Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ruth Colker's New Book on the IDEA

Ruth Colker just sent along a note that her new book, Disabled Education: A Critical Analysis of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, is just days from being released.  Here's the publisher's synopsis:
Enacted in 1975, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides all children with the right to a free and appropriate public education. On the face of it, the IDEA is a shining example of law’s democratizing impulse. But is that really the case? In Disabled Education, Ruth Colker digs deep beneath the IDEA’s surface and reveals that the IDEA contains flaws that were evident at the time of its enactment that limit its effectiveness for poor and minority children. 
Through an examination of the evolution of the IDEA, the experiences of children who fought for their education in court, and social science literature on the meaning of “learning disability,” Colker reveals the IDEA’s shortcomings, but also suggests ways in which resources might be allocated more evenly along class lines.
Ruth is one of the most important and interesting scholars writing on the IDEA.  Though I don't always agree with her take on the issues, I often do, and I always benefit from reading her work.  Check her new book out!

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Perlin on the CRPD and Guardianship

Just out: Michael L. Perlin, “Striking for the Guardians and Protectors of the Mind”: The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Mental Disabilities and the Future of Guardianship Law, 117 Penn. St. L. Rev. 1159 (2013).  The abstract:
In many nations, entry of a guardianship order becomes the “civil death” of the person affected because persons subjected to such measure are not only fully stripped of their legal capacity in all matters related to their finance and property but are also deprived of many other fundamental rights, including the right to vote, the right to consent or refuse medical treatment (including forced psychiatric treatment), freedom of association, and the right to marry and have a family. The United Nations’ ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) radically changes the scope of international human rights law as it applies to all persons with disabilities, and in no area is this more significant than in the mental disability law context. And there is no question that the CRPD speaks to the issue of guardianship. This article examines what impact, if any, the CRPD and other international human rights documents will have on guardianship practice around the world. This question is of great importance given the common usage of this status and the lack of procedural safeguards that attend the application of this status in many nations.

This article begins by examining why guardianship is considered “civil death” in much of the world before discussing the possible impact that the CRPD will have on the application of guardianship laws. Issues discussed include the need for some mechanism to insure the appointment of counsel to persons facing guardianship; the need for a mechanism to insure that, in those cases in which guardianship is inevitably necessary, “personal” guardians will be appointed instead of institutional ones; the need for domestic courts—in all parts of the world—to take these issues seriously when they are litigated on a case- by-case basis; and the inevitable problems that will arise in the Asia and Pacific region, where there is no regional court or commission at which litigants can seek CRPD enforcement. Finally, this article considers the impact of therapeutic jurisprudence on the questions at hand, and concludes by looking again at the CRPD as a potentially emancipatory means of restructuring guardianship law around the world.

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Fast Food Franchisee Pays $100K to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

See this press release, which begins:
Alia Corporation, a franchisee with over 20 fast-food chain restaurants throughout Central California, agreed to pay $100,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today. 
The EEOC originally filed suit against the Merced, Calif.-based company in 2011 on behalf of Derrick Morgan, a former floor supervisor with an intellectual disability (EEOC v. Alia Corporation, Case No. 1:11-cv-01549-LJO-BAM, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California). Morgan was known to be a good employee and promoted by previous management from crew member to super­visor in 2008. The EEOC contends that once Alia took over, Alia management demoted Morgan to a janitorial position, cut his hours and reduced his hourly wages, thereby forcing him to find other employment and resign by June 2009. The EEOC's lawsuit argued that Alia Corporation thus engaged in disability discrimination that violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 
As part of the settlement announced today, the parties entered into a three-year consent decree requiring Alia to hire an equal employment opportunity (EEO) monitor to create anti-discrimination policies and procedures; a complaint process and impartial investigations; a centralized tracking system for discrimination complaints; a system to hold employees accountable for discrimination; and, annual live disability discrimination training for all management and human resources employees. The $100,000 in monetary relief shall be paid entirely to Morgan. The EEOC will monitor compliance with the agreement.

