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New Video: Olmstead Decision Explained

Friday, June 21, 2019

June 22nd is the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Olmstead decision! In Olmstead vs. Lois Curtis and Elaine Wilson, the Court held that people with disabilities have the civil right to choose state-funded services in the community in the least restrictive setting possible, rather than in institutions.

Up until the 1990s, people with disabilities had been actively advocating for equal rights to housing, education, and work. They had been denied these basic rights and were kept segregated and isolated from society in places like nursing homes or institutions. This created an institutional bias, a bias that disadvantaged people with disabilities, limiting their access to jobs, education, and life outside those doors.

The Olmstead ruling sought to end the segregation of people with disabilities and provide them with the autonomy to make their own decisions. Although it has been two decades since the Court issued its decision in the Olmstead case, there is still much more advocacy and education needed to fully achieve integration and representation across all aspects of life for people with disabilities. This Saturday, we celebrate the decision’s legacy, how far we have come, the tireless efforts of the activists who fought before us, and the work still left to accomplish.

In partnership with Rooted in Rights, we present a video conveying the experience of people with disabilities before and after the historical Olmstead case.

You can also view this video on our Videos webpage and on our YouTube channel.

For more information, support, and more, contact Disability Rights Florida.

Rooted in Rights is a media project designed to tell candid and accessible stories that support the ever-evolving understanding of disability, mental health, and chronic illness.

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