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LEAD Hosts “Disability, Employment, and Lane v. Brown” Webinar

December 15, 2015

On October 22nd the LEAD Center hosted a webinar titled “Disability, Employment & Lane v. Brown.” Moderated by Serena Lowe, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), the webinar included presenters from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), along with additional experts from United Cerebral Palsy Oregon and SW Washington and the Oregon Department of Human Services.

The webinar, attended by more than 430 participants nationwide, discussed the relevance of the Olmstead decision as it relates to employment circumstances for individuals with disabilities, in particular the recent settlements and agreements in the states of Rhode Island and Oregon. In both situations, the DOJ found that the states were in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Olmstead. With respect to Rhode Island, the DOJ found, among other things, that the state was engaged in the unnecessary segregation of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) as observed by the vast placements in one of the state’s largest segregated workshops/day activities service programs. In the instance of Oregon (Lane v. Brown), the DOJ found that the state was in violation of the ADA and Olmstead due to the state’s lack of providing employment services for individuals with I/DD in the most integrated setting appropriate for their needs.

As a result of the investigations and substantiated findings in both circumstances, the respective states are now mandated to begin specific processes, developed for their individual states, to begin to significantly reduce the number of individuals with I/DD receiving employment services in segregated settings and resulting in placements in sheltered workshops. We can expect, over the course of the next several years, to see significant increases in integrated competitive employment for the residents of these states with I/DD.

Visit the archive for the October 22nd LEAD webinar on Lane v. Brown for a recording of the webinar, transcript and more information on these cases.