Georgia State University hosted the “Olmstead at Twenty: The Past and Future of Community Integration” symposium on August 8 and 9. Attorneys, advocates, academics, service providers and members of the disability community from across the country, including leadership and staff from the Georgia State University School of Public Health’s Center for Leadership in Disability, gathered to reflect on the Olmstead v. L.C and E.W. decision, which found that unjustified institutional isolation of people with disabilities is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Atlanta, Georgia is the “home of Olmstead.” Two decades after the ruling, faculty members at Georgia State Law and attorneys at Legal Aid agreed this was the right time to assess the impact of the decision on the lives of people with disabilities.
“Often, the disability community is forgotten in discussions about human rights, and the Olmstead decision represented a turn in the tide,” said Ms. Susan Goico, director of Legal Aid’s Disability Integration Project and adjunct professor with Georgia State Law’s Olmstead Clinic. “We felt it was important to revisit community integration and take some time to think about the future.”
Mr. Samuel Bagenstos, the Frank G. Millard Professor of Law at the University of Michigan, opened the event with a keynote speech about expanding meaningful choice and social interactions for people with disabilities. Mr. Bagenstos is a former law clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who wrote the opinion in Olmstead. He is also the author of “Disability Rights Law: Cases and Materials.”Friday Letter Submission, Publish on September 06