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Executive Order 13217

Executive Order
Community-based Alternatives for Individuals with Disabilities

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

     Section 1.  Policy.  Thisorder is issued consistent with the following findings and principles:

     (a)  The United States is committedto community-based alternatives for individuals  withdisabilities and recognizes that such services advance the bestinterests of Americans.

     (b)  The United States seeks toensure that America's community-based programs effectively fosterindependence and participation in the community for Americans withdisabilities.

     (c)  Unjustified isolation orsegregation of qualified individuals with disabilities throughinstitutionalization is a form of disability-based discriminationprohibited by Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990(ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12101 et. seq.  States must avoiddisability-based discrimination unless doing so would fundamentallyalter the nature of the service, program, or activity provided by theState.

     (d)  In Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S.581 (1999) (the "Olmstead decision"), the Supreme Court construed TitleII of the ADA to require States to place qualified individuals withmental disabilities in community settings, rather than in institutions,whenever treatment professionals determine that such placement isappropriate, the affected persons do not oppose such placement, and theState can reasonably accommodate the placement, taking into account theresources available to the State and the needs of others withdisabilities.

     (e)  The Federal Government mustassist States and localities to implement swiftly the Olmsteaddecision, so as to help ensure that all Americans have the opportunityto live close to their families and friends, to live moreindependently, to engage in productive employment, and to participatein community life.

     Sec. 2.  Swift Implementation of theOlmstead Decision: AgencyResponsibilities.  (a)  The Attorney General, theSecretaries of Health and Human Services, Education, Labor, and Housingand Urban Development, and the Commissioner of the Social SecurityAdministration shall work cooperatively to ensure that the Olmsteaddecision is implemented in a timely manner.  Specifically,the designated agencies should work with States to help them assesstheir compliance with the Olmstead decision and the ADA in providingservices to qualified individuals with disabilities in community-basedsettings, as long as such services are appropriate to the needs ofthose individuals.   These agencies should provide technicalguidance and work cooperatively with States to achieve the goals ofTitle II of the ADA, particularly where States have chosen to developcomprehensive, effectively working plans to provide services toqualified individuals with disabilities in the most integratedsettings.  These agencies should also ensure that existingFederal resources are used in the most effective manner to support thegoals of the ADA.  The Secretary of Health and Human Servicesshall take the lead in coordinating these efforts.

     (b) The Attorney General, the Secretaries ofHealth and Human Services, Education, Labor, and Housing and UrbanDevelopment, and the Commissioner of the Social Security Administrationshall evaluate the policies, programs, statutes, and regulations oftheir respective agencies to determine whether any should be revised ormodified to improve the availability of community-based services forqualified individuals with disabilities.  The review shallfocus on identifying affected populations, improving the flow ofinformation about supports in the community, and removing barriers thatimpede opportunities for community placement.  The reviewshould ensure the involvement of consumers, advocacy organizations,providers, and relevant agency representatives.  Each agencyhead should report to the President, through the Secretary of Healthand Human Services, with the results of their evaluation within 120days.

     (c) The Attorney General and the Secretary ofHealth and Human Services shall fully enforce Title II of the ADA,including investigating and resolving complaints filed on behalf ofindividuals who allege that they have been the victims of unjustifiedinstitutionalization.  Whenever possible, the Department ofJustice and the Department of Health and Human Services should workcooperatively with States to resolve these complaints, and should usealternative dispute resolution to bring these complaints to a quick andconstructive resolution.

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

     Sec. 3.  JudicialReview.  Nothing in this order shall affect any otherwiseavailable judicial review of agency action.  This order isintended only to improve the internal management of the FederalGovernment and does not create any right or benefit, substantive orprocedural, enforceable at law or equity by a party against the UnitedStates, its agencies or instrumentalities, its officers or employees,or any other person.

June 18, 2001.

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