Staci Christensen, a woman with Down syndrome, was one of the two plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed by The Disability Law Center who said they wanted to live in community settings but instead were stuck in care facilities that limited their privacy and their ability to do simple things like date 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 months of negotiations, the parties agreed on a comprehensive package to move 250 individuals of the 600 residing in Intermediate Care Facilities into Home and Community Based Services. The State also agreed to permanent reductions in the number of licensed ICF beds, to create new services to educate individuals living in ICFs about the benefits of HCBS, provide enhanced services in the community, and establish a new waiver in order to divert individuals who would otherwise be at risk of institutionalization. Staci is now living in a residential setting of her choice.
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