Center. The report calls for moving the residents into smaller community centers.

“The large number of residents living together inhibits learning and execution of rituals and daily routines,” consultant Thomas Pomeranz, president of Universal LifeStiles in Indianapolis, wrote in the report. “The remote and isolated location of the Country View Care Center inhibits a community presence and participation in community based day, leisure, worship and employment opportunities.”

Pomeranz said most residents never leave the facility, which houses 24 men and 10 women.

Supervisor John Miller emphasized no decisions have been made, but noted “we have the report and we have to do something about it.”

The care facility for intellectually disabled adults was created at Country View in 1986.

Miller said the board sought the report because of concern the unit wasn’t ideal for residents and could violate a federal law, known as the Olmstead Act, which requires that people with disabilities be placed in less restrictive environments whenever possible.

“We are concerned about the people who are out there, the residents and the staff,” Miller said. The unit has 44 full-time and six part-time employees.

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Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, http://www.wcfcourier.com

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