The Disability Integration Act of 2015
April 21, 2016 7:35 AM   Subscribe

The Disability Integration Act of 2015
The Disability Integration Act establishes in Federal law that people with disabilities have the right to choose to receive services in community settings where they are in control, rather than being forced into institutions just because that is where States and insurance companies primarily and by default offer the services that people with disabilities need.

How'd you like to live in a place where your landlord can hire somebody to: enter your room; touch your body; handle your money and personal effects; punish you for bad behavior -- which they get to decide; decide when you eat, when you bathe, and when you can come and go?

That is what it is like to receive services in an institution as a person with a disability.

In 2013, the Senate HELP Committee looked at the "integration mandate" of the 1990's Americans with Disabilities Act. It found that, nearly 25 years after passage of that law, States have failed to realize the promise of ADA for people with significant disabilities who remain stuck in institutions even though the services they require can in principle and in practice be provided at home. That report, entitled "Separate and Unequal", recommended that Congress act strengthen the ADA integration mandate and clarify that people with disabilities have a Federally protected right to receive services at home, in an integrated setting if they choose to.

The Disability Integration Act (S.2427) answers the call of that report. It establishes in Federal statute that people with disabilities have a civil right to live in the community, and that it is discrimination for States and insurance companies to fail to provide community based services in a way that denies people a real and meaningful choice where to live and receive services.
Role: Advocate; worked on bill language, introduction strategy, & securing cosponsors
posted by gauche (2 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Goodness! Good luck on the floor.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:31 AM on April 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Whoa that's awesome. Good work.
posted by wenestvedt at 1:17 PM on May 3, 2016

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