Over 20 Years after Olmstead Decision Barriers to Independence Still Exist
On June 22nd, 1999, US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered what is widely regarded as one of the most important civil rights cases for people with disabilities, ‘The Olmstead Decision’. It states that people with disabilities have a qualified right to live in the community of their choice and adds that states must eliminate unnecessary segregation of persons with disabilities. Over 20 years later, barriers still exist for those with disabilities who want to make the decision of what community to live in. In December 2020, the Justice Department announced a settlement agreement with the state of North Dakota under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) resolving complaints that North Dakota unnecessarily institutionalizes individuals with disabilities in nursing facilities rather than providing them with the services needed to live in the community. Under the settlement agreement, North Dakota will expand services to individuals with physical disabilities who are in or at risk of entering a nursing facility, allow them to decide where they would like to live, and assist in arranging community-based services. At Freedom Resource Center, inclusion is at our core. We will continue to fight for equal rights and independence for all by providing Transition Services to help those with disabilities live in the community of their choice. If you or someone you know needs help living the life of your choice, please call us at 1-800-478-0459 or visit our website. To learn more about the North Dakota settlement agreement click here.