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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 26, 2019

Federal Court Terminates Agreement After the City of Providence Transforms Services for Students with Disabilities at Providence Public High School

The Interim Settlement Agreement is the First in the Nation to Address the Rights of Individuals with Disabilities to Receive Integrated Employment Services

The Justice Department announced today that the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island terminated the Interim Settlement Agreement (ISA), with the City of Providence (City), in U.S. v. Rhode Island and City of Providence.  The independent Court Monitor has found that the City has substantially complied with the ISA’s requirements.  Because of the City’s commitment to complying with the ISA, the City now provides transitional services and supports to students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) at Mount Pleasant High School, including community experiences, to enable those students to prepare for and obtain competitive jobs in businesses in the community. 

“The Interim Settlement Agreement changed lives,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.  “Mount Pleasant students are now able to experience employment and other activities in integrated settings, thereby enabling them to prepare for and obtain competitive jobs in the community.  We commend the City for its efforts in achieving compliance with the ISA.”  

The ISA was the first in the nation to address the rights of individuals with disabilities to receive integrated employment services in the broader community instead of in segregated workshops exclusively for individuals with disabilities.  Prior to the ISA, students with IDD at Mount Pleasant spent school days bagging, labeling, and collating jewelry and similar tasks in an in-school sheltered workshop, apart from their classmates without disabilities.  Upon exiting school, most of these students did similar work for sub-minimum wage at a sheltered workshop near the school, despite their ability and willingness to work in integrated settings.  Now, the students are integrated with their classmates without disabilities and receive services to prepare them for integrated work in careers that match their interests and abilities, in accordance with the ADA. 

The papers related to the ISA, including the findings letter, agreement, Court Monitor’s reports, and papers related to the termination as to the City are available here.  The ISA still remains in effect as to the State of Rhode Island.  The papers related to the State, including the agreements signed by the State and Court Monitor’s reports, are available here.  For more information about the ADA, please visit http://www.ada.gov or call the toll-free ADA Information Line at (800) 514-0301 or (800) 514-0383 (TTY).

Topic(s): 
Civil Rights
Press Release Number: 
19-1038
Updated September 26, 2019