United States Department of Justice Announces “Landmark Settlement Agreement Vindicating the Civil Rights of People with Disabilities”

Remarks by Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels at Press Conference Regarding Employment Services for Rhode Islanders with Disabilities

Click here for copy of Settlement Agreement (“Consent Decree”)

Rhode Island to become model for desegregating sheltered workshops

a photo of four men who had been in sheltered workshops and they have been placed in jobs where they now make minimum wage. From left: Peter, Steven, Orquideo and Pedro (last names not available for all four).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.

Click here to read the rest of the article from the Providence Journal

Feds Take Stand Against Sheltered Workshops

The Obama administration is looking to become directly involved in a class-action lawsuit that has people with developmental disabilities seeking greater employment opportunities.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a motion last week to intervene in a federal lawsuit brought on behalf of thousands of people with developmental disabilities against the state of Oregon. The individuals behind the case allege that the state is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by not providing supported employment services, which help people with disabilities work in the community.

Click here to read the full article from disability scoop