Ohio suit on community-based options for disabled advances

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A lawsuit claiming Ohioans with intellectual and developmental disabilities experience segregation when forced to receive services from institutions due to fewer community- or home-based options will be allowed to proceed.

Federal Judge Edmund Sargus Jr. on Thursday rejected motions to dismiss by Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) and several state agency directors named as defendants. He found Kasich waived sovereign immunity in the case by taking federal funds.

Disability Rights Ohio filed the lawsuit on behalf of six people the group says are, or are at risk of being, “needlessly institutionalized” because of barriers to more integrated residential, employment or day services.

The suit seeks class-action status for about 27,800 disabled people in similar situations.

The attorney general’s office expressed disappointment in Sargus’ ruling, but said it’s ready to proceed.