In 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice intervened in Oregon in the first class-action lawsuit in the nation to challenge a state funded and administered employment service system. This lawsuit was resolved in December 2015 when the U.S. District Court in Oregon approved a settlement agreement with the state of Oregon calling for supported employment services that afford people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD) the opportunity to achieve competitive employment and work in the community. Then in May 2016, on the other side of the country, a U.S. District Court Judge ordered the state of Rhode Island to take a series of actions to meet the terms of its 2014 Consent Decree regarding the statewide day activity service system, or else face hefty fines that could cost the state as much as $1 million a year.
With the movement toward integrated employment:
- What can we learn from provider communities in Oregon and Rhode Island?
- How are things shaping up in both states since these settlements?
- What is working? What are areas of concern?
Our presenters from Oregon and Rhode Island will share their perspectives as their states move forward with these agreements.
Chris Burnett, Executive Director, Oregon Resource Association
Since August 2013, Christine Burnett has served as the Executive Director of ORA responsible for the management and operations of a statewide trade association representing 70 community providers of I/DD supports to include comprehensive 24-hour residential supports, in-home and supported living services, community inclusion and employment. ORA also represents the majority of State Use providers (QRFs) in Oregon. Formed in 1967, ORA has been the voice of community providers, and works closely with Oregon and national policy makers to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities while ensuring that service providers are given the resources they need to do their jobs not only safely, but well. Chris came to ORA from the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (IARF). In June 2016 she was elected as the President of the NADSP Board of Directors.
Donna Martin, Executive Director, Community Provider Network of RI
Donna Martin has worked in the field of providing supports and services to people with developmental disabilities for over 30 years. During that time, she held positions at every level of service provision in the field. For the past 11 years, Donna has been serving as the Executive Director of Community Provider Network of Rhode Island (CPNRI). CPNRI is an association of 25 member agencies that provide supports and services to children and adults with developmental disabilities and collectively represents 3,500 people receiving services, over 5,000 employees with over $200 million in state and federal funding. Ms. Martin has a BA from Providence College and a M.Ed. from Rhode Island College. She is also a graduate of Leadership RI – Epsilon II, Class of 2009.
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