Photo of nursing home operators dodging into their rich hotel, running a gauntlet of disabled activists who call for their freedom. One sign says, "Give America a choice in long term care."

The people who make a living off us had their say.



Photo of protesters behind makeshift bars outside the Health Care Financing Administration. Their signs say "Demand Attendant Services" and "We'd Rather Go to Jail."

Now we have ours.



Photo of hundreds of disability rights activists crossing a bridge, together


We shall be free. We shall overcome.

A Declaration of Independence

Disability should not be a collective noun.
-- Voice of the Retarded


We beg to differ.
--- the Disability Nation

Olmstead v. L.C. and E.W. is the Dred Scott case of our century. In 1857 the Supreme Court was asked to determine if Dred Scott, a slave, could be allowed to sue for his freedom just as L.C. and E.W. have sued for their own.

Scott was in the right and still he lost his case. L.C. and E.W. were in the right. Still, they could have have lost the Olmstead case and all of us may yet lose when states do not obey the Court's ruling. A ruling is only a ruling until states bring it to life in their policies and procedures.

The Declaration


We have been too reasonable for too long, so reasonable that we earned not respect but pity. Now states believe we'll sit by helplessly while they steal our civil rights, our freedom.


We give notice here and now: We are not helpless. We will no longer be "consumers," recipients of "assessments" and "placements."


We will no longer attempt to impress the powers that be with the logic of our arguments, to prove how reasonable we can be. We will go before them, face to face, to fight for our freedom.

We will not be held hostage to what they call administrative efficiency. We will not keep to our place. We will never again be put away.


We are freedom fighters now.

And this is war.

The photographs on this page are the work of Tom Olin. The photo at top was taken at during an ADAPT action at a nursing home operators convention in Orlando, Florida. The photo below it is from a 1991 ADAPT action in Baltimore at the Health Care Financing Administration. The last photo is from the Wheels of Justice march in Washington, D.C., 1996. The declaration appeared in Mouth Magazine in March, 1999.



Mouth once made a poster that says all this in five words.
It's in our Attitude Catalog Store.
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