Some families recently received a letter about the Consent Decree, an agreement between Rhode Island and the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ). The Consent Decree details what the state must do to improve day and employment services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The letter was sent to folks who received services in 2012, or have left school since 2012. If you received a letter, you do not have to do anything. If you received the letter, it is because you are a member of the target population and the State must provide you with the services you qualify for in the most integrated setting possible. The State must also give you information to help you understand the Consent Decree. If you do not want to receive these services, you can opt out.
The Consent Decree respects your individual preferences and choice when selecting and planning services. If you want a job or are thinking about self-employment, the first thing to do is to let your service coordinator or case manager know your wishes. Make sure your ISP team meets to discuss the services you might need. If you are still in school, you should let your family and teacher know and discuss possible changes to your IEP that would help you towards the goal of working in the community.