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Two issues that seemed to be repeated over and over through time in one form or another is: quality care and people with intellectual disabilities being taken advantage of or abused. In early times people with special needs were placed in situations to entertain the public, or pushed aside. It was absolutely appalling to me to see the videos on Willowbrook. I watched each one and was amazed at the stories of the people that survived the ‘school.’ I have a very close friend that had to put her child into a group home when she was very young, as there wasn’t any services to support her child in the small community they lived in. However, my friend was, and still is, dedicated to her daughter’s well being and continued good care. I’ve spent lots of time talking about her experiences and can’t imagine what those families had to endure.
We are still able to see situations that are similar to those in the past, thankfully I feel that things have improved but we still have obstacles to overcome in the care, support and education of people with special needs. Unfortunately, money and services are difficult, especially in the rural areas of the country. I currently know of two young children with significant disabilities and the closest doctor is 4.5 hours away from their home. This is extremely difficult for the young mother, and some could argue that she should move closure to Salt Lake City so the trip to the doctor’s office isn’t as long. However, if she does that she has to find new housing, a new job and would loose the support of her extended family. So she has decided that the long trips to the doctor is the sacrifice she has to make to keep the other positive aspects of where she lives.
As we looked at the reading and the terminology through history it shows how society viewed people that were in anyway different. The words that were used to describe others was just awful, however it is a relief to see that although, a slow process society sees how important it is to have kind and people first conversations. Words can cause so much harm.
The article about the man who abused and took advantage of the younger man in the restaurant is absolutely awful, and I wish it could be said that this type of thing wouldn’t ever happen again but, sadly we still her stories of people being treaded unfairly or harshly.