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Getting people out of nursing homes and institutions -- new ammunition
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Nov. 18, 2003 -- This coming Sunday's New York Times magazine article by South Carolina disability advocate and writer Harriet Johnson promises to make the nation aware how much disabled people hate living in institutions. Tomorrow, Nov. 19 at 3 p.m. EST, you can take part in a free conference call as part of the New Freedom Initiative Open Door Forums and learn what states are doing -- and can do -- to shift states funding from institutions to home and community-based services.

"Medicaid is moving from a regulatory, process-centered model of service delivery to a new paradigm in which the individual is placed at the center of the design process," says the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid. "How can the Federal government facilitate this process?"

For the Nov. 19 call you don't have to pre-register; just call 1-800-837-1935 (Access TTY by dialing 711) and use the Conference ID 9828508. Participants will hear discussion about the Independence Plus waiver initiative, including: -- How should we move to incorporate certain IP elements, such as quality, into the waiver program as a whole? -- How should the redesign of the waiver program incorporate quality and person-centered concepts at the front-end of HCBS program design? -- What factors should CMS look for when reviewing a state's request for a waiver? Are there features that should characterize a well-run waiver? Are there features that should act as "red flags" to warn CMS that a waiver program does not serve the needs of enrolled individuals and their families? -- What supports should we put in place to assist an individual in carrying out their responsibility for their own "service planning and delivery?" -- What further development is needed to ensure that people are integrated into their communities?

On Sunday, be sure to read Harriet Johnson's "The Disability Gulag" in the New York Times magazine. You'll be able to read it online (free registration required). The article deals with the fight against institutionalization, touching on the Olmstead Supreme Court decision, MiCassa, Nurse Practice Acts and the institutional bias in government funding.

To learn about the Olmstead decision, go to To learn about MiCassa, go to

ADAPT's suggestions as to how groups can get people out of nursing homes can be found online

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