Ohio To Move 1,500 Into Communities To Settle 17-Year-Old
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
September 28, 2006
COLUMBUS, OHIO--About 1,500 people with developmental disabilities who are currently housed in Ohio institutions will be able to move into smaller community-based settings or their own homes, under the settlement announced Monday of a 17-year-old lawsuit.
The federal suit was filed in 1989 by Ohio Legal Rights Service, the state's federally-mandated protection and advocacy system, claiming that the governor and other state officials were warehousing people with disabilities "against their wills".
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the number of people served through Medicaid home and community-based waivers has increased from 2,600 a decade ago to nearly 17,000 today. During the same time period, the number of people in state-run institutions has dropped from 2,130 to about 1,600, according to data kept by the University of Colorado.
The settlement is based on the assumption that the General Assembly and Ohio's next governor will approve the $37 million needed to implement it.
"This sounds like a great settlement, but we're going to watch the state budget very closely," said Gary Tonks, executive director of the Arc of Ohio. "I don't want them taking money from other parts of the budget."
"Settlement on housing disabled is reached" (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
"Deal may get disabled out of states institutions" (Columbus Dispatch)