- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 21, 2014

DINWIDDIE, Va. (AP) - Dinwiddie training center for patients with intellectual disabilities closed Wednesday as part of a $2.4 billion federal settlement to end the warehousing of hundreds of people in Virginia.

The closing of the Southside Virginia Training Center has meant the loss of 900 jobs as the 75-year-old center has been phased out, The Progress-Index (https://bit.ly/1pe0Pk4) reported. About 225 patients have been relocated to community settings.

The center is the first of four in Virginia destined to close under the court-approved settlement.

Under the agreement, hundreds of profoundly disabled people in Virginia will be moved from large, state-run facilities to community care.

The settlement stems from a lawsuit the U.S. Justice Department filed against Virginia over what it called systemic violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Justice officials said Virginia was violating federal law by needlessly placing disabled people in large institutions scattered across the state instead of treating them closer to their families and in less restrictive settings.

The state will close all but one of its training centers and create 4,200 waivers over 10 years to better serve disabled clients at home or in more intimate settings.

The Northern Virginia Training Center in Fairfax will close by June 30, 2015; Southwestern Virginia Training Center in Hillsville by June 30, 2018; and Central Virginia Training Center in Lynchburg - the state’s largest with 400 residents - by June 30, 2020.

Southeastern Virginia Training Center in Chesapeake would remain open.

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Information from: The Progress-Index, https://www.progress-index.com


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