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EEOC Sues Florida Hospital for Discriminating Against Doctor with Epilepsy

See this press release, which begins:
Baptist Health South Florida, a Miami-based hospital system, violated federal law when it refused a reasonable scheduling request from a newly hired physician with epilepsy at its Doctor's Hospital location in Coral Gables, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today. 
According to the EEOC's suit, a new hire, Dr. Lianette Campos-Sackley, applied for a position at Doctor's Hospital's Gamma Knife Center as a general medical practitioner under the direction of Dr. Aizik Wolf. During her initial interview with Dr. Wolf, Dr. Campos-Sackley notified him that she had epilepsy, which required her to not exceed an eight-hour work day. Dr. Wolf agreed to Dr. Campos-Sackley's scheduling request and, after she interviewed with other members of the Doctor's Hospital staff, she was ultimately hired.

However, as soon as she began working, Dr. Wolf altered the pre-determined schedule and demanded that Dr. Campos-Sackley work additional hours, which caused her health to rapidly deteriorate. Dr. Campos-Sackley consulted with hospital management and renewed her request for a reasonable accommodation in the form of a modified work schedule, but the request was denied. Within a few days, Dr. Campos-Sackley was terminated.

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Nice Piece on Olmstead, Budget Cuts, and Nursing Homes

By contrast, here's a nice piece on Olmstead issues, which uses the M.R. case as a lens to examine the various questions.

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Kaiser Health News on Controversy Over the Companionship Exemption

Kaiser Health News has a decent piece today on the controversy over the companionship exemption to the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The Department of Labor is preparing rules that would narrow that exemption and extend minimum wage and overtime protections to more home-care aides.  The proposed rule has provoked opposition from home-care agencies, predictably.  It has also provoked opposition from many individuals with disabilities and disability rights organizations, who believe that (without increases in Medicaid reimbursements) it will make personal assistance unaffordable for many people with disabilities and drive them into institutions.  It's always seemed to me that there is room for a compromise here, but folks haven't gotten there yet.

The disability rights group ADAPT focused on this issue during its trip to DC last week; indeed, they shut down all the entrances to the Department of Labor building for a time.  So I was a bit displeased that the KHN article, which is otherwise quite well reported, did not include the voice of a single person with a disability or representative of a disability rights organization.

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Important Recent Department of Justice Olmstead Brief

Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a brief opposing a motion for preliminary injunction in Illinois League of Advocates for the Developmentally Disabled v. Quinn, a case in which the plaintiffs argue that Olmstead forbids the State of Illinois from closing institutions for people with developmental disabilities.  The DOJ brief takes the position that the plaintiffs are seeking to turn Olmstead on its head:
The State of Illinois currently plans to close two State Operated Developmental Centers (Jacksonville Developmental Center and the Murray Developmental Center) in fiscal year 2013 and shift resources towards expanding community based care. The Plaintiffs, who are the guardians of individuals residing in these institutions, are opposed to the closure of State Operated Developmental Centers (SODCs). The Plaintiffs argue that the ADA, an integration statute enacted to end the pervasive segregation of persons with disabilities, conveys a right to remain in a segregated institution, as opposed to a right to live in the community. See Plaintiffs’ Memorandum of Law in Support of their Motion for Preliminary Injunction, p. 19 (“Pls. Memorandum”). Nothing in the ADA or its regulations, the Supreme Court’s decision in Olmstead, or any other case law supports this interpretation of the ADA and its integration mandate. Rather, the inverse is true.

In Olmstead, the Supreme Court concluded that the unjustified institutionalization and isolation of persons with mental disabilities violates the ADA. 527 U.S. 581, 597 (1999). The Supreme Court reached this conclusion based upon two “evident judgments.” Id. at 600. First, the Court observed that “institutional placement of persons who can handle and benefit from community settings perpetuates unwarranted assumptions that persons so isolated are incapable or unworthy of participating in community life.” Id. at 600. Second, the Court noted that “confinement in an institution severely diminishes the everyday life activities of individuals, including family relations, social contacts, work options, economic independence, educational advancement, and cultural enrichment.” Id. at 601.

Plaintiffs make much of Olmstead’s statement that there is no “federal requirement that community-based services be imposed upon those who do not desire them.” 527 U.S. at 602. However, to read that sentence in Olmstead as creating a right to institutionalization would turn the ADA and its integration mandate on its head and impermissibly create a new right under the ADA that was never intended by Congress. Gonzaga Univ. v. Doe, 536 U.S. 273, 283 (2002) (Congress must “unambiguously confer a right” to support a cause of action under §1983 or an implied right of action.) The ADA does not confer a right to remain in any given institution.

