State Olmstead Plan Is Not Enough, Advocates Say
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
November 1, 2002
DOVER, DELAWARE--Last month, officials with Delaware's Department of Health and Social Services released their plan to help people with developmental disability or mental illness to move from institutions into community settings.
The plan is the state's attempt to comply with the 1999 U.S. Supreme Court's Olmstead decision. In that ruling, the high court said that unnecessarily putting people in institutions violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. After that decision, the federal government directed all state Medicaid directors to address the need for more supports so that people would have the necessary services to live in the community.
Disability rights advocates in Delaware welcomed the state's most recent plan, but said it should include more details. For example, the plan does not say where the money will come from to pay for the needed community services. It also does not give specific guidelines as to how the plan will be implemented year by year.
"We are extremely disappointed with the lack of specifics in the plan," Kyle Hodges, administrator of the State Council for Persons with Disabilities, told the News Journal. "The issues involved are much broader than what the plan reports."
The state of Delaware spends three times the amount it spent ten years ago on community supports for people with developmental disabilities -- currently about $111 million. But it spends $223 million for Stockley Center, the state-run institution that houses 179 people.
State has plans for housing disabled (News Journal)
The States' Response to the Olmstead Decision (National Conference of State Legislatures)
State of the States in Developmental Disabilities (University of Colorado)