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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?

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) 

Dear Colleague Letter Regarding States’ Olmstead Obligations When Implementing the new FLSA Rule Regarding Home Care Workers | (PDF )
Letter jointly issued from the Civil Rights Division and the Office of Civil Rights, Department of Health and Human Services, discusses states’ obligations under Title II of the ADA to avoid placing individuals at serious risk of institutionalization when considering implementation options of the new Fair Labor Standards Act regulations extending minimum wage and overtime protection to most home health care workers. (2014)

Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program v. SafetyNet Youthcare, Inc. –  2:13-cv-00519 – (S.D. Ala. 2014)
On October 14, 2014 the United States filed a Statement of Interest in Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program v. SafetyNet Youthcare, Inc., a case in which the defendant denied access to the local protection and advocacy organization. Read More

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

Smith v. Department of Public Welfare of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania –  2:13-cv-05670
On June 12, 2014, the United States filed a Statement of Interest in the case of Smith v. Department of Public Welfare of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  In Smith, the Plaintiffs alleged that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania put them at serious risk of institutionalization by reducing funding for Act 150, a state-funded program providing attendant care services in the community. Read More