After years of investigating the conditions at Central Virginia Training Center, in 2011, the Department of Justice reached its conclusions. While DOJ did find that conditions at CVTC violated the constitutional and statutory rights on the individuals living there, the more significant violation was Virginia’s failure to provide adequate options for individuals to live in less-segregated settings. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, state governments are required to provide services in the most integrated setting possible, and Virginia was not doing that when it came to services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
A year later, the Commonwealth of Virginia reached an agreement with DOJ, in order to avoid having to go to court over the findings of violations. The agreement called for dramatic improvements in many aspects of community living. In order to be able to comply with all the requirements, Virginia decided it would need to close four of its five very costly institutions.
Three of those four training centers have closed. Central Virginia Training Center, the original subject of the investigation, remains open, but at a dramatically reduced census. Virginia expects to close it completely in 2020.
What about all the people who lived in those institutions? We were delighted to read an article describing one person who lived at CVTC and the amazing changes that have taken place in his life.
According to Billy King’s sister, Mr. King’s transition from CVTC to the community went more smoothly than they ever imagined, and his life since than has been dramatically better. Of special note to me was the fact that Mr. King, now for the first time in his life, can go to church with his family. He can go to the church where his father is the preacher. That may be a minor event to some people, but to Mr. King and his family, it was previously unimaginable.
You can read the full article here: http://www.dnronline.com/news/rockingham_county/family-describes-man-s-transition-out-of-cvtc/article_e7470f08-a7d5-5418-80a8-63f9e6e54212.html
Living in the community — living in integrated settings — means different things to different people. For Mr. King, it meant going home.