To watch the full 28 mins of this documentary, click here.
"Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it".
I've been told, "You can't mention the 'W' word". ...Really?
In 1965, Sen. Robert Kennedy visited Willowbrook State School and called it a "snake pit". When, in 1972, investigative reporter Geraldo Rivera brought television cameras inside its walls, Willowbrook became the national symbol of institutional abuse and neglect of the developmentally disabled.
What has come to be known as "Willowbrook" was a turning point, not only for those thousands who were inhumanely warehoused there but for the hundreds of thousands of individuals who live their legacy.
In ARC v. Rockefeller, parents and residents of Willowbrook successfully filed suit to end the appalling conditions there and eventually move individuals into community-based settings. Public outrage led to Willowbrook's closure in 1987.
Think it could never happen again? Frankly, I have been shocked by the ease with which some would dismiss those with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live in "larger facilities" so the taxpayer can "recognize economies of scale".
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Copyright 2013 William Cooke. All rights reserved.