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 questions about Olmstead, or would like to comment on the plan, you can send an email to the Olmstead mailbox: DHHS.NEOlmstead@nebraska.gov.

A progress report will be given to the Legislature and Governor by December 15, 2021.

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

Focus Groups

In October, focus groups will be meeting to share input about progress, challenges, and recommendations for Nebraska's updated plan. Information gathered will be used for the progress report due in December. 


DHHS has created three workgroups to look at Housing, Education and Employment, and data issues. These workgroups include people with disabilities who can share lived experience in these areas. To apply for a workgroup, please complete the online application. You can also request a paper application by emailing the Olmstead mailbox: DHHS.NEOlmstead@nebraska.gov.​


Olmstead Steering Group

The Olmstead 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. Learn more.

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: 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. ​​​

Nebraska Olmstead Plan: 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. 

Nebraska Olmstead Plan: 7 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 Documents

​Nebraska Olmstead Advisory Committee Documents

June 24, 2021


Olmstead Plan News