As one of over 200 family members who filed objections in federal court to protect their severely disabled loved ones from Disability Rights Ohio, the state’s protection and advocacy system, I find it disheartening to read DRO’s misrepresentations to the public.
In the April 27 Dispatch.com article “Federal judge signs off on long-running lawsuit over housing for the disabled," DRO states that its lawsuit against Intermediate Care Facilities is about “meaningful choice.” Try to tell that to the hundreds of disabled Ohioans who sadly lost their ICF homes because of DRO’s threats and litigation.
Choice for Ohioans with intellectual and developmental disabilities between an ICF and a small community setting has been protected only because ICF families stood up to DRO and fought its litigation. DRO runs its service system under the presumption that all disabled people, regardless of their intensive needs, can live in a community setting. The weakest members of DRO's service system have paid a dear price for such specious pretense.
Caroline Lahrmann, Upper Arlington