Landmark agreement for People with DD

Last month,  the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States Department of Justice  announced a comprehensive plan to resolve widespread violations of the Americans with Disabalities Act as they relate to services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.    The plan requires the addition of thousands of Medicaid waiver slots, necessary to enable people with disabilities to transition from training centers and for those already in the community to receive the services they need.  The agreement mandates the creation of crisis response services, enhances case management services for all individuals covered by the agreement, and requires integrated housing.  The agreement calls for the closure of four of the state’s five training centers by 2020.  The parties agreed to an independent reviewer to evaluate the state’s compliance with the terms of the agreement.

This agreement arose from an investigation that began many years ago, starting at the Central Virginia Training Center in Lynchburg.  In February 2011, the Department of Justice found that conditions inVirginia’s state-operated institutions for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities violate constitutional standards.  DOJ also concluded that the inadequate system of community services and supports for persons with disabilities inVirginia violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.   The lack of such services, DOJ concluded, forces people to remain in overly restrictive settings like training centers.

Read the agreement  here:

The agreement must still be approved by a federal judge and the agreement needs sufficient funding from the General Assembly.   People with developmental disabilties have waited for decades for these services.  It is time for the court and the legislature to step up.

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