COLUMBUS — Families fighting to preserve the rights of Ohioans with developmental disabilities to live in residential care centers equipped to meet their needs have filed a lawsuit against the state and other groups in federal court.
The dozen families named in the case say the push toward policies that promote home- and community-based services could force their loved ones into apartments, group homes and other settings not suitable for people with complex disabilities and medical conditions.
Caroline Lahrmann, mother of teenage twins with profound disabilities, said the action filed Sept. 14 is another response to the still-pending lawsuit accusing the state of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by leaving thousands of people in so-called institutional settings because they can't get the services they need to live and work in their communities.
The case filed names the state, Ohio Association of County Boards of Developmental Disabilities and the Disability Rights group. Michael Kirkman, executive director of Disability Rights Ohio, said the claims filed by Lahrmann and others against his organization are unfounded and he will ask the court to dismiss them.