Disabilities

US Sues Florida for Housing Disabled Children With the Elderly

Feds say parents need "meaningful opportunities" to care for children

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Florida healthcare agencies have acted with "deliberate indifference to the suffering" of frail and disabled children by offering parents no "meaningful" choice but to warehouse their children in nursing homes along with elders, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a lawsuit against the state filed Monday.

The Justice Department's civil-rights division accused the state of violating the landmark 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act — which forbids discrimination against people with special needs — by funding and managing its community programs so poorly that hundreds of children have been forced to live, and sometimes grow up, in institutions for the elderly.