Staci Christensen, a woman with Down syndrome, was one of two plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit filed by The Disability Law Center who wanted to live in community settings but were stuck in institutional care facilities that limited their privacy and their ability to do ordinary things like choose their own meals or go to the movies. Staci, who is employed, wanted the freedom to work more hours, take classes at her leisure and even to decide her own room paint color.
After many months of negotiation, the parties agreed on a comprehensive settlement that would move 250 individuals of the 600 residing in Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs) into Home and Community Based Services over the course of 5 years. The State also agreed to permanent reductions in the number of licensed ICF beds, to provide more robust educational services to individuals living in ICFs about the benefits of HCBS, and to ensure that services in the community meet the needs of those transitioning out of facilities. Staci is now living in a residential setting of her choice.
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