(KUTV) — The Disability Law Center (DLC) announced a lawsuit against the state of Utah Monday morning alleging violations of the American Disabilities Act.
According to the DLC, "people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have two options when they apply for services: receiving them in an intermediate care facility or in their homes and communities."
Utah offers immediate placement in Intermediate Care Facilities, but applicants are end up waiting for years on a list for home- and community-based services, according to the DLC.
"For people who need services immediately because they can not remain on a waiting list for years, private intermediate care facilities are the only option," the DLC states.
"Once a person is living in a private intermediate care facility, he or she effectively does not have the option to the leave the intermediate care facility and receive services in the community," the DLC says.
The DLC expresses concern that people living in these facilities live a segregated life apart from the community at large. They reportedly live in small, overcrowded buildings with 2-4 individuals per room. According to the DLC, these residents have little privacy and their schedules are highly regimented.
"The Disability Law Center believes that the people with disabilities have a civil right to choose where they live and to not be isolated from the community," the DLC states in a website post.