A disability rights group is suing the state, claiming it forces people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to receive services in institutional settings due to a lack of community options.
Disability Rights Ohio filed the suit on behalf of six people who the group says are, or are at risk of being, needlessly institutionalized because of barriers to community-based services. The suit, which seeks class-action status for nearly 28 thousand disabled people in similar situations, alleges violations of the federal Americans With Disabilities Act. Group spokesperson Kerstin Sjoberg-Witt says the disabled deserve services that allow them to live meaningful and productive lives.
The lawsuit alleges the plaintiffs are unnecessarily segregated in violation of the federal law because of how Ohio funds and administers its service system. The state says improvements are in the works, including nearly 300 million dollars in the current budget to expand community-based options.