July 18, 2013 - The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law applauds the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee for issuing "Separate and Unequal," an in-depth report detailing the ways in which state service systems continue to support the needless segregation of people with disabilities.
The report highlights that there has been a fundamental rebalancing of spending on individuals with disabilities in the years since the Supreme Court's Olmstead decision, with states investing more on community settings and less on institutional settings. Yet, as the report indicates, states continue to serve far too many people with disabilities in institutions rather than in their own homes. Moreover, states frequently move individuals from institutions to other congregate settings that are not the most integrated setting appropriate (for most people, their own home). And states have continued to backfill institutional beds rather than closing them and reallocating institutional dollars to support individuals in their own homes and communities.
Much work remains to be done to implement Olmstead and the Americans with Disabilities Act's integration mandate. Here's how you can help:
What You Can Do
These issues will be the subject of briefings in the House and Senate on July 29th, 2013. Please call your lawmakers in the House and Senate and ask them to attend, or have staff attend, the appropriate briefing regarding the history, purpose and vision of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
July 29, 2013
10 am - noon
U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, Room HVC-200
Hosted by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Rights Task Force and the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus
July 29, 2013
2 pm - 4 pm
Senate Dirksen Building, Room 430
Hosted by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Rights Task Force
All House and Senate offices can be reached through the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. You can also find their contact information at http://www.govtrack.us/congress/members.