Olmstead at Twenty: Introduction and First Panel

Streaming Media

Document Type



Fall 8-8-2019


Session Description: Lawyers from the Atlanta Legal Aid Society represented Lois Curtis and Elaine Wilson in their long and difficult quest to live in the community. During this session, members of the litigation team reflected on the origins of the case, the legal strategies employed, the challenges presented, and lessons learned.

Conference Description: 2019 marked the 20th anniversary of Olmstead v. L.C. and E.W., the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision hailed as the Brown v. Board of Education for people with disabilities. In Olmstead, the Court held that unjustified institutional isolation of people with disabilities is a form of unlawful discrimination under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Now, 20 years later, thousands of people have benefited from the decision, as many states have increased funding for community services, but has the promise of Olmstead been realized for all? At the premiere legal Olmstead anniversary event, symposium speakers explored the history of this groundbreaking civil rights decision, assessed the current state of compliance, and imagined a path forward, where all people with disabilities have access to the supports they need to live full and meaningful lives in the community.