Paralyzed Veterans of America recognizes and applauds the 15th anniversary of a landmark Supreme Court decision that opened the door for individuals with disabilities to be integrated into society.
The June 22, 1999, decision by the Supreme Court in Olmstead v. L.C. ruled that unjustified segregation of persons with disabilities constitutes a violation of title II of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The suit was filed after two women with mental illnesses and developmental disabilities – Lois Curtis and Elaine Wilson – were confined in a state-run psychiatric treatment center for several years, long after mental health professionals cleared them to move to a community-based program.
The Supreme Court ruling requires states to eliminate segregation of individuals with disabilities and that states provide services to qualified individuals with disabilities in the most appropriate setting for their needs.
Olmstead has been a lynchpin for advocates like Paralyzed Veterans of America when pushing for long-term care services and support, said Lee Page, associate advocacy director at Paralyzed Veterans.
“Paralyzed Veterans of America supports and applauds the Olmstead decision in its 15th year,” he said. “It’s been a game changer in reference to persons under age 65 being mainstreamed back into society, which is what the ADA is all about.”
Learn more about how Paralyzed Veterans of America advocates for all people with disabilities
Brittany Ballenstedt is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in several publications, including Government Executive, National Journal, Technology Daily and NextGov.com.