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Pod Cast Listings

Statewide Olmstead Activity

Click here for transcript. September 2, 2011 - Shannon Jones the Executive Director of the Statewide Independent Living Counsel of Kansas shares how the 2011 Disability Caucus left a significant impact on the more than 600 attendees. As people learned about unnecessary institutionalization of people with disabilities, and learned about the fact that there are over 5,000 people on waiting list for necessary supports.

At the Caucus the US Attorney, Barry Grissom during his keynote presentation addressed the civil rights value of the Supreme Court Olmstead decision. After hearing this and realizing there are many people whose civil rights are being violated, "They just all came together and we all vowed, in one room that within three weeks we were going to file 300 Olmstead complaints to the Department of Justice and Health and Human Services." Shannon expressed everyone's thoughts and accomplishments, " Today is the three week ending period I just found out this morning we have exceeded our goal. As of this morning there has been 312 Olmstead complaints filed."

 

The work was possible as a result of all the centers for independent living across the state of Kansas working together. Individuals seeking out the people on the waiting list and offering to assist them in filing the necessary paperwork. Additionally people were educated about their individual rights. This is an avenue for them to find justice for their rights. "So if Health and Human Services hasn't heard the loud cry for justice wanting to be delivered to Kansas I don't know what it is going to take."

Jones is hopeful as are all the advocates across the state that Health and Human Services and possibility of Department of Justice will be coming to Kansas to do an investigation on Olmstead complaints.

Additional information about the Olmstead complaints and statewide action can be tracked by contacting: Stephanie Sanford on Twitter - the twitter account is - @justicenow Stephanie is from Lawrence, Kansas and is an "Advocate out to change the world." As the recent statewide activity shows she is not alone.