Yesterday, the Department of Justice announced the settlement of another DOJ investigation into the utilization of sheltered workshops. According to The Providence Journal, the DOJ and the state of Rhode Island and the city of Providence have agreed to resolve violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act for 200 Rhode Islander students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The DOJ will continue its statewide investigation into the state's day activity service system for people with intellectual and development disabilities.
As reported by the Journal, “The action follows a DOJ investigation into Training Through Placement, a North Providence company that had a sheltered workshop with former students from the Harold A. Birch Vocational Program and other schools. A copy of the settlement agreement is here .
Under the agreement, disabled individuals will receive supported employment and integrated day services sufficient to support a 40-hour work week. It is expected they will work an average 20 hours a week at a job at competitive wages.
A federal DOJ official, Eve Hill, said at a news conference Thursday that the role of the ADA is to reduce "the tyranny of segregation" and provide opportunity to students with disabilities. Birch left students with no choice but to be segregated from society, she said.
"Separate is not equal," under today's disability laws, Hill said at the news conference, held at the U.S. Attorney's office in Providence.” The full story can be accessed here.