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Community-Based Alternatives for Individuals With Disabilities (Executive Order 13217 of June 18, 2001)

By the authority vested in me as President by the
Constitution and the laws of the United States of
America, and in order to place qualified individuals
with disabilities in community settings whenever
appropriate, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy.

This order is issued consistent with
the following findings and principles:

(a) The United States is committed to community-
based alternatives for individuals with disabilities
and recognizes that such services advance the best
interests of Americans.

(b) The United States seeks to ensure that
America’s community-based programs effectively foster
independence and participation in the community for
Americans with disabilities.

(c) Unjustified isolation or segregation of
qualified individuals with disabilities through
institutionalization is a form of disability-based
discrimination prohibited by Title II of the Americans
With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12101
et. seq. States must avoid disability-based
discrimination unless doing so would fundamentally
alter the nature of the service, program, or activity
provided by the State.

(d) In Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999) (the
“Olmstead decision”), the Supreme Court construed
Title II of the ADA to require States to place
qualified individuals with mental disabilities in
community settings, rather than in institutions,
whenever treatment professionals determine that such
placement is appropriate, the affected persons do not
oppose such placement, and the State can reasonably
accommodate the placement, taking into account the
resources available to the State and the needs of
others with disabilities.

(e) The Federal Government must assist States and
localities to implement swiftly the Olmstead decision,
so as to help ensure that all Americans have the
opportunity to live close to their families and
friends, to live more independently, to engage in
productive employment, and to participate in community

Sec. 2. Swift Implementation of the Olmstead Decision:

Agency Responsibilities.

(a) The Attorney General, the
Secretaries of Health and Human Services, Education,
Labor, and Housing and Urban Development, and the
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
shall work cooperatively to ensure that the Olmstead
decision is implemented in a timely manner.
Specifically, the designated agencies should work with
States to help them assess their compliance with the
Olmstead decision and the ADA in providing services to
qualified individuals with disabilities in community-
based settings, as long as such services are
appropriate to the needs of those individuals. These
agencies should provide technical guidance and work
cooperatively with States to achieve the goals of Title
II of the ADA, particularly where States have chosen to
develop comprehensive, effectively working plans to
provide services to qualified individuals with
disabilities in the most integrated settings. These
agencies should also ensure that existing Federal
resources are used in the most effective manner to
support the goals of the ADA. The Secretary of Health
and Human Services shall take the lead in coordinating
these efforts.

(b) The Attorney General, the Secretaries of Health
and Human Services, Education, Labor, and Housing and
Urban Development, and the Commissioner of the Social
Security Administration shall evaluate the policies,
programs, statutes, and regulations of their respective
agencies to determine whether any should be revised or
modified to improve the availability of community-based
services for qualified individuals with disabilities.
The review shall focus on identifying affected
populations, improving the flow of information about
supports in the community, and removing barriers that
impede opportunities for community placement. The
review should ensure the involvement of consumers,
advocacy organizations, providers, and relevant agency
representatives. Each agency head should report to the
President, through the Secretary of Health and Human
Services, with the results of their evaluation within
120 days.

(c) The Attorney General and the Secretary of
Health and Human Services shall fully enforce Title II
of the ADA, including investigating and resolving
complaints filed on behalf of individuals who allege
that they have been the victims of unjustified
institutionalization. Whenever possible, the Department
of Justice and the Department of Health and Human
Services should work cooperatively with States to
resolve these complaints, and should use alternative
dispute resolution to bring these complaints to a quick
and constructive resolution.

(d) The agency actions directed by this order shall
be done consistent with this Administration’s budget.

Sec. 3. Judicial Review.

Nothing in this order shall
affect any otherwise available judicial review of
agency action. This order is intended only to improve
the internal management of the Federal Government and
does not create any right or benefit, substantive or
procedural, enforceable at law or equity by a party
against the United States, its agencies or
instrumentalities, its officers or employees, or any
other person.

(Presidential Sig.)George W. Bush


June 18, 2001.


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