Award Access Living

“Lead On!” Award

Access Living presented litigation partner Donna Welch with a "Lead On!" Award during the organization's annual gala for her pro bono work in the Olmstead class action cases. She led the legal team that negotiated a landmark settlement with the state of Illinois in Williams v. Quinn, providing approximately 4,300 people with mental illnesses in Illinois the choice to move out of large nursing homes, known as "institutions for mental disease," and into community-based settings. The award recognizes national leaders who have helped reframe the understanding of people with disabilities and who have helped to remove the barriers that have excluded them from everyday life. Access Living praised Donna, the other Olmstead attorneys and the named plaintiffs for their "untiring efforts toward ensuring that thousands of people with disabilities across Illinois will have the choice to live in their own homes instead of institutions."