In a groundbreaking move, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is reaffirming the rights of individuals with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The DOJ's 13-page document clarifies the ADA's "integration mandate," emphasizing that segregating individuals with disabilities in employment and day programs may violate their rights. The guidance underscores the expectation for community-based settings in various services, including employment and day services, highlighting the importance of providing accurate information about integrated options. Kristen Clarke, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, emphasizes that people with disabilities are entitled to work alongside their peers without disabilities, contributing and growing in typical workplaces. The guidance also acknowledges individuals' autonomy to decline integrated services, striking a balance between choice and the ADA's integration mandate. This move follows a similar guidance issued in 2016 under the Obama administration, reinstating a crucial perspective on inclusivity for people with disabilities.
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