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Lane v. Kitzhaber: Class Action Lawsuit Seeks an End to Segregated Sheltered Workshops

Advocates for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities filed a class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court on January 25, 2012 challenging Oregon’s failure to provide supported employment services to more than 2,300 state residents who are segregated in sheltered workshops where they perform mundane tasks, such as folding UPS bags. The lawsuit charges state officials with violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act by confining individuals with disabilities to segregated settings where they have little – if any – interaction with non-disabled peers. Moreover, they are paid far below the state’s minimum wage of $8.80 for doing rote tasks that offer no training, no skills, and no advancement.

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