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Why community living is important to me!

DRNC’s communications team is working on a new project called “I belong too.” This project lifts up real stories – your stories – about why living in the community is so important to you.

Join #IBelongToo

Portrait of Gabreilla Bush, by Lois Curtis
Courtesy of Gabriella Bush, DRNC Supervising Investigator, for whom Lois Curtis drew this portrait when she attended DRNC's annual conference in 2014 as a keynote panelist.

Important decision changes lives

Over 20 years ago, Lois Curtis and Elaine Wilson wanted to leave an institution in Georgia. They wanted to live in their home communities and get the services they needed there. The State of Georgia refused to give them a choice, so they sued, taking their case to the US Supreme Court. Their lawsuit led to Olmstead, a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that said that people with disabilities have the right to live and receive services in the community if they choose.

Ms. Curtis now lives in her own home and is a well-known artist. Ms. Wilson similarly thrived in the community until her death in 2004. But thousands of North Carolinians with disabilities are not so lucky. Even though Olmstead was decided over 20 years ago, some people with disabilities are still kept away from everyone else – in the workplace, in schools, in institutions. They are kept separate because of their disabilities. They are kept separate even though it is more expensive. They are kept separate even though it is against the law.

View DRNC’s Olmstead FAQ

Did you know?

North Carolina makes it easier for you to live in an institution than to live in the community. This is wrong and it must change!

What living in the community means to me

#IBelongToo is a DRNC initiative to tell the state why living in the community is important to you or your loved one in your words, and to raise awareness about Olmstead violations. You have a story to tell! It can be a story of any length. It can also be a word, a sentence, an image, or a short video message. The more stories we have, the louder our message will be.

Make your voice heard! Join #IBelongToo