U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Initiative ~ Executive Order ~ HHS Role ~ News & Additional Resources
Delivering on the Promise: Preliminary Report
Transmittal Memo [DOC = 28K]; Cover: PDF = 203K
Table of Contents [Complete Report: HTML = 154K, DOC = 535K]
Health Care |
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Income Supports |
Data Use |
Executive Order 13217:
The Initiative |
Public Input |
Summary of Initiatives |
Input Entities |
Federal Register Notice
- Federal Agency Actions to Eliminate Barriers and Promote Community Integration
Accountability and Legal Compliance
In Executive Order 13217, President Bush said that the federal government "must assist States and localities to implement swiftly the Olmstead decision, so as to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to live close to their families and friends, to live more independently, to engage in productive employment and to participate in community life." The President also directed the Attorney General and Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to "fully enforce Title II of the ADA," including by investigating and resolving individual complaints of alleged discrimination, and to work cooperatively with states to resolve these complaints whenever possible.
The federal agencies' self-evaluation process required by the Executive Order and the public input obtained during this process revealed the need for an array of activities to promote compliance with the Olmstead decision, including: greater federal oversight of programs that serve people with disabilities; stronger enforcement of laws that protect the rights of people with disabilities; greater and more effective technical assistance to assist states in appropriately serving individuals in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs; guidance to states on effective planning to provide services in the most integrated setting; and greater and more effective outreach to assist individuals with disabilities and their family members in understanding the ADA and Olmstead's requirements.
Federal agencies will take the following actions to promote and ensure compliance with the ADA and the Olmstead decision:
Department of Justice
- DOJ will engage in stepped-up enforcement efforts of the federal laws and regulations that protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination, including the ADA and its integration regulation, the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) and the Fair Housing Act.
- DOJ will use its Fair Housing Testing program to identify patterns or practices of discrimination against individuals with disabilities by persons and entities engaged in the sale or rental of housing.
- DOJ will have increased participation as amicus curiae (friend of the court) in Olmstead-type lawsuits.
- DOJ will expand the use of its mediation program for Olmstead-related claims, including providing additional training to mediators regarding Olmstead, investigating ways to train lay advocates to assist individuals with certain kinds of disabilities that may affect the equality of bargaining power, and investigating and working toward implementing a formal arrangement under which HHS' Office for Civil Rights would refer for mediation appropriate unresolved individual administrative complaints that allege a violation of the ADA's integration regulation.
- DOJ will work to increase compliance with the ADA by private institutions, including by collaborating with HHS to ensure that private institutions acting on behalf of the states are providing services in a manner consistent with states' obligations under Olmstead, and by efforts to ensure that private institutions comply with their own obligations under the ADA not to discriminate on the basis of disability.
- DOJ will engage in additional outreach and research to determine how the Department should address the need to provide community services for children with significant disabilities so that such children may remain with their families and within the community.
- DOJ will encourage state and local officials to review plans for multi-family housing and public housing for compliance with federal accessibility requirements or, alternatively, to provide developers, builders, architects, engineers, and others involved in the design and construction of housing with literature outlining federal accessibility requirements and notice that plans have not been reviewed for compliance with these requirements.
- DOJ will initiate a nation-wide effort to enforce rights of individuals with disabilities to access mental health services, focusing in particular on individuals with communications-related disabilities, and individuals with developmental or cognitive disabilities, as part of an effort to make necessary services within communities accessible to individuals leaving institutional settings.
- DOJ will use its Department-wide resources in communities with disadvantaged persons and communities with recent immigrants, in order to distribute the technical assistance pieces that inform individuals with disabilities of their rights under the ADA and Olmstead.
- DOJ will consider mechanisms that would give it greater investigative abilities under CRIPA, address issues arising from community placements, and address allegations of discrimination in purely private institutions.
Department of Health and Human Services
- HHS will collaborate with the Department of Justice to enhance alternative dispute resolution options available to individuals who file ADA administrative complaints with HHS that allege non-compliance with Olmstead.
