NC Olmstead

Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999), is a U.S. Supreme Court case that laid the groundwork for people with disabilities to live their lives as fully included members of the community. The case addressed the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) “integration mandate.” The integration mandate requires that all public entities, including the State of North Carolina, “administer services, programs, and activities” for people with disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate to the person’s needs. “Most integrated setting” has been defined as one that enables people with disabilities to interact “to the fullest extent possible” with individuals that don’t have a disability. Specifically, the case requires states to provide services in the community for eligible persons with disability when (a) such services are appropriate; (b) the affected persons do not oppose community-based treatment; and (c) community-based services can be “reasonably accommodated.”  

In Olmstead, the Supreme Court also urged states to develop a “comprehensive, effectively working plan” for transitioning people to the community.  North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has initiated the development of its Olmstead Plan under the leadership of the Office of the Senior Advisor on the ADA.

High Level Objectives of the Olmstead Plan

  • Transformative
  • Comprehensive
  • Realistic
  • Actionable 
  • Achievable
  • Goal Oriented 
  • Trackable
  • Scalable

The Organizational Structure of Olmstead Planning

  • Olmstead Executive Leadership Team 

    • DHHS Leadership
  • Olmstead Plan Stakeholder Advisory (OPSA) 
    • Consumer/Family/Advocacy Groups 
    • DHHS Divisions/Offices 
    • Professional Organizations and Agencies 
    • Members of NC General Assembly
  • Staff Work Group 
    • Subject Matter Expert
    • Data Expertise

We have partners

Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC), in partnership with the Human Services Research Institute (HSRI), is working with NCDHHS in developing the Olmstead Plan.  TAC/HSRI will:

  • Access relevant data sources 
  • Identify gaps in data 
  • Assess services, policies, regulations, contracts, and funding patterns
  • Interview key stakeholders (e.g., service recipients, providers, agency staff) to identify opportunities for enhancing compliance with Olmstead
  • Host focus groups to gather input from people with lived experience and families
  • Report to DHHS and OPSA 
  • Support OPSA to advise NCDHHS in its work to develop a comprehensive, effectively working plan

Olmstead Plan Survey 

In order to obtain input from stakeholders who were not able to participate in an Olmstead Planning Listening Session, the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) has adapted the Listening Session polling questions into a survey. The survey asks about strengths, gaps, challenges, and ideas stakeholders have regarding services and supports for North Carolinians with disabilities, including children, youth, adults, and older adults. The results of the survey will help to inform TAC’s analysis of the states’ resources/services and the recommendations for the states’ Olmstead Plan. Survey responses will be anonymous and data will be collected by TAC (via TAC’s Survey Monkey account). The survey will be open for responses between September 8 and 22, 2020. Please click HERE to access the survey.


Contact Us

Holly Riddle, M.Ed., J.D.
Olmstead Manager
Office of the Senior Advisor for the ADA
Office of the Secretary, DHHS

Office: 919-527-7533
Fax: 919-715-4565

916 Richardson Drive
2001 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699