On January 26, Governor Bob McDonnell announced that the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) have reached a settlement agreement regarding the state's comprehensive system of services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The settlement is intended to ensure the state's compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Supreme Court's Olmstead decisionand that services are provided in the most integrated setting appropriate the needs of individuals. Theagreement will target individuals withintellectual and developmental disabilitieswho are currently residing at any of the training centers andwho meet the criteria for the wait list for the ID waiver, meet the criteria for the wait list for the DD waiver or currently reside in a nursing home or ICF.
On August 21, 2008,the DOJ initiated an investigation of the Central Virginia Training Center, the largest of Virginia's five state-operated intermediate care facilities for persons with I/DD. The investigation was originally made pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act.
By April 21, 2010, DOJ had expanded its investigation to focus on ADA and Olmstead compliance of Virginia's comprehensive system, including all five state training centers and community-based services. This expanded investigation led DOJ to issue a findings letter February 10, 2011, concluding that the state was failing to provide services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs as required by the ADA and Olmstead.
Community Options and Employment Highlights
Virginia is required to provide a plan to the Chairmen of the House of Delegates Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees within one year of the agreement to cease residential operations at four of Virginia's training centers. By June 30, 2021, the Commonwealth must create 4,170 waiver slots for the target population with the following stipulations:
- Create 805 waiver slots to enable individuals in the target population in training centers to transition to the community according to 10-year schedule that begins in 2012.
- Create a minimum of 2,915 waiver slots to prevent the institutionalization of individuals with intellectual disabilities in the target population who are on the urgent waitlist for a waiver, or to transition to the community individuals with intellectual disabilities under 22 years of age from institutions other than the Training Centers (i.e., ICFs and nursing facilities) based in a nine-year schedule.
- Create an individual and family support program for individuals with I/DD whom Virginia determines to be most at risk of institutionalization based on a nine-year schedule beginning in 2013.
- Ensure that individuals receiving HCBS waiver services under the agreement receive case management by managers not directly providing such services to the individual or supervising the provision of such services.
- Develop a statewide crisis system (including a mobile and a stabilization system) for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
- Provide individuals in the target population with integrated day opportunities, including supported employment.
- Develop and maintain an Employment First policy based on a series of principles beginning with individual supported employment in integrated work settings is the first and priority service option for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities receiving day program or employment services.
- Facilitate individuals receiving HCBS waivers under this agreement to live in their own home, leased apartment, or family's home, when such a placement is their informed choice and the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs
- Develop, within a year, a plan to increase access to independent living options such as individuals' own homes or apartments.
Individuals in the target population shall not be served in a sponsored home or any congregate setting, unless such placement is consistent with the individual's choice after receiving options for community placements, services,and supports consistent with specific terms of the agreement.
No individual in the target population shall be placed in a nursing facility or congregate setting, unless such placement is consistent with the individual's choice after receiving options for community placements, services and supports consistent and been reviewed by the region's resource consultant and support team.
The agreement entered into in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division, is attached.
The DOJ Findings Letter forFebruary 10, 2011 is available here.
Governor McDonnell's January 26 release is availablehere.