June 22nd, 2013 marked the 14th anniversary of the U.S Supreme Court Olmstead Decision. In Olmstead vs. L.C. (Olmstead), the United States Supreme Court deemed the unnecessary institutionalization of person with disabilities a form of unlawful discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ruling determined that persons with disabilities have the right to live and receive services in their communities whenever possible.
The plaintiffs, Lois Curtis and Elaine Wilson, both patients at the Georgia Regional Hospital in Atlanta, requested community placement. An assessment by state employees determined that the women’s needs could be met in community settings, but still they remained institutionalized, spurring the women to press charges and eventually leading to the Supreme Court case.
14 years later, there’s still work to be done to ensure individuals with disabilities are able to live in their communities, but incredible strides have been made. Organizations like the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Protection and Advocacy Agencies, State Councils on Developmental Disabilities, and Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) are committed to enforcing the Olmstead Decision.
At Harmony, we’re proud to work with organizations committed to providing the disabled and elderly with the services and supports they need to remain in their home and communities and recognize them on this important anniversary.
To learn more about Olmstead and the work ACL and other organizations are doing to support community living, click here: http://www.acl.gov/NewsRoom/Blog/2013/2013_06_21.aspx.