Olmstead's Role in Community Integration

June 2014
MaryBeth Musumeci and Henry Claypool

June 2014 marked the 15th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court’s landmark civil rights decision in Olmstead v. L.C., finding that the unjustified institutionalization of people with disabilities is illegal discrimination. While many cases are resolved without involving the courts, during the last 15 years, the lower courts have had the opportunity to apply Olmstead in a number of contexts, resulting in decisions furthering community integration for people with disabilities. This issue brief examines the legacy of Olmstead, with an emphasis on legal case developments and policy trends emerging in the last five years and the related contributions of the Medicaid program. Medicaid is important because of its unique role in financing the home and community-based services (HCBS) that enable individuals in institutions to return to the community and those at risk of institutionalization to remain in the community with support.

Last modified Mar 18, 2016