Utahns with disabilities have the right to live and receive services and supports in the most integrated and least restrictive settings appropriate to their choice and needs. The DLC will provide systemic, legally-based advocacy to ensure that individuals with disabilities are being served in the most integrated settings appropriate to their needs and preferences.
NEW REPORT – The Dangers of Institutional Living: COVID-19 in Utah’s Long-term Care Facilities
Our new report, The Dangers of Institutional Living: COVID-19 in Utah’s Long-term Care Facilities, examines the conditions of residents in Utah’s long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report, which was years-long in the making, provides insight into the pre-existing dangers of institutional living, Utah’s initial COVID response, and the state’s failures in preparing for and responding to the pandemic’s prevalence in long-term care facilities. Additionally, the report takes a look at the funding available to facilities throughout the pandemic and provides an important analysis of the COVID-19 deaths and cases data for facilities across the state.
You can read the full report, and our recommendations, at this link.
Home & Community-Based Services in Utah
Utah is creating a new HCBS plan that may change the way Utahns with disabilities and those who are aging are supported at home and in their communities. The plan is supposed to make sure every person receiving Home and Community-based Services (HCBS) can get the supports he or she needs to stay healthy, live where and with whom he or she wants, do work he or she likes, and make decisions about his or her life. If successful, the plan will allow HCBS recipients the opportunity to live, work, or play in their community as independently as possible.
Class Action Lawsuit: Community Integration for Peoples with Disabilities
In 1999 the US Supreme Court decided Olmstead v. L.C. and found that unnecessary segregation, isolation and institutionalization of people with disabilities is discrimination and against the law.
Today in Utah, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) have two options when they apply for services: receiving them in an Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) or in their homes and communities. Utah offers immediate placement in ICFs, but applicants must wait for years on a list for home and community based services (otherwise known as HCBS, waiver or DSPD services). For those individuals who must receive services immediately because they cannot remain on a waiting list for years, private ICFs are the only option. Once a person is living in a private ICF, he or she effectively does not have the option to leave the ICF and receive services in the community.
Additional Updates and Information
Disability Law Center announces Health Law Partnership with the National Health Law Program
Under this partnership, the DLC and NHeLP will be working together to ensure medical assistance coverage for low-income Utahns. If you would like more information on NHeLP, please visit their website.
Medicaid HCBS Waiver Services
Did you know that Medicaid HCBS (Home and Community Based Services) Waiver services (including DSPD and all other waivers in Utah) help people with disabilities and aging adults live, work and play in the community? Medicaid HCBS services, including DSPD and waiver services, are jeopardized by Medicaid cuts. As such, the DLC formed a coalition to help educate and defend Medicaid services. Find out more at: