New High Impact Project Case Challenges Segregation and Discrimination of Institutionalized Intellectually Disabled Persons

Jerry Hartman, attorneys from Drinker Biddle, and Disability Rights North Carolina filed a lawsuit challenging the State’s practices of segregating and institutionalizing individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.

The complaint states that DHHS is failing North Carolinian citizens with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD) by forcing thousands to remain in institutions or segregated from their families and communities because of a fractured and inefficient system of care.

The case was filed on behalf of five plaintiffs with I/DD who are subject to improper segregation or are at risk of segregation, whose experiences demonstrate that DHHS has failed people with I/DD who face continual challenges to maintaining stable engagement in their communities.

The lawsuit aims to change the practices that result in thousands of North Carolinians being denied their right to live in a non-segregated community setting due to the State of North Carolina and DHHS’s failure to meet its required statutory and constitutional obligations to people with I/DD. (May 2017)