Disability Rights North Carolina and NCDHHS Logos

April 10, 2024

Dear Stakeholder,

We are pleased to let you know that the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and Disability Rights North Carolina are jointly announcing an agreement in the Samantha R. et al. vs. NCDHHS and the State of North Carolina litigation. This development signifies the commitment of both organizations to ensure all North Carolinians with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) have the resources they need to live healthy, independent lives in communities of their choosing.

NCDHHS and DRNC filed a motion for a proposed consent order with the court on April 10, 2024. If approved, the consent order will replace the court’s November 2, 2022 order. Additionally, both parties will dismiss and withdraw the appeals and other outstanding claims associated with this case.

If the proposed consent order is approved by the judge, NCDHHS will:

  • Actively work to quickly support more people to transition into community-based services, including people on the Innovations Waiver waitlist and people in institutional settings if they so choose. NCDHHS believes that its recently launched Inclusion Connects Initiative will assist in this work by better linking people with I/DD to available services.
  • Create and implement an action plan for increasing the Direct Support Professional Workforce to ensure that more people are receiving authorized Innovations Waiver services and more new people are able to receive iOption and state-funded home and community-based services.
  • Provide regular data and information that will enable the parties and the Court to assess progress and determine what, if any, additional measures may be needed to address the Court’s findings regarding the I/DD system.

The proposed consent order does not end the litigation but will allow the parties to work collaboratively on long-term solutions for addressing the unmet needs of people with I/DD so that they may live and work inclusively in their communities.

More details are contained in these FAQs.  If it is approved by the Court, NCDHHS and DRNC will also jointly discuss the consent order in the Samantha R. case during webinars on May 9 at 6:00 p.m. and May 10 at 2:00 p.m.  The webinars will present the same information so interested participants need to only attend one of the webinars, but are welcome to attend both if that is the preference. Please click on the link/s above to register.

NCDHHS will continue its work to address the health and well-being of children, families, adults and older adults with disabilities and fulfill the long-term vision of the Department’s Olmstead Plan. This includes improving community transition resources, housing options, employment opportunities and direct care services that empower people with I/DD and their families so they can choose where and how to live, work, and play.

DRNC will continue its critical advocacy work with and on behalf of North Carolinians with disabilities to hold the systems erected to serve them accountable for supporting and prioritizing their needs, wants, and aspirations, as the law requires. DRNC works to achieve a fully integrated and accessible community – where people with disabilities have power, equal opportunity, and freedom to make their own decisions.