Judge OKs Disabled Housing Deal between Va, Feds

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A federal judge has approved a settlement between Virginia and the federal government to transition hundreds of profoundly disabled individuals from large, state-run facilities to community-based care.

U.S. District Judge John Gibney signed off on the settlement late Thursday after language was added to stress that residents can't be removed from the facilities against their will.

The $2 billion settlement agreement stems from a lawsuit the Justice Department filed against Virginia last year over what it called systemic violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act. It calls for the state to close four of its five training centers and create 4,200 waivers over 10 years to serve individuals at home or in more intimate settings.

Some families opposed the deal, saying it would deprive their loved ones of appropriate care.

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