This case challenges the unnecessary segregation and institutionalization of people with developmental disabilities in large intermediate care facilities when they could be better served in smaller, community settings.

In June, 2011, the court approved a settlement which permits all individuals represented in this case to move out of the institutions and live in community-based settings if they choose to do so. The settlement also permits 3,000 people now living at home to receive community-based services over five years. A court-appointed monitor was appointed to work with the parties to ensure implementation of the agreement.

More than 2,000 class members have been offered community services with many of these moving out of large institutions. In August 2017, the federal district court ruled that the State of Illinois was out of compliance with the agreement, owing largely to the lack of in-home care assistants available to assist class members living in the community. This lack of adequate care was due, the court observed, in large part by the fact that the State has not increased pay for these workers over a number of years.


Ben Wolf, Gail Waller

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)

Equip for Equality, Dentons

Date filed

July 28, 2005


Northern District of Illinois


Sharon Johnson Coleman


Active (under consent decree)

Case number

05 CV 4331

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