Ability Center and Statewide Agencies Win Victory

Ability Center and Statewide Agencies Win Victory

Community Integration Class Action Lawsuit: Final Approval Granted for Settlement

BALL V. DEWINE UPDATE - APRIL 2020

The Honorable Judge Sargus granted final approval to a comprehensive settlement agreement in this class action lawsuit on Friday, April 24th, 2020. The full final approval and order is now available.

As of June 2013, 41,260 people with developmental disabilities were on a waiting list for an Independent Options Waiver from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. Many people with developmental disabilities living in institutions were waiting for waivers to leave, and many people living in the community did not have enough waivers to remain in the community. In March 2016, The Ability Center of Greater Toledo, several individual plaintiffs and a class, represented by Disability Rights Ohio, the Center for Public Representation, the law firm of Sidley Austin LLP, and Attorney Sam Bagenstos filed the lawsuit of Ball v. DeWine in order to challenge the way the Developmental Disabilities system was balanced in Ohio.

After four years of litigation, last month, Judge Sargas of the Southern District of Ohio approved a final settlement in Ball v. DeWine, which will open up community-based options to those who previously did not have access to them. The settlement will expand community-based options for people with developmental disabilities in Ohio by:

  • expanding options counseling and pre-admission counseling programs;
  • maintaining peer-to-peer and family-to-family programs and exploratory visits for people who have not yet made a decision;
  • expanding access to state funded Individual Options waivers for people who choose a waiver;
  • supporting and expanding programs for integrated, affordable housing, and integrated day and employment services;
  • and continuing follow along visits for people after they have left Intermediate Care Facilities.

For more information, contact our Advocacy staff.

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