1999 Supreme Court Decision

The 1999 U.S. Supreme Courts Olmsted Decision says that people with disabilities have the right to receive long term care services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. For most people, this means living in their own home or other community setting. This has always been the goal of Access Living and the national independent living movement. Personal Assistant and Health Care staff, as well as many others at Access Living, have worked with various groups and coalitions to advance state compliance with the Olmsted Decision. Unfortunately, Illinois is still far from achieving compliance. Today, large nstitutional settings still receive the bulk of state and federal funding. In order to impact the implementation of Olmstead, Access Living works with ADAPT and the Coalition for Real Choice.

On a legal front, Access Living is involved with Equip for Equality and the American Civil Liberties Union in suing the state to gain Olmstead rights for people unnecessarily confined in institutions. A recent victory has been achieved through our advocacy to get the state to compete for and succeed in getting a federal Money Follows the Person Grant of $55 million to be spent over 5 years to restructure long term care in Illinois. Through the grant, Illinois has set a goal to deinstitutionalize over 3,000 people and sets targets for increasing the percentage of long term care spending going to home and community services.