On May 17, United States Magistrate Judge Janice M. Stewart issued a ruling in the case of Lane v. Kitzhaber, a case alleging that Oregon is not providing services to individuals with disabilities in the most integrated settings possible as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The judge ruled that the “case does not involve ‘employment,’ but instead involves the State’s provision (or failure to provide) ‘integrated employment services, including supported employment programs.’” Stewart deferred to a recent Department of Justice interpretation of the integration mandate that supports the plaintiffs’ position. Stewart also rejected the state’s argument that the plaintiffs must show that failure to provide supported employment services will result in their residential institutionalization.
Judge Stewart did side with the state on one issue and said that wording in the plaintiff’s complaint that seeks to provide the plaintiffs “an adequate level of employment services to enable plaintiffs to obtain a competitive job” is more than is required by the ADA, and that the wording must be taken out. For that reason, she granted the state’s motion to dismiss without prejudice and with leave to amend, which gives the plaintiffs the opportunity to file an amended complaint with the language specified taken out.
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