The Minnesota Council on Disability recognizes the passing of Lois Curtis, lead plaintiff in Olmstead v. LC.
Lois was an integral part of one of the most important civil rights cases for people with disabilities. With Olmstead v. LC (the Olmstead Decision), the Supreme Court held that:
- people with disabilities have a qualified right to choose the community they live in
- states must end the unnecessary segregation of people with disabilities
In 2011 a legal settlement in Minnesota required the development of the Minnesota Olmstead Plan. The Court approved the plan in 2015.
The Minnesota Olmstead Plan recognized that Minnesotans with disabilities want to make informed choices about their lives and want to live in communities of their choosing.
From the press release by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD):
The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) mourns the loss of Lois Curtis, a civil rights icon and a champion for justice. Lois was the lead plaintiff in the 1999 U.S. Supreme Court landmark decision, Olmstead v. L.C., a decision that changed the lives of millions of Americans and spurred major shifts in our health care, behavioral health, employment, and education systems. Lois Curtis was a powerful advocate with intellectual disabilities, and due in part to her advocacy, people with disabilities have enforceable legal rights to the supports they need to live, work, and learn in their communities.
The press release continues with words Lois wrote in 2010:
To all the people living in institutions:
I remember you. Give me a prayer.
Sometimes I feel good about my life.
When I feel bad about my life I name my country, sing the gospel, and bring my mind back home.
I will sing with you again.
Have a beautiful day.