ADA Live! Episode 125: Applying the ADA’s Integration Mandate and Olmstead v. L.C. to Sheltered Employment and Day Services for People with Disabilities

According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), a significant number of individuals with disabilities spend their day receiving public services in sheltered workshops and facility-based day programs. In a report titled, Beyond Segregated and Exploited, the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) estimates that over 400,000 people are sent to sheltered workshops where they earn less than the federal minimum wage. This environment results in stigmatization and a lack of economic independence. These settings segregate individuals from the community and provide little or no opportunity to interact with people without disabilities, other than paid staff.
The Department of Justice implements the “integration mandate” of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires public entities to “administer services, programs, and activities in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities.”  The ADA’s “integration mandate” makes clear that public entities must provide reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures to avoid discrimination. On October 31, 2023, the DOJ issued guidance that the “integration mandate” applies to sheltered workshops and day centers, putting them in violation of the ADA and the Olmstead decision.

In this episode we will discuss the most recent guidance on the ADA’s “integration mandate” and the Olmstead decision and its application to employment and day services for people with disabilities. Our guest is Julie Kegley, who is the staff attorney and program director of the Georgia Advocacy


Julie Kegley
Julie Kegley
Senior Staff Attorney and Program Director with the Georgia Advocacy Office

Julie Kegley, Staff Attorney & Program Director of the Georgia Advocacy Office

Audio: Soundcloud Episode 125: Applying the ADA’s Integration Mandate and Olmstead v. L.C. to Sheltered Employment and Day Services for People with Disabilities



Featured Organization

Georgia Advocacy Office (GAO), is the federally funded private nonprofit organization designated by the governor of Georgia to protect and advocate on behalf of Georgians with disabilities. GAO’s mission is to organize our resources and follow our values and legal mandates and ways which substantially increase the number of people who are voluntarily standing beside and for people in Georgia who have significant disabilities and mental illness. GAO envisions a Georgia where all people have value, visibility and voice, where even the most difficult in long standing challenges are addressed by ordinary citizens acting voluntarily on behalf of each other, and where the perception of disability is replaced by the recognition of ability. To learn more about the Georgia advocacy office, visit their website at

About ADA Live!

The ADA Live! podcast and resources focus on the rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A new episode airs for 30-45 minutes on the first Wednesday of each month. ADA Live! is produced by the Southeast ADA Center, one of ten regional ADA Centers in the ADA National Network.

No registration is required. You can submit your questions to ADA Live!, explore resources and the ADA Live! schedule plus connect to archived episodes on or download podcasts from


Disability Rights Today

The podcast series, Disability Rights Today, is your source for in-depth discussion of the facts, issues and arguments of important court cases that shape the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and that may impact the legal rights and the lives of people with disabilities.  You will hear from the plaintiffs, attorneys, and subject matter experts involved in the highlighted case. The host for “Disability Rights Today” is Dr. Peter Blanck, an American academic, psychologist, and lawyer who holds the titles of University Professor and Chairman of the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University. The podcast will appeal to disability rights advocates, attorneys, and others wanting to keep current on the latest legal developments involving the ADA. Tune-in at:

Let’s Get to Work: Reimagining Disability-Inclusive Employment Policy

The Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University, in collaboration with leading economic and social policy researchers at Rutgers and Harvard Universities, invite you to listen to the podcast series: Let’s Get to Work: Reimagining Disability-Inclusive Employment Policy.

Each episode features guests with unique knowledge and insights sharing their perspective on public policies that are moving the momentum forward and holding progress back. Guests from government and the business and disability communities share their perspectives on ways to translate the latest trends and thinking to advance workforce development and employment policy that produces sustainable economic opportunity for individuals with disabilities. Researchers from the three universities also share what they are learning about employment policies as part of the work of the NIDILRR grant-funded Center on Disability Inclusive Employment Policy. Tune-in at:

The ADA Live! and Disability Rights Today podcasts are a cross-collaboration with the NIDILRR-funded Southeast ADA Center (#90DPAD0005-01-00), the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) of Syracuse University, and the NIDILRR grant-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) –  Disability Inclusive Employment Practices (#90RTEM0006-01-00).


About the Southeast ADA Center

The Southeast ADA Center is a leader in providing information, training, and guidance on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and disability access tailored to the needs of business, government, and individuals at local, state, and regional levels. It also conducts research to reduce and eliminate barriers to employment and economic self-sufficiency and to increase the civic and social participation of Americans with disabilities. Located in Lexington, Kentucky, we are a project of the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) of Syracuse University and one of 10 regional ADA centers in the ADA National Network, funded since 1991 by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. Web:

About BBI

The Burton Blatt Institute (“BBI”) at Syracuse University reaches around the globe in its efforts to advance the civic, economic, and social participation of people with disabilities. Through program development, research, and public policy guidance, BBI advances the full inclusion of people with disabilities. BBI builds on the legacy of Burton Blatt, a pioneering disability rights scholar. BBI has offices in Syracuse, NY; Washington, DC; New York City, NY; and Lexington, KY. Web:

DISCLAIMER: The contents of this post were developed by the Southeast ADA Center, a project of the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University and the ADA National Network, under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant #90DPAD0005-01-00). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this podcast and email do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.