Official State of Rhode Island website
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The State of Rhode Island entered into a Settlement Agreement and Consent Decree with the United States Department of Justice in 2013 and 2014, respectively. The agreements address findings that the State violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in integrated settings, and by placing youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities at serious risk of segregation. Under the terms of these agreements, the State is committed to transform its service system over a 10-year period of time. The State is required to achieve certain goals each year. The ultimate goal is to provide integrated employment and day services for Rhode Islanders living with developmental disabilities.
Under the terms of the consent decree, the State is working to improve services for:
The consent decree applies to employment and day services for Rhode Islanders with developmental disabilities. But like states across the country, Rhode Island is making changes to our entire service system for people with developmental disabilities. These changes are helping to ensure equal opportunities and for all Rhode Islanders – at work, at home and in the community – regardless of disability status.
Over time, several key pieces of legislation have helped to ensure that individuals with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.
The State is working to ensure that every person covered by the consent decree has a person-centered career development plan. “Person centered” means the plan matches that person’s unique needs, interests and goals. For students who will be leaving school, this plan must include a plan to transition from youth to adult services. Plans must also include vocational (employment) goals.