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Capitol Correspondence - 06.27.23

Senate Panel Discussion Commemorates Olmstead Decision Anniversary

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June 22 marked a significant disability rights milestone, as it commemorated the anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision in Olmstead v. L.C., decided on June 22, 1999.

The Senate Special Committee on Aging and the Senate HELP Committee held a panel discussion to commemorate the occasion. The discussion focused on the profound importance of the Olmstead decision in advancing disability rights. The recording of this event is now available to view on the Senate Special Committee on Aging’s website.

The panel discussion witnessed the participation of numerous advocates from across the disability sector, including Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), a steadfast congressional champion for disability rights. Among the panelists was Alison Barkoff, Principal Deputy Administrator of the Administration for Community Living (ACL), who emphasized the significance of providing individuals with disabilities the freedom to choose their living environments. Barkoff also highlighted the need to eliminate waitlists for Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) and shared exciting updates on ACL’s upcoming launch of a Direct Care Workforce Capacity Building Center.

This year’s anniversary held special significance, as it marked the first Olmstead anniversary since the passing of Lois Curtis, the lead plaintiff in the case. Tuesday’s event paid tribute to Ms. Curtis’ memory and celebrated her lifelong dedication to safeguarding the rights of people with disabilities to live in their communities, rather than in institutions. ANCOR had the honor of commemorating Ms. Curtis at our Annual Conference in April through a collaborative mosaic portrait, a poignant symbol of her lasting impact.

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