Important Legislation

Here are some important court cases and/or legislation:

The Lanterman Act A California amendment which arose in large part from the sad state of California state institutions, driven home by parents, ARC, and a courageous legislator, Frank Lanterman. Remarkable about this legislation is that supported living was set as a mandate for any Californian with a development disability (later expanded to include other disabilities from birth such as cerebral palsy, autism). It clearly spells out what supported living is and what those services should provide, thus making individual and truly person-centered supports available to all qualified individuals regardless of level of need. I love reading the early Lanterman Amendment! If only CMS . . .

If we don't dream, what will the future look like?

The ADA Homepage Lots of information about the ADA, including how to file a complaint.

Olmstead Decision. This page gives up-to-date information on this important decision which ruled that the ADA's "most integrated setting appropriate" mandate requires that the States avoid undue institutionalization of people with disabilities. Finding that unjustified isolation is a form of discrimination under the ADA, the Court pointed to the stigma of unworthiness, and the unequal access to family and social interaction, employment, education, and cultural enrichment that result from unnecessary institutionalization.

What about group homes? There is plenty of evidence that group homes can be isolating, and not the "most integrated setting appropriate" for many people. I'm not saying that there should be no group homes. Some people prefer them and in their particular situation do not find them isolating. But there are many people whose physical and mental makeup make it very difficult to live with inconsistent staff and with 3 other people with highly unpredictable behavior. The behavior problems which result from their distress from these inappropriate (to them) living situations can result in behavior which is more isolating for the person than any institution or jail.
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