Justice For All


ADA: A Plan of Action

Mark Johnson (Mark_Johnson@shepherd.org) writes:
Following are 10 ideas and contact information on how to protect and strengthen the implementation of the ADA. More and more of us are feeling like 2000 is a defining moment for the disability rights movement. Your willingness to participate in the Campaign and take a lead role is most appreciated.



1. Implement the Olmstead decision, "Activate your license to change the system! " Check it out, at freedomclearinghouse.org.

2. Monitor the preparation of and participate in the preparation of briefs for the cases taken by the Supreme Court.

a) Twenty-two states filed a brief urging the Supreme Court to accept the Olmstead case for review: AL, CA, CO, DE, FL, HI, LA, MD, MI, MS, MT, NE, NH, NV, PA, SC, SD, TN TX, UT, WY and WV. After the Court accepted the case, all of these and four additional states (IN, MA, MN and WA) signed on to an amicus brief making the argument against federal court interference in states' operation of mental health and developmental disability systems, for a total of 26. However, 15 of the original 22 states withdrew from the group, announcing that they would not oppose the 11th Circuit ruling. The 15 were: Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida (the organizer of the earlier brief), Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and West Virginia. And all four new states that had joined in support of Georgia's position later wrote to the Court to withdraw. The remaining 7 were: CO, HI, MT, NV, TN, TX and WV. Contact you state Protection and Advocacy organization.

b) I need people to go back into their State's history for examples of de jure discrimination against people with disabilities. What would be most helpful is either a specific citation for the law or written policy) or, preferably, fax a copy to me at 215-627-3183. Another way to prove discrimination is to show widespread (and I mean very widespread) de facto (e.g., practices of segregating, institutionalizing, and treating as second-class citizens, as well as other non-written realities) discrimination in your State. Once again, be as specific as possible regarding references. This history is really critical. Thank you. Steve Gold ( 125 S. 9th Street, Ste 700, Phila., Pa. 19107,

3. WHAT: "Don't Tread On the ADA" Rally, Title II of the ADA and Section 504 are currently unconstitutional in the states that comprise the 8th Circuit, WHEN: February 11, 2000, Noon (Gather), 1 PM (Rally Starts), WHERE: Arkansas State Capitol, Little Rock, Arkansas, FOR INFORMATION: Phil Stinebuck (501/623-7700) or Billy Altom (870/535-2222).

4. 2/24, Houston, Spirit of ADA Torch Lighting & Renew the Pledge Campaign Announcement, Andy Imparato, imparatoa@aol.com.

5. Spring, 2000, Vigil outside of Supreme Court during arguments, Janine Bertram, JanineBK@aol.com.

6. 6/11-8/7, Spirit of ADA Relay, Mark Johnson, mark_johnson@shepherd.org. As you're aware, the Relay serves several purposes.

-It's a focal point for the 10th anniversary of ADA and 25th anniversary of IDEA (yet to be fully developed).
-It's the focal point of the Renew the Pledge Campaign.
-It's a membership drive for AAPD.
-It's an opportunity to register voters.

7. 6/17-22, Rally and series of actions in DC, remember last year's Don't Tread on ADA Rally. Bob Kafka, bkafka@juno.com.

"On June 22, 1999, the United States Supreme Court held in Olmstead v. L.C. that the unnecessary segregation of individuals with disabilities in institutions may constitute discrimination based on disability."

8. Plan a Spirit of ADA event on July 26th, 500 plus cities have already made the commitment, go to spiritofada.org after February 9th.

9. Join AAPD, go to aapd-dc.org/, Join AAPD.

10. Feel free to distribute this message and come up with your own ideas. Remember Mouth's motto, "DO IT NOW."

Mark Johnson