reflections related to disability advocacy, family and (needed) cultural change
Friday, March 13, 2009
Timing is Everything: The Texas Institution Scandal and HR 1255
Over the last few months there has been lots and lots of exposure of problems in the institutions that "serve" people with disabilities in the state of Texas.
First came problems at the Denton School, an institution that houses several hundred children and adults with cognitive disabilities in .
Then after lots of investigation the oversight committee came to the conclusion that the large institutions that have proven more dangerous AND more expensive than smaller, community-based living situations do not need replacing, they need new names and a PR campaign...
Better lives through spin.
Then came the Iowa Turkey Farm Debacle--21 men from Texas who were found to be spending their nights in a run-down former factory and their days allegedly in indentured servitude to a turkey packing company...
And this week it turns out that the carers at Corpus Christi State School and possibly at others have allegedly been holding a "Fight Clubs" where they wake the residents at the schools in the night and stage fights between them. Allegedly the carers goad the residents, laugh at them and film them--there is investigation to whether there was gambling involved...
And this week an action alert came from NDSC that Rep. Barney Franks has introduced legisalation that will limit the ability of Protection and Advocacy agencies to bring class action suits against institutions where abuse, etc of people with disabilities has taken place....
ARE THEY KIDDING??????
Contact your representative and ask him/her NOT to cosponsor or in any way support H.R. 1255. Call the capitol switchboard 202-224-3121 and ask for your Representative's office. (To find your Representatives go here.)
Talking points are as follows: *This legislation is not needed and would harm individuals with disabilities. *It would harm the efforts of parents and advocates to work for community services and support needed to live in the community. *It would limit the efforts of lawyers to represent our constituency.
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.