What is OOTF?
The Ohio Olmstead Task Force is a grassroots coalition of people with disabilities of all ages, family members, advocates and organizations advocating together for the right to live, work, and participate in their communities.
Advocating for people with disabilities, regardless of age, to live, work
and participate in community life.
Ohioans with disabilities shall have:
• The opportunity to live independently in the community with
their own possessions.
• Access to services and supports that are inclusive, integrated and
tailored to their unique needs.
• The authority to choose and direct their services and supports.
• Respect from the employees of government and private agencies
who provide their services and supports.
What is Olmstead?
Olmstead is the name of a Supreme
Court decision stating that unnecessary
institutionalization is discrimination
against people with disabilities.
The Olmstead lawsuit was filed by two
women with mental retardation and
mental illness who wanted to move
from a Georgia institution into the
community. Their doctors declared
them able to do so, but the institution
would not allow them to leave.
The women won their lawsuit and won
again on appeal to the United States
Supreme Court. On June 22, 1999 the
Court ruled that people with disabilities
have the right to live in the community:
• If they want to,
• If their doctors agree, and
• If the state can reasonably
accommodate their disabilities
in the community
The Olmstead Supreme Court decision
is more than ten years old. However,
OOTF believes many people with
disabilities continue to live in nursing
homes and other institutions because
public policy favors institutionalization
over community supports and services.