A Conversation with Lois Curtis
In her last interview before her passing, Lois Curtis talks with Dr. Peter Blanck about her experiences as a pioneer in the deinstitutionalization movement. Ms. Curtis, the original plaintiff of the landmark Supreme Court decision, Olmstead v. LC, was placed against her will in a Georgia state psychiatric hospital for 17 years. “Deinstitutionalization” means moving mentally disabled people from public or private institutions, such as psychiatric hospitals, back to their families or into community-based homes.
Ms. Curtis discusses the long and bumpy road of navigating systems and stereotypes to eventually win her freedom and make her own choices. She describes how she was fighting for her personal rights and freedom, and how her legal fight became a symbol for deinstitutionalization of people with disabilities.