by Marty Blair, Executive Director of the Rural Institute
We are making progress, but we are still trying to figure it out decades later! Twenty years ago, in June 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Olmstead v. LC that unjustified segregation of people with disabilities violated their rights guaranteed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA, which was signed into law 9 years earlier on July 26, 1990, established the civil rights of people with disabilities and helped them be more included at work and in the community. The Olmstead decision sent a clear message that people with disabilities are entitled to work, live and participate in communities of their choice. The challenge for most people with disabilities is that the community-based services and supports they need to ensure participation are sometimes limited or non-existent. You can’t choose something that doesn’t exist.