reflections related to disability advocacy, family and (needed) cultural change
Saturday, March 14, 2009
More about Institutions
The conversations going on around the troubles in institutions in Texas this week have interested me.
One of my best friends lives in Texas and has spent the better part of this week calling her legislators about this issue. One of the legislative staffers implied to her that the whole "fight club" occurence wasn't that serious because the victims had been evaluated and didn't appear injured.
My friend stopped for a moment and then said, "If people with disabilities were seen as equal this would not even be discussed. We would just be upset about the bad thing that had happened to our friend or our neighbor."
The staffer had to agree.
In another conversation I had this week someone pointed out that abuse can occur in smaller settings as well. And this, of course is true. But when people live in neighborhoods, go to schools and restaurants and miniature golf courses with everyone else, abuse can be noticed. Being seen and being known are protective.
One of my first blog-posts ever contrasted the media coverage and experiences of a man who died in a Missouri institution and a pastor who was shot in Texas the same week.
Dave Hingsburger has been running a series of posts about a woman he had seen while he was out shopping who was being abused by a caregiver. He gave her his phone number and told her to call the police. She did call the police. And him. Her Caregiver is being investigated and charged...
Had she lived in an institution, away from shops and neighbors, Dave would not have been there to notice.
I am the mother of three, wife of one. I am a Partners in Policymaking graduate and a committed disability advocate. I want to catch up on my scrapbooking, learn more about art-journaling, get my house in order, read all the books I have set aside to read and change the world--not necessarily in that order. The opinions in this blog are my own and not those of any of employers.