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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Resolution on Guardianship

Submitted by: Thomas Earle; Misty Dion; Kristina Kapp; Thomas Olin

Adopted: July 23, 2023

Whereas, Working with our most marginalized in our disability community, who are at risk or under the most restrictive guardianships, must become one of our priorities in our fifth core service mandate;

Whereas, The Olmstead Act holds that unjustified segregation of persons with disabilities constitutes discrimination in violation of title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act; and

Whereas, Authorized by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, Part C funding, every state has an Independent Living Center (ILC) program that is federally mandated to provide independent living, community-based core services, including institutional transitions and deinstitutionalization work; and

Whereas, Guardianship is an isolating and segregated institution, the Supreme Court explained; First “placement of persons who can handle and benefit from community settings perpetuates unwarranted assumptions that persons so isolated are incapable of or unworthy of participating in community life.” Second, “confinement in an institution severely diminishes the everyday life activities of individuals, including family relations, social contacts, work options, economic independence, educational advancement, and cultural enrichment”;

Be it therefore resolved: That NCIL believes that everyone has the right to live in community settings that permit alternatives to guardianship including but not limited to supportive decision making “in the ‘most integrated settings’ appropriate to the individual needs of the PWD consistent with the Olmstead SCOTUS landmark ADA decision.”