Disability Rights InternationalPosted: May 21, 2012
Powerful. Jorge’s story should not be a story, his imprisonment should not have happened, but it did and thankfully it was documented.
A quick study of disability history paints the picture of institutions as a means to “put away and manage” individuals with mental illness and special needs. Families were encouraged to give their children as wards of the state because “those” children would be too much of a burden for the family to care for on their own. Generations were lost in the stark, shallow halls of these “care facilities.” In the US we are in a phase of de-institutionalization. A move to community where individuals may learn to live and work side by side with family and friends. Opportunities are given to become tax paying citizens. It’s not an easy move by any stretch. But the dignity of life, everyone’s life, must be protected. Disability Rights International has worked since 1993 to “document human rights abuses, publish reports on human rights enforcement, and promote international oversight of the rights of people with mental disabilities.” I encourage you to read Jorge’s story, consider what one thing you might do today to help educate yourself and others and commit to sharing this resource with at least one person this week. DRI Get Involved