Olmstead v. LC, is the name of an important civil rights decision for people with disabilities in our country’s history. This 1999 United States Supreme Court decision was based on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Supreme Court held that people with disabilities have a qualified right to receive state funded supports and services in the community rather than institutions when the following three part test is met:
- the person’s treatment professionals determine that community supports are appropriate;
- the person does not object to living in the community; and
- the provision of services in the community would be a reasonable accommodation when balanced with other similarly situated individuals with disabilities.
Even years after this court decision, many people are still being held in nursing homes who qualify to live in the community. In Texas, that number is estimated to be 3,600 people. Disability Rights Texas and other organizations continue to work to identify individuals in this situation and move them to the community.