Honoring Women with Disabilities During Women’s History Month
People with disabilities can thank Lois Curtis for paving the way for them to live in the community while receiving the services they need.
In what many called “the most important decision for people with disabilities in history,” the Olmstead Decision justified the right for people with disabilities to live independently but would take four years to come in effect including being heard in the Supreme Court.
At the center of the 1999 lawsuit that cited a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 were Lois Curtis and Elaine Wilson, two women with mental and intellectual disabilities. They were held in Georgia Regional Hospital for years after their treatment team determined they were able to live in the community because the state did not want to give them the funds they needed to live independently.
While she was growing up, Curtis was diagnosed with intellectual and mental disabilities. As a result, she would get into trouble constantly – at home and at school. The police were called several times and they would take her to jail or to a mental hospital. [continue reading…]