- HHS will expand its dissemination to states, tribes and other stakeholders of information about: a) voluntary compliance with the ADA's most integrated setting regulation and the Olmstead decision; b) promising practices in the provision of services in the most integrated setting to individuals with disabilities; and c) specific examples of individuals with disabilities who have moved from institutional to community life and other relevant developments.
- HHS will provide technical assistance and guidance to states and tribes regarding options available to devise and implement innovative service systems to best meet the needs of older individuals.
- HHS will ensure the provision of a national program of technical assistance to states to promote the most efficient use of existing Medicaid authority in order to enhance opportunities for community living and community participation.
- HHS will work with states and persons with disabilities to improve the quality of home and community-based services.
Department of Education
- ED's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) will coordinate, where appropriate, joint agency monitoring of state VR agencies and state education agencies regarding transition services from school to the world of work for adolescents and young adults, in accordance with Title I of the Rehabilitation Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
- ED will implement a variety of technical assistance and public information activities to promote better understanding of Olmstead's implications for people with disabilities who utilize Department of Education programs, including: (a) expansion of an ongoing training project to provide information to the disability community on Olmstead-related issues; (b) coordination of technical assistance activities to be provided to individuals with disabilities and the parents of children with disabilities regarding the Olmstead decision, community living options, community-based resources and related issues; (c) development of technical assistance documents to promote the involvement of Protection and Advocacy of Individual Rights programs (authorized to protect the legal and human rights of people with disabilities) in community integration activities; (d) preparation of a resource document for parents and students identifying the rights of students and the obligations of schools as students transition from high school to post-secondary education; (e) targeted technical assistance and training concerning the transition from high school to post-secondary school; and (f) technical assistance and workshops for states to facilitate their ability to improve vocational education programs.
- ED's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) vigorously enforces two Federal statutes -- Title II of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act -- that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. OCR also engages in a number of proactive technical assistance and training initiatives with states, local school districts, advocacy organizations, parents, educators, and other stakeholders.
Department of Housing and Urban Development
- HUD will remind its field offices of their duty to concurrently process all disability and other complaints under all applicable laws and regulations and will provide training and other technical assistance to its field offices.
- HUD will coordinate efforts with DOJ to devote substantial resources to investigations and enforcement actions against developers, architects and site engineers who design and/or construct multi-family housing that does not comply with the accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Act.
- HUD will work with DOJ to increase accessibility of public housing by improving enforcement of the nondiscrimination requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Fair Housing Act against Public Housing Authorities.
- HUD will implement the provisions of a Memorandum of Understanding between DOJ and IRS in order to ensure that housing providers who discriminate against persons with disabilities do not benefit from low income housing tax credits.
- HUD will enhance its guidance to public housing agencies, private landlords and persons with disabilities who participate in the housing choice voucher program, to remind agencies and landlords of their responsibility to provide reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities, and inform persons with disabilities of their right to reasonable accommodations.
- HUD will work with DOJ on technical assistance to improve housing providers' understanding of the Fair Housing Act.
Department of Labor
- The DOL Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), in collaboration with the DOL Employment and Training Administration and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management's Civil Rights Center (CRC), will conduct disability-focused reviews and evaluations of implementation of the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity obligations of Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Under the leadership of the CRC, these evaluations will enable DOL to identify further areas in which federal training and technical assistance activities are needed to eliminate barriers and to prevent disability discrimination in the WIA programs.
- The Employment and Training Administration will collaborate with the Department of Education's Rehabilitation Services Administration on conducting comprehensive, on-site state reviews of One-Stop Centers and development of a state guide. These reviews will enable DOL to identify further areas in which federal training and technical assistance activities are needed to enhance services to individuals with disabilities.
- ODEP will work with other DOL agencies to provide information and technical assistance to employers about the benefits of hiring young people with disabilities as employees.
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Last revised: April 9, 2002