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Agreement reached to provide additional services to disabled

December 14, 2020 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday announced a settlement agreement with North Dakota that it says resolves complaints alleging the state unnecessarily institutionalizes individuals with disabilities in nursing facilities, instead of providing them with the services they need to live in their communities.

Under the agreement, North Dakota will expand services to individuals with physical disabilities in, or at risk of entering, a nursing facility to allow them to live in their homes. The services include assistance in finding accessible housing and home health aides.

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The state agreed to provide the services to more than 2,500 people with disabilities and help them to assess their options on where they could live and help them arrange for community-based services.

“The settlement we reached ensures that thousands of North Dakotans with disabilities, including seniors, will have a meaningful choice for where they wish to live, including in their own private home,” said U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley for the District of North Dakota. “That is the sacred promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and I commend our state partners who joined my office and the Department of Justice in securing for North Dakotans the right to age in place for today and all the years to come.”

In 2009, the department’s Civil Rights Division launched an effort to enforce a Supreme Court ruling that requires states to eliminate unnecessary segregation of persons with disabilities and to ensure that they receive services in settings appropriate to their needs.