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AP Report on the Henry's Turkey Trial

See this story, which begins:

A Texas company profited from dozens of mentally disabled men working at a turkey processing plant in rural Iowa where they were physically and verbally abused and forced to live in filthy, rodent-infested conditions, a government attorney told jurors on Tuesday. 
Employees of Henry’s Turkey Service engaged in “shocking and disturbing employment actions” that violated not only the Americans with Disabilities Act, but a code of basic human decency, said Equal Employment Opportunity Commission attorney Robert Canino. 
He said the company should compensate 32 former employees who were mistreated while Henry’s supplied them as contract workers to West Liberty Foods in West Liberty, Iowa.

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Forthcoming Student Note on Internet Accessibility

New on SSRN: Courtney L. Burks, Improving Access to Commercial Websites Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, Iowa Law Review, forthcoming.  The abstract:
In 1990, Congress enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") — one of the most comprehensive set of antidiscrimination laws to date. Title III of the ADA requires private businesses to make reasonable efforts to ensure that disabled individuals are able to access their "place[s] of public accommodation." However, as the internet has grown more ubiquitous in Americans’ lives, there have been debates whether a commercial website is a place of public accommodation under Title III. In order to help ensure that the disabled community is not left behind as the nation’s dependence on web-based technology increases, Congress enacted the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act ("CVAA"). This Note examines conflicting interpretations of Title III, and how the CVAA may affect the ADA’s application to commercial websites. This Note concludes by arguing that a broad definition of “place of public accommodation” is in line with the history and purpose of the ADA, and federal regulations imposing uniform technical accessibility standards are needed in order to diminish the accessibility barriers to websites that fall within the scope of Title III.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Report of Nevada State Mental Hospital Putting Residents on Greyhound Buses and Sending Them to Other States Without Services

I had missed this story -- appalling if true.  It begins:
A Nevada state mental hospital's practice of discharging psychiatric patients to Greyhound buses and transporting them to cities and towns across the country is under investigation by the independent, nonprofit body that accredits hospitals nationwide. 
In addition, city attorneys in San Francisco and Los Angeles are exploring whether the practice constitutes a form of cross-state "patient dumping," and might be grounds for legal action against Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital and Nevada health authorities. 
The responses follow a report in Sunday's Sacramento Bee that revealed that Rawson-Neal, Nevada's primary psychiatric hospital, has bused more than 1,500 mentally ill patients out of southern Nevada in the last five years, sending at least one person to every state in the continental United States. About one-third of those patients were shipped to California, including more than 200 to Los Angeles County, 36 to San Francisco and 19 to the city of Sacramento, according to a review of Greyhound bus receipts purchased since July 2008 by Nevada's mental health division.
Read the whole thing. Ugh.


Malhotra and Neufeld on Growth Attenuation

Up on SSRN: Ravi Malhotra & Katharine R. Neufeld, The Legal Politics of Growth Attenuation, Windsor Rev. Legal & Soc. Issues (forthcoming).  The abstract:
In this article, we consider the implications of growth attenuation should it ever arise in the Canadian context. While parental autonomy to make crucial health care decisions and exercise control over minors is not a right that should be lightly dismissed, we argue that growth attenuation is entirely inappropriate and should never be regarded as ethically permissible for children. We ground our perspective in the social model of disablement which stands for the proposition that it is structural barriers that are chiefly responsible for the marginalization experienced by people with disabilities in every area of social life including employment, transportation, and housing. Critical disability theory applies the social model to new public policy problems and we regard our intervention as a modest attempt at rethinking a bioethical dilemma through the prism of critical disability theory. We do so through a review of the case law and through a consideration of relevant ethical principles, paying particular attention to the scholarship of Martha Nussbaum’s theories of equality for people with intellectual disabilities.

