UPDATE August 9, 2019: We appreciate the Division’s expeditious response to this individual’s complaint. We truly hope that they look at the systemic issues that caused it. We will continue to monitor the services provided by DSB to ensure that all clients are receiving services as identified in their plans.

August 7, 2019

Disability Rights Arkansas has filed legal action today against the Division of Services for the Blind for failing to deliver mandated services to their consumers, and for circumventing the rulemaking process in their delivery of services.

We are relieved that the crisis regarding tuition payments for individuals who are blind has been resolved at this time. However, we were alarmed to hear that this situation will impact other federally mandated services that DSB is obligated to provide. DSB has unlawfully created a system that prioritizes services in a way that does not meet their federal obligation to assist individuals in obtaining competitive, integrated employment.

We are deeply concerned about DSB’s ability to serve its consumers. DSB has represented to the federal government that it had available funding in an amount sufficient to cover every available service for every eligible individual in the state. We are finding that is a misrepresentation. Accordingly, we have filed suit against DSB in order to halt this unlawful rulemaking from impacting others.

“The complete disregard of DSB to fund services that are mandated under federal law is appalling,” said DRA Executive Director Tom Masseau. “Clients of DSB should not be forced to go without needed services while the Division leaders review current policies. Further, the Division is required to solicit public comment when changes are made to their approved state plan. When they plugged one hole, another erupted.”

If this development will impact your employment or education, please contact DRA at 800-482-1174 or email info@disabilityrightsar.org.