Hundreds of mentally ill people who have been confined to nursing homes, sometimes in prisonlike conditions, would move to apartments or other housing within three years under a legal settlement with New York State.
Health-care providers on Wednesday lambasted state changes to a Medicaid program that make it harder for patients, particularly the elderly, to get in-home care for such everyday activities as eating, bathing and going to the bathroom.
Advocates for people with disabilities have filed a federal class-action lawsuit seeking to block the state from cutting in-home care services to 4,000 low-income individuals who need extensive assistance to remain at home and out of an institution.
The members and staff of Community Access Unlimited applauded a state plan to provide people with disabilities and/or their families an annual stipend to help pay for the cost of providing services. New Jersey has proposed the $10,000 to $15,000 stipend in light of the state’s inability to provide people with disabilities sufficient access to community living, as required by law.
Services that help the disabled have been put on the chopping block up at the state Capitol, spurring a march and rally Tuesday morning.
Josue Rodriguez sat in his motorized wheelchair on the south steps of the Capitol today and urged an audience of hundreds of disability advocates to continue fighting for their freedom. “What we need are vital services that keep us independent,” the El Pasoan said.
Charles Cooper had never heard of Down syndrome in 1958, when his 2-week-old son was diagnosed with the disability.
Cooper trusted the doctor when he said his son would do best in an institution. So Cooper went to a Fredericksburg judge and signed commitment papers.
But then he visited some of the training centers. And Cooper decided that his son deserved better.
A Department of Justice investigation has found that Virginia violated the civil rights of training center residents by keeping them in institutions rather than moving them to community settings.
A U.S. District Court judge in Illinois has certified a class action lawsuit on behalf of eight people with severe disabilities who have either aged-out of a medical program for children or who are in danger of soon reaching the age cut off.
The Justice Department has reached an agreement with Georgia over a long-running case involving what critics say is the unlawful segregation of residents with mental illness and developmental disabilities in state psychiatric hospitals.