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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?

U.S. v. Rhode Island – 1:14-cv-00175 – (D.R.I. 2014)
On April 8, 2014, the United States entered into the nation’s first statewide settlement agreement vindicating the civil rights of individuals with disabilities who are unnecessarily segregated in sheltered workshops and facility-based day programs.  The settlement agreement with the State of Rhode Island resolves the Civil Rights Division’s January 6, 2014 findings, as part of an ADA Olmstead investigation, that the State’s day activity service system over-relies on segregated settings, including sheltered workshops and facility-based day programs, to the exclusion of integrated alternatives, such as supported employment and integrated day services.  Read More

U.S. v. State of Florida, 1:13-cv-61576 (S.D. Fla. 2013)
On July 22, 2013, the United States filed a lawsuit against the State of Florida in federal district court to remedy ADA violations involving the State's failure to provide services and supports to children with disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needsThe lawsuit alleges that, as a result of the manner in which Florida administers its service system for children with significant medical needs, children with disabilities are unnecessarily segregated in nursing facilities when they could be served in their family homes or other community-based settings.   The lawsuit further alleges that the State's policies and practices place other children with significant medical needs in the community at serious risk of institutionalization in nursing facilities.  Read More

United States v. State of New York 13-cv- 4165 (E.D.N.Y. 2013)
On July 23, 2013, the United States, individual plaintiffs, and the State of New York filed a settlement agreement in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.  The parties filed an amended settlement agreement on January 30, 2014, and the court approved the settlement agreement on March 17, 2014.  The agreement is subject to the court's approval.  The agreement remedies discrimination by the State in the administration of its mental health service system and ensures that individuals with mental illness who reside in 23 large adult homes in New York City receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs consistent with the ADA and Olmstead.  Under the agreement, such individuals will have the opportunity to live and receive services in the community such that they are able to live, work, and participate fully in community life. Read More

Amanda D., et al. v. Hassan, et al.; United States v. New Hampshire – 1:12-CV-53 (SM)
On December 19, 2013, the Department, along with a coalition of private plaintiff organizations, entered into a comprehensive Settlement Agreement with the State of New Hampshire that will significantly expand and enhance mental health service capacity in integrated community settings over the next six years. The Agreement is a full consent decree entered by the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire as a Court order on February 12, 2014.   Read More

Disability Rights Mississippi v. Mississippi Children’s Home Services — 3:13–cv-547–HTW–LRA (S.D. Miss. 2013)
On February 5, 2014 the United States filed a Statement of Interest in Disability Rights Mississippi v. Mississippi Children's Home Services, a case in which the defendants have denied monitoring access to the local protection and advocacy organization. Read More

Faces of Olmstead: The personal stories of a few of the thousands of people whose lives have been improved by the Olmstead decision and the Department’s Olmstead enforcement work. Read More 

DOJ Findings Letter to Rhode Island (2014)
The United States issued a statewide Findings Letter in January 2014 concluding that the State of Rhode Island is violating Title II of the ADA by unjustifiably and unnecessarily segregating persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD) in its day activity service system, including in sheltered workshops and facility-based day programs, instead of providing such persons the opportunity to receive integrated supported employment and integrated day services that would enable them to interact with non-disabled individuals to the fullest extent possible. Read More

Sciarrillo ex rel. St. Amand v. Christie – 2:13-cv-03478-SRC-CLW (D. NJ 2013)
On September 13, 2013, the United States filed a Statement of Interest in Sciarrillo v. Christie, a case in which private plaintiffs oppose the state's deinstitutionalization plan for its facilities housing people with developmental disabilities. Read More

Troupe v. Barbour 10-CV-00153 (S.D. Miss. 2010)
On September 6, 2013, the United States filed another Statement of Interest. Read More

Steward et. al. v. Perry et. al. – 5:10-CV-1025 (W.D. TX 2010)
On August 19, 2013, the United States, private Plaintiffs and the State of Texas filed an Interim Settlement Agreement to enable Texans with intellectual and other developmental disabilities to live in the community rather than nursing facilities. The Interim Settlement Agreement is awaiting court approval. Read More