A2I Transitions 500 Individuals with Disabilities from Institutions to Independence
Jun 17, 2015, 04:22 ET
SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Transitioning approximately 500 people with disabilities from institutions to their own homes makes Access to Independence's (A2I) 10-year effort a powerful testament to independent living. As one of 28 Independent Living Centers (ILCs) in California, A2I's work champions the 1999 Supreme Court Olmstead Decision, which prohibits the segregation of people with disabilities in institutions as discriminatory and in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
"A2I has been deeply involved in nursing home transition work since 2006 when we received a large grant from The California Endowment," said A2I Executive Director Louis Frick. "This is exactly what the Olmstead Decision is about, and by focusing our efforts on community integration, we advance Olmstead with every person we serve."
One example of A2I's efforts can be seen in their work to assist a gentleman in his late 40s, who has a spinal cord injury, move out of a skilled nursing facility in which he had been living for 10 years. Although initially reluctant to leave what he considered "his home," after seeing A2I staff with similar disabilities using power wheelchairs like his, he decided to make the move. Nearly three years later, he is still living in the community.
The Affordable Care Act also has advanced the Olmstead Decision by spotlighting the need for home and community-based services and getting healthcare organizations to "play along." A significant aspect of A2I's work centers on building partnerships with healthcare entities to help them understand the value of collaborating with ILCs and using the long-term services and supports that can make Olmstead work.
"We continually seek various avenues to engage the healthcare industry," explained Frick. "Our most innovative effort is through the local Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) with whom we've partnered since 2006. We're currently collaborating with Aging and Independent Services, San Diego County's Area Agency on Aging, to develop a model through the ADRC to broker virtually all long-term services and supports available through more than 90 providers around the county."
"There are many agencies, services and resources available to Californians living with disabilities who are interested in moving out of institutions or remaining in their homes," said California State Independent Living Council Executive Director Liz Pazdral. "ILCs like A2I ensure that the intent of Olmstead continues to be realized."
The California State Independent Living Council is an independent state agency which, in cooperation with the California Department of Rehabilitation, prepares and monitors the State Plan for Independent Living.
The SILC Mission: To Create Policy and System Change for Independent Living
SOURCE California State Independent Living Council (SILC)
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