Letter to ADAPT and JFA On Olmstead And Freedom.


I am not sure that JFA and ADAPT fully understand the implications of LC v Olmstead for the psychiatric survivor community. While some of us are hopeful that a Supreme Court ruling upholding the 11th Circuit Court decision would result in a decreased use of psychiatric hospitalization, we are also very aware that, for our community, there is a real threat that independent housing will not be provided as a result, and that this decision could, in fact, increase force and coercion for us.

While we join with our physically disabled brothers and sisters who are imprisoned in nursing homes and pledge to continue working along side of you for attendant care and other services that people need to live independent lives, our situation is somewhat different. We are seeing an increase in coercion and oppression of people with psychiatric diagnoses through the spread of outpatient commitment orders. We are also seeing a bundling of housing and services and a return to disability specific housing that threatens to lock psychiatric survivors up in institutional settings in the community.

This is not freedom.

We have grave concerns that the increase in community based services would not be an increase in the voluntary services we want, but would instead be in the form of forced drugging, intrusive mandated in-home care, and segregated institutional housing. Please ask that people participating in the National Day of Action stress that all community services must be freely chosen and voluntary. Do not use Olmstead to climb to independence on the our backs, leaving us behind in community based snake pits.

Vicki Fox Wieselthier, Founder MadNation and member of ADAPT St. Louis

Please see the MadNation Alert on Olmstead:http://www.madnation.org/olmstead.htm

The JFA Alert is on the MadNation site at: http://www.madnation.org/olmsteadjfa.htm

Send your letters to:
adapt@adapt.org --

Dear Vicki,

JFA agrees that all community services must be freely chosen and voluntary! We oppose coercion and oppression of anyone with a disability. And we support community-based personal assistance services in the least restrictive setting.

As with ADA, our great strength is in coalition. Psychiatric survivors, physically disabled, . . . all of us must be vigilant in defending and advancing our freedom and independence.

Fred Fay
Chair, Justice For All