Governor Perdue Releases Georgia's Olmstead Plan
|Wednesday, February 4, 2004||
Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774
Atlanta - Governor Sonny Perdue announced today the release of Georgia's plan to address a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, Olmstead v. L.C. Georgia's Olmstead Strategic Plan identifies key areas that will make quality community services more available and accessible to Georgians with disabilities within the resources available to the state.
Georgia's Olmstead plan:
- Calls for more consistency in eligibility for community placement and evaluating needs for services;
- Calls for person-centered planning to closely involve the individual and the family in deciding what services are suitable;
- Addresses affordable and accessible housing, transportation, and work force development to provide greater and higher quality choices in services;
- Emphasizes consumer and family education to inform families of the service and benefit options available;
- Improves the monitoring and oversight of services to ensure the health and safety of people living in the community and the quality of services being provided.
"Even in these tough economic times, we are moving forward," said Governor Sonny Perdue." Georgia has been expanding community-based services, and we intend to continue in that direction. This plan is our pledge to the people to meet the expectation of the Olmstead ruling."
Text of the Olmstead plan is available at the following link:
The landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, Olmstead v. L.C decision declared that unnecessary segregation of individuals in institutions might constitute discrimination based on disability and be a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The decision affects qualified individuals with a physical, mental, or age-related disability who are receiving state-supported long-term care in a state hospital or nursing home that could also benefit from community placement and are not opposed to the move. It also affects people with disabilities who need state-supported community-based services to avoid going to state hospitals or nursing homes. Since the Olmstead decision, Georgia has taken steps to comply with the ruling while continuing to develop the official plan.
- The state closed a state hospital in southwest Georgia making it possible to move 129 people with developmental disabilities into the community.
- This was the fourth state institution to close since 1996.
- Nearly 6,000 additional people are receiving a variety of community services under home and community-based Medicaid waivers, which allow Medicaid funds normally restricted to institutional care to support services out in the community.
- Nearly 1,700 people with developmental disabilities and 180 people with physical disabilities who were on waiting lists are now receiving community services.
- The Community Care Services Program, for elderly people desiring to avoid nursing home care, has increased its capacity by 15 percent to serve some 17,000 people in 2003.
Several of the action items identified in the Plan have already been achieved, such as: selection of a vendor to identify persons residing in nursing homes who desire community placements; selection of a vendor to conduct person centered planning; placement of over half of those planned to move from nursing facilities; implementation of a "person-centered planning" training program at all of the state hospitals; and the obtaining of three federal grants that will aid the Department of Human Resources in enhancing the flexibility of community-based services and to further improve support services for persons transitioning from institutional placements to community living. Other changes, such as new family support services and sweeping changes in community mental health services, have also occurred.