Friday, June 20, 2014

June 22 marks 15th anniversary of Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision

From the National Disability Institute. In the picture, President Barack Obama looks at a painting presented to him by artist Lois Curtis, who was an Olmstead plaintiff, center, in the Oval Office 2011.

On June 22, one of the most historic legal decisions affecting the civil rights of people with disabilities will celebrate its 15th anniversary. On this date, in 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered the landmark decision in the Olmstead v. L.C. case requiring states to eliminate the segregation of people with disabilities while at the same time, ensure people with disabilities receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs.

The groundbreaking decision not only helped plaintiffs Lois Curtis and Elaine Wilson of Georgia and countless people with disabilities leave institutions and live in the community, but also continues to be applied beyond community living to employment services and supports. In fact, the recent settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and the state of Rhode Island cited a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Olmstead in the segregation of people with disabilities through the state’s reliance on sheltered workshops and facility-based day programs.

National Disability Institute (NDI), as the nation’s first non-profit exclusively dedicated to building a better economic future for all people living with disabilities, joins the chorus of like-minded organizations, disability advocates and allies and the entire disability community in celebrating the Olmstead decision and reaffirming the right for individuals with disabilities to live life in the community on their own terms.

Join in the conversation online, and get more news and information on Olmstead via NDI’s Facebook: RealEconImpact or on Twitter: @RealEconImpact. The LEAD Center will also feature an upcoming blog post on the Olmstead decision. Finally, the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will host an event celebrating the 15th anniversary of Olmstead on Friday, June 20 from 1:00 p.m.- 2:30 p.m. (EST). For more information and to watch the entire program online, click here for HHS’ live stream video of the event.