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Olmstead in the News

In October, the Justice Department announced a landmark settlement agreement with the State of Georgia to transform the State’s mental health and developmental disability system so that thousands of individuals can receive services in community-based settings, rather than institutions. The settlement is part of an aggressive effort by the Civil Rights Division to enforce the Supreme Court’s 1999 decision in Olmstead v. L.C., which determined that it is illegal under the Americans with Disabilities Act to unnecessarily segregate individuals with disabilities in institutional settings when they could appropriately receive services in their homes or in their communities. The decision has been called the Brown v. Board of Education of the disability rights movement, but more than a decade later, too many individuals remain unnecessarily and illegally segregated in institutions. As documented in a recent story by NPR, the Civil Rights Division is working to change that. Under the leadership of President Obama and Attorney General Holder, Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez has made Olmstead enforcement a top priority for the Civil Rights Division, and has ramped up enforcement. The story was part of a larger series about the rights of individuals with disabilities to live and receive services in their communities. More stories from the series can be found at npr.org
Updated April 7, 2017