[This is a slightly modified version of an article in the VOR Weekly News Update for 12/5/14.]
From the Public Insight Network:
"Next year will mark the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As newsrooms gear up to cover this issue, The Public Insight Network of American Public Media wants to know what it is like to live with a disability 25 years after the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed?
"Have you seen things change since the ADA became law? Do you or someone you know still face discrimination because of a disability?
"Share your insight. This link will take you to the Public Insight Network (PIN) survey page.
"Sharing your experience will help shape how PIN partner newsrooms cover this issue. We will not publish your response without your permission."
Why is this relevant?
Olmstead is the Supreme Court decision that interprets the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and what constitutes discrimination with regard to community placement. Many VOR members have faced “Olmstead implementation” actions that are contrary to the letter and spirit of Olmstead when these actions displace individuals from facility-based settings without regard to choice and need. Similar actions are being taken to limit access to and close community congregate programs and services that serve more than 3 or 4 people with disabilities in a group setting.
The Public Insight Survey is an opportunity to help journalists appreciate this aspect of ADA implementation. In VOR’s view, the ADA has helped many individuals with disabilities access public places and employment, thereby improving public awareness; however, many individuals who require access to specialized residential, employment, health care, education, therapies and other services have suffered. The problem is not the ADA itself, but the pursuit of a "community for ALL" ideology ("forced deinstitutionalization"), without regard to individual need, choice or quality of care. These "deinstitutionalization" actions, which separate people from specialized residential, employment, and education services, are done in ADA's name but are expressly contrary to the landmark decision interpreting ADA community placement requirements, Olmstead. News stories too often focus on the community v. institution debate (surface level) without considering HOW people are being served.
In your responses, you are encouraged to include www.vor.net as a resource for journalists.
Your survey responses should be your own, whether or not you share VOR’s perspective.
Take the SHORT survey here