Interview with Talley Wells, April 21, 2017

Collection: Georgia Disability Community Oral History Project

Dublin Core


Talley Wells talks about his work in the Disability Integration Project as part of Atlanta Legal Aid. Wells talks about the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's mandate for Georgia to develop an Olmstead Plan in order to adhere to the requirements set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Wells recalls the process of appeals to the court by advocacy groups to allow for the modification of the settlement agreement reached between the Department of Justice and the state of Georgia. Wells explains the process of formulating a system of housing vouchers to aid in the transition and integration of those with mental disabilities into the community. Wells talks about his concerns over the revised settlement agreement. Wells explains the reasons behind the lack of integration services provided by the state. Wells talks about the need for a common goal concerning institutionalized care in the state of Georgia.
Talley Wells earned his Bachelor’s degree and a Juris Doctorate from Duke University School of Law and his Master’s in Education at Harvard University. In 2003, Wells and his wife, Laura helped launch L’Arche Atlanta, an organization started with the mission of developing a community focused on the friendships formed between those with and without developmental disabilities. Wells has also served on leadership boards for The Center for Working Families (2009 to 2017) and the Georgia Supportive Housing Association, during which time he assisted with the development of Permanent Supportive Housing for the state of Georgia. Wells came to work at Atlanta Legal Aid in 2000 before he was eventually promoted to the position of Director of the Disability Integration Project. During his time at Atlanta Legal Aid, Wells served as an advocate in the Department of Justice vs. Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities settlement agreement. Wells has written a series of articles about Olmstead legal services various news outlets. Wells is also the creator of a website known as, which offers tools and information regarding the rights assured to people with disabilities through Olmstead v. L.C Supreme Court case. Since January 2018, Wells works as the Executive Director of the Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice.






Oral History Item Type Metadata



45 minutes


Talley Wells and Susan Goico, “Interview with Talley Wells, April 21, 2017,” UGA Special Collections Libraries Oral Histories, accessed June 12, 2024,