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Lawsuit Settlement Gives People with Disabilities More Options

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A settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit against the state of Illinois filed by people with disabilities.

The lawsuit alleged that Illinois violated federal law by forcing people with disabilities to live in an institution to get government funded care. In the settlement announced yesterday, the state agreed to provide services that allow for more independent living.

Barry Taylor is with the group Equipped for Equality. He says the agreement will allow people with disabilities to choose to live in an institution or get state help to move out.

TAYLOR: When you’re in an institution often times you can’t make decisions for yourself. You have decisions made for you about when you eat and your scheduling. You’re isolated from the general population. This is an effort to integrate people with disabilities fully into society.

The Illinois Department of Human Services says it’s committed to following through on the agreement. The settlement still must be approved by a judge.

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