Editors Note: The equivalent facilities in Australia are now known as Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs). This is a very hotly contested issue here in Australia as well so please feel free to leave your views in the comments below. There are both good and bad examples of ADEs and we will have more articles on this topic soon.


COLUMBUS, Ohio — A family advocacy group that opposes a class-action lawsuit filed against the state of Ohio on behalf of residents with developmental disabilities is requesting separate legal representation.

In a letter to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, the Disability Advocacy Alliance says a federal lawsuit filed by Disability Rights Ohio threatens the welfare of their loved ones who live in residential care centers, attend sheltered workshops or go to center-based day programs.

They are urging DeWine and other state officials to grant them counsel so that they can fight what they see as a dangerous push toward community settings for all.

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“We don’t feel that the interests of those who require and desire higher levels of care are being protected in this lawsuit,” said the alliance’s Caroline Lahrmann. “There’s a clear conflict of interest.”

Disability Rights Ohio and other legal advocates sued the state on March 31 over what they say is a discriminatory services system that traps thousands of people in institutions — or puts them at risk of moving to one — because they can’t get the support needed to live and work in their communities.

About 5,800 people…

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