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Registration Opens for Third Annual Olmstead Conference

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Registration Opens for Third Annual Olmstead Conference

December 16 conference will focus on Social Inclusion—Building Resources and Safety Nets

December 16 conference will focus on Social Inclusion—Building Resources and Safety Nets

The District of Columbia Department of Mental Health is sponsoring the Third Annual Olmstead Conference on December 16, 2010, at Saint Elizabeths Hospital, 1100 Alabama Avenue, SE. Consumers of health care services and their families, advocates and health care providers are expected to participate in the conference whose theme is “Social Inclusion—Building Resources and Safety Nets.”

Co-sponsored by the Office of Disability Rights, the conference will promote the District “Olmstead Plan” which complies with a 1999 Supreme Court decision that states could not legally require people with disabilities to remain institutionalized in order to receive health care services. The Court ruled that this unjustified isolation is discrimination based on disability.

The District’s Olmstead Plan recognizes that the availability and quality of community-based services largely determine whether individuals in need of long term care can live in the community instead of an institutional setting such as a nursing facility.  Further, responsible community placement depends on the availability of and easy access to services.

The conference will explore ways to develop appropriate community resources that support consumers of mental health services in their efforts to live successful, fully integrated lives in our communities.  Conference panelists include self-identified consumers who will share their stories of recovery.

To register, contact Rossene Minnard at (202) 673-4376 or Rossene.minnard@dc.gov. Space is limited so early registration is encouraged. For more information, contact Vivi Smith, Director of the Office of Consumer and Family Affairs, on (202) 673-4377 or Vivi.Smith@dc.gov.