Located in Topeka, KS, the Lois Curtis Campus is a physical and virtual hub for services, supports, and guidance that centers individuals with disabilities that experience marginalization within the disability community, including people of color, people who are homeless, people who are system involved, people who are not enrolled in Home and Community Based Services, and people who do not identify as having a disability but may experience a disability that is either not detected or not apparent.
Our efforts are inspired by the artist Lois Curtis, a Black woman with multiple disabilities who, after spending nearly twenty years in incarcerated and institutional settings, singlehandedly spearheaded efforts that led to the US Supreme Court's passage of the Olmstead Decision in 1999. Regarded by many as the "Brown vs Board of Education" for the disability community, the Olmstead Decision affirms that people with disabilities have the right to live independently. However, Lois continued to experience institutionalization as a result of systemic racism within the disability community that created barriers to her accessing community based services and supports. It wasn't until nearly ten years after Olmstead that she was able to create her own support network and move into her own apartment.
She died on November 3rd, 2022 but her legacy lives on at the Lois Curtis Campus, where we are committed to bridging the gaps that Lois and countless other multiply-marginalized people with disabilities experience in the US.
Lois Curtis Campus is disabled/Brown/Black/woman/LGBTQ/direct support professional led.
Lois Curtis Campus is solar powered.
Image is a self portrait by Lois Curtis