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Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 9:27pm
EL PASO — A Texas non-profit organization is bringing attention to the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. Disability Rights Texas said the state is not doing enough to protect disabled people across the state and in El Paso.
"We have seen people dying. We have seen people that have not received the proper services and abuses so do something about this," said Luis Chew with Volar.
Chew with Volar The Center for Independent Living said the state supported living center in El Paso has been plagued with problems for years.
"Most of the time, they are forced to be there because of lack of services and support. It's sad that somebody has to be living in a neglected, abusive situation,” said Chew.
The state released a report back in September that said the State Supported Living Center on Delta near Alameda is failing to comply with basic and safety standards and people are at a high risk for abuse and neglect.
"We really urge the state to do something. Something drastic," said Chew.
The report said overall compliance at the El Paso State Supported Living Center fell from 23.02 to 22.15 percent, meaning there's compliance only in 31 areas out of 171.
Back in 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice sued the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. The two reached a settlement agreement in which experts have to monitor the living center and the center must comply 100 percent in four years, which is next year.
Cecilia Cavuto with the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services sent a statement that said, "All of the state supported living centers, including El Paso, are continuing to work towards compliance with the settlement agreement and progress is being made. While there is still work to be done, we are all committed to continuing our hard work."
She also said it's expected to be a long process, requiring more time than agreed-upon four year deadline.'
The report also includes the state supported living centers in Abilene, Brenham, Corpus Christi and San Antonio. Each of the centers, including the one in El Paso, is currently at 25 percent or less compliance.