The world lost a bold and courageous warrior last week. Lois Curtis is perhaps known best (to those of who did not have the honor of knowing her) as the ‘L.C.’ in Olmstead vs L.C.
The Olmstead vs L.C. decision is the single most impactful civil rights decision for people with disabilities in United State history. This Supreme Court decision, authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, was based on the Americans with Disabilities Act. It offers protection from discrimination, and the opportunity for people with disabilities to live and be supported in their homes and communities instead of nursing homes, hospitals and institutions.
Lois advocated for herself and found a legal team who ultimately brought a lawsuit against the state of Georgia for not providing the resources for Lois to get the support she needed to live at home in her community. The lawsuit made its way to the Supreme Court where it was decided that community supports should be offered by states. Certain conditions must be met, but this decision, thanks to Lois, enabled millions of people with disabilities to have the option of not having to live in a facility in order to get the support they need to live safely.
Lois’ actions also prompted opportunities for professionals and supporters to expand their work, and to work alongside advocates in making all of our communities more inclusive and welcoming to all.
We honor Lois, and her memory. A talented artist, her legacy remains in so many ways. Most of all, we are grateful for her bravery and resilience that has enabled so many to enjoy lives of their choosing, well lived in their communities.
Rest in Power, Lois and thank you.