Federal Discrimination Lawsuit Ends With Acceptance of Man With HIV Into Lambs Farm Program

Equip for Equality Obtains Settlement in Discrimination Lawsuit

Mar 02, 2006, 00:00 ET from Equip for Equality

    CHICAGO, March 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Equip for Equality, the
 federally-mandated protection and advocacy agency for persons with
 disabilities in Illinois, today announced a settlement of the federal lawsuit
 it brought against Lambs Farm, Inc. on behalf of John Doe, an individual with
 HIV.  The suit claimed that Lambs Farm, which serves adults with developmental
 disabilities, denied vocational and residential services to John Doe based on
 his HIV status, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and other
 federal laws.
     Under the settlement, John Doe will soon begin participating in Lambs
 Farm's vocational program.  Other terms of the settlement remain confidential.
     "We are delighted that our client will now be a part of the Lambs Farm
 community and that Lambs Farm recognizes that his participation does not pose
 a danger to other participants," says Karen I. Ward, Senior Counsel at Equip
 for Equality and lead counsel for Doe.  "It is critical that organizations
 serving individuals with one disability do not discriminate based on another
 disability."  Equip for Equality Senior Attorney Alan Goldstein also served as
 counsel in this case.
     Doe's lawsuit alleged that Lambs Farm had tentatively accepted him, but
 that his application was terminated when Lambs Farm staff learned of his HIV
 status. Lambs Farm denied any and all wrongdoing.
     Doe is eagerly looking forward to his participation at Lambs Farm.  "All I
 want to do is go to 'The Lambs,'" he said.  "I want to begin my new life."
     "The ADA prohibits denying services to people with disabilities based on
 unjustified fears and stereotypes," says Barry Taylor, Equip for Equality's
 Legal Advocacy Director.  "Equip for Equality is committed to challenging
 discriminatory practices and policies that exclude people with HIV and other
     Equip for Equality is a private, statewide, not-for-profit entity
 designated by the Governor to administer the federal Protection and Advocacy
 System for safeguarding the rights of people with physical and mental
 disabilities in Illinois.
     Reference:  U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, and
     Case No. 05-5564
     John Doe v. Lambs Farm, Inc.

SOURCE Equip for Equality