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Olmstead Work

In Olmstead v. L.C. (1999), the U.S. Supreme Court held that unjustified institutionalization of people with disabilities may constitute discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Olmstead 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.

Starting in 2005, Access Living and a coalition of public interest organizations and private legal firms working on a pro bono basis brought three landmark class-action cases against the State of Illinois for its failure to implement Olmstead. All three of the cases have been settled and the consent decrees have been approved by the court.

Here is information about the landmark class action cases:

Video -- A Case for Community Reform in Illinois

The 1999 Olmstead U.S. Supreme Court Decision declared that the unnecessary institutionalization of people with disabilities in discrimination. Yet, Illinois continues to institutionalize thousands of people with disabilities unnecessarily, failing to give them the choice to live in the community. This video chronicles the history that led to three class action civil rights cases against the State of Illinois. As a result of the consent decrees in these cases, thousands of people with physical, developmental and psychiatric disabilities will be given a choice to live in the community.

Williams v. Quinn: Olmstead victory for people with mental illness in Illinois

Thousands of persons with mental illnesses in Illinois took a significant, critical step toward independence and dignity after a federal judge today gave final approval to an historic agreement

Ligas v. Hamos: Court Approves Landmark Agreement Expanding Community Living Opportunities for People with Developmental Disabilities in Illinois

A groundbreaking Consent Decree in Ligas v. Hamos, finalized on June 15, 2011 in the federal district court in Chicago, will dramatically expand community living options for people with developmental disabilities, while assuring that those who choose to live in larger facilities may continue to do so.
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Colbert v. Quinn: Landmark Consent Decree expands opportunities for nursing home residents with disabilities

The morning of December 20, the Court approved a Consent Decree in the Class Action case Colbert v. Quinn. The agreement for the first time will give Medicaid-eligible nursing home residents in Cook County a meaningful choice about where they wish to live, affording them the opportunity to live in their own homes and participate in the community.

Olmstead

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.