PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ U.S. Sen. Jack Reed wants the state to review its employment services for the disabled after Rhode Island and the city of Providence were found to have violated the rights of developmentally disabled individuals for years by segregating them in two settings.
The federal government announced a settlement Thursday over violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act at the Birch Vocational School and the Training Thru Placement program, where those with disabilities worked long hours for little or no wages.
Reed calls the exploitation of the disabled "unconscionable'' and says the state must ensure pathways for disabled students to jobs that pay fair wages and don't isolate them.
Birch's "sheltered workshop'' was shut down. The state is eliminating such workshops at its licensed employment programs for the disabled.