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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.
Georgia Network for Educational and Therapeutic Support/U.S. v. Georgia (N.D. Ga. 2016): On August 23, 2016, the United States filed a lawsuit against the State of Georgia in federal district court to remedy violations of the ADA pertaining to the State’s failure to provide thousands of public school students with behavior-related disabilities with appropriate mental health and therapeutic educational services and supports in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. Read More
DOJ Findings Letter to South Dakota: On May 2, 2016, the United States sent its findings to the state notifying it of violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Olmstead v. L.C. due to its failure to deliver services to people with disabilities in the most integrated settings appropriate. Read More
U.S. 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
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.
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