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Legal Settlement Aims at Ending Exploitation of Disabled Workers

The Justice Department has entered into the nation’s first statewide settlement agreement vindicating the civil rights of individuals with disabilities who are unnecessarily segregated in sheltered workshops and facility-based day programs.  The agreement with the State of Rhode Island will resolve violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for approximately 3,250 Rhode Islanders with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  This first-of-its-kind statewide agreement addresses the rights of people with disabilities to receive state-funded employment and daytime services in integrated settings, such as supported employment and integrated day services, rather than in segregated sheltered workshops and facility-based day programs with only other people with disabilities.  The agreement also provides relief to transition-age youth at risk of segregation in facility-based programs.  Under the agreement, transition-age youth will have access to a wide array of transition, vocational rehabilitation, and supported employment services intended to lead to integrated employment outcomes after they leave secondary school.  The parties have jointly filed the settlement in federal district court and have requested that it be entered as a court-enforceable Consent Decree.”

For more general information about the Justice Department’s ADA Olmstead enforcement efforts, visit the Civil Rights Division’s Olmstead: Community Integration for Everyone website.   To find out more about the ADA, visit Division’s ADA.gov website.

Proposed Consent Decree (Word) | (PDF) - filed April 8, 2014
Fact Sheet about Proposed Consent Decree (Word)
| (PDF)
Complaint (Word)
| (PDF) - filed April 8, 2014
Letter of Findings (Word)
| (PDF) - filed January 6, 2014
Press Release on Landmark Settlement Agreement
(HTML) - April 8, 2014
Remarks by Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels at Press Conference Regarding Employment Services for Rhode Islanders with Disabilities
(HTML) - April 8, 2014
Faces of Olmstead
- read several individuals' stories
Related item:
U.S. v. Rhode Island and City of Providence – 1:13-cv-00442 – (D.R.I. 2013)