PROVIDENCE, R.I. –- The state and the federal government have reached a groundbreaking settlement that will move disabled Rhode Islanders from segregated settings that isolated them for decades into the work force and the community at large.
The Department of Justice announced the consent agreement and the 10-year plan that arises from it at a news conference this morning at the U.S. Attorney’s office. The plan borrows from other states, but, for the first time, lays the pieces out in a comprehensive manner, officials said.
Today’s agreement will make Rhode Island a national leader in the movement to bring people with disabilities out of segregated work settings and into typical jobs in the community at a competitive pay
said acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division.
The plan aims to gradually move the intellectually and developmentally disabled from meaningless tasks — unwrapping bars of soap and capping lotion bottles for $2.21 an hour — to jobs matched with their interests and abilities, even for the profoundly disabled.
“We appreciate the efforts of the Department of Justice in raising extremely important civil rights issues for people with disabilities and welcome the ability to share in our common beliefs. A belief that all citizens, including people with disabilities, have the opportunity for a personally satisfying life, a life that is meaningful, productive, healthy, and safe.”