6/13/2013 — 

PROVIDENCE, RI -- After a U.S. Department of Justice investigation found that Rhode Island and the City of Providence violated the rights of intellectually and developmentally disabled students and unnecessarily segregated them at the Harold H. Birch Vocational School and the Training Through Placement program, U.S. Senator Jack Reed issued the following statement:

“Exploiting disabled students is unconscionable.  There was a failure to protect these kids and there must be accountability.  While a settlement agreement may have been reached in the Birch school probe, this is a chance to take a broader look at statewide disabilities-employment policy and sheltered workshops.  We must strive to do better and ensure there are pathways for disabled students for jobs that pay fair wages and that won’t isolate them from the broader community.”