The Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued a findings letter on its investigation of employment and vocational services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Oregon pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The letter notifies the state of its failure to comply with the ADA, concluding that Oregon fails to provide employment and vocational services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. DOJ’s five major findings are:
- Sheltered workshops are segregated settings;
- The majority of Oregon’s employment and vocational services are delivered in sheltered workshops;
- Oregon administers its employment and vocational service system in a manner that segregates persons with disabilities in sheltered workshops;
- Persons with disabilities exiting the school system are at risk of placement in sheltered workshops; and
- Serving persons with disabilities in integrated employment settings can be reasonably accommodated.
DOJ recommends two remedial measures. First, DOJ recommends that the state “develop sufficient supported employment services to enable those who are unnecessarily segregated in sheltered workshops to receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs.” Second, DOJ recommends that the state implement an effective discharge and transition plan to transition people in workshops into integrated employment.