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Society’s Assets joins the nation in mourning the loss of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a champion for social justice and equality. Whether arguing for women’s rights, dignity for the disabled, or protections for voting rights, Justice Ginsburg will be remembered as one of the greatest civil rights advocates ever to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Of her many landmark opinions, most notable was the majority opinion in Olmstead v L.C., which held that disabled people should live in our communities, not in institutions.

The Olmstead Supreme Court Decision in a Nutshell

Olmstead, or Olmstead v. L.C., is the name of the most important civil rights decision for people with disabilities in our country’s history. This 1999 United States Supreme Court decision was based on the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Supreme Court held that people with disabilities have a qualified right to receive state funded supports and services in the community rather than institutions when the following three-part test is met:

  1. The person’s treatment professionals determine that community supports are appropriate;
  2. The person does not object to living in the community; and
  3. The provision of services in the community would be a reasonable accommodation when balanced with other similarly situated individuals with disabilities.

“In this decision, Justice Ginsburg has left a powerful and lasting legacy that will guide generations to come,” states Karl Kopp, Executive Director of Society’s Assets.

Society’s Assets is a local nonprofit that, since 1974, provides independent living services serving people of any age with any disability who live in Racine, Kenosha, Walworth, Rock, and Jefferson counties. Services include skills training, advocacy, peer support, transitions, information and referral, in-home personal care, demonstrations and loans of adaptive equipment, home modifications, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) consultation,

assistance with applying for Social Security and other government programs, and transportation information. If you have a disability and need help, call 800-378-9128.


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