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Johnston on Sentencing and Mental Illness

Up on SSRN: E. Lea Johnston, Vulnerability and Just Desert: A Theory of Sentencing and Mental Illness, 103 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 147 (2013).  The abstract:
This Article analyzes risks of serious harms posed to prisoners with major mental disorders and investigates their import for sentencing under a just deserts analysis. Drawing upon social science research, the Article first establishes that offenders with serious mental illnesses are more likely than non-ill offenders to suffer physical and sexual assaults, endure housing in solitary confinement, and experience psychological deterioration during their carceral terms. The Article then explores the significance of this differential impact for sentencing within a retributive framework. It first suggests a particular expressive understanding of punishment, capacious enough to encompass foreseeable, substantial risks of serious harm proximately caused by the state during confinement and addresses in particular the troublesome issue of prison violence. It then turns to just desert theory and principles of ordinal and cardinal proportionality to identify three ways in which vulnerability to serious harm may factor into sentencing. In so doing, the Article advances the current debate about the relevance of individual suffering to retributivism and lays the theoretical groundwork for the consideration of vulnerability due to mental illness as a morally relevant element in sentencing decisions.

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Weber on All Areas of Suspected Disability

Disability law maven and IDEA expert Mark Weber has just posted this paper on SSRN: Mark C. Weber, All Areas of Suspected Disability, Loyola L. Rev. (forthcoming).  The abstract:
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires school districts to assess children “in all areas of suspected disability.” It further provides that each child’s individualized education program (IEP) must contain measurable annual goals designed to “meet each of the child’s...educational needs that result from the child’s disability,” and a statement of special education and related services that will be provided for the child “to advance appropriately toward attaining annual goals.”

Courts have strictly enforced these requirements in the last several years, remedying violations of IDEA when school districts fail to assess in all areas of suspected disability or do not establish goals and services to meet each of the child’s needs resulting from the disability. This Article offers three interpretations of this recent development. First, what the courts are doing may represent an effort to enforce provisions of IDEA that stand apart from the limited reading that a 1982 Supreme Court case placed on the requirement in the statute to provide a free, appropriate public education. Second, the development may signify a different way of looking at special education obligations under the law, one well adapted to the ever-increasing importance attached to providing services in settings that are less restrictive and maintain the greatest inclusion of students with disabilities with nondisabled students. Third, the cases might simply be a reaction to cutbacks on evaluations and services that school districts have imposed because of financial strains brought about by the Great Recession. This Article will not try to declare which of these interpretations is the correct one, and in fact all three may be true. But the Article will conclude that enforcement of these provisions furthers the underlying purposes Congress had in enacting IDEA.

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Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Waterstone on Disability Constitutional Law

New on SSRN: Michael Waterstone, Disability Constitutional Law (Emory L.J., forthcoming).  The abstract:
As a result of fierce advocacy, people with disabilities have been uniquely successful in securing federal legislation protecting them from discrimination in all areas of life. The modern disability rights movement is engaged in a constant struggle to enforce these rights, both in and out of the courts. There has been little attention to directly using the Constitution to protect the rights of people with disabilities. In a recent project, I interviewed many of the key leaders of the disability rights movement, who confirmed that while they would like to devote more attention to constitutional issues, there is no current short- or long-term constitutional strategy. Rather, these lawyers take the Supreme Court’s decision in City of Cleburne, Texas v. Cleburne Living Center, holding that people with disabilities are only entitled to rational basis review under the Equal Protection Clause, as a given. Their attention has turned elsewhere.

This deconstitutionalization has costs. State laws still facially discriminate against people with disabilities, often people with mental disabilities. Federal legislation is an incomplete tool to challenge the exclusions these laws create. Progressive theorizing of constitutional law is happening, just not regarding disability. Although functionally justifiable, this reluctance to pursue constitutional claims impoverishes the disability rights movement, as constitutional claims engage courts in articulating our core values in a way that statutory claims do not. Disability law can and should do more to fulfill the constitution’s guarantees of Equal Protection and full citizenship. In this Article, I explore what a more progressive future for disability constitutional law might look like. Building on gains by the LGBT movement, I offer specific areas where courts should entertain a more contextualized application of the Equal Protection Clause in disability cases.


Wednesday, April 03, 2013

NC Journal on Law and Technology on Possible New Web Access Regs

See this blog post, which jumps off from a Wall Street Journal article (behind pay wall) suggesting that DOJ may issue its long-awaited proposed internet accessibility regulations later this year.

