People with mental disabilities have the same dreams that we all do. They want to live in their own homes, spend time with family and friends, find meaningful work, and enjoy the many small pleasures of being part of a community. At the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, our goal is to make these dreams reality.
We fight against the stigma and discrimination that limits housing, employment, and other choices, and we advocate for service systems that help people achieve their full potential. Supported employment and supportive housing are essential to this goal.
Our work relies on the Americans with Disabilities Act and its promise that people with mental disabilities will be integrated into community life. Building on the Supreme Court’s decision in Olmstead v. LC, we seek to end our country’s needless reliance on institutional models of care.
The disability community has developed a set of consensus principles reflecting a shared vision of community integration in which people with disabilities are afforded opportunities to live in their own homes, work in regular, non-segregated employment, and make their own choices.
The document Community Integration for People with Disabilities: Key Principles describes that vision.