Every New Yorker deserves to be an integrated member of society with full access to education, housing, health care, jobs, and families. Yet for too long New Yorkers with disabilities were segregated into civil and criminal institutions such as nursing homes, psychiatric hospitals, jails, and prisons.
In 1972 the NYCLU won an historic civil rights lawsuit challenging the inhumane institutional conditions suffered by the residents of the infamous Willowbrook State School. Nearly fifty years later the NYCLU and other advocates actively monitor the remedy that emerged from that case. The NYCLU also advocates for the development of community-based services to advance civil liberties for people with disabilities, and works to ensure that everyone receives equal treatment from the government, employers, correctional facilities, and educational institutions.