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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Blind Government Attorney Sues Department of Homeland Security for Inaccessible Technology

Last week, the ace disability rights law firm of Brown, Goldstein & Levy filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.  The plaintiff is Michael Leiterman, an attorney who has worked at the Department of Homeland Security since 2006.  The complaint alleges that Leiterman, who is blind and uses JAWS as a screen reader, has faced numerous barriers at work, including an inaccessible travel-booking system, inaccessible software, inaccessible intranet pages, an inaccessible telephone, inaccessible telecommuting technology, and inaccessible training modules.  As a consequence, Leiterman alleges, he was denied a promotion.  He claims that DHS's conduct in this regard violates his rights under Sections 501 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.  The Section 508 claim should be particularly interesting to watch.

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Pasachoff on Federal Education Programs (Including IDEA) After NFIB v. Sebelius

Just out: Eloise Pasachoff, Conditional Spending After NFIB v. Sebelius: The Example of Federal Education Law, 62 Am. U. L. Rev. 577 (2013).  The abstract:
In NFIB v. Sebelius, the Supreme Court's recent case addressing the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, the Court concluded that the Act's expansion of Medicaid was unconstitutionally coercive and therefore exceeded the scope of Congress's authority under the Spending Clause. This was the first time that the Court treated coercion as an issue of more than theoretical possibility under the Spending Clause. In the wake of the Court's decision, commentators have expressed either the concern or the hope that NFIB's coercion analysis may lead to the undoing of much of the federal regulatory state, which substantially relies on the spending power. This Article argues that both this concern and this hope are misplaced. 
Taking federal education law as a test case for future coercion analysis--since federal funding given to the states for elementary and secondary education is second only to federal funding given to the states for Medicaid--this Article concludes that NFIB's coercion inquiry is unlikely to lead to much else being found unconstitutional. The major federal education laws, and by implication other conditional spending laws, will not likely find their demise under the Court's analysis. 
Nonetheless, NFIB will likely have some effect on the future of federal education law and other laws that rely on Congress's spending powers. It  should put a damper on calls to dramatically increase federal education funding; encourage the trend towards smaller grants of limited duration, especially those that bypass the states; result in some structural changes both in funding and enforcement; and, somewhat paradoxically for a decision that found the Medicaid enforcement regime coercive, may lead to greater federal enforcement of conditional spending laws.

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Anderson on Causation and Reasonable Accommodation After Gross

Just out: Cheryl L. Anderson, Unification of Standards in Discrimination Law: The Conundrum of Causation and Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA, 82 Miss. L.J. 67 (2013).  From the introduction:
In the post-Gross regime, causation could similarly creep into another aspect of reasonable accommodation analysis--as a requirement that plaintiffs show their disability is a but-for cause of their need for the accommodation. There is case law rejecting ADA Title I employment claims because the plaintiffs could not show they needed the requested accommodations in order to do their job. The but-for test could take it a step further and require plaintiffs to show their disability is the but-for reason the accommodation itself is necessary. Although not directly the issue decided in Gross, such a rule may be a fairly simple extension of Gross's understanding of the default rules of causation. At least in the Seventh Circuit, a similar but-for standard has already crept into ADA Title II analysis. The Seventh Circuit requires Title II plaintiffs establish that their need for accommodation is based on something that is not a characteristic shared with the general public. The leap from Title II to Title I for applying such a standard may not be too large. 
Why might courts make this leap? As has been extensively discussed in the literature, reasonable accommodation law has an uneasy fit into our understanding of discrimination law. Reasonable accommodation claims do not require proof of intent to discriminate. They also do not require proof of an adverse effect on an entire group of individuals.  Courts have shown themselves uneasy about interpreting the law in a way that appears to give preference to a particular individual. This unease has been especially apparent in circumstances when an employee with a disability seeks reassignment to a vacant position as a reasonable accommodation and the employer asserts another employee is entitled to or more qualified for that position. Focusing on causation may mitigate that unease, because it seems to distinguish between those whose disadvantage is related to their disability and those who will receive an unfair advantage over others. 
In general, the Gross but-for standard eases courts' concerns about discrimination claims because it requires plaintiffs to carry the burden of proof throughout the process of proving discrimination. That stands in contrast to the statutory provisions setting out the ADA's reasonable accommodation mandate, which requires plaintiffs establish only that an accommodation is reasonable and then shifts the burden to employers to prove the accommodation poses an undue hardship on the business. It has been suggested that Gross is the product of a Court majority hostile to imposing burdens on the employer, perhaps out of fear that doing so will make it too easy for undeserving plaintiffs to prevail. Thus, Gross insists that the risk of sorting out whether discrimination was in fact the reason for an action rests firmly with the plaintiff. The Court could apply a similar construct to accommodation claims and do an end run around the undue hardship burden-shift: The plaintiff could be required to show that what she seeks is indeed related to her disability in a way that distinguishes her limitations from the barriers faced by the general public. Otherwise, much as the “motivating factor” standard in a mixed-motive claim is (arguably) overbroad in finding discrimination when legitimate factors predominate, the reasonable accommodation standard would be (arguably) overbroad in providing accommodations to individuals not actually burdened by their disability but by the same burdens everyone else faces. As this Article will demonstrate, however, that reasoning misconstrues the reasonable accommodation mandate.

