“Unjustified isolation, we hold, is properly regarded as discrimination based on disability.” United States Supreme Court decision in Olmstead v. L.C.
Every person with a disability has the right to live, work and fully participate in the community.
Since its founding over 40 years ago, CPR has envisioned a world in which people with disabilities enjoy a full life in the community. CPR has crafted innovative legal strategies that rely on creative theories to advance this vision.
CPR not only challenges the institutionalization of persons with disabilities, but also insists that they receive the necessary supports and services to live and fully participate in the community.
Notably, CPR’s early community integration cases pre-dated – by 25 years – the 1990 passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Supreme Court’s 1999 decision in Olmstead v. L.C. Our first cases ensured that residents of state psychiatric hospitals and state developmental centers had a right to vote in statewide and national elections, and were provided a range of due process protections prior to and during any involuntary commitment. We also joined other class actions contesting the lack of community services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), as well as those with psychiatric disabilities.
In 1976, we filed a landmark community integration case, Brewster v. Dukakis, which led to the first, entirely community-based system of care in the United States for people with psychiatric disabilities.
Bolstered by the ADA and the Olmstead decision, we have continued to build on this foundation. Over the past quarter century, we have filed lawsuits and joined class actions throughout the country promoting community integration for people with disabilities, expanding the acceptance of people with disabilities and widening their opportunities for community engagement. We have led or participated in cases that resulted in the closure of almost twenty public institutions for persons with disabilities in eight states, and the transition of the residents of those facilities to integrated community settings.