July 6, 1998
Mr. Michael Auberger
Post Office Box 9598
Denver, Colorado 80209
Mr. Bob Kafka
ADAPT of Texas
1339 Lamar Square Drive
Austin, Texas 78704
Dear Mr. Auberger and Mr. Kafka:
Thank you for your letter seeking clarification of the Americans with Disabilities Act's (ADA) self-evaluation requirements as they relate to the "integration mandate" of title II.
The ADA requires every public entity to conduct a self-evaluation of its "current services, policies, and practices, and the effects thereof, that do not meet the requirements of [the title II regulations] . . . ." 28 C.F.R. 35.105(a). One of the fundamental requirements of the title II regulations is that public entities "administer services, programs, and activities in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities." 28 C.F.R. 35.130(d).
This integration requirement applies to all State activities, including the provision of nursing home, institutional, and community-based services to people with disabilities. L.C. v. Olmstead, No. 97-8358 (11th Cir. April 8, 1998); Helen L. v. DiDario, 46 F.3d 325 (3d Cir. 1995). Therefore, a State must review, as part of its self-evaluation, its policies and practices regarding the provision of nursing home, institutional, and community-based services to ensure that individuals with disabilities receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs.
If a State has failed to address the ADA's integration requirement in its self-evaluation, then its self-evaluation is incomplete. In these circumstances it would be appropriate for State officials to address the integration issue. As provided in the Department's implementing regulation at 28 C.F.R. 35.105(b), interested persons, including individuals with disabilities or organizations representing individuals with disabilities, must be given an opportunity to participate in the self-evaluation process.Sincerely, John L. Wodatch Chief Disability Rights Section >