ACLU suing Lawrenceburg for discrimination against people with disabilities

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana is suing the City of Lawrenceburg for discrimination against people with disabilities.

According to a release, the ACLU filed the suit on behalf of an organization that works with people with disabilities. The ACLU said the city’s actions have “intentional discrimination” by not allowing the organization, New Horizons Rehabilitation, Inc., to build a supported living home for people with disabilities.

The lawsuit claims the City of Lawrenceburg violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, as well as violating Indiana law and several federal statutes that protect people with disabilities.

New Horizons Rehabilitation, Inc. serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Dearborn, Franklin, Ohio, Riley and Switzerland counties.

The organization provides the following services:

  • Job training
  • Community-based employment
  • Day services
  • Individualized home and respite care
  • Supports five homes it operates

In 2013, the organization donated property in Lawrenceburg after an agreement a home for individuals with disabilities would be built on the property. However, the city has identified the residence as a “boarding house or medical facility.”

Legal Director of ACLU of Indiana, Ken Falk said this is discrimination.

“The Constitution, federal law and Indiana law are clear that this obvious discrimination against people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is prohibited,” Falk said.

The case was filed on Sept. 27.

Click here to download a copy of the lawsuit.