WHAT IS LANE V. BROWN?
It is a class action lawsuit that charged Oregon with violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by segregating individuals with disabilities in sheltered workshops where they have little to no interaction with non-disabled peers.
WHY HAVE I GOTTEN A LETTER?
Lawyers for a group of people with I/DD who are or have been in sheltered workshops since 2012 have agreed to settle the lawsuit with the State of Oregon. Over 4000 individuals are in this group. Every member of the group has been sent a letter to let them know about this proposed agreement. I/DD providers have also been sent a letter about the agreement.
IF I GOT A LETTER, DO I HAVE TO DO ANYTHING?
You do not have to respond to the letter. If you have questions about it, DRO attorneys are available to talk with you. The letter includes a “Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement” with more details.
IF I DON’T LIKE THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT, WHAT CAN I DO?
You can send DRO your objections or comments in writing and we will give them to the judge. These objections and comments must be received by DRO by October 29, 2015. You can also attend a court hearing and testify about your concerns or objections. The hearing will be held at the US District Court, 1000 SW Third Ave in Portland on December 7, 2015 at 9:30 am in the 11th floor courtroom of Magistrate Judge Janice M. Stewart.
WILL I GET ANY MONEY FROM THE SETTLEMENT?
No. The case does not ask that people with I/DD get money because their ADA rights were violated. The settlement only asks that people be given integrated employment services in the future.
WHAT NEW SERVICES WILL PEOPLE WITH I/DD GET FROM THE SETTLEMENT?
• By June 30, 2017, Oregon will reduce the number of individuals with I/DD in sheltered workshops from approximately 1,925 to 1,530 and decrease the total time that adults with I/DD spend in sheltered workshops from approximately 93,530 to 66,100 hours a year;
• The state will ensure that 1,115 working-age individuals currently in sheltered workshops obtain competitive integrated employment by June 30, 2022;
• Supported employment services shall be based on an individual’s capabilities, choices, and strengths. People who receive supported employment services in an integrated employment setting under this proposed Agreement will have a goal of working the maximum number of hours consistent with their abilities and preferences, without regard to the availability of employment opportunities;
• By July 1, 2022, Oregon will ensure that at least 4,900 people between the ages of 14 and 24 receive state employment services and at least half will receive, at a minimum, an individualized employment plan through OVRS that should lead to competitive employment;
• The State will establish a goal that individuals with I/DD who receive supported employment services under the Agreement work in an integrated employment setting at least 20 hours per week;
• Local educational agencies may not include sheltered workshops in the continuum of alternative placements and supplementary aids and services provided to students and school instructional curricula shall not include activities similar to sheltered workshops;
• The state will collect report on data that measures progress. A neutral Independent reviewer shall be selected to assess the state’s compliance;
• Oregon shall substantially implement and maintain the terms and systemic improvements of Executive Order 15-01 that enhance employment services for individuals with I/DD with the goal of competitive, integrated employment;
• Until June 30, 2019, the state will maintain a technical assistance provider to offer competency-based training, ongoing assistance, and support to agencies that offer supported employment services;
• Until at least June 30, 2019, Oregon will maintain grants for the transformation of existing sheltered workshop providers, the development of new supported employment services providers, or the expansion of existing providers to assist individuals to obtain integrated employment.