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NYAIL, with the Medicare Rights Center, Center for Disability Rights, Center for Independence of the Disabled NY, Community Service Society of NY, Empire Justice Center, Legal Aid Society, and SelfHelp Community Services, submits comments on the NYSDOH demonstration proposal to integrate care for dually eligible individuals. [Learn More]

By Michelle Diament
May 1, 2012

The Obama administration is coming out in support of a group of adults with developmental disabilities who say they're being relegated to sheltered workshops even though they're capable of working in the community.

Attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice filed a statement of interest in late April in a class action lawsuit pitting some 2,300 people with developmental disabilities against the state of Oregon.

In the suit filed in federal court in January, residents with disabilities alleged that the state is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to provide supported employment services, which allow people with disabilities to work in the community.

Now, the Justice Department is weighing in saying that limiting people with disabilities to sheltered workshops is no different than segregating them in institutions.

"The unwarranted placement of persons with disabilities in sheltered workshops similarly perpetuates 'unwarranted assumptions' that such persons are 'incapable or unworthy' of working in competitive employment or interacting with non-disabled co-workers or customers," wrote Justice Department attorneys in the statement of interest

After a long two days of action in DC, which included storming the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) headquarters on Tuesday, April 24th demanding the release of the regulations for Community First Choice option, the national grassroots disability rights group ADAPT celebrated a major victory when Cindy Mann, Director of the Center for Medicaid and State Operations, announced that the CFC regulations have been submitted in final form to the Federal Register for publishing! The final rules were released in print on Thursday, April 26th.

Thanks to ADAPT for all their hard work and persistence on this issue and congratulations for making it happen! With the release of the CFC rules, New York has no reason not to move forward immediately, starting by appointing the Development and Implementation Council, and NYAIL looks forward to working with NYS ADAPT and the State on developing the CFC Option for our state.

ADAPT's press release is included below.