“My wheelchair gives me my wings to fly. You can find me all around RI and beyond raising awareness for accessibility and inclusion.” Tina Guenette Pedersen lives with a spinal cord injury.
Rhode Islanders with disabilities are unnecessarily institutionalized and isolated without an Olmstead Plan. Olmstead refers to the landmark 1999 U.S. Supreme Court case known as Olmstead vs. L.C., which found that states have a legal obligation to ensure that people with disabilities have the opportunity to live, work and receive services in the least restrictive setting permitted by their disability. Unnecessary institutionalization violates their civil rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.
The court also noted that states could create comprehensive and effective plans to demonstrate their good faith effort to comply with the ADA.
RI is one of seven states (RI, FL, TN, ID, NM, SD, DC) that does not have any type of a plan or strategy for ensuring every individual with a disability has proper housing and all the community services needed to live their best lives.
Rhode Islanders with disabilities are counting on Governor McKee to fund and staff a commission to implement an Olmstead plan. Send Governor McKee an email asking for an Olmstead Plan by clicking here. Or call his office at (401) 222-2080.