On June 22, 1999, the United States Supreme Court held in Olmstead v. L.C. that unjustified segregation of persons with disabilities constitutes discrimination in violation of title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The promise of the Olmstead decision is that people with disabilities get to live their lives in the same manner as people without disabilities--working, living, playing and enjoying their lives within the community based on decisions that they make for themselves!
On this anniversary of Olmstead, I want to thank the women who became the faces of Olmstead in the 1990s: Elaine Wilson and Lois Curtis. These women had spent the majority of their lives in state hospitals and mental institutions until the Olmstead decision freed them, allowing them to live their lives more fully within the community.
Today, the US Dept. of Justice has a page dedicated to Olmstead, profiling some of the individuals whose lives have been made better through community-based living. Check it out for stories of amazing individuals! http://www.ada.gov/olmstead/olmstead_about.htm#faces