Disabilities Assistance
Developmental Disabilities

What would you like to do?

What would you like to do?

What you need to know

What you need to know

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Nebraska's Olmstead Plan is a roadmap to a strong state where we can all live and work in our communities. The Olmstead Vision is “People with disabilities are living, learning, working, and enjoying life in the most integrated setting." You can read the Nebraska Olmstead Plan.  If you have qu​estions about Olmstead, or would like to comment on the plan, you can send an email to the Olmstead mailbox: DHHS.NEOlmstead@nebraska.gov.​

The “Olmstead Plan" is named after a United States Supreme Court case. 

Nebraska Olmstead Documents - Includes 2024 Olmstead Update

  • A New Vision for Community Integration: Nebraska's Olmstead Plan - The refreshed 2024 Olmstead Plan serves as a strategic roadmap, outlining our commitment to ensuring that individuals with disabilities can live, learn, work, and enjoy life in the most integrated settings. This collaborative effort has resulted in a comprehensive plan, organized into broad goals, specific outcomes, and annual benchmarks, reflecting the dedication of advocates and public servants in shaping the State's vision for the coming years.​
  • Olmstead Fact Sheet - general information in multiple languages:

2024 Olmstead Evaluation - Partners for Insightful Evaluations

​Partners for Insightful Evaluations (PIE) were selected through a competitive bidding process to evaluate the progress made in achieving the goals of the Olmstead Plan and make recommendations for future updates and revisions to the Plan.

The evaluation of the Plan, completed by PIE, will be submitted to the Legislature by December 14, 2024 as directed by Neb. Rev. Stat. §81-6122.

Evaluation Resou​​rces

The Olmstead Case

In Olmstead v. L.C. the Supreme Court ruled people with disabilities have a right to lives of inclusion and integration. Disability is a normal part of life and we all benefit from communities made up of diverse people, life experiences, and abilities. 

The Olmstead Case centered on two women, Lois Curtis and Elaine Wilson. Both had disabilities and experienced going in and out of state run hospitals. Their doctors believed they could safely live in the community. Every time they left the hospital, they would go home without support and end up back in a hospital. They asked the State of Georgia to give them the help they needed to integrate into their communities and stop going into hospitals. 

The Supreme Court agreed with Lois and Elaine. The Court ruled they should have the supports needed to live in their homes and communities. The court required states to provide services in the community to people with disabilities when:

  • The services are appropriate;
  • The person does not oppose community-based services; and
  • The community-based services can be reasonably accommodated, taking into account the resources available and the needs of others receiving services.

Nebraska Olmstead Plan: Values, Principles, and Goals

Core Values

Nebraska's Olmstead Plan reflects the following fundamental beliefs in supporting individuals with disabilities. Nebraska is committed​ to: 

  • Person- and family-centered approaches. 
  • Ensuring the safety of, and an improved quality of life for, people with disabilities. 
  • Services that are readily available, at locations accessible to individuals in need and their families. 
  • Supporting individuals to live a meaningful life in the community they choose. ​​​

Guiding Principles

In addition to these Core Values, the following Guiding Principles serve as a foundation for Nebraska's Olmstead Plan: 

  • Self Determination and Choice: Individuals with disabilities and their families will be supported in controlling decisions about their lives, selecting from an array of services, supports, and providers. 
  • Independence and Least Restrictive: Individuals will receive services that maximize their full potential, in the least coercive manner and in the most natural settings possible to meet their needs. 
  • Use of Respectful Language: Including “People First" Language: Individuals with disabilities and their families will be treated with dignity and as individuals who have their own unique strengths, wishes, and desires. 
  • Evidence-Based Strategies: Individuals with disabilities and their families will have access to services and supports that adhere to evidence-based practices, in order to achieve the best outcomes. 
  • Services Across the Life Span: Nebraskans with disabilities will have access to age-appropriate services and supports from birth to end of life. 
  • Safety: Nebraskans with disabilities will be served in environments that are free from abuse and neglect, and that meet ADA compliance standards for health and well-being. 
  • Diversity: Services will honor the geographical differences, race, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic, and gender identities of all individuals with disabilities. 
  • Inclusion: All individuals with any type of disability will have the opportunity to live, learn, work and socialize with members of their community who do not have disabilities. 
  • Integration: Services and supports will afford individuals with disabilities the opportunity to live as neighbors in, and to participate as active members of, their communities. 
  • Accountability: The systems and services that support individuals with disabilities will be accountable to Nebraska's state administration, legislature, taxpaying citizens, and most importantly, to those they serve.

Seven Goals

Nebraska's vision is for all individuals with disabilities to live, learn, work, and enjoy life in the most integrated setting of their choosing. This Plan sets forth the following goals in order to achieve this vision.

