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??????

Action Needed:

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.

Picture from here.

6 comments:

s0 said...

I'm wondering if Barney Frank is trying to protect the Judge Rotenberg Center (the "school of shock") in his home states.

My take is that both HR 1255 and the Judge Rotenberg Center need to be stopped, and Congressman Frank needs to get back to rescuing the economy.

Sister Sunshine said...

Barney Frank. Not surprising. Sigh.

Terri said...

I hadn't thought about the Judge Rotenberg Center being in Mass...

This bill has been introduced before, but keeps coming back. It gets titles that sound SO supportive while the text supports leaving people with disabilities in awful situations.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Terri said...

Annonymous, I will be deleting your comment, what you're saying is ok, but you can't copy more than about 2-3 paragraphs directly from someplace for 'fair use' reasons.

Here is the link I got to through Barney Frank's page:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.1255:

Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I don't know how come I couldn't find that! You're absolutely right, this is certainly misleading; instead of protecting residents, it appears to be aimed toward protecting the facilities from lawsuits, or at the very least, giving them ample warning of impending suits.
Unbelievable. I will pass this on with the link!