Judge to rule settlement on disabilities lawsuit

A federal judge is expected to rule on a

settlement in a civil rights lawsuit that could give thousands of

Illinois adults with developmental disabilities more housing


U.S. District Judge James Holderman will hold a hearing


If approved, the agreement would settle claims that Illinois violates the civil rights of the developmentally disabled by needlessly segregating them in large institutions.

The agreement says Illinois can't divert money from large private facilities to pay for community services and residents happily living in the institutions can stay. Institutionalized residents could choose to move to smaller homes and get support services.

The agreement affects 6,000 adults who receive state aid and live in privately operated care facilities.

A federal report ranks Illinois last nationwide for helping such people live independently.

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