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Olmstead Commission sponsors public meeting on services for people with disabilities

February 22, 2002

Bismarck, N.D. - Governor John Hoeven's Olmstead Commission is inviting consumers, providers and the public to a community meeting on February 28 in Fargo to gather input on services to people with disabilities in North Dakota. The meeting will be held at Riverview Place, 5300 12th St. S., from 5 to 6 p.m.

"This is the first of several such meetings that will be held across the state to discuss services available to people with disabilities in North Dakota," said commission facilitator Arlette Preston.

The governor's Olmstead Commission, which is co-chaired by the governor's policy advisor Duane Houdek and the executive director of the Department of Human Services Carol K. Olson, is sponsoring the meeting. The commission has been charged with assessing the array of services available to persons with disabilities in North Dakota and with making recommendations to the governor and legislature, if appropriate, to address any gaps in service that have led to or would lead to institutionalization.

In the 1999 case of Olmstead v. L.C., the United States Supreme Court ruled that unjustified isolation can be considered as discrimination based on disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). States are required under Title II of the ADA to place institutionalized persons with disabilities in community settings when certain circumstances are met. These circumstances include situations when the state's treating professionals have determined that a community placement is appropriate; the transfer from an institution to a less restrictive setting is not opposed by the affected individual; and the placement can be reasonably accommodated, taking into account the resources available to the state and the needs of other persons with disabilities.

In response to the ruling, North Dakota and other states are formulating state plans to ensure compliance.

Individuals needing special accommodations to attend and participate should contact commission facilitator Arlette Preston at (701) 232-4964 or apreston@cableone.net.

 

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