The National Disability Rights Network released a new report December 1, highlighting the results of recent efforts of Disability Rights North Carolina and the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program to monitor the transition of people with disabilities from large institutions to community-based housing,
The report, titled “Keeping the Promise: True Community Integration and the Need for Monitoring and Advocacy,” found that the individuals were generally happier living in the more integrated settings, but were often at risk of environmental safety concerns. These examples include significant safety hazards inside their their homes and individuals failing to receive some basic services that are necessary to ensure they can continue to live outside of institutional settings.
“The findings demonstrate that institutions can be closed and individuals with disabilities moved into community settings, but their quality of life can be no more independent and integrated than their lives in institutions unless community integration efforts include monitoring and advocacy,” NDRN Executive Director Curt Decker said in a news release.
The NDRN has long been at the forefront of the deinstitutionalization movement. In 2009, it released an extensive report critical of deinstitutionalization efforts in the decade since the Supreme Court’s 1999 Olmstead decision, when the high court ruled that states provide services ensuring people with disabilities live in the most integrated settings according to their needs.
DisAbility Rights Washington, the sponsor of DisAbility Rights Galaxy, is part of the federally funded protection and advocacy system and a member of the National Disability Rights Network