TASH had an action-packed day on July 19th! We started the day by hosting a Congressional Briefing on Capitol Hill, then hosted a legal symposium in the afternoon, and finally concluded the day with a reception and award dinner honoring Sue Jamieson for her exceptional work as lead council in the Olmstead litigation on behalf of two women in a Georgia state institution.
Our Congressional Briefing, sponsored by U.S. Senator Bob Casey, began with opening remarks from Michael Gamel-McCormick, Disability Policy Director with Senator Casey’s office. TASH’s Board President, Ruby Moore, welcomed the attendees by describing why “the most integrated setting” is so important to TASH members. She then introduced the outstanding panel of speakers. Moderated by Tia Nelis, TASH’s Director of Policy and Advocacy, the panel included:
- Judy Gran, Partner, Reisman Carolla Gran LLP
- Tony Records, President, Tony Records and Associates, Inc.
- Jenny Lengyel, Parent & Executive Director, Total Living Concept
- Ross Ryan, Plaintiff, Lane v. Brown
- Anil Lewis, Board Member, National Federation of the Blind
Each speaker shared their own story – stories about fighting for people with disabilities to leave institutions and live and work in the community, stories about giving a 40-year-old the keys to his first home, stories about working in a sheltered workshop and fighting to attain a job in the community. Astonished by these stories, the attendees concluded the briefing by asking so many questions that time ran out!
After lunch, TASH members and friends migrated to the George Washington University Campus for our afternoon legal symposium. The legal symposium focused on the landmark Olmstead v. L.C. and E.W. decision, and featured the following three panels:
- History of Olmstead v. L.C. & E.W.
- What the Olmstead Decision Has Meant to Me and My Family
- The Long-Term Implications of the Olmstead Decision
TASH also shared a short-film, Garrett Shows: I’m in Charge, by award-winning filmmaker Dan Habib. This film is one of four films that show effective practices in postsecondary transition. Habib produced these new films as companions to a larger film he is releasing this fall called, Intelligent Lives.
Following the legal symposium, attendees transitioned to the event ballroom for a reception. Hor d’oeuvres were passed and connections were made. Afterward, attendees took their seats for dinner. Ruthie-Marie Beckwith introduced the evening keynote speaker, Robert D. Dinerstein, JD, Professor & Associate Dean, Washington College of Law at American University.
Following the keynote presentation, honoree Sue Jamieson was presented with TASH’s 2018 Outstanding Leadership in Disability Law Award. Sue then made some remarks. She shared a story about introducing Lois Curtis (a resident at a Georgia-based institution) to her family, about working with Lois and Elaine Wilson to get them out of an institution and into the community, and about the final Olmstead v. L.C. and E.W decision. She shared her perspective and how the decision truly changed the lives (and future lives) of people with disabilities.
It was an amazing night!