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State Service Systems for Children with Disabilities who have Complex Medical Conditions

An investigation of the state of Florida’s service system for children with disabilities found that the state fails to meet its obligation under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act by unnecessarily institutionalizing hundreds of children with disabilities in nursing facilities.

The United States Justice Department investigated the state of Florida’s service system for children with disabilities, including those who have medically complex or medically fragile conditions.It assessed the State’s compliance with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, requiring public entities to endure that individuals with disabilities receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs.

The state failed to meet its obligations by unnecessarily institutionalizing hundreds of children with disabilities in nursing facilities.  Many children are unnecessarily separated from their families and communities for years.  With adequate services and supports, these children could live at home with their families or in other more integrated community settings.  Hundreds of children are growing up apart from their families in hospital-like settings, among elderly nursing facility residents and other individuals with disabilities.  They live segregated lives-having few opportunities to interact with children and young adults without disabilities or to experience many of the social, educational and recreational activities that are critical to child development.

It is so important to consult with a special needs attorney when planning for a child with special needs to ensure that all of your needs and desires are met.  It is equally important that the federal and state governments are complying with the laws we have in place to protect and serve children with disabilities and their families.

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