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Community Living

Resources to assist you with advocacy and capacity building in your state/territory.

In this section:
Consumer Protections | Voting | Housing | Olmstead

Consumer Protections

  • Lemon Laws
    Lemon laws offer consumer protection for those who purchase items that are defective. Several states have passed lemon laws to guard consumers against purchases of "lemon" assistive technology. Thirty-eight AT Act projects have worked with the consumers in their states to pass assistive technology "lemon," or warranty legislation to protect consumers against assistive technology with substantial or continuing defects.


  • Help America Vote Act (HAVA)
    On October 29, 2002, President Bush signed the "Help America Vote Act of 2002," (HAVA), Pub. L. No. 107-252, 116 Stat. 1666 (2002) into law. The HAVA is codified at 42 U.S.C. 15301 to 15545. After the House of Representatives, on December 12, 2001, and the Senate on April 11, 2002, passed differing versions of H.R. 3295, joint conferees were named to reconcile the differences and adopted a conference report on October 8, 2002, which was then passed by the House and Senate without amendment.
    For more information on the Help America Vote Act of 2002, visit the Federal Elections Commission website.
  • FEC Proposes New Standards for Voting Systems, (Issued December 13, 2001.)
    The Federal Election Commission (FEC) proposed for public comment voluntary standards for computer-based voting systems. The Voting System standards, which will be finalized after the comment period, provide a mechanism for ensuring the integrity of computer-based election systems for the use by states in administering elections as well as by voting system vendors. As proposed, the standards provide a common set of requirements across all voting technologies and include performance requirements specific to accessibility for voters with disabilities that the FEC included in consultation with the Access Board. The access provisions address the operable parts of equipment as well as features that provide access for people with vision and other impairments. The FEC proposal includes instructions on submitting comments, which were due by February 1, 2002. Further information is available on the FEC website or at (202) 694-1095 ext. 1095 (v) or (202) 219-3336 (TTY).
  • National Conference of State Legislatures' (NCSL) Database on Election Reform for Voters with Disabilities
    (Click on Public User to get to the database.) According to NCSL's election reform database, only 26 states have election reform legislation that affects voters with disabilities, and some of this legislation may not be positive. Database users can track what individual states are doing on various election and voting reform legislation. Model legislation is available at the Texas Secretary of State website.


  • AT and Home Modification Workshop - August 12-13, 2008 Omaha, NE
    Hosted by: Nebraska Assistive Technology Partnership and NATTAP

  • Accessible Housing Laws and Guidelines
    This RESNA Technical Assistance Project guide provides information on how Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Fair Housing Act Amendments, and the Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines cover accessible housing and how and where these laws sometimes overlap.
  • Assistive Technology Act Projects' Policies & Practices
    This RESNA Technical Assistance Project resource provided information on 23 AT Act projects' initiatives on home modifications policies, tax credits for home mods, etc.

  • State and Local Visitability Housing Initiatives


  • Community Technology Options Project (CTOP) Report
    This report was implemented as a response to the belief that there continue to be nursing home placements that could be avoided and/or substantially delayed through the use of assistive technology devices and services. This report was researched and prepared by the South Dakota assistive technology project, DakotaLink.

  • HHS Olmstead Agency Reports: Administration Announces Steps to Promote Community Living for People with Disabilities (March 25, 2002)
    HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today presented President Bush with reports from nine federal agencies outlining more than 400 specific solutions that the agencies can implement to support community living for the nearly 54 million Americans living with disabilities. The reports stem from the first comprehensive federal review of barriers preventing people with disabilities from living in their communities instead of in institutions. See: Delivering on the Promise - Report of Federal Agencies' Actions to Eliminate Barriers and Promote Community Integration.
  • Community-Based Alternatives/Promoting Community Integration (June 18, 2001)
    As a part of his New Freedom Initiative, the President issued Executive Order 13217, "Community-Based Alternatives for Individuals with Disabilities," on June 18, 2001. The Order calls upon the federal government to assist states and localities to swiftly implement the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Olmstead v. L.C., stating: "The United States is committed to community-based alternatives for individuals with disabilities and recognizes that such services advance the best interests of the United States."
  • Olmstead Executive Order (June 19, 2001)
    WORD version
    President George W. Bush signed this order to provide community-based alternatives for individuals with disabilities.
  • After Olmstead: Community Care for People With Disabilities (2000)
    The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) offers a technical assistance report and audio tape intended to help state lawmakers develop options for moving people with disabilities out of institutions and placing them in less-restrictive settings. The report and audio tape are products of NCSL's Forum for State Health Policy Leadership. Printed copies of the report can be obtained at or by contacting NCSL's publications department at 303-830-2054 and requesting (item #6683, cost $15) and audio tape (item #6730, cost $10).
  • Deinstitutionalization of Persons With Developmental Disabilities: A Technical Assistance Report for Legislators (2000)
    A National Conference of State Legislators report that provides profiles of states that have made innovative changes in their service delivery systems to increase the number of community-based placements and reduced institutional placements. Using information from interviews from state disability service agency directors, academics, advocates and state policymakers, this report addresses: (1) how far along states are in deinstitutionalizing their disabled populations, (2) the percent of people with disabilities living in community settings and in state hospitals, (3) the kinds of medical and social services needed by these populations and what service gaps exist, (4) what models of care could be considered "best practices" for states, and (5) the costs associated with care for this population and how services are funded.
  • Organizations and Media Information Resources

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The National Assistive Technology Technical Assistance Partnership is a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Department of Education and RESNA. The grant (Grant #H224B050003; CFDA 84.224B) is funded under the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended and administered by the Rehabilitation Services Administration, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the U.S. Department of Education.

This website is developed with grant funds. The information contained on these pages does not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the U.S. Department of Education or the Grantee and no official endorsement of the information should be inferred.