Americans with Disabilities Act can help you stay in your home

In a Florida motorcycle accident, Michele Haddad was riding a motorcycle when she was struck by a drunk driver who caused a spinal cord injury causing paralysis and left her a quadriplegic.

The state of Florida required Michele to be institutionalized for 60 days before the state would provide community services.

Michele filed a lawsuit against the state for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Michele Haddad’s lawsuit alleged that the state failed to provide community-based services to Medicaid-eligible individuals who are disabled.

As decided by the Supreme Court in Olmstead v. L.C. the ADA requires that individuals with disabilities be provided services in the most integrated setting appropriate.  The Supreme Court recognized the right of the disabled to continue a life as normal as possible and the additional harm caused by unnecessary institutionalization.

The Justice Department filed a statement of interest in support of Michele Haddad’s lawsuit.  In June 2010, a U.S. District Court in Jacksonville ruled that the State of Florida must provide Michele Haddad with services which will allow her to remain in her home so she will not have to be institutionalized.

The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation and telecommunications, as well as federal, state and local government programs. The US Department Of Justice states that enforcement of the ADA is a top priority for the Civil Rights Division.

I applaud the US Department Of Justice for their support of injured motorcyclists with serious disabilities.

Briefs Filed to Support the Supreme Court’s Olmstead Decision

Read the article on the US Department Of Justice blog about Michele Haddad

To speak with an Accessibility Specialist, visit www.ada.gov  or call the ADA Information Line (1-800-514-0301 voice; 1-800-514-0383, TTY)