Virginia to transform system of caring for developmentally disabled

Virginia will close four state institutions for the developmentally disabled and move thousands of people to their own homes, their family’s houses or group homes as part of a $2 billion settlement announced Thursday with the U.S. Justice Department.

The agreement follows a scathing federal report of the training centers, which found the state harmed residents by keeping them in large institutions instead of providing smaller, community-based homes.

“As affirmed by the Supreme Court over a decade ago, people with disabilities should be given the same opportunities to participate in community life as those without disabilities,” Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the civil rights division, said in a statement. “This agreement will enable people in Virginia who have developmental disabilities to live successfully in their homes and communities.’’

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