What is Promoting Independence?
In January 2000, Texas embarked on a Promoting Independence Initiative in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Olmstead v. Zimring. The Court ruled in June 1999 that states must provide community-based services for persons with disabilities who would otherwise be entitled to institutional services, when:
- the state's treatment professionals determine that such placement is appropriate;
- the affected persons do not oppose such treatment; and
- the placement can be reasonably accommodated, taking into account the resources available to the state and the needs of others who are receiving state supported disability services.
Texas' Promoting Independence initiative supports allowing an individual with a disability to live in the most appropriate care setting available. The statewide initiative began in 1999 when Gov. George W. Bush affirmed the value of community-based alternatives for persons with disabilities in an Executive Order.
More recently, Gov. Rick Perry signed Executive Order RP 13 on April 18, 2002, also relating to community-based alternatives for people with disabilities.
In response to Governor Bush’s Order and the Supreme Court's decision in Olmstead v. Zimring, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission developed the Texas Promoting Independence Plan.