We envision a society where all people, regardless of the type or severity of disability, are able to live, learn, work and play in an integrated community and are empowered through self-determination and self-advocacy.
What We Do
We advocate for the full inclusion of people with disabilities by promoting comprehensive, quality community-based services as an alternative to institutionalization. Our agency helps individuals when their rights to live in the community and to make their own choices have been violated. We protect and advance policies and encourage resources that focus on planning, development and provision of community-based services which are responsive to the individual needs of adults and children with disabilities and their families, and that support family life for children with disabilities. We protect and advance laws and policies that promote self-determination and self-advocacy for people with disabilities.
What is Olmstead
Olmstead v. LC, is the name of an important civil rights decision for people with disabilities in our country’s history. This 1999 United States Supreme Court decision was based on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Supreme Court held that people with disabilities have a qualified right to receive state funded supports and services in the community rather than institutions when the following three-part test is met:
- the person’s treatment professionals determine that community supports are appropriate;
- the person does not object to living in the community; and
- the provision of services in the community would be a reasonable accommodation when balanced with other similarly situated individuals with disabilities.
We help ensure people with disabilities have access to and opportunities to rent or own homes and apartments in their communities. This work includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Ensuring that landlords and property owners do not discriminate against persons with disabilities in renting or selling property
- Making sure that housing is accessible to people with disabilities to the extent required by law
- Advocating to increase the amount of accessible, affordable and integrated housing for individuals with physical and mental disabilities
Our agency helps ensure that all public and private transportation providers, such as bus companies, trains, airlines, taxis and shuttles, follow the law in making their services accessible to persons with disabilities.
Alternatives to Guardianship
Most people with disabilities can manage their own affairs with assistance and guidance from a person whom they trust and do not need a guardian. There are many alternatives to guardianship that give people with disabilities support to make decisions without taking away their rights.