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.
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.”
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.