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Olmstead: Community Integration for Everyone

In 2009, the Civil Rights Division launched an aggressive effort to enforce the Supreme Court's decision in Olmstead v. L.C., a ruling that requires states to eliminate unnecessary segregation of persons with disabilities and to ensure that persons with disabilities receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. President Obama issued a proclamation launching the "Year of Community Living," and has directed the Administration to redouble enforcement efforts. The Division has responded by working with state and local governments officials, disability rights groups and attorneys around the country, and with representatives of the Department of Health and Human Services, to fashion an effective, nationwide program to enforce the integration mandate of the Department's regulation implementing title II of the ADA.

What's New?

United States v. Florida – 1:12-cv-60460 – (S.D. Fla.) – On April 7, 2016, the United States filed an Opposition to the State of Florida’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment.  In the Motion, the State had asked the Court to rule, on a variety of grounds, that the United States could not recover damages for unnecessarily institutionalized children to whom the State had been deliberately indifferent. Read More

Lane v. Brown (formerly Lane v. Kitzhaber) – 12-CV-00138 – (D. Or. 2012)
On September 8, 2015, the United States entered into a settlement agreement with the State of Oregon to vindicate the civil rights of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) who are unnecessarily segregated in sheltered workshops, or at risk of such unnecessary segregation. Read More

Sonnenberg v. Disability Rights Idaho, Inc. - 1:14-cv-00369-EJL - On July 20, 2015, the Division filed a Statement of Interest in Sonnenberg v. Disability Rights Idaho, Inc., a case in which a county coroner refused to provide its investigatory records to a protection and advocacy organization.  Read More

Georgia Network for Educational and Therapeutic Support | (PDF) -- On July 15, 2015, the United States sent its findings to the State of Georgia stating that the State’s administration of the Georgia Network for Educational and Therapeutic Support (GNETS) program violates Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act by unnecessarily segregating students with disabilities from their peers in school.  The State fails to ensure that students with behavior-related disabilities receive services and supports that could enable them to remain in, or return to, the most integrated educational placements appropriate to their needs.

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources | (PDF) – On June 1, 2015, the United States sent its findings to the state stating it violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and Olmstead v. L.C. by failing to deliver mental health services to children who rely on publicly funded care in the most integrated settings appropriate.  Children in West Virginia experience high levels of institutionalization per capita and are unable to access mental health services in their homes and communities.

Maertz v. Minott - 1:13-cv-957-JMS-MJD (S.D. Ind. 2015) | (PDF) - On March 27, 2015, the United States filed a Statement of Interest in opposition to the State of Indiana’s argument that serious risk of institutionalization or segregation is not a viable claim under the ADA.  In Maertz, Plaintiffs with developmental disabilities provided evidence that the State of Indiana harmed their health by drastically reducing their home and community-based Medicaid services, placing them at serious risk of institutionalization. (2015) 

The Promise of Olmstead: 15 Years Later - Video
The 15th Anniversary of Olmstead video compilation is a DOJ/HHS tribute to the dedicated and brave individuals who have brought to life the Olmstead decision's promise of community integration for people with disabilities. Read More