DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services) in Maine is holding a bunch of talks around the state to find out from people like you and me who live with a disability(and those who care about us), what we need from our service providers to really enjoy living, working, and having fun in our homes and communities.
These talks are based on something called the Olmstead Decision, which is a Decision that happened in 1999 and ended up helping lots of people with disabilities all over the United States! (By the way, even though my last name is Olmstead, this was not named after me, personally). If you want to learn more about the Olmstead Decision, I wrote a brief history of it at the bottom of this blog.
By attending one of the talks that DHHS is having around the state, we have the opportunity to not only help ourselves to live better lives in our homes and communities, but also to help people we don’t even know! Here is a link to the upcoming meetings that you can choose to attend. Dates for DHHS Olmstead Meetings
I know how the Olmstead Decision has been good for me. What would need to change for you to better enjoy living, working, and having fun in your home and community?
If you have any questions or comments about anything I wrote, I really hope that you will post on the blog, so everyone can see it and we can get great discussions going. I really want us all to get to know each other and learn from each other, too.
If you need assistance with posting your comments or questions to the blog, or you would like some help with figuring out what you want to say, you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to help you.
I’m really excited to hear from everybody!
Until next time,
Brief History: Olmstead Decision…
The Olmstead Decision happened because many years ago, there were two women in Georgia, Lois Curtis and Elaine Wilson. Both women had mental illness disabilities as well as some other disabilities. Both women lived by themselves. In order to feel better, Lois and Elaine decided to go to a psychiatric hospital to get treatment. Once they were feeling better, they wanted to go home. The staff at the hospital also felt like Lois and Elaine were healthy enough to go home.
However, they weren’t able to go home because the communities they lived in did not have the services and supports the women needed, to live healthy and happy lives. As a result, they lived in the hospital for years because they had nowhere else to go! Both women sued the state of Georgia and as a result, they now live in the community again, with the services and support they need. Not only did Lois and Elaine end up helping themselves but by talking about their lives in court all those years ago, what they did has since helped many other people with disabilities all over the United States have better lives!