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Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

The METO Settlement

Shamus O'Meara: Shedding Light

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Shamus O'Meara: The settlement agreement, as a fundamental tenet, contemplates and articulates that it is no longer appropriate to use handcuffs and leg irons and mechanical means to restrain residents at METO or its successor facility. That's important. And it's important because we need to reflect on what the Just Plain Wrong report said about what was occurring to our loved ones at that facility. They were being handcuffed. They were shackled with leg irons. They were thrown into seclusion to the point at which many of these people simply would lie down on the ground and assume the position of being handcuffed or shackled without an emergency ever even arising.

That's how abusive an environment it became, and I think that the State Ombudsman for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities did us all a great service by shedding light on what occurred out there. So with that backdrop, the state and our office on behalf of the settlement class and the individuals that were sued in the lawsuit all came together, and we said, "Look, we can agree that the use of metal handcuffs and leg irons and these mechanical means to restrain are out and are prohibited." And that's what the settlement agreement does.

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The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center,the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.