Monday, December 13, 2004

Olmstead's plaintiff dies

The "E.W." of the landmark disability civil rights case L.C. & E.W. v. Olmstead died Sunday, December 5 at age 53. Elaine Beverly Wilson fought for her independence through periods of homelessness and 36 mental institution stays. Advocates for her at Atlanta Legal Aid Society say that her life took an amazingly positive turn after she received support and independence in the Olmstead settlement.

The Olmstead decision challenges federal, state, and local governments to develop more opportunities for individuals with disabilities through accessible systems of cost-effective community-based services. The Olmstead decision interpreted Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its implementing regulation, requiring states to administer their services, programs, and activities "in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities." The ADA and the Olmstead decision apply to all qualified individuals with disabilities regardless of age.

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