Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke sent a letter to Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO) detailing the state’s civil rights violations against disabled adults. The letter details that, after a multiyear investigation, the DOJ found that disabled Coloradans were denied the choice to stay and receive services in their own homes. The denials were in direct violation of the Olmstead v. L.C. decision, which declared that Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) gave disabled people the right to receive public services in the most integrated settings. In response, Mia Ives-Rublee, director of the Disability Justice Initiative at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
The DOJ’s decision marks an important recognition that the continued forced institutionalization of disabled people violates the ADA and the Olmstead v. L.C. decision. At least 28 percent of COVID-19 deaths are related to nursing facilities, showing the escalating need for states to abide by the ADA and make more of an effort to provide supports that allow disabled people to stay and receive services in their own homes.
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