Speaking out for People with
 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Families Unite to Save Virginia Training Centers, Ask Federal Judge for a Voice in Court

For Immediate Release
March 2, 2012

Update: Intervention Granted, May 9, 2012

Families have taken a stand in Virginia, calling on a federal court to allow them to participate in an action they believe violates the rights of their family members with profound intellectual disabilities and will cause irrevocable harm. 

The dispute centers on the legality of a case filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) against the Commonwealth of Virginia on January 26, 2012, and a proposed settlement agreement submitted the same day.  The proposed settlement, which is pending federal court review, would result in the closure of four of the five Virginia Training Centers for persons with profound and other significant intellectual disabilities, by 2021. The fifth is expected to be downsized to accommodate 75 residents at a time for short-term (30 day) stays.

Families and legal guardians, on behalf of residents from each of the five Virginia Training Centers, filed a motion to intervene as parties in the action so they have a legal voice in the outcome of the case. A second, separate motion seeks to dismiss the case, arguing that DOJ did not have standing to bring suit.

Read Complete Press Release

Legal Resources and Filings By Families

March 1, 2012

March 19, 2012


March 29, 2012


April 6, 2012

May 9, 2012
July 3, 2012
August 23, 2012

Related Resources

January 27, 2012: VOR Slams Justice Department Plan to Close Virginia Centers for Disabled

March 27, 2012: Congressmen Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Jim Moran (D-VA) call on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to "reconsider and withdraw the agreement until the Administration and the Congress have time to review the ongoing evidence of massive abuse and neglect leading to the deaths of profound intellectual disabilities (ID) in communities unprepared to take care of them."

April 10, 2012: "State Sen. Steve Newman, R-Lynchburg, said he plans to ask lawmakers next year to add institutional advocates to VOPA’s board of directors, whose members are appointed by the governor and General Assembly." (The News & Advance, April 10, 2012)

April 10, 2012: VOPA Misrepresents the Abuse and Neglect Statistics for Individuals with ID in Virginia, a rebuttal by families to the "highly selective and ideologically biased" data Individuals with ID in that the Virginia Office of Protection and Advocacy’s data provided to U.S. District Judge John Gibney.

July 2014: Letter from eight of Virginia's U.S. Representatives imploring Governor Terry McAuliffe to stop process of closing training centers.

July 11, 2014: Letter from Virginia State Senator Janet Howell to Governor McAuliffe.

Failing those most in need, by Maurine Houser (April 9, 2015)