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Disability Justice Project -
"Independence to Inclusion"

In July 2009 the Jensen lawsuit was filed in federal court regarding the conditions and treatment of people at a facility in Cambridge Minnesota. This case was randomly assigned to Judge Donovan W. Frank. Following the class action settlement, approximately $130,000 remained after all Class Members had been paid. As a result, and in response to a request from the Class Members and their families to "Do something good with the money, create some public education,"¯ the United States District Court used the cy pres funds, in partnership with TPT, to create two different products, with the primary focus and purpose to be education of the public on the life conditions facing Minnesotans with developmental disabilities. The first product is a documentary tpt produced entitled "Independence to Inclusion" ¯and the second product is a Disability Justice website for use in delivering Continuing Legal Education courses and for law school students. University of St. Thomas Professor Elizabeth Schiltz guided the legal writing on the website to assure integrity. The website features 72 video clips from nine legal experts. It also includes 30 historical videos featuring U.S. Supreme Court Justice Blackmun, U.S. District Judge Raymond Broderick and U.S. District Judge Frank Johnson. More than a dozen cases are described, Constitutional rights are explained, and there are exhibit photos from famous lawsuits such as Welsch, Willowbrook, and Pennhurst. The website covers such issues as right to habilitation, right to education, and the right to live in the most integrated setting.

Independence to Inclusion video. (Please allow some time for the video to download.)