the passage of the ADA in 1990,
it's been one disability rights
battle after another -- with damned few wins. We take three
steps forward, two steps back. By now everybody knows: nothing
ever changes, not really.
"everybody" is wrong. On June
22, 199, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the Olmstead
v. L.C. and E.W. decision. With that ruling, the Court poured
real power into the ADA, honing Title II's cutting edge.
States must now cease their discrimination against us.
cannot "place" us in residences we do not choose. Nor can
they consign us to sheltered workshops because "that's best
for those people." States cannot balk at higher education,
at assistive tech, at giving us full access to meetings,
to parks, to any state activity. The floodgates of freedom
Supreme Court has given us a license to
change the system, to turn it rightside up.
not a single state has a "most integrated setting" plan
which complies with the Olmstead ruling. Those plans are
in the making. That's where you come in to score some genuine
Clearinghouse -- a joint venture
of Mouth and Ragged Edge magazines with the blessings of
Justin Dart, NCIL, ADAPT, TASH, SABE, Support Coalition
and MadNation, among other national disability rights groups
-- is ready to equip you, your staff and volunteers with
the law, facts, statistics, and know-how you need to sit
at the state's planning table. But what if you run into
a snag? We'll troubleshoot an answer for you from our allies
in law enforcement.
disabled and non-, have mobilized, cross-disability, in
nearly every state and territory. Go to the Freedom Clearinghouse
state-by-state advocate listing right now to see how your
state ranks. (As of 3/14/00, Alaska has 34 advocates; Alabama
only two.) Click
here to take a look.
Clearinghouse website equips you with real power tools.
the federal regulation allowing advocates to enter and inspect
(and converse with the "beneficiaries" of) any facility
where one dollar of taxpayer money is spent;
an HHS Office of Civil Rights complaint form, ready to print
also posted a blueprint you can use to bring your state
into compliance with the letter and the spirit of the law.
Soon we'll post more power tools on the site, such as specific
how-tos on the ways advocacy groups can grow and prosper
under any new state plan.
is (nearly) free. All but
our Jumpstart Kit -- a binder with 60-plus pages of power
tools -- is free of charge. That kit costs $45. Advocates
organize with their kits, spread the word with them, and
carry them to meetings like a shield. Order yours on-line
today. We'll ship it today by Priority Mail.
join with us and get ready to win. Now, at last, we have
the law -- and the power tools for systems change -- on
our side, the winning side.