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DOJ Civil Rights Division's Four-Year Accomplishments Include Many Disability Rights Advances

Last week, the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division issued a report describing its accomplishments during the first Obama term.  (As many of you know, I was a senior political appointee in the Division for two years of that time.)  The report includes a number of accomplishments relating to disability rights enforcement.  Here's the summary, but there's much more in the report:
Expanding access to opportunity for people with disabilities cuts across almost every area of the Division’s work. The Division’s disability rights docket has grown dramatically as we work to break down physical and attitudinal barriers in public accommodations and state and local government. We have also expanded access to housing, educational, and employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

A centerpiece of the Division’s disability rights work over the past four years has been an aggressive effort to realize the promise of the Supreme Court’s landmark Olmstead decision, which recognizes the right of individuals with disabilities to live and receive services in their communities rather than in institutions or other segregated settings. Since the beginning of this Administration, the Division has been involved in 44 Olmstead matters in 23 states. These efforts include four groundbreaking settlement agreements that the Division has signed with the states of Georgia, Delaware, Virginia, and North Carolina. Collectively, this ongoing commitment to community integration will benefit tens of thousands of individuals with disabilities throughout the country. And because Olmstead is not simply about where one lives, but also how one lives, we have worked to ensure that people with disabilities have access to other key elements for self-sufficiency and community membership, including integrated employment opportunities.

The Division has also worked hard to ensure that individuals with disabilities can access public accommodations and state and local government services without facing unnecessary and illegal barriers. Through Project Civic Access, we partner with communities to identify and break down such barriers, and have reached agreements with 42 communities of all sizes throughout the country in the past four years. As a result of these agreements, more than 1 million people with disabilities have increased civic access and can live, work, and thrive in their communities alongside their neighbors.

Meanwhile, the explosion of new technology has dramatically changed the way Americans communicate, learn, and conduct business. But for too many people with disabilities, the benefits of this technology revolution remain beyond their reach. Many websites of public accommodations and public entities are not accessible to people with vision or hearing disabilities. Devices like Electronic book (e-book) readers, whether used as textbooks in a classroom or as a way to check out books from a library, can be unusable by someone who is blind because of the accessible features they need. Over the last four years, the Division has reached settlements to ensure that people with disabilities are not left behind as new technology emerges in libraries and schools.

US DOJ Moves to Intervene in Olmstead Challenge to Oregon's Reliance on Sheltered Workshops

I have blogged before about Lane v. Kitzhaber, the pending case in which plaintiffs allege that Oregon's reliance on sheltered workshops, at the expense of integrated employment services, for people with various disabilities violates the ADA's integration mandate as interpreted in the Supreme Court's Olmstead decision.  Late last week, the U.S. Department of Justice moved to intervene as a plaintiff in the case.  This development is hardly a shock.  Last summer, DOJ issued a letter to the state, which informed the state of DOJ's finding that Oregon's reliance on sheltered workshops violated Olmstead.  But subsequent settlement negotiations did not lead to a satisfactory resolution, so the Department chose to intervene.

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