|Bruce E. Darling|
Bruce E. Darling is co-founder and President/Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Disability Rights, Inc. (CDR), a Rochester-based disability rights organization and Independent Living Center. During his 21-year career he has dealt with a variety of disability issues: fighting for access to public transportation, promoting accessible housing, opposing physician-assisted suicide, and creating community-based alternatives to institutionalization.
In 2000, without any additional funding, CDR began a project to transition people out of nursing homes and back into the community. Since that time, over 300 people have returned to community living. CDR has also hired staff dedicated to transition work. Bruce has worked with many other community groups to teach them about the 1999 Olmstead decision – directing that services to persons with disabilities must be provided "in the most integrated setting possible" - and they began nursing facility transition projects of their own. He has trained people from 37 states and the territory of Guam.
Bruce is proud of his work as a community organizer with ADAPT - promoting services in the community instead of warehousing people with disabilities in institutions and nursing homes - both nationally and in New York State. As part of ADAPT, Bruce has worked with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to implement the national Money Follows the Person Demonstration Program, led efforts to file complaints with the Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights, organized and participated in direct action activities, and been arrested for civil disobedience as part of ADAPT’s efforts to make the Olmstead decision a practical reality.
He has written a number of public policy analyses on disability rights issues, including Early to Bed/Late to Rise, a 200 page evaluation of community-based personal assistance services which CDR published in 1993. Since writing that report, he has implemented many of its recommendations through the development of a Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program in upstate New York.