Does the Supreme Court’s decision in Olmstead vs L.C. prohibit “institutions?”

No.  The Supreme Court was very clear in its decision that institutional care should remain available to those who need or prefer such care.  The Court held that an individual should be placed in a community setting only when such placement “is not opposed by the affected individual.”  Thus, the Court made clear that choice must be honored.  The Court went on to say:  “We emphasize that nothing in the ADA or its implementing regulations condones termination of institutional settings for persons unable to handle or benefit from community settings.”  Justice Kennedy added that it would be “tragic” if the ADA were interpreted to force individuals “into settings with too little assistance and supervision.”  The bottom line is that Olmstead recognizes the need for a wide range of options to meet the diverse needs and preferences of individuals with A/I/DD.

Olmstead enforcement is intended to provide legal protection against forced institutionalization and to encourage states to develop the tools and funding sources necessary to meet the demand for community-based services and affordable housing to prevent institutionalization. The Department of Justice can and has intervened when states fail to accommodate the needs of their adult residents with A/I/DD.

Find more information about Olmstead enforcement and read the Supreme Court documents here.


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