Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Commemorating Olmstead: Past, Present and Future

On Thursday, June 18, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, Connecticut's disability advocacy groups will come together to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Olmstead v. L.C. and E.W.

The Olmstead case was brought on behalf of two residents in a Georgia psychiatric institution whom the state refused to release into the community. In Olmstead v. L.C. and E.W. , the United States Supreme Court held that the unnecessary segregation of individuals with disabilities in institutions may constitute discrimination based on disability. The court ruled that the Americans with Disabilities Act requires states to provide community-based services rather than institutional placements for individuals with disabilities.

This historic pronouncement made attainable a goal long-sought by people with disabilities and advocates: the Supreme Court said that, under the ADA, state agencies are required to provide services "in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities."

Meet Lois Curtis, one of the original plaintiffs in Olmstead, who will be at this event!

The commemoration will begin at 10:00 am (rain or shine!) with a march to the State Capitol.
Marchers will meet at 9:00 am on the West side of the Capitol for shuttle to the start of the march. The march will be followed by a rally and lunch at 12:00 noon in the Old Judiciary Room.

The afternoon events, which end at 3:00 pm, will include presentations by persons with disabilities about their experiences transitioning from living in a psychiatric institution to living in a community; an update on progress toward the Olmstead goals and an agenda for future actions; and recognition of individuals who demonstrate a personal commitment to Olmstead's goals.

Lunch and the afternoon events are open to everyone, marchers and non-marchers alike.

Share your story!

If you formerly lived in a psychiatric institution and you are now living in the community, and you would be willing to make a brief (3-minute) statement about your experiences as part of this commemoration, please contact Amy Beer at
abeer@mindlink.org or at (860) 667-0460.

To RSVP for the event, please contact Amy O'Connor, Policy Assistant, at NAMI-CT by email at
policyassistant@namict.org or by phone at 800-215-3021.

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