Current and Former LSC Chairs Urge Continued Advocacy for Disability Rights in Op-Ed

August 12, 2019

Current and former LSC Board Chairs John Levi and Frank Strickland penned an op-ed in the Fulton County Daily Report stressing the importance of continued advocacy for disability rights. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in the landmark disability rights case Olmstead vs. L.C.  In the Court’s opinion, Judge Ginsburg stated that states are required to provide community-based services for people with disabilities when treating professionals say the placement is appropriate, the person with a disability does not oppose the decision, and the placement can be reasonably accommodated.

In the op-ed, Levi and Strickland noted some of the progress that has been made since Olmstead, such as the nationwide availability of home and community-based services (alternatives to institutional care), the increased efforts towards integration by the federal agencies that oversee Medicaid, and the widespread adoption of “Olmstead Plans” by states to ensure that those in institutionalized settings can access transition services.

Despite this progress, Levi and Strickland emphasized that advocacy must continue for those suffering from disabilities: “While Olmstead has been a beacon of hope for many people with disabilities, unfortunately many have fallen outside its light. Too many citizens do not know they have a civil right to community services, and only a lucky few have lawyers to assert that right on their behalf.”

Read the full article here.