The Olmstead Project: Virginia

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What is Olmstead?

The Commonwealth has an obligation under the U.S. Supreme Court’s Olmstead v. L.C. decision, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Virginians with Disabilities Act to provide appropriate opportunities for people with disabilities to become fully integrated into the community if they choose to do so.  This is more than a legal obligation—it is a moral imperative.   

Olmstead in Virginia

Where we are today

  • In February 2011, the Federal Department of Justice (DOJ) issued findings against Virginia for non- compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with regard to the 1999 Olmstead Decision.
  • The findings are mostly concerning the number of  Virginians with disabilities still residing at the Central Virginia Training Center and other Virginia institutions.
  • Governor McDonnell is preparing to respond to those findings and has placed a “down payment” of $30M in the State budget specifically for transition to community living situations for people currently living in institutions and nursing homes.
  • General Assembly Members agreed  with the allocation and approved the funding.

How we got here

2002: Following the Supreme Court Decision, a Virginia Olmstead Task Force was convened by Governor Mark Warner. The Task Force was composed of many consumers, advocates, stakeholders and disability services providers.

2004: Following the completion of “One Community,” the final report of the Olmstead Task Force, Governor Warner issued Executive Order 61, creating a four cabinet-member, 18-state-agency Implementation Team, and a 19-member stakeholder Oversight Advisory Committee.

2005: Governor Warner issued Executive Order 84, to continue implementation of the Olmstead Decision.

These two Executive Orders established:

2006: Governor Kaine issued Executive Order 2, which continued the Olmstead initiative and directed the Implementation Team to work with the stakeholder group to develop a cross-governmental strategic plan for community integration. The General Assembly codified the stakeholder advisory group into the Community Integration Advisory Commission.

2007: Governor Kaine issued Executive Directive 6, which directs state agencies and entities to be involved with the implementation of Olmstead, and to annually update the Strategic Plan and report to the Governor on progress in implementing it. Several statewide organizations were also invited to join the Team.