Letters to the Editor: 09.30.09 – Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The horrific trials about systemic organized abuse at the Corpus Christi State School are insidious. What is worse is the fact that the strategic approach towards fixing it is not effective. State schools cannot be fixed by changing their names or installing Web cams. It is as though we are smothering our conscience. I used to try to fix the problems at facilities. Now, I realize that one of the only ways to improve them is to consolidate and right-size them. Institutions are a shameful relic of failed public policy and a misuse of government spending. They are storage facilities that segregate individuals with disabilities from the rest of society. Community and home-based services are a more efficient, cost effective and moral solution, offering independence for individuals with disabilities. For over 20 years, I have been developing employment and housing supports for individuals with disabilities and I have witnessed firsthand people who have thrived after leaving an institution. They become active members of their community who are gainfully employed. We must learn from past tragedies and the violations of human rights and recognize the potential of each individual to live and thrive in the community.