National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy

Liberating Persons with Disabilities from
Segregated Sheltered Workshops

Steve Schwartz, J.D., Bettina Toner, J.D., and Cathy Costanzo, J.D.

This presentation will update both the pioneering Lane v. Kitzhaber case, challenging Oregon's reliance on sheltered workshops as a violation of the ADA, including the challenges, limitations, and potential relief available in a class action cases. The workshop will also discuss how the integration mandate applies to all segregated day services.

Class Action Lawsuit Seeks an End to Segregated Sheltered Workshops

PORTLAND, ORE. – Jan. 25, 2012


A PDF version of a fact sheet about the class action lawsuit Lane v. Kitzhaber, filed in U.S. District Court on January 25, 2012.

Oregon Court Rules that the ADA Integration Mandate Applies to Employment Services

On May 17, 2012, United States Magistrate Judge Janice M. Stewart issued a ruling in the case of Lane v. Kitzhaber. This case alleges that Oregon is violating the ADA by not providing employment services to individuals with disabilities in the most integrated settings appropriate.


Lane v. Kitzhaber Certified as a Class Action

On August 6, 2012, Judge Janice Stewart certified Lane v. Kitzhaber, the supported employment case brought by DRO, as a class action.


The Governor's Executive Order

Empty Promises for People in Sheltered Workshops... On April 10, 2013, the Governor of Oregon issued an Executive Order on employment services for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  The Order comes just two weeks after the United States moved to intervene in a federal lawsuit, Lane v. Kitzhaber, that seeks to end the unnecessary segregation of persons with disabilities in sheltered workshops.    While the Order tacitly acknowledges the state’s failure to provide adequate employment services over the past two decades, it also expresses a desire to have more coordinated activities between state agencies.  It does little, however, to ensure that individuals with disabilities will ever be able to secure real jobs in the community or earn at least a minimum wage in an integrated employment setting. Under the Executive Order, only 1/3 of all persons who are segregated in sheltered workshops will be provided employment services.  This means that at least 1,600 individuals will have to remain in the workshops.... 

Link to brief presenter bios:

Steve Schwartz, J.D.

Bettina Toner, J.D.

Cathy Costanzo, J.D.