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Olmstead v. L.C. is a landmark case that originated in Georgia and has been lauded as the Brown v. Board of Education for the law of disability discrimination. In June 1999 the United States Supreme Court decided Olmstead v. L.C., holding that it is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") for states to discriminate against people with disabilities by confining them to institutions when such individuals could live more appropriately in a community-based setting. Yet, nearly eight years after the Olmstead decision and fourteen years after the passage of the ADA, progress in implementing the Olmstead integration mandate remains disappointingly slow. While individuals with disabilities and advocates hailed the landmark ruling, large numbers of individuals remain unnecessarily institutionalized despite the Olmstead integration mandate.

This Comment has five primary objectives. First, this Comment makes a case for deinstitutionalization and explains some of the benefits of community life and integration. Second, this Comment outlines the history of segregation and gives an overview of the incremental movement toward community care, culminating with the ADA and the Integration Regulation6 in the post-1990's era. Third, this Comment analyzes the Olmstead decision and its importance. Fourth, this Comment discusses some of the barriers affecting the states' implementation and transition to community integration, followed by a discussion of the federal government's efforts to assist the states in complying with the Olmstead mandate. Fifth, this Comment explains why community integration can be more beneficial today and easier than ever in a call to genuinely awaken the nation's conscience.