A proposed settlement was filed in the case of Colbert v. Quinn, which would allow people with physical disabilities or mental illnesses living in nursing homes the option to move into supportive housing and have their own apartments. The Chicago Tribune's story gives a good overview of the issue. The ACLU of Illinois teamed up with disability rights groups Access Living and Equip for Equality to defend the named plaintiffs in the case and also to represent the thousands of Illinois citizens with disabilities who have been forced to live in institutions.
"Institutions foster dependency. It is actually harmful to people to live in nursing homes when they could be better served in the community," said Patricia Werner, an attorney for the nonprofit Access Living, which filed a 2007 federal lawsuit that paved the way for the settlement agreement.