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Least Restrictive Setting

Individuals with disabilities should live in the community of their choice in the least restrictive environment and receive the necessary and appropriate services that will help them maintain their independence.

According to a 1999 U.S. Supreme Court decision (Olmstead v. L.C.), forcing a person to be segregated or institutionalized to receive services when they could be receiving services in a less restrictive setting is discrimination that violates the ADA.

In fact, the Court emphasized that Congress intended that the ADA be used to secure community living opportunities for persons with disabilities. However, the Court also noted that institutional services must continue to be available for those persons who require that level of care.

"The unjustified segregation of people in institutions, when community placement is appropriate, constitutes a form of discrimination prohibited by Title II [of the ADA].“ (Olmstead v. L.C. and E.W., 1999).

In addition, Connecticut has enacted a statute stating that it is the state’s policy to provide to individuals with long term care needs (which covers persons with disabilities) services in the least restrictive environment.

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