Case Studies: Coalition of Californians for Olmstead (COCO)
CHALLENGE: In 1999, the Supreme Court, in a case titled Olmstead v. L.C., ruled that unnecessary segregation of people with disabilities in institutions is a form of discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Other states were modifying, or planning to modify, their long-term care systems to adhere to the Olmstead principles. California lagged far behind, with no timetable for a plan, much less a timetable for actually moving people from institutions to the community. In May 2000, the Coalition of Californians for Olmstead (COCO) was formed including over 30 statewide disability, consumer, legal and advocacy service organizations.
STRATEGY: KYS developed and implemented the “Olmstead Public Education Campaign” (2001-2004) including coordination of media relations, policy advocacy and graphic design. KYS also developed a media training manual and provided media training to approximately 200 people across the state (e.g., from San Diego to Sacramento).
RESULT: The State of California adopted an Olmstead Plan in May, 2003. Due to the success of our first year’s effort, KYS was one of only two organizations funded for a second year of activities by The San Francisco Foundation’s DRA Fund. The work performed for the COCO contract fueled the success of the Tree-Lighting Vigil (see case study) and the CAPA (see case study) campaigns that followed.
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