Wednesday – January 3, 2024
According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), a significant number of individuals with disabilities spend their day receiving public services in sheltered workshops and facility-based day programs. In a report titled, Beyond Segregated and Exploited, the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) estimates that over 400,000 people are sent to sheltered workshops where they earn less than the federal minimum wage. This environment results in stigmatization and a lack of economic independence. These settings segregate individuals from the community and provide little or no opportunity to interact with people without disabilities, other than paid staff.
The Department of Justice implements the “integration mandate” of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires public entities to “administer services, programs, and activities in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities.” The ADA’s “integration mandate” makes clear that public entities must provide reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures to avoid discrimination. On October 31, 2023, the DOJ issued guidance that the “integration mandate” applies to sheltered workshops and day centers, putting them in violation of the ADA and the Olmstead decision.
In this episode we will discuss the most recent guidance on the ADA’s “integration mandate” and the Olmstead decision and its application to employment and day services for people with disabilities. Our guest is Julie Kegley, who is the staff attorney and program director of the Georgia Advocacy Office.
- Interactive Transcript for Episode 125: Applying the ADA’s Integration Mandate and Olmstead v. L.C. to Sheltered Employment and Day Services for People with Disabilities
- Transcript Episode 125: Applying the ADA’s Integration Mandate and Olmstead v. L.C. to Sheltered Employment and Day Services for People with Disabilities (PDF file)
- Resources Episode 125: Applying the ADA’s Integration Mandate and Olmstead v. L.C. to Sheltered Employment and Day Services for People with Disabilities
Georgia Advocacy Office (GAO), is the federally funded private nonprofit organization designated by the governor of Georgia to protect and advocate on behalf of Georgians with disabilities. GAO’s mission is to organize our resources and follow our values and legal mandates and ways which substantially increase the number of people who are voluntarily standing beside and for people in Georgia who have significant disabilities and mental illness. GAO envisions a Georgia where all people have value, visibility and voice, where even the most difficult in long standing challenges are addressed by ordinary citizens acting voluntarily on behalf of each other, and where the perception of disability is replaced by the recognition of ability. To learn more about the Georgia advocacy office, visit their website at thegao.org.