It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fun*Run Time

It's ALREADY that time of year again: The ADAPT Fun*Run for Disability Rights is April 22nd 2012. Maryland's fundraising goal is $8,000 this year. Yes, that's right, $8,000

Donate $1! Donate $10! Donate $100! Donate $1,000! JUST DONATE so we can FREE OUR PEOPLE! I thank you very much for your support!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

ADAPT Media Advisory from Oct 13, 2009

For Immediate Release:
October 13, 2009

For Information Contact:
Bruce Darling 585-370-6690
Marsha Katz 406-544-9504

ADAPT Confronts HHS OCR; Demands Enforcement of Civil Rights for People in Institutions

WHO: 500 members of ADAPT, nation’s largest grassroots disability rights organization
WHAT: Confront HHS Office of Civil Rights
WHERE: Sam Nunn Federal Center, 61 Forsythe Street S.W., Atlanta, GA
WHEN: 11 a.m., Tuesday, October 13, 2009
WHY: To demand that the Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights hold Georgia accountable for violating the civil rights of thousands of older and disabled Georgians, and demand that Georgia start following the law (ADA) and finally comply with the 1999 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Olmstead v. L.C. and E.W.

In May 1999, the state of Georgia lost the “Olmstead” case in the U.S. Supreme Court, and was told to stop segregating people with disabilities and older Americans in nursing facilities and state hospitals and institutions. The court stated that the way Georgia had been doing business had constituted illegal discrimination and must stop.

Three years later while in office, Gov. Sonny Perdue promised to make changes that would put Georgia in compliance with the Supreme Court’s decision against the state in the Olmstead case, and thus, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Well over a year ago, after again being taken to task for non-compliance, Gov. Perdue signed a Voluntary Compliance Agreement (“VCA”) with the HHS Office of Civil Rights, pledging to marshal the resources to ensure that individuals with disabilities who are transitioning out of the hospitals, and nursing facilities receive the community services they need.

As history will show, the state again has done nothing. And so, twenty years after the passage of the ADA, ten years after the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Olmstead, more than six years after Perdue’s campaign promises, and over a year after signing a “Voluntary” compliance agreement, the state of Georgia remains “substantially out of compliance” according to an August letter to Roosevelt Freeman
Regional Manager, Region IV, Office for Civil Rights, HHS from the Georgia Advocacy Office, the Georgia Legal Services Program, and the Atlanta Legal Aid Society.

“Georgia’s complete disregard for the law and the decision of the Supreme Court is nothing short of outrageous,” said Becky Ramage-Tuttle, Executive Director of Atlanta’s Disability Link and a member of Georgia ADAPT. “What does it take for the federal government to hold Georgia accountable after twenty years of the ADA, ten years of the Court’s Olmstead decision being in effect, and even after the Governor signed an agreement to keep his campaign promises and do the right thing? If I thumbed my nose at the law so consistently, I’d be in jail…why isn’t he?”

ADAPT demands that the US Department of Health and Human Services:

· Announce its public support for S683/HR1670, the Community Choice Act, legislation which would eliminate the institutional bias in the systems that provide long term services and supports;

· Establish a process to provide the assistance and supports needed by someone to allow them to live in the most integrated setting for those individuals who respond to MDS question Q1a indicating they want to return to community living so they are then referred to community based organizations;

· Modify the Medicaid rules to allow states to develop cross-disability 1915(c) waivers which would help break down the segregated funding system; and

· Develop rules, regulations and procedures that mandate consumer direction as a part of all home and community service programs, including Medicaid and Medicare Home Health.

Furthermore ADAPT demands that the HHS Office of Civil Rights:

· develop accountability measures and benchmarks for how states must implement the Olmstead decision;

· systematically review the level of state compliance with the Olmstead decision and publish all results of these reviews on the HHS website;

· accept, review and resolve individual as well as systemic complaints against a state and withhold Medicaid payments to states for non-compliance with the Olmstead decision; and

· exercise its authority to hold states accountable for implementing the Olmstead decision with referrals to the Department of Justice for legal action when necessary.


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