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Many People With Developmental Disabilities Feel Trapped in Nursing Homes

Imagine feeling like you’re imprisoned just because you have an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD).

That’s a reality for more than 4,500 people with IDD in Texas “trapped” in nursing homes providing inadequate care, according to The Arc of Texas and the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities. The two advocacy groups joined to file a class-action lawsuit against Texas earlier this week in San Antonio along with six individuals with IDD.

The suit focuses on the approximately 4,500 people with disabilities living in nursing homes in Texas; advocates say that thousands more are at risk of the same fate.

“Many are denied the opportunity to live where they choose,” said Mike Bright, executive director of The Arc of Texas. “In other words, they have been imprisoned simply for having a disability.”

Texas ranks 49th among 50 states in providing community-based services to people with developmental disabilities according to a 2010 report by the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities.

In The Arc’s fight for inclusion, we’ve argued that most people receive better care in a community-based facility or in their own homes. By shining a light on this issue, The Arc of Texas has proven our point while improving the lives of thousands.