On June 22, 1999, US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg delivered what has become known as the “Olmstead Decision“. Olmstead v. LC is regarded as one of the most important civil rights case for people with disabilities. Drawing from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Supreme Court held that people with disabilities have a qualified right to live in the community of their choosing and that states must eliminate the unnecessary segregation of persons with disabilities.
The Olmstead decision reached Minnesota in 2011 when a settlement from litigation required the development of the Minnesota Olmstead Plan, which was approved by the Court in August 2015. The plan recognized that Minnesotans with disabilities want to make informed choices about their lives and want to reside in the integrated setting of their choosing. The Minnesota Olmstead Plan called for expanding integrated housing, employment, and education options for people with disabilities.
On the upcoming 20th anniversary of the Olmstead Decision, the Minnesota Council on Disability celebrates the progress made in civil rights for people with disabilities. We honor the plaintiffs of Olmstead v. LC, Louis Curtis and Elaine Wilson, who had mental health disabilities and demanded equality under the law and the freedom to choose.