Interview with Sue Smith and Sue Jamieson, April 21, 2017

Collection: Georgia Disability Community Oral History Project

Dublin Core


Sue Smith, Sue Jamieson, and the interviewer, Cynthia Wainscott discuss their experience working together prior to the Georgia vs. Department of Justice hearing. Smith and Jamieson discuss the shortcomings of the settlement agreement that was reached as a result. Smith and Jamieson talk about the process of the advocacy groups becoming amici of the court to advocate for revising the settlement agreement through Judge Charles Pannell, the presiding judge over the settlement agreement. Jamieson talks about the shortcomings of the second settlement agreement, which failed to provide changes to the care of children with both developmental disabilities and mental illnesses. Smith, Jamieson, and Wainscott discuss the de-institutionalization movement of the 1980s. Smith, Jamieson, and Wainscott talk about the lack of resources in Georgia to provide adequate housing and care for the large population of those with mental illnesses and developmental disabilities. They discuss the impact of the Department of Justice’s involvement in the settlement agreement. Jamieson and Wainscott talk about the lasting impact of their work on the settlement agreement, including the creation of relationships and long-lasting friendships among those involved.
Sue Jamieson worked at Jacksonville Area Legal Aid and Legal Services of North Carolina, before her career at the Atlanta Legal Aid Society where she serves as the Project Director of the Mental Health and Disability Rights Project. Much of Jamieson’s work focused on providing legal advice for those with disabilities. Jamieson served as lead counsel in the Olmsted vs. L.C. Supreme Court Case of 1999 which ruled that unjustified segregation of persons with disabilities constitutes discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and that people with disabilities have a qualified right to receive state-funded support and services in the community rather than institutions.
Sue Smith has served as the CEO of the Georgia Parent Support Network (GPSN) since 1987, a grassroots family-run nonprofit organization established in 1989 to help address the needs of children with mental illness, emotional disturbances and behavioral differences and their families.






Oral History Item Type Metadata



47 minutes


Sue Smith, Sue Jamieson, and Cynthia Wainscott, “Interview with Sue Smith and Sue Jamieson, April 21, 2017,” UGA Special Collections Libraries Oral Histories, accessed June 8, 2023,