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 Rally Recap from Oct 11, 2009

Rally Recap
For Immediate Release:
October 11, 2009
For Information Contact:
Bruce Darling 585-370-6690
Marsha Katz 406-544-59504

ADAPT Rally at King Center in Atlanta Sets Tone for Week of Olmstead Direct Action

Atlanta, GA--- Today, for the first time in 43 years, Delores Bates celebrated her birthday outside institutional walls. She turned 60 years old by speaking at the King Center surrounded by 500 ADAPT activists from Georgia and across the country who all sang Happy Birthday and celebrated her freedom with her. The fact that Georgia kept Delores institutionalized most of her life, in violation of her civil rights, is one of the reasons ADAPT is in Atlanta this week.

[photo of Delores and her cake courtesy CDRNYS' Facebook album]

“Bodie” is another reason ADAPT has returned to the city where it first launched the fight to give people a choice to live in the community instead of being forced into nursing facilities and institutions. Bodie loves the outdoors and he has been waiting 52 years, since he was ten years old, to be able to go outdoors without having to ask permission. He has been moved from one institution to another without anyone ever so much as consulting him. People keep promising him he will move to a house in the community, yet 52 years later, Bodie still lives in an institution.

More than 500 people marched today from the CNN Center, past historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, to the King Center for a civil rights rally. Invited speaker Attorney General Eric Holder didn’t show, but Delores and Bodie did, and so did Lois Curtis and Sue Jamieson. Curtis is the surviving named plaintiff in the historic Olmstead lawsuit where she and Elaine Wilson sued the state of Georgia for the right to move from a state hospital to live in the community. Sue Jamieson is the attorney who represented Curtis and Wilson and won the landmark decision before the U.S. Supreme Court where the court found that Georgia’s practice of inappropriately institutionalizing people with disabilities who could live in the community represented illegal segregation and discrimination.

“Ten years after the Olmstead decision, and twenty years after ADAPT first launched the fight for older and disabled Americans to have a real choice in where they receive their long-term services and supports, the state of Georgia continues to thumb its nose at the law, “ Said Mark Johnson of Georgia ADAPT. “The state has never adequately funded community services, and is now cutting them, despite the promises made by Gov. Sonny Perdue when he first took office. In fact, since the Governor first made those promises, nursing home admissions of people under 65 have grown, not decreased.”

Like other states across the country, Georgia’s failure to develop and implement an action oriented Olmstead plan with goals and timelines to reduce unnecessary segregation of older and disabled Georgians has left it seriously out of compliance with both the Olmstead Supreme Court decision, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. State differences in compliance have presented the best argument for national legislation like the Community Choice Act which would guarantee residents in every state the right to choose to receive long-term services and supports in their own homes and communities.

Startlingly, the King Center, an undeniable symbol of freedom, sits next door to a nursing facility, a concrete reminder of lost years and lost lives. At the conclusion of the rally, Lois Curtis led the crowd in a chant as people gazed at the adjoining property, “Free our brothers, free our sisters, free our people, now!” ADAPT will spend the coming week in Atlanta working on exactly that.


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