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Leonard v. Department of Public Welfare
December 6, 2011

On December 1 the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania (DRN) filed a lawsuit, Leonard v. Department of Public Welfare (DPW). in US District Court in Philadelphia. DRN’s press release indicated the litigation was filed as a class action lawsuit against DPW and its secretary, Gary Alexander, for violating Title XIX of the Social Security Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. The lawsuit is on behalf of Rebecca Leonard, Matthew Leonard, Elisa Anslow and other individuals who have autism, brain injury, and other disabilities and who receive services funded through the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) waiver. In October DPW announced plans to eliminate or severely restrict services that allow these individuals to safely live and work in their communities. The cuts are scheduled to become effective January 1, 2012.

DRN is requesting the court certify the case as a class action, declare the defendants’ actions violated federal law, and issue injunctive release to stop the cuts. For additional information contact Kelly Darr at DRN (215-238-8070, x221 or www.drnpa.org).

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