Monday, October 12, 2009

ADAPT: Community choice - it's a civil right

ADAPT protestors have been in Atlanta since October 10 to end unjust institutionalization of people with disabilities and push for community choice as a civil right.

See Community Choice It's a Civil Right over at ADAPT for background information, which says:

This year is the 10th Anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Olmstead v LC and EW decision. This groundbreaking case began in Georgia; a decade later that state is still under a voluntary compliance agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services to bring their state services in line with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504, respectively 19 and 36 year old civil rights laws.

Lois Curtis, LC, lives in Georgia -- in the community now. Yet GA disability rights activists annually stage their Long Walk Home to highlight the large number of state institutions still operating at full capacity.

Georgia was in the vanguard of the civil rights movement in the 60s. This movement helped inspire, among other movements, the disability rights movement of today. The King Center honoring Dr. King and civil rights movement is in Atlanta, yet right across the street – a nursing home.

The oppression of people warehoused in institutions or threatened with institutionalization remains a reality. Georgia is just one of a growing number of states drastically cutting community services, while nursing homes and other institutions remain the federally mandated preference for “our kind.”

No matter what happens in DC with Health Care Reform, the Community Choice Act or similar legislation, states will be left to implement this legislation and policy. And we will be left to ensure our civil rights will finally be realized.

Join ADAPT activists from all over the nation in our fight for the right to chose community and to FREE OUR PEOPLE.



On the ADAPT blog, Cecil Walker writes about his institutionalization after his accident and how advocates helped me get out to live in the community once again after he found himself stuck in a nursing home.

Nick Dupree recently was able to get back into the community after a year in institutions trying to get services in place.

He writes:

Segregating people with disabilities in institutions solely because they need daily help, especially given the 21st century technology that can assist them and the widespread success of people with disabilities living in the community, is fundamentally unjust, immoral, overly costly, and, according to the Olmstead ruling, illegal under Title II of the ADA.

...

We can no longer ignore illegal segregation and the community support services states must use to prevent it. We can no longer ignore Olmstead. We mustn’t put long-term care on the backburner and not include it in this year’s health care reform; telling us to wait another decade or more is deeply unjust

Nick is organizing a blogswarm to spread the word about the need for community choice, services and support . To join in the ADAPT blogswarm, click here.

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