I don’t even know where to begin. I happened to find a video on the CNN siteabout the hideous conditions for children and adults with disabilities in institutions in Serbia . I’m not sure how to link to it, but if you want to search for it the title is “Tied to cribs, left to die.” A group called Mental Disability Rights International works to ensure that the rights of people with developmental and psychiatric disabilities are respected around the world, and they are the ones who created this video.
I urge you to go to their website and read their reports and see the very painful videos they have made of the dreadful lives of the people left (apparently to die) in the various facilities in Paraguay, Romania, and Turkey (among others).
Horrified does not even begin to describe my reaction to the fact that in 2007 this level of inhumanity and injustice continues. On the other hand, why should it shock me? It is true that we have moved a long way in this country- a very long way from the deplorable situations you will see if you visit MDRI’s website and read their reports. But the tremendous prejudice felt toward people with disabilities remains. The abuse stays constant. The inability to see beyond labels, the belief in lack, limitation, inability...it goes on and on.
And again, I wonder, why would it shock me? When our own country is apparently not concerned with the fact that torture is considered an acceptable form of treatment for prisoners of war. Why should I be surprised at all?