  • Goal 1: Nebraskans with disabilities will have access to individualized community-based services and supports that meet their needs and preferences.
  • Goal 2: Nebraskans with disabilities will have access to safe, affordable, accessible housing in the communities in which they choose to live. 
  • Goal 3: Nebraskans with disabilities will receive services in the settings most appropriate to meet their needs and preferences. 
  • Goal 4: Nebraskans with disabilities will have increased access to education and choice in competitive, integrated employment opportunities. 
  • Goal 5: Nebraskans with disabilities will have access to affordable and accessible transportation statewide.
  • Goal 6: Individuals with disabilities will receive services and supports that reflect data-driven decision-making, improvement in the quality of services, and enhanced accountability across systems. 
  • Goal 7: Nebraskans with disabilities will receive services and supports from a high-quality workforce.

Nebraska Olmstead Steering Group

In August 2018, the Olmstead Steering Group was formed and began meeting. They were initially tasked with drafting Nebraska's first Olmst​ead plan, in collaboration with the Olmstead Advisory Group. The Steering Group developed a comprehensive strategic plan for providing services to people with disabilities in integrated community-based settings. They monitor the implementation of the plan and the impact the plan has on the lives of people with disabilities.

The group provides oversight for revisions of the Olmstead Plan. They consider recommendations made by Olmstead workgroups and make decisions with the Advisory Committee on how to best revise the Olmstead Plan. They maintain procedures for a clear decision-making process. 

The group ensures interagency coordination implementation and revisions. View the Steering Grou​p Charter.

State Agencies Assigned to the Steering Group

The Chief Executive Officer of DHHS gathers the group. The Steering Group initially constituted representatives from the agencies outlined in Neb. Rev. Stat. §81-6,122:

Additionally, the following members are members of the Steering Group:

Member Representative Duties

Each member assigns a representative from their agency to serve on the Steering Committee. DHHS maintains a list of members and representatives. The representatives:

  • Attend Steering Group meetings;
  • Serve on workgroups as requested;
  • Prepare for participation in discussion and decision-making by consulting the member and reviewing meeting materials;
  • Act as the liaison between the Steering Group and the member;
  • Inform the member about Steering Group activities and actions;
  • Ensure the member takes appropriate steps to further progress on the Olmstead Plan goals, outcomes, data collection, and action steps/strategies; and
  • Perform such duties as required to fulfill the obligations of the Steering Group.​

Nebraska Olmstead Workgroups

DHHS has workgroups to look at:

  • Community Supports, 
  • Housing, Education, 
  • Employment, 
  • Data, and 
  • Transportation. 

Workgroups include people with disabilities who can share lived experience in these areas. To join a workgroup, email the Olmstead mailbox: DHHS.NEOlmstead@nebraska.gov.

Nebraska Olmstead Advisory Committee 

Upcoming Meetings

Meetings of the Olmstead Advisory Committee are subject to the Open​ Meetings Act.

The next Olmstead Advisory Committee meeting is on Tuesday, July 30, 2024 at the Assistive Technology Partnership offices, 500 S 84th St. Lincoln, NE 68510​, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, Central Time. This meeting is in-person with a virtual attendance option, noted below, for those unable to attend in person. Any voting member who joins a meeting virtually, unless requesting to do so as an ADA accommodation, will not be able to vote on any matters offered during the meeting. Members attending virtually will be considered public members. The Advisory Committee needs 11 people to meet quorum.

Join Zoom Meeting

Member List

The membership of the Olmstead Advisory Committee is outline in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 81-6,122 requiring broad representation including individuals with disabilities, organizations, and advocates.

​​​​Name, Representing

  • Trish Bergman, Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging, Area Agency on Aging
  • Stacy Bliss, Ph.D, Mental Health Practitioner
  • Kim Davis, Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Dianne DeLair, Disability Rights Nebraska, Protection and Advocacy System for Nebraska
  • Don Dew, Nebraska Statewide Independent Living Council
  • Lindy Foley, Division of Rehabilitation Services in the State Department of Education
  • Timothy Heller, State Advisory Committee on Mental Health Services
  • Kathy Hoell, Self-Advocate, expert in programs serving persons with disabilities
  • Patti Jurjevich, Region Six Behavioral Healthcare, Behavioral Health Regions
  • Kristen Larson, Nebraska Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • Edison McDonald, The Arc of Nebraska, organization that advocates for Persons with Developmental Disabilities
  • Tobias Orr, Assistive Technology Partnership
  • Kasey Parker, Mental Health Association, advocate for persons with Mental Illness
  • Kierstin Reed, Leading Age Nebraska, expert in programs serving persons with disabilities
  • Lorie Regier, Advisory Committee on Developmental Disabilities
  • Peggy Reisher, Brain Injury Alliance, advocate for persons with Brain Injuries
  • Carlos Servan, Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired
  • Mark Smith, Munroe-Meyer Institute, expert in programs serving persons with disabilities
  • Susan Tatum, Lincoln Housing Authority, Housing Authority in a City of the Primary or Metropolitan Class
  • Joni Thomas, Self-Advocate, expert in programs serving persons with disabilities
  • Joe Valenti, Advocate, expert in programs serving persons with disabilities 

​Member list updated April 2024

Advisory Committee Documents

Minutes are posted after committee approval.