#Olmstead – get the real scoop

There has been a recent buzz on twitter and Facebook and probably other social media regarding a comment made by Mary Lazare, Principal Deputy Administrator for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living,  at the recent Autism Society’s national conference.

The comments, which are only reported by 3rd party accounts, alleged that Ms. Lazare straight up came out in favor of re-institutionalization and in favor of segregation.  This is extremely hard to believe given the history of the organization.  Ms. Lazare did send an apology via Twitter in which she does recognize that Olmstead does give people the right to choices.

tweet @ACLgov

It is extremely disturbing to read in Disability Scoop that lawmakers are so uninformed about what Olmstead really says.  “Olmstead “has nothing to do with maintaining choice and everything to do with viewing the segregation of people with disabilities as a violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” wrote the three House lawmakers in their letter.”

Mary Lazare twitter response

It is obvious that these lawmakers have not taken the time to actually read Olmstead or they could never have gotten that opinion.  They are just taking the word of others who have misinterpreted Olmstead for years.

One reason false information is repeated and then taken as fact is because those who do not like what it says, block people who question them.  This group becomes insular in their ideology – they don’t want to have anyone raising questions against what they want to believe.  There is no voice of reason and common sense because these activists have blinders on and are hidebound.

Olmstead is about choice – not your choice, my choice but the choice of the individual.



3 comments on “#Olmstead – get the real scoop

  1. Rebecca Underwood says:


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Carolyn Guinotte says:

    My son has autism and doesn’t know what’s best for him..
    When given choices of a huge range he chooses poorly. We have to choose for him and since we are his parents we k ow what he likes and doesnt like. Hes been living in the Community for 8 years and even with that hes still a prisoner in his home/rental house since the agency have no staff or someone calls in sick. And this doesnt happen just now and then…
    ..its regularly happening.
    So even with him out of an RHC he still cant just go anywhere at anytime. He needs 2:1 staffing when out in the community as tends to elope or he pulls things off shelves and creates a trail of destruction in his wake.
    So…if I had a choice and he were bot on the Core Waiver I think he would be safer in an RHC. Anyone ever think about this subject in this light??? I doubt it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, it is well known that for some people the RHC is the least restrictive environment and one of choice that those people may choose. The political pressure though and lack of real knowledge and understanding of what “least restrictive” really means, people and legislators are bamboozled into thinking that one is more “free” in a community setting.


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