Free Our People - Make Olmstead Real
On June 22, 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court Olmstead decision declared that unjustified segregation of persons with disabilities (PWDs) in nursing homes et al. is discrimination, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Court held that public entities must provide community-based services to persons with disabilities.
Tragically, governments bowed to the corporate greed of the nursing home
industry, kept PWDs and seniors institutionalized, and then left them to die in great numbers in
'petri dishes for COVID.' Even now, facility owners are "super excited," that Biden and many governors are promising them more public funding, instead of implementing the principles of the ADA and Olmstead.
Join dozens of disability-led organizations in telling President Biden and your governor to fully embrace the principles of Olmstead and the ADA. Each person should have the choice to live in the least restrictive environment possible, and a wide range of independent-living and non-institutional models made available.
The nursing home industry - mostly publicly-funded for-profit businesses - abuses residents and exploits workers to maintain huge profitability, and uses those profits to lobby for ever more public money.
It's not just 'a few bad apples.' There are workers and advocates trying to make the system better, but the industry is inherently oppressive and should be phased out -- in a planned transition that does not sacrifice fairness for facility employees in pursuit of justice for residents.
Biden voted for the ADA in the senate. On this anniversary, ask President Biden to end the institutional bias and embrace the full implementation of Olmstead.
The segregation must end.